Photo for Christine M. Nilsson 

Christine M. Nilsson 

PhD in German Studies
Vanderbilt University

Christine received her PhD in German Studies at Vanderbilt University in 2017, and she also holds an M.A. degree in Rhetorics and Cultural Studies from the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen. She worked as a full-time Lecturer at Vanderbilt’s German Department before being appointed Visiting Assistant Professor at Syracuse University in August 2018. In May 2019, she returned to Berlin. 

Christine has a professional background in theater. She served as a Dramaturg at Bremer Theater, Theater in der Fabrik (TIF) / Staatsschauspiel Dresden, and Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. In 2008 and 2010, she conceived and co-curated the American-German festivals Voices from Undergroundzero and Voices of Change at Theater Bielefeld. Between 2006 and 2014, she was an adjunct Lecturer of dramaturgy at Universität Bremen.

Currently, she is working on her book project "Dramatic Palimpsests: Critical Adaptations in Contemporary German and American Theater." Her interdisciplinary and comparative case studies examine how German and American playwrights at the beginning of the 21st century recontextualize canonical works within contemporary discourses on ethnicity, race, and gender. Her next project is informed by her work as a literary translator and focuses on contemporary migration narratives and the role of translation and multilingual authorship in constituting transcultural identities. Her research and teaching have been awarded with a Graduate Fellowship and a Dissertation Enhancement Grant from Vanderbilt University; she also received travel grants from the American Friends of Marbach and DAAD, and a Teaching Assistant Fellowship from Stanford University.

Christine is an award-winning literary translator, and she has been granted residencies at Yaddo Artist’s Community and OMI International Arts Center. She translates drama, novels, and essays from American English, Swedish and Norwegian. Together with Bo Magnus Nilsson, she works on a new translation of classics by August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen. In 2013, she was awarded the Internationaler Literaturpreis Haus der Kulturen der Welt for the German translation of Open City, a novel by Teju Cole. The award honors both an outstanding work of contemporary international literature as well as its German translation. 

Selected Publications 
  • “Scheitern an der monolingualen Hölle. Feridun Zaimoglus Überschreibung von Othello mit deutschem ‘Dreck’, in: The Rise and Fall of Monolingualism. Special Issue of German Studies Review, 41.3 (2018), eds. Bethany Wiggin and David Gramling
  • “Schändung, eine Übermalung. Botho Strauss’ theatralische Transformation einer Übersetzung”, in: Shakespeare as German Author. Reception, Translation Theory, and Cultural Transfer (IFAVL), ed. John A. McCarthy, Leiden/Boston: Brill Rodopi, 2018
  • “Ei Mensch, ei tierische Mensch und doch ei Vieh, ei bête…“: Der Fall Mensch oder die Dramaturgie des Diskurses in Woyzeck, in: Büchner Lektüren für Dieter Sevin, ed. Barbara Hahn, Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2012, 113-140
Edited Anthology
  • Voices from Undergroundzero –Neue Theaterstücke aus New York City, anthology with eight American plays in German translation, ed. Christine Richter-Nilsson and Paul Bargetto, Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2008
Selected Translations 
  • Jeder Tag gehört dem Dieb (“Every Day is for the Thief”), German translation of a novel by ​​​​​Teju Cole, Berlin: Hanser, 2015
  • Schwarzer Körper (“Black Body: Rereading James Baldwin’s ‘Stranger in the Village’”), German co-translation of an essay by Teju Cole, Das Magazin 38 (2014), S. 10-17; originally published in: The New Yorker, August 19, 2014
  • Open City (“Open City”), a novel by Teju Cole, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2012
  • Gloria (“Gloria”), a drama by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Berlin: Felix Bloch Erben, 2017

Dr. Christine M. Nilsson
German Language
Email: c.nilsson[at]berlin.bard.edu