Gabi R Kathoefer

Associate Professor, German

What I do

19th-Century German Literary and Cultural Studies Transcultural Studies Postcolonial Studies Life Writing Travel Literature Inclusive Pedagogies

Professional Biography

Gabi Kathöfer's research centers on politics of identity and interconnections between presumably unrelated cultural spaces and issues. Her first monograph titled Auszug in die Heimat: Zum Alteritäts(t)raum Märchen (Olms, 2008) examines the multiplicity of identity constructions and spaces of alterity presented in nineteenth-century fairy tales. She is also co-editor of the essay collection titled KulturConfusão: On German-Brazilian Interculturalities provides (DeGruyter, 2015). KulturConfusão contains articles written by international scholars from a variety of disciplines, including German studies, Brazilian and Lusophone Studies, art history, and literature, and calls into question the boundaries by which we understand cultures, their products, practices and perspectives.

Gabi's current work focuses on migration in the context of Heimat studies, mobility, and precarity. Her book project titled "The German Invention of Brazil: An Transcultural Analysis of National Identity Construction" undertakes a fresh appraisal of German emigration to Brazil as an important component of nineteenth-century German history and nationalism. It analyzes nineteenth-century depictions of Brazil by German and German-Brazilian travelers, settlers, artists and intellectuals and discloses a heretofore ignored intercultural dimension of the German struggle for identity. She also served as co-editor (with Beverly Weber) for a special theme issue of Seminar. A Journal of Germanic Studies on "Heimatlosigkeit/Precarity" (2018), and she has just started working on another project, examining nineteenth-century German settlements and missionaries' work in Australia.


  • Ph.D., U of Connecticut, 2005

Featured Publications

Kathoefer, G. R. (2008). Auszug in die Heimat: Zum Alteritäts(t)raum Märchen. Hildesheim, Zürich, New York: Georg Olms Verlag.
Kathoefer, G. R., Finger, A., & Larkosh, C. (2015). "KulturConfusão: On German-Brazilian Hybridities and Intercultural Hermeneutics". In KulturConfusão: On German-Brazilian Interculturalities.. DeGruyter.
Kathoefer, G. R., & Weber, B. (Eds.). (2018). Heimatlosigkeit/Precarity. Seminar.
Kathoefer, G. R. (2018). "Brasilien, dem schönsten und reichhaltigsten [..] Lande": Reise in Brasilien by Spix und Martius as a Manual for European Migrationist Colonialism. Martius-Staden-Jahrbuch, 62 (2018), 116-127.
Kathoefer, G. R. (2018). Zurück in die Zukunft? Migration im Spannungsfeld zwischen Vergangenheit und Gegenwart in Eveline Hasler's Ibicaba: Das Paradies in den Köpfen (1985). Revista de Filología Alemana, 26 (2018), 139-53.