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Lorie A. Vanchena, Ph.D.

Humanities - German Studies, Germanic Languages/Literatures
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall, 2078
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7590
Second office:
Bailey Hall, 313

Spring Office Hours:

W: 9:00 – 11:00 am and by appointment at the Max Kade Center  

Teaching interests: the German transatlantic experience, German literature of the modern era, introduction to contemporary German-speaking Europe

Research interests: World War I Immigrant poetry published in the United States, immigrant identity formation, cultural transfer


I teach courses on German-language literature and culture, the German transatlantic experience, and contemporary German-speaking Europe

Teaching Interests

  • German-language literature
  • Culture of German-speaking Europe
  • Transatlantic
  • German-American
  • Contemporary German-speaking Europe


My research focuses on poetry written by immigrants in the U.S. in response to WWI; German ethnic culture in America, cultural transfer and transformation, cultural identity; Reinhold Solger; and 19th-century German political literature, nationalism, and national identity.

Research Interests

  • World War I
  • Immigrants
  • Poetry
  • 19th-century German culture in America
  • Cultural transfer
  • Cultural identity
  • Immigrant identity
  • Reinhold Solger
  • 19th-century
  • Political literature
  • Nationalism: national identity


I serve as Academic Director of the European Studies Program, which is coordinating KU's WWI Centennial Commemoration 2014-2018. I also serve as Academic Director of the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures.

Selected Publications

Vanchena, Lorie A. “Reading German Culture, 1789-1918: Distant Readings/Descriptive Turns: Topologies of German Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century,  Washington University in St. Louis 21st St. Louis Symposium on German Literature & Culture,.” Web Publishing (article, blog, etc.). JLT - Journal of Literary Theory. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter, July 28, 2012. http://www.JLTonline.de.
Vanchena, Lorie A. “Transatlantische Interpretationen Des Amerikaerlebens: Reinhold Solger’s Anton in Amerika.” Book Chapters. In Amerika Im Europäischen Roman Um 1850. Varianten Transatlantischer Erfahrung, edited by Alexander Ritter, 237–50. Vienna: Praesens Verlag, 2011.
Solger, Reinhold. Anton in America: A Novel from German-American Life. Books. Edited by Werner Sollors. Vol. 3 of New Directions in German-American Studies. Vol. 3. New York: Peter Lang, 2006.
Vanchena, Lorie A. “From Domestic Farce to Abolitionist Satire: Reinhold Solger’s Reframing of the Union (1860).” Book Chapters. In German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America: Reception, Adaptation, Transformation, edited by Lynne Tatlock and Matt Erlin, 289–316. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005.
Vanchena, Lorie A. Political Poetry in Periodicals and the Shaping of German National Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century. Books. Edited by Jeffrey L. Sammons. Vol. 26. New York: Peter Lang, 2000.

Selected Presentations

Vanchena, L., & Crist, A. (11/20/2017). The WWI Immigrant Poetry Digital Humanities Project. Hall Center Digital Humanities Seminar. Lawrence, KS
Vanchena, L. A. (9/30/2011). A Transnational Perspective: Germans Fighting for the Union and German National Identity. German Studies Association Annual Conference. Louisville, KY
Vanchena, L. A. (4/30/2011). Solger, Freiligrath, Schiller: Transatlantic Cultural Transfer. Hall Center for the Humanities, Early Modern Seminar and Modernities Seminar, University of Kansas. Hall Center for the Humanities

Selected Grants

Dean's Award for Exceptional Student Mentoring, Research Excellence Initiative. College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. $3500.00. Submitted 11/1/2017 (1/1/2017 - 8/31/2017). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded. $1000 in research funds and $2500 in summer salary, in lieu of a course release
Seed Grant. KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. $14928.51. Submitted 12/1/2014 (5/1/2015 - 5/31/2016). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded. Awarded for the KU Editorial Branch, American World War I Poetry Digital Archive, a collaborative project with Kansas State University. KU Editorial Branch focuses on immigrant poetry written in response to WWI. Funds three undergraduate research assistants who are identifying, transcribing, encoding (XML), and annotating poetry.
General Research Fund Award. University of Kansas. $5888.00. (12/31/2009). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded. Research trips to the Library of Congress and the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin
Revisitation Research Grant for Faculty. German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdiens). (12/31/2007). Foreign (company, govt, agencies, etc.). Status: Funded. One month of archival research in Frankfurt am Main and Karlsruhe, Germany
Franklin Research Grant. American Philosophical Society. $1000.00. (3/31/2005). Not-for-Profit (not Foundation). Status: Funded. One week of research at the Library of Congress.

Selected Awards & Honors

K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
Center for Undergraduate Research
J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Professor Vanchena joined the department in 2008 as Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her monograph, Political Poetry in Periodicals and the Shaping of German National Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century (2000), demonstrates that between 1840 and 1871 German periodicals regularly featured poems as part of the public debate over contemporary political developments. In 2006 she published Anton in America: A Novel from German-American Life, the first English translation and scholarly edition of a work written in 1862 by the witty intellectual revolutionary, historian, and journalist Reinhold Solger. She has also published articles on nineteenth-century German and German-American literature.She is currently working on a scholarly digital edition of World War I immigrant poetry published in the United States. Her research interests also include the reception and transformation in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America of German ethnic culture, immigrant identity formation, and German nationalism and national identity.

Professor Vanchena has received grants from the American Philosophical Society, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Exceptional Student Mentoring, Excellence in Research Initiative, KU College of Arts & Sciences, and also a Seed Grant from the KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities..She received the K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from the Center for Undergraduate Research and the J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


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