Associate Professor of German
Jutta Ittner, Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Case, Cleveland. Ph.D. (Hamburg University) since 1992.
Publications in exile studies (a comprehensive intellectual biography of Martin Gumpert, 1998), contemporary literature, women’s literature, and comparative studies of the representation of animals in contemporary literature.
Translations from German into English of contemporary women writers with special focus on Brigitte Kronauer (Constructs of Desire, selections from short stories, novels, and critical essays with introductions, 2009. Women and Clothes, 2011).
Jutta Ittner is married to John Hobbs and lives in Oberlin, Ohio.
Dr. Ittner has published three books: a comprehensive intellectual biography on the exile writer Martin Gumpert (Augenzeuge im Dienst der Wahrheit, Aisthesis, 1998), a collection of essays and translated short stories by the eminent German writer Brigitte Kronauer (Constructs of Desire, Bucknell UP, 2009) and a translation of Kronauer’s most recent collection of stories (Women and Clothes, New York: Host, 2011). She has presented numerous papers and published 15 articles and chapters in books (in Deutschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933, ed. Spalek et al., Exil, Women in German Yearbook, Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, ndl, Dimension2, among others) as well as numerous translations of works by contemporary German writers. The manuscript Irina Liebmann’s Berlin Apartments, Translated and Edited by Jutta Ittner (200 pp.) is currently in circulation. Dr. Ittner is currently working on a book on the representation of animals in contemporary literature and the translation of Der schwarze Reiter, a novel by Brigitte Kronauer.
Dr. Ittner has been teaching at Case since 1992. She teaches a range of courses in German language, culture, and literature. She has won the 2003 Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2003 North East Ohio Council on Higher Education Teaching Award. In 2002/3 she received a Glennan Fellowship for developing the SAGES seminar BERLIN. Among her contributions to the German curriculum are the four-week study abroad program The Munich Experience (1997-2011) and The Max Kade Workshop (2002-2009), a two-week seminar taught by a visiting scholar/artist from Germany.
German Studies and Exile Studies
The first area of Dr. Ittner’s research emerged from her dissertation work, which included the cultural environment and literature of expressionism, the Weimar Republic, “Inner Emigration,” and the German exile community in New York during WWII. For example, she studied the identity problem of the assimilated German Jews in Berlin who typically saw themselves as Germans first (and foremost) and only came to understand themselves as Jews because of the Nazis. She also researched the biographical and literary testimonies of the writers who were forced to live in American exile and the effect that “translating their selves” into English had on their writing. She then applied the concept of “culture shock” to better understand the emigrés’ inability to assimilate to their host country and their sometimes violent reactions against it.
Dr. Ittner’s second line of research has focused on the works of Brigitte Kronauer, whose work prompted the leading German literary critic to call her “the greatest German [female] fiction writer of our time.” Her studies of this author deal with the intricate construction of her novels, the complex relationship between the reader and Kronauer’s narrators, literary explorations of perception, and critical observations on the human condition as well as on the impact of nature–specifically animals–on our consciousness. She has translated and published numerous of Kronauer’s stories for Dirty Goat: Contemporary European Experience and Litrix.de. For Constructs of Desire (370 pp. Bucknell UP, 2009) she translated selected stories and excerpts from Kronauer’s novels annotated and preceded by critical introductions. They are supplemented by Kronauer’s irreverent and ironic critical essays, fictional and non-fictional reflections on the question “What is Literature?” The anthology concludes with an interview in which the author considers the psychology of writing, the relationship of literature and reality, and the creation of her own imaginative literary universe. Women and Clothes (Host, 2011) is Ittner’s translation of Brigitte Kronauer’s most recent collection of stories, a poignant and hilarious postmodern Bildungsroman that explores the external manifestations, the interior tensions, the seismic shifts, and the underlying fears and desires that determine the formation of female identity.
“Jutta Ittner’s translations of Kronauer’s luminous prose are highly sensitive and nuanced, following the cadence and lyrical flow of the original language as well as preserving the contemporary nature of the texts. Kronauer’s diction attempts to render into one holistic concept such singular components of language as literary symbol, tonal flow, and pictorial image, and thus is not easily rendered into another language. In her translations, Ittner succeeds in coming close to the original intent. This is a very high quality for a literary translation.” Bucknell University Press Reader Report, 2006
Animals in Contemporary Literature
Dr. Ittner’s explorations of one specific aspect of Kronauer’s fiction, the relationship between humans and animals, have led to her third area of research–an examination of society’s attitude towards animals as reflected in contemporary German and world fiction, specifically the shift from the traditional to a “postmodern” understanding of animals. She has approached her new subject by comparing German representations of animals with Brazilian, French, and English examples, analyzing the construction of the animal Other in imaginary visual encounters and love relationships. She is currently working on a fourth book project, which will focus on contemporary literary imaginations of visual encounters between humans and animals.
Dr. Ittner About Her TeachingThrough long teaching experience I have found that students thrive on a combination of high academic standards and a personally engaging, “German-only” classroom atmosphere. It has been one of my main goals to encourage my students to go beyond the introductory level of German language and culture and get involved in advanced studies. Authentic communication in realistic social contexts, creative exercises, student interaction in small groups, and the presentation of literary works as a fascinating source of cultural awareness, ideas, and personal growth have proven very attractive to Case students who take German as an elective and have been very successful in transforming them into proficient and enthusiastic German minors and majors.
As a native of Germany I have, of course, been immersed in that complex and fascinating culture all of my life. I return to Munich for two months each year to keep up-to-date on current events, the arts, and societal changes. This lifelong and on-going experience provides me with a wealth of cultural illustrations and linguistic insights to draw upon in teaching American students. My nominations for both the Case Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award and the Wittke Award, which I won in 2003, are evidence of the effectiveness of my teaching and my attention to students’ needs.
In addition to the basic and intermediate language courses, I teach advanced conversation courses.
Literature and Culture Courses:
All my 300-level courses include viewings of the most recent German films.
In my introductory and advanced courses on German culture I focus on German Modernism and Postmodernism in literature, art, and music, as well as on contemporary intellectual life in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
In GRMN 312, an introduction to German drama, we start with one-act plays by Bert Brecht and end with the contemporary dramatists Peter Handke, Elfriede Jelinek, and Xaver Kroetz. In GRMN 313, an introduction to literary interpretation, we cover all major literary genres, starting with a joke and ending with a classical tragedy. In particular, we analyze poetry in the context of its setting to music (from Beethoven to Kurt Weill and Schoenberg).
My GRMN 380 Advanced Studies in Culture courses includeMunich/Berlin, a comparative approach to the public and private memories, the art and architecture, and the cinematic and literary portraits of two German urban centers.
My Advanced Literature Courses include GRMN 320 Literature and the Media, and several other courses on contemporary fiction. For example, Between Autobiography and Fiction—Literature 2000 explores novels and short stories published at the turn of the millennium, such as Bernhard Schlink’s “Der Vorleser,” and texts by Ingo Schulze, Judith Herrmann or Emine Özdamar, young authors that reflect the experience of a non-German ethnic background or of a pre-Wende communist Germany.
German Literature, Politics, and Censorship traces the subversive German literature–poems, jokes, plays, and prose–from the 16th to the 21th century with a special focus on political cabaret, a literary art form combining satirical comedy, song, theater, and dance.
I have taught From Expressionism to Run Lola Run, a survey course on modern German cinema andConstructing Reality, a study of the history and role of documentary film in Germany. The latter course included a two-week workshop with an Austrian documentary filmmaker. Again, furthur information on those workshops can be found here.
SAGES University Seminar:
For SAGES I have taught USSY 207 Berlin, an introduction to Germany’s new capital through the study of representations of this city in modern literature and film.
• Brigitte Kronauer. Women And Clothes. Stories (2008), 180 pp. Trans. and ed. by Jutta Ittner. Host Publications, 2011.
• Constructs of Desire: Selections From Brigitte Kronauer. Edited and Translated by Jutta Ittner. Critical essays, translations, and an interview with the author. (370 pp.) Bucknell UP, 2009.
• Augenzeuge im Dienst der Wahrheit: Leben und literarisches Werk Martin Gumperts. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 1998.
Helmut Pfanner (Vanderbilt University). German Quarterly 72.4 (1999): 399-401.
Irmela von der Lühe (Universität Göttingen). Germanistik 39/2 (1998): 528.
Anne Kuhlmann. Zeitschrift für Germanistik Neue Folge 2 (1999): 456-7.
Peter K. Tyson. Germanic Notes and Reviews 33/1 (Spring 2002): 67-8.
Translations into English:
• Brigitte Kronauer, “The Polka-Dot Dress.” Story. Trans. Jutta Ittner. DG [The Dirty Goat: Contemporary European Experience]. 23 (2010): 37-42.
• Brigitte Kronauer, “Destruction.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Litrix.de (German Literature Online. Federal Cultural Foundation, Germany, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and the Frankfurt Book Fair). April 2010. 25 pp.
• Litrix Newsletter. “Two Black Hunters.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Litrix.de (German Literature Online. Federal Cultural Foundation, Germany, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and the Frankfurt Book Fair). 2 pp. March 2010.
• Kristine Maidt-Zinke, “Two Black Hunters.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Litrix.de (German Literature Online. Federal Cultural Foundation, Germany, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and the Frankfurt Book Fair). 5 pp. March 2010.
• Brigitte Kronauer, “Blushing Murderers.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Litrix.de (German Literature Online. Federal Cultural Foundation, Germany, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and the Frankfurt Book Fair). 11 pp. March 2008.
• Brigitte Kronauer, “Two-Faced Poet” and “A Story?” Essays on Narrative and Narration. Trans. Jutta Ittner. DG [The Dirty Goat: Contemporary European Experience]. 16 (2006): 36-39.
• Neuwirth, Olga, Lost Highway. Opera Libretto and Stage Directions by Elfriede Jelinek and Olga Neuwirth. Solicited for U.S. premiere at Columbia University, New York, Feb. 2007. Trans. Jutta Ittner, August 2006 (31 pp.).
• Harald Friedl. Out of Time. Documentary Film. English Subtitles Jutta Ittner. Digi Beta, 80 min. Austria 2006.
• Christiane Zentgraf, “Diary of a Discourse.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Quite Normal Luxury (MAK Applied Arts/Contemporary Art Vienna), ed. Peter Noever. Vienna: Schleebrügge, 2004. 42-53.
• Brigitte Kronauer, “Endings Odd and Even. Short Story.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Dimension2. Vol. 5/ 3 (Sept. 1998): 366 -87. Came out in February 2002.
• Barbara Neuwirth, “Your True Companion´s Name. Short Story.” Trans. Jutta Ittner. Escaping Expectations: Stories by AustrianWomen Writers (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought. Translation Series). Riverside: Ariadne Press, 2001. 107–127.
• Ludwig Tieck, Die schöne Magellone. Trans. Jutta Ittner. Cleveland Institute of Music, 1997.
• Gabrielle Alioth, “The Women’s Ark.” Selections from the novels Die Arche der Frauen and Der Narr. Trans. Jutta Ittner. DMLL, CWRU [and 4 other institutions], October 1995.
• Barbara Neuwirth, “Nocturnal Gardens.” “Die weiße Katze,” short story, and selections from In den Gärten der Nacht and Die Schneekönigin. Trans. Jutta Ittner. DMLL, CWRU
[and 2 other institutions], April 1996.
Translations into German:
• Hunter Beaumont, “Identität, Kontakt und Middle-Mode.” Gestalttherapie 5.2 (1991): 16-27.
• Hunter Beaumont, “Ein Beitrag zur Gestalttherapie und zur Behandlung schizoider Prozesse.” Gestalttherapie 2.2 (1988): 16-26.
• Hunter Beaumont, “Neurose oder Charakterstörung: Fehldiagnosen in der Gestalttherapie.” Gestalttherapie und Gestaltpädagogik zwischen Anpassung und Auflehnung: Dokumentation der Münchner Gestalttage 1987. Ed. N. Latka, R. Merten & A. Trischkat. München: Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Humanisierung des Erziehungswesens, 1988.
• Hunter Beaumont, “Prozesse des Selbst in der Paartherapie. Betrachtungen zu einer Gestalttherapie für Paare mit fragilen Selbstprozessen.” Gestalttherapie 1.1 (1987): 38-51.
Book projects completed:
• Irina Liebmann. Berlin Apartments. Novel. Translated and Edited by Jutta Ittner. Manuscript completed. (200 pp.) Circulating.
• “Part Spaniel, Part Canine Puzzle: Anthropomorphism in Woolf’s Flush and Auster’s Timbuktu.” Mosaic. A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature. Special Issue, The Animal. 39:4 (2006): 181-96.
• “Particularly Cats: Feline Encounters in Brigitte Kronauer’s Narratives.” Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies 42:1 (2006): 58-77.
• “Epiphanies at the Supermarket: An Interview with Brigitte Kronauer by Jutta Ittner”. STLC (Studies in Twentieth Century Literature). 27/1 (2003): 103-21.
• “Becoming Animal? Zoo Encounters in Rilke, Kronauer, and Lispector.” KulturPoetik. 3/1 (2003): 24-41.
• “Der nachdrückliche Blick. Jutta Ittner im Gespräch mit der Autorin.” ndl [neue deutsche literatur]. 1/01 (2001): 44-57.
Interview reviewed in: Wirtz, Thomas. Die Beweglichkeit des Pfannkuchens. Schriftsteller im Selbstgespräch. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 45 (02/22, 2001): 58.
Joachim Kaiser. Zeitschriftenschau. ARD/BR (03/27, 2001)
• “’Merkwürdig unjüdisch?’ Identität und Antisemitismus in Martin Gumperts Autobiographien.” Exil: Forschung, Erkenntnisse, Ergebnisse. XIX.1 (1999):
• “Jigsaw Puzzles: Female Perception in Brigitte Kronauer’s Die gemusterte Nacht.” Women in German Yearbook 13 (1998): 171-87.
• “Leben in der Übersetzung. Die soziolinguistische Dimension des amerikanischen Exils 1933-50.” Exil: Forschung, Erkenntnisse, Ergebnisse. XVI.1 (1996): 5-20.
Chapters in Books:
• “Seeing Through the Mirror: Constructions of the Animal Other in the Fiction of Clarice Lispector and Brigitte Kronauer.” Figuring Animals: Essays on Animals in Art, Literature, Philosophy, and Popular Culture, ed. Catherine Rainwater, Mary Pollock, New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2005: 99-118.
• “Diagnose: Kulturschock? Die Erfahrung des amerikanischen Exils im Spiegel des Kulturschock-Konzepts.” Akten des X. Internationalen Germanistenkongresses Wien 2000 “Zeitenwende – Die Germanistik auf dem Weg vom 20. ins 21. Jahrhundert.” Vol. 7/Jahrbuch für internationale Germanistik ed. Peter Wiesinger. Series A, vol. 59. Bern, 2002: 343-349.
• “Martin Gumpert (1897-1955): Einzelporträt.” Deutschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933. Band 3 USA, Teil 1: New York A-G. Ed. John M. Spalek, Joseph Strelka, & Sandra Hawrylchak. Bern, Munich: Saur, 2000: 163-89.
• “Brigitte Kronauer.” Encyclopedia of Contemporary German Culture. Ed. John Sandford. London, New York: Routledge, 1999: 338.
• “My Self, My Body, My World: Home-Making in the Fiction of Brigitte Kronauer”. Home-Making: Women Writers and the Politics and Poetics of Home. Ed. Catherine Wiley & Fiona Barnes. New York: Garland, 1996: 53-69.
• “Martin Gumpert (1897-1955). Zusammengestellt von Jutta Ittner.” Deutschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933. Band 4: Bibliographien. Schriftsteller, Publizisten und Literaturwissenschaftler in den USA. Ed. John M. Spalek, Konrad Feilchenfeldt & Sandra Hawrylchak. Bern, Munich: Saur, 1994: I, 640-44.
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