Curriculum Vitae

Petra McGillen

Current Position

Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College,
New Hampshire, 8/2012–

Department of German Studies
Areas of concentration: media and book history in 18th and 19th-century Germany, print and material culture, textual practices, authorship, historical forms of knowledge production, intellectual technologies, the history of journalism.


Ph.D. Princeton University, New Jersey, 5/2009–6/2012
Department of German
Dissertation: Original Compiler: Notation as Textual Practice in Theodor Fontane.
Directed by Nikolaus Wegmann (Princeton University).

M.A. Princeton University, New Jersey, 9/2006-5/2009
Germanic Languages and Literature, Department of German.

M.A. Sussex University, England, 9/2005-7/2006
Intellectual History and the History of Political Thought, Department of History
(with distinction).

B.A. Universität Potsdam, Germany, 10/2002-7/2005
Europäische Medienwissenschaft (with distinction)
Joint program of the Universität Potsdam, the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen
“Konrad Wolf,” 
and the Fachhochschule Potsdam.

Selected Awards and Grants

  • Enhanced Junior Faculty Fellowship, Dartmouth College, AY 2017–18.
  • Dean of the Faculty Mentoring Award, Dartmouth College, awarded for mentoring work in AY 2016–17, July 2017.
  • Leslie Center for the Humanities Project Grant, “Media Inventories of the Nineteenth Century,” Dartmouth College, 2017.
  • Public Voices Fellowship Program, Dartmouth College, AY 2017.
  • Dartmouth Conference Award, “Mediating the New Cold War in the Digital Age,” Spring 2016 (Co-Organizer).
  • Walter and Constance Burke Research Initiation Award, Dartmouth College, 2012–.
  • Andrew W. Mellon / ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2011-12.
  • Fellowship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, 2003-6.

Teaching Experience (Selected Courses)

  • From the Typewriter to Virtual Reality: Modern Media Theory, Upper-Division Seminar in German and Comparative Literature (scheduled), Dartmouth College, Winter 2019.
  • Pulp Fiction Meets Highbrow Literature: German Writers in the 19th-Century Media Market (Upper-Level Seminar), Dartmouth College, Fall 2016
  • Material Matters: A Brief History of Paper (Freshmen Seminar), Dartmouth College, Winter 2016
  • To Be Young and German (German 10), Dartmouth College, Fall 2016
  • Academic Director of Dartmouth’s German Language Study-Abroad Program, Berlin, Germany, Spring 2014
  • Introduction to German Literature (German 6), Dartmouth College German Study-Abroad Program, Spring 2014
  • Dialogues with the Classics (Humanities 2; Team-Taught), Dartmouth College, Winter 2014
  • Understanding German Media (Intermediate German Language and Culture), Dartmouth College, Winter 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016


Recent or Upcoming Speaking Engagements

  • “Journalistic Knowledge Practices in the Modern Era: Working Group Meeting,” Invited Presentation, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Berlin, Germany, scheduled for June 2018.
  • “Remixing the genus medium: Style and Non-Linear Editing in Fontane’s Creative Process,” Invited Talk, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, February 2018.
  • “Copy and Mix: Fontane’s Notes and the Manufacture of Realism in the Industrial Age of Print.” Invited Talk, “Working Methods and the Novel,” Workshop at Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, November 2017.
  • “Fontane’s Pictorial Drafts and the Middle-Style of Realism,” Visions of Realism, Multi-Panel Series, 41st Annual German Studies Association Conference, Atlanta, October 2017.
  • “Glean and Tweak: Fontane’s Compilation of Fake ‘Eyewitness’ Accounts,” Observing the Everyday: Journalistic Practices and Knowledge Production in the Modern Era. Workshop Talk, German Historical Institute and Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Washington, D.C., March 2017.
  • “Programmatisch offen: Der ‘Zettelkasten’ des Kompilators Fontane,” Invited Talk, Formen ins Offene. Zur Produktivität des Unvollendeten, International Conference, Theodor-Fontane-Archiv, Potsdam, Germany, October 2016.
  • “Steady-Seller and Living Archive: Crossing the Book / Journal Distinction in Theodor Fontane’s Wanderungen,” The Business of Literature: Authorship, Publishing, Aesthetics. Multi-Panel Series, 40th Annual German Studies Association Conference, San Diego, September 2016.
  • “The Compiler’s Moment: Fontane and the Industrialization of Print.” Form and Format, ca. 1880–1940. Workshop Talk, NCCR Iconic Criticism/Eikones, Basel, Switzerland, October 2015.
  • “Scenes of Writing: Fontane’s Desk.” The Posthermeneutic Turn in Textual Studies. Multi-Panel Series, 39th Annual German Studies Association Conference, Washington D.C., October 2015.
  • “Into the Reading Labyrinth: Poetics of Immersion in Tieck’s Minnelieder Anthology.” German-Language Anthologies in the Long 18th Century. Panel, 14th International Congress for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS), Rotterdam, Netherlands, July 2015.
  • “What’s in a Notebook? Analyzing Practices of Note-Taking.” Graduate Seminar Session at the Fourth Annual Princeton–Weimar Summer School for Media Studies, Princeton, New Jersey, Summer 2014.


German, native language.
English, near-native fluency.
Italian, Latin, and French, basic reading knowledge.

Professional Activities

  • Programming Committee Member, “Fontanes Medien (1819–2019),” Six-Day Conference on the Occasion of Theodor Fontane’s Bicentennial, Universität Potsdam and Theodor-Fontane-Archiv, Potsdam, Germany; scheduled for Summer 2019.
  • Co-Organizer, with Nora Ramtke (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), “Writing Time: Temporalities of the Journal in the Eighteenth Century,” Panel, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies/Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Erforschung des 18. Jahrhunderts, ASECS Annual Convention, Orlando, Florida, scheduled for March 2018.
  • Co-Organizer, with Sean Franzel (University of Missouri), “Nineteenth-Century Media Inventories,” Two-Day Workshop and Inaugural Meeting of Permanent Working Group, Dartmouth College, scheduled for March 2018.
  • Humanities Strategy Group, Member, Dartmouth College, 2015–2016.
  • Advisory Board Member (“wissenschaftlicher Beirat”), Book Series Rezeptionskulturen in Literatur- und Mediengeschichte, eds. Mathias Herweg, Stefan Keppler-Tasaki, Cordula Lemke, Claudia Wiener. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2013–
  • Committee Member, sub-committee on mid-level course reform, German Department, Dartmouth College, 2012–13.
  • Associated Member of the Theodor Fontane-Arbeitsstelle, Universität Göttingen, since 2011.