Waltraud Maierhofer, Ph.D.

Professor, Global Health Studies
Professor, German

Dr. Waltraud Maierhofer received a Dr. phil. (equivalent to Ph.D.) in German and Philosophy from the University of Regensburg in 1988.  She is currently a Professor of German and Global Health Studies at the University of Iowa.

Through her research and teaching in German literature and culture from the eighteenth century to the present, Dr. Maierhofer works to get students excited about another culture, learn what we have in common and what differentiates us, and explore human nature through narratives of human striving and accomplishments in its diverse forms.  In relation to Global Health Studies (GHS), she is especially interested in representations of health and Human Rights issues (contraception, abortion, disabilities). 

Recent publications which relate to her GHS courses include Maria Theresia Paradis and Disability as Opportunity,” Dystopias of Family Planning in the Novels Corpus Delicti by Juli Zeh and Das weiße Schloss by Christian Dittloff,”  Abortion in Sweden and in Henning Mankell’s Before the Frost,” "Fifty Shades:  Ambivalence about Birth Control in an Erotic Bestseller and Its Cultural Implications," "Abortion Democracy:  Sarah Diehl's Advocacy Documentary Film for Women's Rights in Poland and South Africa," and Reproductive Rights Issues in Popular Media:  International Perspectives. A full list of publications can be found here.

Dr. Maierhofer has received the May Brodbeck Humanities Fellowship and the Developmental Sciences Hybridoma Bank (DSHB) Award from the University of Iowa, and been awarded fellowships and grants from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Foundation Weimar Classics. Her ongoing work in the public humanities has included serving as a co-organizer of the "Pill and Pen: Contraception and Unwanted Pregnancy in Global Literature and Popular Culture" symposium at the University of Iowa.  She was also on the organizing team for the 2022 U Iowa Provost's Global Forum, "The Anne Frank Initiative."

At U Iowa, she has taught courses on disabilities in global writing/film, and contraception across time and cultures.

photo of Waltraud Maierhofer and bougainvillea
Contact Information

579 Phillips Hall (PH)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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