Caroline Weist


Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
B.A. University of Richmond


Since starting to learn German many years ago, my studies have taken me to the University of Richmond for my B.A. in German and English, the Freie Universität Berlin for Fulbright research, the Universität zu Köln, the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, and the University of Pennsylvania for my Ph.D in German Literature.

My primary research interest has always been in theatre and performance studies, but my current work focuses on the intersection of theatrical performance with disability, gender, and queer theory for my dissertation, Performance Prosthetic: Figuring Heimat in 20th-century German Theater.

In recent years, I have presented on a variety of topics in that area, including Georg Kaiser's Von morgens bis mitternachts, Ernst Toller's Hinkemann, and Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Besuch der alten Dame, but have also written and spoken on several works that fall considerably earlier, such as Daniel Caspar von Lohenstein's baroque tragedy Epicharis, Charlotte von Stein's drama Dido, and C.M. Wieland's novel Geschichte des Agathon.

As a teacher, I'm always looking for new ways for students to experience the course material, whether through performance or other forms of alternative engagement that bring us together as a learning community. At Penn, I received the School of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Graduate Student, and teaching continues to play a central role in my work as a scholar. I have also organized several conferences and colloquia, and place great value on establishing venues for students to exchange ideas and inspire intellectual creativity in their peers.

If not at my desk or in the classroom, I am most likely to be in the pool, polishing up my synchronized swimming skills, or else vainly attempting to catch up on everything both wonderful and terrible that we call television. I am also the managing director of German-American theatre company Kinderdeutsch Projekts, which has performed in New York City, Bangkok, Berlin, Hildesheim, and San Francisco, and plans to adapt Walter Hasenclever's Die Menschen for a future production.


  • German 101 A and B: Beginning Elementary German
  • German 260: Introduction to German Cultural Studies