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Faculty Profile

Sarah McGaughey

Associate Professor of German (2007)

Contact Information

Bosler Hall Room 114


McGaughey is a scholar of modernist studies, in particular of the region of German-speaking Central Europe and of the interwar period. She focuses on the Viennese author Hermann Broch and the relationship between literature and architecture as a means of understanding modernism and modernity. She is author of "Ornament as Crisis: Architecture, Design, and Modernity in Hermann Broch's 'The Sleepwalkers'" (Northwestern UP, 2016) and a co-editor of "A Companion to the Works of Hermann Broch" (Camden House, April 2019). She is also interim online editor of the journal for transatlantic German Studies, "Glossen" ( She develops and teaches courses on German cultural history of the environment (German Environments), German theater and radio, contemporary German literature, and modern architectural history of Germany. She enjoys teaching German as a second language, reading and teaching contemporary German literature, and listening to and teaching with German-language pop music.


  • B.A., Smith College, 1997
  • M.A., Washington University-St. Louis, 1999
  • Ph.D., 2005

2019-2020 Academic Year

Fall 2019

GRMN 201 Int German I:Contemp Grm Cltr
What did the Brothers Grimm do besides collecting fairy tales? How do narratives inform national identity? Why do Germans return their empty bottles to the store? Students approach such questions, which touch on language, culture, economics, geography, history, and more, through a variety of media in this course. At the same time, students review grammatical structures, expand their knowledge of stylistic forms, and practice various registers of written and spoken German. German 201 aims to develop students’ skills to understand and reflect upon German-language culture at a basic intermediate level. Classes meet four days a week. Prerequisite: 102 or 103, or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the language graduation requirement.

GRMN 212 German in Performance
This course will focus on performance in German cultures. Students will analyze key traditional examples of repeatable and lasting performances such as plays and films as well as performances rooted in the avant-garde which concentrate on the moment and the uniqueness of the individual performance generated by the performer or performers as both the medium and the content of the performance. For instance, students may critically analyze Georg Buchner's drama "The Death of Danton", the performance actions of the artist Joseph Beuys, or the works of the director Christoph Schlingensief. Prerequisite: 202, or permission of the instructor.