7 Questions with New Faculty Member Melissa Elliot

November 30, 2020

Wheaton College welcomes Melissa Elliot, who is serving the College as an Assistant Professor of German and German Studies.

News Story VariantName: Melissa Elliot


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

M.A., German Studies, Wayne State University, 2011

B.A., German and Music, Calvin University, 2008

1.What was your favorite class in college? Why?

My favorite traditional class in college was probably introduction to German literature. The thrill of reading (and understanding!) a novel in another language was extremely satisfying to me. My favorite non-traditional course was a January term in Germany with the Calvin University German department. We toured around Germany, stayed with host families, and had a free week of travel during which I visited a friend in a small German village. It really cemented my love for all things German.

2. Before Wheaton, what were you doing?

Before Wheaton, I was at Michigan State University working on my doctorate and adjunct teaching German courses at Calvin University.

3. What big question are you trying to answer through your work?

I am interested in the search for meaning and narrative through sound and music within German Studies. By looking specifically at the intersections of German and music, I hope to open up new interpretive spaces in which to gain a more nuanced and differentiated understanding of German cultural products.

4. What has kept you busy during the pandemic?

Not much. Just writing my dissertation, selling my house, moving from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Wheaton, prepping three new classes, taking care of my one-year old son...

5. Do you get butterflies the night before the first day of school?

Of course. Who doesn't?

6. What would you have liked to tell the freshman version of yourself about going to college?

That's a tough question. I would like to tell freshman me to nurture your relationships with faculty in your discipline(s). These people will have a big impact on your life, are great resources for the future, and can become great friends.

7. When you’re not teaching or researching, what do you like to do?

When not teaching or researching, I like to sing, hike, travel, read, and spend time with friends and family.