Margaret McCarthy


Ph.D., M.A. University of Rochester
B.A. Connecticut College


I graduated Magna cum Laude from Connecticut College with a major in English and minor in German. A Fulbright scholarship took me to the University of Vienna the following year to study Austrian literature. In graduate school at the University of Rochester I supplemented my interest in German literature with course work on German film. Numerous grants, from the Austrian Federal Ministry, the DAAD, and the Heinrich-Hertz-Stiftung for a year of study at the University of Cologne, helped me to pursue dissertation research. My interest in autobiography and the Bildungsroman led to a dissertation called "Bodies, Beautiful Souls and Bildung: Reconstituting the First-Person Singular I," which was supported by the Susan B. Anthony Dissertation Fellowship.

Since arriving at Davidson in 1995, I've taught a variety of beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in German literature, film, and culture. My publications, which have appeared in the German Quarterly, Camera Obscura, German Politics and Society, as well as numerous anthologies, reflect a range of interests in contemporary literature and film, including works by director/short story writer Doris Dörrie. More recently I have begun a book on German second wave and pop feminism and their influence on pop literature by women and filmic depictions of the student movement of 1968. Part of this research, an essay entitled "Feminism & Generational Conflicts in Alexa Hennig von Lange's Relax, Elke Naters' Lügen, and Charlotte Roche's Feuchtgebiete," appeared in a 2011 issue of Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature on German feminism. I am also currently editing an anthology for de Gruyter called German Pop Literature: A Companion, to appear in 2015. 

In 2003 I co-edited Light Motives. German Popular Cinema in Perspective [Wayne State UP]. From 2005 to 2008 I co-edited the Women in German Yearbook. Recent essays include "'They Were Threatening Castration, Man': Germans in The Big Lebowski," which appeared in the Journal of Popular Culture; "Somnolent Selfhood: Winterschläfer and Generation Golf," in New German Critique; and "Edukating Pop: Hans Weingartner's Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei and the Legacy of '68 in Contemporary Germany " in Monatshefte.

At Davidson, I have been coordinator for Davidson's Gender Studies Concentration, as well as resident director in 1997-98 and 2001-03 for the college's former JYA program in Würzburg. I am currently coordinator of the Film and Media Studies Concentration and have taught numerous courses on topics like film adaptation, alternative film, and memory on film, for which I created a documentary about my mother called RPMcC. In fall 2011 I team-taught "Travel and Service Revisited," which offered students returning from abroad and service projects a chance to debrief, reflect, and create autobiographical projects about their experiences. I completed the final assignment with the students by making FAHR, a film about my own travel experiences and relationship to Germany. It can be viewed at

I live in Davidson with my husband, Joachim Ghislain, and our children, Nicolas and Nola Marlene.