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Erika Hille Rinker. Associate Professor of German
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University Hall 3119
(205) 975-5352

Research and Teaching Interests: Twentieth-century German and Austrian Literature and Culture, Literature and Medicine, Translation Theory and Practice, Travel Writing, Women’s Writing

Office Hours: By appointment

  • BA, Wake Forest University, German
  • MA, Washington University in St. Louis, Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, Germanic Languages and Literatures

From August 2008 to May 2022, Erika Hille Rinker was responsible for all sections of German offered at UAB and advised all German minors. Both in the language classroom and in her role as the facilitator of Stammtisch, Rinker looked for opportunities to share her interests in her discipline, especially the intersections of German and Austrian literature, film, and popular medical discourses, and promoted student exploration of their own personal and academic interests through faculty-led and third-party study abroad.

In addition to supporting the German program, Rinker regularly offered English-language courses required by the Foreign Language Major Common Core, and she maintains her relationship with the Department of World Languages and Literatures as a credentialed course instructor in this capacity. Rinker also serves as a credentialed course instructor in the Honors College and as a tutor in the INTO UAB Learning Resource Center. Rinker’s dedication to the Academic English and Pathways programs at INTO UAB is a continuation of Service Learning partnerships established as an instructor of WLL 120 Foreign Cultures. Rinker encourages students to engage in first-person, cross-cultural dialogues in order to develop a better understanding of the constructed nature of cultures and a greater awareness of how one’s culture is perceived by others.

  • Recent Courses

    WLL 121 Songs of Social Change
    This undergraduate course is designed to introduce students to significant multicultural topics across the primary languages and civilizations represented in the Department—selected from regions such as Far East Asia, Western Africa, Western Europe, and Latin America—mostly through the cultural medium of music. Team-taught by faculty of the different languages, the course explores and reflects on ideas and attitudes, customs and traditions, identities and values of diverse western and non-western civilizations, especially as these concern social change. This course focuses on representative songs and musical pieces of the different nations and considers the extent to which these selections reflect an historical time in their respective civilizations, especially in response to social movements arising from issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic class.

  • Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies
    • Recipient – Quadrille Scholarship, sponsored by the Germanistic Society of America and announced by AATG, to support participation in Internationalem Ferienkurs: Deutsche Gesellschaft zwischen Kontinuität und Wandel. Fortbildungskurs für Deutsch als Fremdsprache Dozenten und Germanisten. (International Summer School: German Society between Continuity and Change. Advanced Training Course for Instructors of German as a Foreign Language and Germanists.) Universität Heidelberg, August 2016.
    • Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Education Abroad, Spring 2016
    • Goethe-Institut/American Association of Teachers of German Certificate of Merit, 2015
    • UAB Faculty Fellow in Engaged Scholarship, 2014-2015
    • Selected Participant — Integrating Language, Culture, and Content Learning Across the Undergraduate German Curriculum Seminar. Thirty-ninth Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, Washington DC, October 1-4, 2015
    • Selected Participant — Art, War, and Trauma Seminar. Thirty-eighth Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, Kansas City, Missouri, September 18-21, 2014
    • Selected Participant — Baden-Württemberg Seminar for American Faculty in German and German Studies. Organized by Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. Sponsored by Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts and the German-American Fulbright Commission. Tübingen, Konstanz, Freiburg, and Heidelberg, June 22 to July 3, 2010
    • American Association of Teachers of German
    • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
    • German Studies Association