European Studies Logo

Kirsten "Kit" Belgum

Associate ProfessorPh.D., German, University of Wisconsin (Madison)




Nineteenth-Century German Studies, Popular Culture, Print Culture, Nationalism, German Realism, Travel literature


College: Liberal Arts

Home Department: Germanic Studies

Education: PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research interests: Nineteenth-century German literature and culture, gender and the German novel, 19th/20th century women writers, feminist aesthetics


Popularizing the Nation: Audience, Representation, and the Production of Identity in Die Gartenlaube, 1853-1900. Lincoln: U Nebraska P, 1998.

Interior Meaning: Design of the Bourgeois Home in the Realist Novel. New York: Peter Lang, 1991. 

Recent articles:

"Popularizing the World: Karl Andrée’s Globus" forthcoming in Colloquia Germanica, (Special issue on travel literature) summer 2015.

"Censorship and Piracy: Publication and State Control in Early Nineteenth-Century Germany." Censorship and Exile. Ed. Johanna Hartmann and Hubert Zapf. Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2015. 121-135.

"The Culture of Borrowing: Transnational Influence in Travel Writing around 1800," Studies in Travel Writing 19:1 (February 2015): 1-14.

"Accidental Encounter: Why John Quincy Adams Translated German Culture for Americans," Early American Studies 13:1 (Winter 2015): 209-36.

"Distant Reception: Bringing Germany Books to America." Distant Readings: Topologies of German Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century. Ed. Lynne Tatlock and Matt Erlin. Rochester: Camden House, 2014. 209-227.

 "'For the glory of my country': Defining America in Webster's American Dictionary and Lieber's Encyclopaedia Americana," Nineteenth-Century Contexts 35:3 (July 2013): 253-274. [on-line at:]

Courses taught recently:

            graduate courses

GER 392 Travel and Literature

GER 392 Creating a National Culture: Germany, 1750-1890

GER 392 Popular Culture and the Canon

GER 386.3 German Literature: Enlightenment to Realism

            upper-division courses in English

GRC 323E/EUS 347/CL 323 European Travel Literature

GRC 360E/GOV 365N German Nationalisms

            lower-division course in English

EUS 303 Voyages that Changed the World

GRC 301/HIS 306N/GRG 309 Life of a City: 20th-Century Berlin

            upper-division German courses

GER 373 German Travel Literature

GER 363K Life Writing as Cultural History

GER 346L German Literature: Enlightenment to Present

GER 343C Contemporary German Civilization

GER 331L Advanced Conversation and Composition



EUS 346 • German Nationalisms

35470 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 130
(also listed as GOV 365N, GSD 361K, REE 335)

Please check back for updates.

EUS 347 • Contemporary German Civilizatn

36565 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.120
(also listed as GER 343C)


This course will follow the radical changes in German politics, society, culture, and literature during the twentieth century. We begin by discussing the pre-war era and the impact of World War I. We then turn to the German Revolution of 1918 and political developments of the Weimar Republic. Next we consider the society and ideology of National Socialism and the origins and course of World War II. This is followed by an examination of the post-war occupation of Germany and the development of two German states, the FRG and the GDR ending with the process of German unification. Throughout the semester, we will discuss the remarkable literary and cultural shifts that took place during this century including: fin-de-siècle literature and high modernism of expressionism; cabaret and the Neue Sachlichkeit of the 20s; the emergence of German film; restrictions placed on culture under the Nazis and artists and authors who went into political exile. Finally, we examine the impact of a divided nation on the cultural and literary output in the post-war era.Student work for this class is based on a combination of readings and films, writing assignments, and participation in class discussions (including organized debates). It presumes a fifth-semester language ability (i.e. successful completion of GER 328 and 331L) and is structured to build on the skills acquired in those classes in a systematic way to prepare students for more advanced work in German seminars. We will read texts that were written for native speakers of German and are not glossed or simplified. As a result we will frequently encounter more complicated grammatical structures, such as indirect discourse (subjunctive I), passive voice, and extended modifiers. Students will be expected to expand on their previous use of German in writing and speaking (for example by using more complex clauses and an historically specific vocabulary).

Required texts:

Geschichtsbuch 4: Die Menschen und ihre Geschichte in Darstellungen und Dokumenten (Berlin: Cornelsen, 1996); ISBN 3-464-64204-6.Thomas Mann, Tod in VenedigBertolt Brecht, Leben des Galilei


1)      Reading assignments are due in class on the day indicated on the syllabus. Unless otherwise noted, the pages cited are from the Geschichtsbuch 4. Literary readings are from Tod in Venedig, Leben des Galilei, or other readings posted on the course Blackboard site. All films must be screened prior to class (they are all available at UT in the Fine Arts Library; you may also rent them from Netflix or local movie stores).2)      Homework and quizzes. To help you to focus your reading, questions (Fragen) to many of them have been posted on Blackboard and are marked on the syllabus [F]. Answers to Fragen marked by a bold F should be submitted in class on the dates listed (the others are to help with class discussion). A detailed vocabulary list for the Geschichtsbuch and descriptions of all assignments are posted on Blackboard. There may be occasional (unannounced) content quizzes about the day’s reading. Be prepared!3)     Written work for this class will consist of four (4) brief essays on the literary readings. Assignments for these schriftliche Arbeiten are on Blackboard; these essays are due in class on the dates specified on the syllabus [S]. They should not exceed 500 words (2 pages) and should be typed, double-spaced, and proofread. As with the answers to the Fragen, these schriftliche Arbeiten should integrate the new vocabulary from the readings. They should also incorporate the rhetorical and stylistic elements that we will be reviewing such as subjunctive I, passive voice, and extended modifiers.4)    Daily participation is expected of all students and is graded. This includes contributing to discussions each day in class. In addition, there are four (4) in-class Debatten scheduled on the syllabus [D]. For each debate there is a worksheet on the course website to help you structure your arguments. One purpose of this course is to challenge you to develop and express your ideas in German. Every student is required to participate in each debate. Unexcused absences will dramatically affect your grade (-2% for each absence). Note that if you miss a debate you miss 5% of the semester grade.5)    There will be three tests in this course. Review sheets for each test are posted on the Blackboard course website. While the grammatical accuracy of your test answers will not be graded, all answers must be written in complete and coherent sentences (with proper word order and verb-subject agreement). You will also be expected to use the new vocabulary that you have been learning in your answers.


Essays (5%, 5%, 5%, 5%) = 20%

Debates (5%, 5%, 5%, 5%) = 20%

Exams (15%; 15%; 15%) = 45%

Participation, homework, quizzes = 15%

EUS 347 • German Travel Literature

36511 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1200-100pm BUR 337
(also listed as GER 373)

GER 373: German Travel Literature

Fall 2009


Prof. Kit Belgum

E-mail:                                    Phone: 232-6375                       

Office hours: M 3-4:30, W 9:30-11, and by appt.            Office: BUR 324



Literature presents us with worlds that we don’t know. Often this takes the form of imagined places and people, but some literature gives us access to real places we may not have visited. This is travel literature. This seminar on German travel literature has three main objectives: 1) to provide an overview of the history of travel and the enormous changes in modes and goals of travel between the eighteenth century and the present, 2) to investigate the changes that this travel had on perceptions of the world during the same period, particularly as they left their mark on German cultural writing and literature, and 3) to explore issues such as context, authorship, publication, and audience. Finally, as a senior seminar, this class is designed to give students an introduction to scholarship and the steps involved in conducting research.

We will begin with the travels and writings of Georg Forster who accompanied Captain Cook on his trip around the world and with of the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt who wrote extensively about his1799-1804 trip to the Americas over the course of many decades. We will then consider the impact of new technologies on literary expression in the first half of the nineteenth century and focus on the role of travel and tourism in the development of new genres at mid-century, such as Heinrich Heine's Reisebilder, and new media, such as Baedeker's travel guides and the significant increase in the ability of women such as Ida Pfeiffer to travel. The final texts of the semester will include nostalgia for an earlier era, the impact of German colonial aspirations and industrialization on writing about the rest of the world, and the importance of travel as a metaphor for engaging with the modern world in the post-war period.


Readings: Readings listed on the syllabus must be completed before each class period so that productive discussion can follow the introductory lectures. In order to facilitate discussion, everyone should come to each class with one question about the day’s reading.

             Vocabulary building: To help everyone build their vocabulary as the semester progresses, each student will keep a journal that registers at least five words from each day’s reading that are new to the student and most central to the topic. One of these should be used in a meaningful sentence.

            Reaction papers: Each student will write four (4) one-page "reaction papers." Two of these should take issue with or respond to the previous seminar meeting. They should present a student’s reactions to a reading and at least one issue from lectures or discussion. They can either pose relevant and related issues or take a critical position with respect to the material. Most importantly they should, however, present an independent, original thought on a topic. Two other reaction papers should introduce and critique a work of scholarship on a topic related to the seminar (and ideally relevant to the student’s research project). These reaction papers should identify the subject matter, main thesis, argumentation, and methodology of the scholarly paper and then provide an evaluation of it (assessing its strengths and weaknesses). The purpose of these two reaction papers is to help each student to reflect on relevant background research for his or her project and to identify the qualities inherent in first-rate scholarly work. One of these should be presented orally in class by November 6 (5 minutes), which will be preparation for the Referat.

            Research topic: Each student will select the topic for his/her research project after discussing it with the instructor. The research topic should include at least one work not read in class. It may include works read in the seminar or focus exclusively on other material and topics related to travel and literature. The tentative title and a one-paragraph summary should be posted on the course web site by October 30. An initial bibliography (including primary texts and scholarship) is due on November 20. The research project will be both presented as a Referat and submitted in the form of a written term paper (see below).

            Referat: During the last week of the semester, each student will present the results of his/her research on one aspect of travel writing (10 minutes). The purpose of this presentation is threefold: to share the initial results of your research with other seminar participants, to receive detailed feedback from peers on the content, organization, and argument of your paper, and to practice a formal presentation in German.

Research paper (Seminararbeit): A 6-page paper on the student's research project on one aspect of travel writing (the same topic as the Referat) is due on December 8. This paper should have a clear thesis statement and follow a logical and well-organized argumentation and should include reference to at least three pieces of scholarship. It should also incorporate some of the new vocabulary items from your vocabulary journal.



Preparation, participation, discussion questions – 25%

Vocabulary journal – 10%

Reaction papers (one page each) (5% x 4) – 20%

Oral presentation of one reaction paper – 5%

Research presentation – 15%

Research paper (six pages) – 25%           






Woche 1             Die Geschichte von Reisen und Reiseliteratur

            26.08.                        Einführung – Themen des Semesters, Semesterarbeit

            28.08.                        Textbeispiele


Woche 2             Der Reiseführer

                              31.08.            Kaminer: Ich bin kein Berliner: Ein Reiseführer für faule Touristen (S. 9-15)

                              01.09.            Kaminer: (S. 23-29, 37-41)

                              03.09.            Kaminer: (S. 60-68, 69-72, 99-103, 111-115)


Woche 3             (Bibliographie und ein Überblick)

                              09.09.            NB: Sitzung fällt aus – Aufgabe mit der MLA Bibliographie

                              11.09.            NB: Sitzung fällt aus – drei englisch-sprachige Essays lesen und Fragen beantworten


Woche 4            Aufklärung und Erziehung

                              14.09.            Campe: Robinson der Jüngere (1779) (1. Abend)

                              16.09.            Campe: (7. Abend)

                              18.09             Campe: (15. und 30. Abend, Seiten 6-9)


Woche 5            Entdeckungs- und Forschungsreisen

                              21.09.            Forster: Reise um die Welt 1772-1775

                              23.09.            Forster: Reise um die Welt 1772-1775

                              25.09.            Humboldt: Ansichten der Natur


Woche 6             Reisen als Selbsteentdeckung

                              29.09.            Goethe: Italienische Reise (Abfahrt)

                              30.09.            Goethe: Italienische Reise (2. Römischer Aufenthalt)



Woche 7             Tourismus

                              05.10.            Baedeker und Murray: Reiseführer

                              07.10.            Hoffmann von Fallersleben “Die Engländer am Rhein”



Woche 8             Das “Reisebild”

                              12.10.            Heine: Die Harzreise; 10 pages (Abfahrt aus Göttingen)

                              14.10.            Heine: Die Harzreise; 10 pages (oben auf dem Brocken)



Woche 9             Frauenfahrten

                              19.10.            Pfeiffer: Reise in das Heilige Land

                              21.10.            Peiffer



Woche 10             Koloniale Vorstellungen

                              26.10.            Rohlfs: Quer durch Afrika “Reise nach Undala”

                              28.10.            Rohlfs: Quer durch Afrika “Eintritt ins Reich der Pollo”



Woche 11             Nostalgische Reise

                              02.11.            Fontane: Wanderungen durch die Mark-Brandenburg (Neu-Ruppin)

                              04.11.            Fontane



Woche 12            Reise-Reportage

                              09.11.            Kisch: Paradies Amerika

                              11.11.            Kisch



Woche 13             Kritik des Tourismus: seine Alternativen 

                              16.11.            Grass: Kopfgeburten oder die Deutschen sterben aus

                              18.11.            Grass



Woche 14             Reisen in dem elektronischen Zeitalter – Fernsehen und Internet

                              23.11.            ARD Ratgeber: Reise - 

                              25.11.            Sitzung fällt aus - Thanksgiving


Woche 15             Studentenprojekte

                              30.11.            Referate

                              02.12.            Referate

                              04.12.            Referate


                              14.12.            Seminararbeit fällig (um 12h)           





You have received all requirements for this course in writing. It is your responsibility to read and follow them. No late work is accepted. The conditions for making up work for medical and other leaves are listed in the next section.



  • Students can make up work missed because of a religious holiday as long as they notify the instructor in writing at least one week before the holiday occurs. 
  • The same applies to official university obligations like Club or Varsity sports.
  • Documentation from a physician is required for medical absence; arrangements to make up missed work must be made promptly, and in no case should the work be completed more than 2 weeks after the absence. 
  • Other absences (e.g. family events) must be arranged for at least two weeks in advance and missed work must be turned in during the next class session.



  • UT Learning Center, in JES A332 provides free academic assistance, including help with college-level writing, reading, and learning strategies: <>.
  • Undergraduate Writing Center in FAC 211 has trained consultants who provide assistance with writing: <>.
  • For help using UT libraries see: <>.



The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for students with disabilities. Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact the Service for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations: <>. To receive accommodations you must give this letter to your instructors. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.



All forms of forms of scholastic dishonesty, such as plagiarism in written work or cheating during a quiz or test, will be reported to the Dean of Students. Unauthorized collaboration, plagiarism on papers, and cheating on tests will result in an F for the assignment, with no makeup possible. Students who engage in any form of scholastic dishonesty more than once, will receive an automatic F for the course.


Please consult the information produced by the Dean of Students Office and read all the links and sub-pages: <>.  They explain the various forms of “scholastic dishonesty,” the “consequences of scholastic dishonesty,” and “avoiding scholastic dishonesty.” It is your responsibility to know what plagiarism is and how to cite all of your sources appropriately.

To make correct citations, researchers often use bibliographic software like UT's "Noodlebib" <> or Zotero  <>. 



Cell phones must be turned off in class. Computers may be used only for note-taking.



Please come and talk to me anytime if you have questions about these items, concerns about the course, or need some academic advice. I am here to help!

EUS 347 • European Travel Literature-W

35630 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 1100-1200 WEL 3.402
(also listed as C L 323, GRC 323E)

Please check back for updates.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

External Links

  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st Street
    Austin, Texas 78712