Sonja Fritzsche

Department Chair
Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
College of Arts & Letters 

Sonja_Fritzsche.jpgSonja Fritzsche has been named Chair of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages effective August 1, 2015.

Most recently Chair and Professor of German and Eastern European Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University, Sonja Fritzsche focuses her research on (East) German literature and film, Heimat discourse, ecotopia, and science fiction. Fritzsche is editor of the new book series World Science Fiction Studies with Peter Lang. Her publications include: editor, The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film, (Liverpool University Press, 2014); and Science Fiction Literature in East Germany, (Peter Lang, 2006). Fritzsche currently serves as president of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL) and also served as vice-president of the Southern Illinois Association of American Teachers of German (AATG). She is on the editorial advisory boards of Extrapolation, the Brazilian science fiction journal Zanzalá, and the Indian online journal Caesurae: Poetics of Cultural Translation.

“I am excited and honored to join the department as chair in August,” Fritzsche said. “The Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages has long had a national reputation for excellent programs and expert personnel. Its faculty members continue to initiate creative and innovative projects that address 21st-century needs and demonstrate the ever-increasing importance of language learning. I look forward to listening to and collaborating with all of my new colleagues to help think deeply about the challenges facing higher education today as it pertains to our department and to continue to keep it a rewarding place to work in the process.”

At Illinois Wesleyan since 2001, Fritzsche has taught all levels of German language as well as upper division courses in 20th and 21st century German literature and film, German for Human Rights, and German Business Culture. At IWU, she has regularly taught courses in English on German and Russian utopia/science fiction, Central European Women's writing, and German cinema, and taught the first-year writing seminar on various topics including Intro to Science Fiction, Green Literature, Feminist Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Film. She also regularly served as the IWU coordinator for the Russian and Eastern European Studies (REES) concentration in International Studies.

Fritzsche earned her Ph.D. in Germanic Studies from University of Minnesota; her M.A. in Modern European History, University of California - Los Angeles; and her B.A. from Indiana University.