Barbara Becker-Cantarino

Barbara Becker-Cantarino

Barbara Becker-Cantarino

Professor Emerita

Areas of Expertise

  • German literary culture from 1700 - 1900
  • Enlightenment, Pietism, Romanticism
  • The construction & representation of gender

MA, PhD (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Barbara Becker-Cantarino has published widely on German literary culture from 1600 to the 20th century with a concentration in the seventeenth, eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. She has maintained an abiding interest in the Enlightenment, Pietism, Romanticism, women writers, the construction and representation of gender, and the intersection between literature and other social and cultural discourses. Her teaching interests included also German migrations to North America.

She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Humboldt Foundation Forschungspreis, research fellowships from NEH, DAAD, Fulbright among others and received the OSU Distinguished Scholar and the OSU Distinguished Lecturer Award. She held visiting professorships at the Free University of Berlin, the University of Graz (Austria), the University of Wroclaw (Poland), at Oxford University, at the University of Maryland.

Her publications include books on the Dutch humanist Daniel Heinsius  (Boston 1978), edited volumes Martin Opitz. Studien zu Werk und Person (Amsterdam 1982), an edition of Anna Ovena Hoyers. Geistliche und Weltliche Poemata ,1650 (Tübingen 1986) and Sophie von La Roche. Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim, 1771 (Reclam, 1983; updated 1997 and 2012). Her book Der lange Weg zur Mündigkeit: Frau und Literatur in Deutschland 1500-1800 (Stuttgart: Metzler 1987, paperback edition: Munich dtv, 1989) was complemented by Schriftstellerinnen der Romantik. Epoche ­ Werke ­ Wirkung (Munich: Beck 2000) and a co-edited book on Ingeborg Drewitz (2005) and one on Sophie von La Roche and her literary field (2010), both volumes resulting from DFG-sponsored conferences on the respective author.


Recent Book Publications:

Bettina von Arnim Handbuch by Barbara Becker-Cantarino. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020. 
Drawing on the latest research, this handbook places Bettina von Arnim (1785-1859) in her historical and familial context and highlights her networking with intellectuals and artists as well as her cultural politics. The contributions elucidate the entire body of her literary and socio-political work, her correspondence, her pictorial and musical works, and the reception of her person and work. 724 pp.

The Camden House History of German Literature. Vol. 5: German Literature of the Eighteenth Century: The Enlightenment and Sensibility, edited by Barbara Becker-Cantarino. This work provides fresh analyses of the complex literary and cultural topography from around 1700 to 1790. With 12 essays, 368 pp. Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, 2005.

The Life of Lady Johanna Eleonora Petersen, Written by Herself. Pietism and Autobiography. Translation, with Notes and Introduction by Barbara Becker-Cantarino. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Meine Liebe zu Büchern: Sophie von La Roche als professionelle Schriftstellerin. Heidelberg: Winter, 2008.

Genderforschung und Germanistik. Perspektiven von der Frühen Neuzeit zur Moderne. Berlin: Weidler, 2010.

(with Gudrun Loster-Schneider) »Ach, wie wünschte ich mir Geld genug, um eine Professur zu stiften«. Sophie von La Roche (1730-1807) im literarischen und kulturpolitischen Feld von Aufklärung und Empfindsamkeit. Tübingen: Francke 2010. 328 pp. isbn 978-3-7720-8296-2

(editor) Migration and Religion. Christian Transatlantic Missions, Islamic Migration to Germany. Amsterdam / New York: Rodopi 2012.