Sonja R. Fritzsche
(she, sie/her, ihr)
301 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824
FacultyLinguistics, Languages, and CulturesAcademic Personnel and AdministrationDeans Administration
Associate Dean, Academic Personnel and Administration
Professor of German Studies
Ph.D., University of Minnesota – Germanic Studies (2001)
M.A., University of California, Los Angeles – Modern European History (1995)
B.A., Indiana University (1992)
Through my position of Associate Dean of Academic Personnel and Administration in the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University where I have served since 2017, I am able to pursue highly meaningful, values-driven work together with dedicated colleagues. In this role, I work closely with the the Dean to support Chairs and Program Directors as well as faculty and academic staff. A primary focus has been to share knowledge and expand opportunities via the Culture of Care initiative and Charting Pathways to Intellectual Leadership (CPIL) model, equitable and inclusive searches and faculty review procedures, College-wide faculty development and leadership initiatives that employ “transformative listening” (ADFL Bulletin 2022), creating habits of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the College, and a focus on non-tenure stream mentoring and career pathways.
A Professor of German Studies, my current medical humanities project is in the area of comparative German/US autism and disability studies entitled “Self-Help Storytelling: German and US Parental Narratives On and Off the Autism Spectrum.” A large part of my work focuses on German and Central/Eastern European literary history and film in the area of utopian/dystopian studies and comparative science fiction of the Cold War and related topics, and has appeared in six languages (See my website and c.v.) Resulting publications include: The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction (2023) with Lisa Yaszek, Keren Omry, and Wendy Gay Peterson, Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East (2018) with Anindita Banerjee, The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film (2014, 2021 pbk./e-book), and the open access Science Fiction Literature in East Germany (2006). I have also published a number of articles, book chapters, and public online scholarship.
A primary goal of my scholarly career has been to foster greater awareness of science fiction beyond Anglo-American contexts (global SF) and to support young scholars doing work on the SF in languages other than English. Consequently, I place great value on mentorship and stewardship. To this end, I served as President of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL) in 2015, as Vice President of the Science Fiction Research Association (2019-2021), and also now with the Coalition of Women in German. I am a Fulbright and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) grant recipient. Consider submitting a proposal to publish in the book series that I co-edit with Gerry Canavan (Marquette) – World Science Fiction Studies with Peter Lang Oxford.
Currently, I serve as co-PI with the Big Ten Academic Alliance Less Commonly Taught and Indigenous Languages Partnership grant (PI: Christopher P. Long, 2019-2024) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Among other aspects, this iteration of the grant focuses on supporting Anishnaabemowin institution in communities and institutions as well as creating cross-institutional partnerships to sustain and grow LCTL instruction as central to the DEI mission of MSU and higher education.
Finally – remember: practice transformative change to establish the “everyday utopia” (Davina Cooper 2013) and go through life with the radical humility (2022), kindness, generosity (Fitzpatrick 2019, 2023), and grace (Kyodo Williams 2016) that one gets from a life spent tandem cycling many, many miles.
Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East, edited by Anindita Banerjee and Sonja Fritzsche
The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film, edited by Sonja Fritzsche
Science Fiction Literature in East Germany by Sonja Fritzsche
The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction, edited by Lisa Yaszek, Sonja Fritzsche, Keren Omry, and Wendy Gay Pearson
Forthcoming. Melissa Elliot and Sonja Fritzsche. “The East German Disco Film: An Intermedial Approach to the GDR’s Imagined (Musical) Futures.” German Studies Review vol. 46, no. 2, May 2023, pp. 1-17.
Sonja Fritzsche. “Transformative Listening For Chairs: Navigating Difficult Conversations To Bring About Change.” ADFL Bulletin vol. 47, no. 1, December 2022, pp. 96-106. https://www.maps.mla.org/bulletin/article/XJUK7769/
Sonja Fritzsche, Bill Hart-Davidson and Christopher P. Long. “Charting Pathways of Intellectual Leadership. An Initiative for Transformational Institutional Change.” Change. The Magazine of Higher Learning May/June 2022. 19-27. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2022.2054175
Sonja Fritzsche, Luca Giupponi, Emily Heidrich Uebel, Felix Kronenberg, Christopher P. Long, and Koen Van Gorp. “Languages as Drivers of Institutional Diversity: The Case of Less Commonly Taught Languages.” The Language Educator Special Issue “Anti-Racism in the World Language Classroom.” vol 17, no. 1,Winter 2022, pp. 45-47. https://www.thelanguageeducator.org/actfl/winter_2022/MobilePagedArticle.action?articleId=1760118#articleId1760118
Sonja Fritzsche. “Fascist Drag: Race, Laibach, and Playing Nazi in the Iron Sky Universe.” Science Fiction Film and Television vol. 15, no. 1, 2022, pp. 21-39. Project MUSE muse.jhu.edu/article/847956.
Invited Introduction. Sonja Fritzsche. “German SF in Translation.” for Out of this World: Speculative Fiction in Translation from the Cold War to the New Millennium. By Rachel S. Cordasco. U of Illinois Press, 2021. 81-85.
Cara Cilano, Sonja Fritzsche, Bill Hart-Davidson, and Christopher P. Long. “Staying with the Trouble – Designing a Values-enacted Academy.” London School of Economics Social Impact Blog, April 23, 2020.
(Invited) March-Russell, Paul, Sonja Fritzsche, Paul Kincaid, Adam Roberts. “Whose History is it Anyway?” Roundtable on The Cambridge History of Science Fiction (2019). Foundation. The International Review of Science Fiction. 137, vol. 49, no. 3, Winter 2020, pp. 85-100.
See above Portfolio for Book publications. See CV for full list of publications.