Kara Ritzheimer

Dr. Kara Ritzheimer 

Associate Professor

302D Milam Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: (541) 737-3469
Fax: (541) 737-1257
E-mail: kara.ritzheimer@oregonstate.edu

Dr. Ritzheimer is a Modern European historian with a specialty in modern German history and research interests in consumer culture, national identity, censorship, and gender.  She teaches a variety of courses on Modern European History, including survey courses and thematically and regionally focused classes.


•    Dr. Ritzheimer received her PhD in June 2008 from the State University of New York at Binghamton.  Her dissertation, “Protecting Youth From ‘Trash’: Anti-Schund Campaigns in Baden, 1900-1933” examined the ways in which regionally-based social activists built a rhetoric case for the censorship of pulp fiction and film in Imperial Germany, and remained engaged in censorship debates in Weimar Germany.   It was nominated for the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize in 2009.

•    Dr. Ritzheimer’s current project, Battling Buffalo Bill: Anti-‘Trash’ Activism and Censorship in Early Twentieth Century Germany, continues to examine consumer mass culture in early twentieth-century Germany.  It demonstrates the ways in which regionalism and regional identity impacted early encounters and reactions to pulp fiction and film.   It also studies the impact that Germany’s federal structure had on early debates about the censorship of ‘trash’ culture, and examines how campaigns for national censorship laws, in turn, assisted the processes of political centralization.  It also explores the ways in which anti-‘trash’ campaigns intersected with national consciousness and ongoing concerns about gender norms and sexuality.  And it argues that, in pursuing censorship laws in Imperial and Weimar Germany, anti-‘trash’ campaigners produced language easily co-opted and refashioned by the Nazi government after 1933.

Professional Accomplishments:

•    June 2012: Faculty Participant, Curt C. and Else Silbeman Seminar for Faculty, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Gender and Sexuality in the Holocaust.”

•    Fulbright Seminar Participant, Berlin, Schwerin, and Hamburg, June 2010, “The Viability of the Post-War Welfare State in Germany and Europe.”

•    2001/2002: Fulbright Dissertation Fellow

Forthcoming Publications

•    “Protecting Gender Norms at the Local Movie Theater: The Heidelberg Committee for Monitoring Local Movie Theaters, 1919-1933,” accepted for publication in forthcoming text, Consuming Modernity, Changing Gendered Behaviours and Consumerism, 1919-1940, editor Cheryl Warsh, University of British Columbia Press. 

Book Reviews

•    Peter Fritzsche, Life and Death in the Third Reich (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2008), German Studies Review, October 2009.

•    Martin’s Dean, Robbing the Jews: The Confiscation of Jewish Property in the Holocaust, 1933-1945, 1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), German Studies Review, February 2010.

•    Adam C. Stanley, Modernizing Tradition: Gender and Consumerism in Interwar France and Germany (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008), German Studies Review, anticipated publication date of February 2011.


•    HST103: Western Civilization from 1789 to the Present
•    HST335: Nineteenth Century Europe
•    HIST336: Twentieth Century Europe
•    HST436: Modern Germany
•    HST399: Hitler’s Europe
•    HST399: Post-1945 Europe
•    HST399: Women in Modern Europe