Anca Luca Holden

Visiting Lecturer in German Studies

Anca Luca Holden was born in Siebenbürgen, one of the German-populated regions of Romania, where she was educated in several German schools. After moving to the U.S., she earned a B.A. in English from Covenant College, a M.A. in German Studies and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia in Athens.


The works of Herta Müller, the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Literature; ethnic German authors from Romania and Eastern European, German-language authors of migration background, 20th- and 21st-century German-language literature, theories of cultural identity, (im)migration, and postmemory. The relation between ideology and literature; the intersection of literature, art, and environmental studies.

In her dissertation, "Cultural Identity in Contemporary German-Romanian Literature, Holden discusses literary representations of cultural identity formation and dissolution in selected works by Herta Müller and fellow Banat-Swabian author Richard Wagner.  Because of their literary and political experience under the Romanian communist regime and their status as ethnic German immigrants, Müller and Wagner occupy a unique position in contemporary German society and culture. Employing an innovative use of language and a variety of counter-discursive narrative strategies, these authors expose and subvert political oppression and challenge cultural definitions of “Germanness” based on biological, territorial, and state-centered concepts. The study examines the triangulation and fragmentation of Banat-Swabian, Romanian, and German languages and cultures as viable narrative strategies that create space for intercultural dialogue, critical scrutiny, and creative responses to cultural difference and the pluralization of cultural identity in Germany today.

Holden has published articles and book chapters on Herta Müller, Robert Musik, Ingeborg Bachmann, Richard Wagner, Bernard Schlink, Marianne Ehrmann, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, and Carmen-Francesca Banciu.  Her interview with Herta Müller and Philip Boehm, the translator of The Hunger Angel (2012), has been published in the April special issue, "The Eastern Turn in Contemporary German-Language Literature," of the journal German Life and Letters (2015), which Holden has co-edited with Brigid Haines.