Faculty Profiles

Melissa Elliot Headshot

Melissa Elliot, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of German and German Studies; Section Coordinator of German Studies

On Faculty since 2020

McAlister 256


Michigan State University
Ph.D., German Studies, 2020

Wayne State University
M.A., German, 2011

Calvin University
B.A., German and Vocal Performance, 2008

Dr. Elliot's research interests center primarily on intersections of German and music, stemming from her background as a German and Vocal Performance double major at Calvin University. She is particularly interested in the role of music as narrative voice in German cinema. Dr. Elliot's recently published article explores how music can function in film adaptations of novels to comment upon and interpret the source text. Her other research interests include East German studies, Holocaust studies, gender studies, and the use of music in the language classroom. In her free time, Dr. Elliot likes to sing, hike, travel, and spend time with her husband and two sons.

Read an article by Dr. Elliot on life and faith in Germany here.

  • Wheaton College Junior Faculty Development Grant
  • G. W. Aldeen Faculty Development Grant
  • Women in German Dissertation Prize
  • Outstanding Graduate Student for the German Program (Michigan State University)

Elliot, Melissa. “Growth despite (Major) disruption: Curricular innovations in a small German program.” Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 2023, pp. 1-3.

Elliot, Melissa, and Sonja Fritzsche. “The East German Disco Film: An Intermedial Approach to the GDR’s Imagined (Musical) Futures.” German Studies Review, vol. 46, no. 4, 2023, pp. 189-206.

Elliot, Melissa. "No Need for Words: The Role of Music in Volker Schlöndorff's Der junge Törleß (Young Törless)." Literature/Film Quarterly, vol. 46, no. 4, 2018.

GERM 101 – Elementary German

GERM 102 – Elementary German

GERM 201 – Intermediate German

GERM 341 – Contemporary German Culture and Mores

GERM 342 – Contemporary German Culture: Politics, Economics, and Current Events

  • American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
  • Coalition of Women in German (WiG)
  • German Studies Association (GSA)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)

“(Musical) Lament for an Author: Lothar Warneke’s Unser kurzes Leben”, German Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Houston, Texas, September 2022

“Teaching with Music Videos – Harmonious Mingling or Noisy Clutter?”, German Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2021

“Collective Music and Gendered Narrative Voice in DEFA Cinema”, German Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon, 2019

“Sonic Spaces of Madness: The Role of Music in Konrad Wolf’s Goya”, German Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2018

Culture in the Cold War: East German Art, Music, and Film, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute, Amherst, Massachusetts, 2018

“Aesthetic, Medial, and Cultural Border-Crossing in Jakob der Lügner”, “Mediating the Modern: Sound/Image/Text” University of Michigan Graduate Student Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2017

“Legendary Music: The Role of Music in Heiner Carow’s Die Legende von Paul und Paula”, “Alternate Worlds” Literature/Film Association Annual Conference, Glassboro, New Jersey, 2016

“Not So Silent Film: Reading Paul Mercer’s Film Score for The Hands of Orlac, “Living Pasts, Moving Present” German Screen Studies Network Symposium, London, England, 2016

“No Need for Words: The Role of Music in Volker Schlöndorff’s Der Junge Törleß, “The Untimeliness of Media: Intermediality Across Eras in German Literature, Culture and Art”

Graduate Student Conference in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2016

“Christian Resistance to the Holocaust: A Case Study of Diet Eman’s Things We Couldn’t Say”, Midwest Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Columbus, Ohio, 2015