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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Sara Budarz, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer, German
Dept of Modern Languages and Literatures

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Office: MH 4.02.06
Office hours: M 12:00-2:00PM W 12:00-1:00PM

  • Biography

    Dr. Budarz braved the Texas heat (and faced her fear of cacti) to join the faculty of the Modern Language Department at UTSA in the fall of 2016, coming from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from where she received her PhD in German Languages and Literatures and was subsequently a faculty member. Originally from the gorgeously picturesque town of Königstein im Taunus near Frankfurt, she returns to Germany for work and to see family and friends as often as possible. In recent years, she spent time abroad in Berlin on a research fellowship, and calls the city home during the summer months. At UTSA, she designed and launched a much-beloved summer study abroad program to Berlin in 2017, which will be offered again in the summer of 2018 and 2020. A lover of languages, travel, and adventure, she has also lived in Barcelona, Spain, conducting research (and unofficially searching for the best café con leche in town.) Aside from Frankfurt and Berlin, she has also lived in many other cities in Germany, ranging from the moody, beautiful northern city of Kiel to the carefree, castle-dominated college town of Heidelberg. That is to say, if you have any questions about study abroad, or simply want to talk about how to craft a great travel itinerary, come talk to her.  

    There are few things she loves more than talking about future travel plans, which might explain why in the Spring 2018 semester, she will be offering a literature course (online, all readings & discussions in English) that focuses on travel narratives and the idea of a great adventure and how travel shapes our lives. The course, Embarking on the Grand Adventure: Travel in Literature in Film, can be found under GER 2333, GER 4003, or CSH 3023.       

    Dr. Budarz’s research focuses on modernist literature, specializing in the literature of the Weimar Republic. Her interest lies in examining the interplay and impact of changes in architecture and design on an individual’s physiological wellbeing and ability to exert influence over the space. Her research therefore draws heavily on spatial and gender theory. She is particularly interested in the production of interior space and how changes in the design of homes and offices led to a displacement and disempowerment of women. An ongoing fascination with urban space, along with her deep love of all things Berlin, continues to lead to new areas of interest as well, including German-Turkish documentary films and 21st-century, post-reunification literature and Street Art.

    As a teacher, she has taught across the curriculum, with courses ranging from introductory German language courses to upper-level content-based courses, including a literature course that spanned from Martin Luther to the present.  She has also taught at Middlebury’s German Summer School immersion program in Vermont and in the Gender Studies department at UNC-CH. At UTSA, she teaches language, content, and interdisciplinary courses.   

    She is also deeply interested and invested in second-language acquisition and foreign language pedagogy, and is currently co-authoring a new edition of Weiter geht’s! for the intermediate language classroom along with colleagues at UNC-CH and Hope College, which is slated to be published in Fall 2019.

    On Wednesday afternoons during the semesters, she also hosts Kaffeestunde, an informal get-together that allows students to wind down from the busy week, drink (free!) coffee, eat baked goods, and practice their German. During the spring semester, it takes place from 2-3pm on Wednesdays in MH 4.02.04.

    Dr. Budarz can be reached via email or found on Instagram.


    • Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (2014)
    • M.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (2009)
    • B.A., Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (2003)
  • Recent Courses

    • The Grand Adventure: Travel in Literature and Film, a comparative literature course that explores the call of the road and what elements make a journey worthy of retelling. Taught online. Spring 2018.
    • Hitting the Mark: Decision Making (In)Action, an interdisciplinary, comparative literature course with a focus on analyzing moments of crisis and decision making in literature and film, from ancient to modern texts. Fall 2017.
    • Berlin: Europe's Capital of Cool, an interdisciplinary course focusing on the history, architecture, and literature of Berlin from 1920-present. Spring 2017.
    • German 2024, a fourth-semester intermediate language class. Spring Semesters.
    • German 2013, a third-semester intermediate language class. Fall Semesters.
    • German 1024, a second-semester introductory language class. Spring Semesters.
    • German 1014, a first-semester introductory language class. Fall Semesters.
  • Research in Progress

    Research Interests:

    • 20th- and 21st-Century Literature
    • Modernism
    • New Objectivity
    • Literature of the Weimar Republic
    • Gender and Sexuality Studies
    • Spatial and Sound Theory
    • Architecture and Urban Space
    • Film, Queen Cinema, and Documentary Studies
    • Street Art
    • Transcultural Studies
    • Second Language Acquisition
  • Recent Publications


    • Co-author of the upcoming 2nd and fully revised edition of Weiter geht’s Intermediate German Language and Culture. Evia Publishing, forthcoming.
    • Content author for 3rd edition of Auf geht’s Beginning German Language and Culture. Evia Publishing, 2016.


    Book Reviews:

    • Irmgard Keun: Zeit und Zitat. Narrative Verfahren und literarische Autorschaft im Gesamtwerk (2014) by Beate Kennedy. In: German Studies Review (forthcoming). 



    • "Bringing the Digital Humanities into the Language Classroom." American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages: Nashville, TN. Nov 2017.
    • "Isolation as Perfection? Towards a Working Definition of Heimat in Timm's Vogelweide." Northeast Modern Language Association Conference: Baltimore, MD. May 2017.
    • “Condemning Berlin’s Streets: Situating Violence in Aysun Bademsoy’s Ehre.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference: Lexington, KY. Apr 2015. 
    • “Zeichen an der Wand: Graffiti und Straßenkunst in Berlin.” Duke University Auf Deutsch, bitte! Lecture Series: Durham, NC. Nov 2014.
    • “Hurting [My]Self: Self-Violence in Weimar Literature.” German Studies Association Annual Conference: Denver, CO. October 2013. 
    • “When ‘Coming Home’ Means Nothing: The Impact of Design Movements on the Notion of the Home in Weimar Literature.” Northeast Modern Language Association Conference: Boston, MA. March 2013.
    • “At Home? An Investigation into Interior Spaces in 1920s Berlin.” Carolina-Duke Works in Progress Symposium: Durham, NC. December 2012.