Kirsten M. Christensen

Director of Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Kirsten M. Christensen


Office Location:Hauge Administration Building - Room 222-C

  • Professional
  • Biography
  • Video

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Professor of German


  • Ph.D., Germanic Studies, emphasis on Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture, University of Texas, Austin, 1998
  • M.A., Language Acquisition, German emphasis, Brigham Young University, 1991
  • B.A., German, Minor emphases in French and Business, Arizona State University, 1984

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Research specialties: medieval German literature, esp. mystical literature by women and women's religious communities in Germany and the Low Countries
  • Teaching specialties: all areas of German language, literature and culture, esp. Middle Ages and 16th century; East German and post-unification literature and film; the Holocaust and modern genocides, esp. Rwanda


  • Faculty Excellence Award in Mentoring 2015-2016, Pacific Lutheran University
  • Karen Hille Phillips Regency Advancement Award Recipient 2015-2016, Pacific Lutheran University


Kirsten M. Christensen earned her Ph.D. in Germanic Studies, with an emphasis on medieval and early modern literature and culture, from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998. Her research has focused on writings by medieval women mystics. In particular, she explores the often fraught relationships between women mystics and their male contemporaries to understand the ways gender relations impacted women’s theologies and religious communities. Professor Christensen’s teaching interests include not only medieval and early modern literature, but also East German and post-Unification literature and film, and language pedagogy. Before coming to PLU, she taught at Mount Holyoke College and the University of Notre Dame. She is delighted to be part of PLU’s German program, which is large enough to offer a robust variety of courses to its majors, yet small enough to allow close collaboration and exploration between students and faculty. She is particularly grateful to be able to teach language and culture at PLU, whose commitment to global awareness and citizenship provides a deeply supportive environment for language students and faculty.  ~Prism 2006

Language and Culture in the New Germany

PLU Prof Kirsten Christensen talks about the Berlin Wall