Virginia Tech® home

Stefanie Hofer

Stefanie Hofer, Associate Professor of German

Name, Title
Stefanie Hofer, Associate Professor of German

Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
304 Major Williams Hall 
220 Stanger Street 
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-5361 |

Stefanie Hofer is an associate professor of German in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at Virginia Tech. She has published on contemporary German literature and cinematic depictions of Germany’s struggle to come to terms with Nazi atrocities and left-wing terrorism. Her current research focuses on the role of autobiographical narratives in post-traumatic healing. Drawing from her own experiences after the murder of her husband during the April 16, 2007, shootings at Virginia Tech, she argues that analyzing literary and filmic depictions of loss and trauma across time and cultures can serve as a catharsis for grieving and, ultimately, provide a self-determined space for working through trauma.

Her work has appeared in scholarly journals for German Studies such as German Life and Letters, Seminar, Women in German Yearbook, for Cinema Studies such as Film Criticism, and for Psychoanalysis such as American Imago. Furthermore, her essay “Lockout: Spacing Trauma and Recovery in the Aftermath of the Virginia Tech Shootings” was the lead article in a special issue dedicated to “Memory and Remembrance: Essays in Psychoanalytic Autobiography” in American Imago. Her research has also been supported by several internal research grants at VT. In 2017, she received the Sturm Award for Faculty Excellence in Research from the VT chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • German Film
  • Trauma and Memory
  • Memoirs and Post-traumatic Recovery
  • German Postcolonialism
  • Culture and Identity
  • PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • MA, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Co-chair, Working Group "Witnessing" of the Memory Studies Association
  • Member, Women in German
  • Member, German Studies Association
  • Member, International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place
  • Graduate, New Directions Program, Washington and Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis
  • Member, VTV Family Outreach Foundation
  • Phi Beta Kappa Sturm Award for Faculty Excellence in Research, VT, 2017.
  • Favorite Faculty Award, Housing and Residence Life, VT, 2014 and 2017.
  • Honorary Membership for Delta Phi Alpha, German Honor Society, 2016.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Out of the Box: Television, Documentary Fiction and the Art of Healing.” American Imago 74.1 (Spring 2017): 41-73.

“Memoirs and Healing: Howard Reich’s The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich Read through the Lens of a Trauma Victim.” Women in German Yearbook 31 (2015): 99-121.

Lockout: Spacing Trauma and Recovery in the Aftermath of the Virginia Tech Shootings.American Imago 72.3 (Fall 2015): 231-83. 

“‘Memory Talk’: Terrorism, Trauma and Generational Struggle in Christian Petzold’s The State I Am In and Margarethe von Trotta’s Marianne and Juliane.” Film Criticism 19.1 (Fall 2009): 36-57.

“‘...von der Unmöglichkeit der Gegenwart’: Geschlecht, Generation und Nation in Sanders-Brahms’ Deutschland, bleiche Mutter und Petzolds Die innere Sicherheit.German Life and Letters 62.2 (April 2009): 174-89.

“Das Ende der Generationseinheit von ʼ68: Schlöndorffs Die Stille nach dem Schuß.” Seminar: Journal for Germanic Studies 41.2 (May 2005): 125-48.

“Wieviel Vergangenheit ist erlaubt? Eine Frage der deutschen Selbstwahrnehmung. Europa Europa und Aimee und Jaguar im Vergleich.” Focus on German Studies 9 (2002): 15-25.


“Building a Forum for Change: An Interview with South African-Namibian Filmmaker Richard Pakleppa on Dying for Gold (2018).” film international 19.1 (2021): 143-149. (Forthcoming)

“Va. Tech professor on post-traumatic writing.” JHU Press Blog. Johns Hopkins University Press, 23 Nov. 2015,

Encyclopedia Entry

“Ulrich Woelk.” Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur. Ed. Heinz Arnold. München: Edition text + kritik, 2005: 1-13. 

Film Reviews

“Das Gesetz des Irrsinns: Veit Harlans Kolberg.” Review of Kolberg, dir. Veit Harlan (1945). H-German, 15 February 2007.

“Bruch mit Stereotypen und Tabus: Hollands cineastisches Erinnern an die Shoa.” Review of Europa Europa, dir. Agnieszka Holland (1990). H-German, 10 March 2006.

“Perfect Love in Imperfect Circumstances?” Review of Aimee and Jaguar, dir. Max Färberböck (1999). H-German, July 2004.

Review of Nirgendwo in Afrika, dir. Caroline Link (2001). H-German, February 2004.

Opinion Pieces

“Playing with Guns.” ROOM. A Sketchbook for Analytic Action. 2.18, 23 Feb. 2018,

“Letter to the Editor: Guns behind Angels.” ROOM. A Sketchbook for Analytic Action. 2.19, 24 Feb. 2019,

  • Adaptive Brain and Behavior (ABB) Professional Development Funding Grant ($ 1,000), ABB Research Destination Area, VT, 2019.
  • Faculty Support Grant ($2,640), Institute for Society, Culture and Environment, VT, 2016-2017.
  • Niles Research Grant ($3,000), College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, VT, 2015-2016.
  • CEUT Professional Development Grant ($300), VT, 2007.
  • Faculty Research Grant ($3,000), College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, VT, 2006-2007.
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, The Graduate School, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2004-2005.
  • Kent James Brown Fellowship, Department of Germanic Languages, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2000-2004.
  • Future Faculty Fellowship, funded jointly by the Office of the Provost, The Graduate School, and the Center for Teaching and Learning, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2003.
  • GER 2106 Intermediate German
  • GER 3105 Grammar, Composition and Conversation
  • GER 3106 Grammar, Composition and Conversation
  • GER 3125 German for Oral Proficiency
  • GER 3126 German for Oral Proficiency
  • GER 3204 Culture of the German-speaking Countries
  • GER 3305 Survey of German Literature I
  • GER 3306 Survey of German Literature II
  • GER 3474 Topics in German Cinema
  • GER 4154 Advanced Composition and Stylistics
  • GER 4324 20th-Century German Literature
  • GER 4334 Topics in German Life, Literature, and Language
  • GER 4974 Independent Study

Featured Books

Select Media Mentions

Recent Academic News

News Stories