Dr Maureen Gallagher

PhD (University of Massachusetts Amherst), MA, BA (University of Nebraska–Lincoln)
Lecturer in German Studies
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • German Language 200307
  • Literature In German 200512
  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality 200205
  • Postcolonial Studies 200211

Research interests

19th-21st Germanophone literature and culture; inclusive, anti-racist, and decolonial pedagogy; gender, race, and postcolonialism/decolonization in modern Germany; Black German studies; critical race theory and critical whitenes studies


After receiving my BA and MA from the University of Nebraska, I spent a year as a Fulbright scholar in Germany before beginning a PhD in German Studies at the University of Massachusetts. My dissertation focused on the representation of race and colonialism in German young adult literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I have recent article publications on inclusive and decolonial pedagogy, race and gender in German colonial literature, and First World War literature. My research interests more broadly are in the areas of gender studies, critical race theory and critical whiteness studies, and postcolonialism and decolonization. I come to ANU after previously holding teaching positions at Lafayette College (PA), the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Notre Dame (IN). 

Researcher's projects

Reading German Whiteness: Race, Gender, and Wilhelmine Youth Culture in a Global Age

My book project takes up the question of what young people learned about German identity in an era of colonization, racialization, and globalization. In it I examine diverse media produced for young adults—schoolbooks, periodicals, and fiction from authors such as Else Ury, Karl May, and Hans Grimm—in the historical and cultural contexts of the German empire. I begin with the historical roots of modern thinking about race that come from the German intellectual tradition (Kant, Hegel, Herder) and connect it with critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, and feminist theory to show how imperialism and colonialism prompt a rethinking of the relationship of nation, race, and gender and a construction of a white German subjectivity for young readers. For example, authors such as May, Friedrich Pajeken, and Sophie Wörishöffer portray German settlers in the American West as racially superior to Native Americans and culturally superior to other white settler groups in order to make a colonial claim to the Americas as a space for a white German future. In the book I offer an understanding of German identity that is both racial and cultural and show how young people were taught to consider themselves as both white and German.


Past Grants and Awards

2017-2018: Max Kade Berlin Fellowship, Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

2016: Research Fellowship, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz), Berlin, Germany

2016: Coalition of Women in German Dissertation Prize

2010: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Short-term Research Grant

2006-2007: Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to Germany


Return to top

Updated:  24 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers