Jill Suzanne Smith

Affiliation: German
Associate Professor of German and Chair of German Department

Jill Suzanne Smith is a scholar of German literature, culture, gender & sexuality, and Jewish Studies from the late nineteenth century to today. Her current research focuses on the cultural legacy of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), as it is represented in contemporary German and Anglo-American literature and visual culture. This is the topic of her current book, The Afterlives of Weimar Berlin: Twenty-First-Century Literature, Media, and Visual Culture, which will be published by Camden House / Boydell & Brewer at the end of 2024. Together with Professor Hester Baer from the University of Maryland, Jill is the is the co-editor of the first scholarly volume on the German television series Babylon Berlin (Bloomsbury, 2024), an interdisciplinary work that examines the series through multiple lenses: art, fan culture, fashion, music, and the television industry, among others. Her next large-scale editing project is the final volume in a series of reference books offering A Cultural History of Prostitution in the western world (Bloomsbury), a project that connects to her earlier work on prostitutes and working women in Berlin.

Smith’s courses, both in German and in English, reflect her various interests in German-language literature & culture, gender & sexuality, modern understandings of Jewishness, and the urban environment. She regularly cross-lists courses with the programs of Cinema Studies (CINE), Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS), and Urban Studies (URBS). She enjoys teaching students in all levels of German, in her First-Year Writing Seminar on representations of prostitutes in modern western culture, and in her larger interdisciplinary courses on the city of Berlin from 1918 to the present and on modern sexology (“Making Sex a Science”), a course that allows her to connect the German-speaking world to Bowdoin College history by studying the life and work of Alfred Kinsey, an alumnus from the class of 1916. In this course and others, Smith combines classroom learning with student visits to Special Collections & Archives and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Curriculum Vitae

Jill Smith headshot


  • PhD, Germanic Studies, Indiana University
  • PhD, Minor in Jewish Studies, Indiana University
  • MA, Germanic Studies, Indiana University
  • BA, German, Amherst College