Martin Sheehan, Ph.D.
Martin Sheehan, Ph.D.
Interim Chair and Professor of German
Oakley Hall 228
Dr. Martin Sheehan is the interim chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and professor of German at Tennessee Tech University. A native of Aiken, South Carolina, Dr. Sheehan attended the University of South Carolina–Columbia before earning his M.A. and Ph.D. in Germanic Literatures and Languages from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining Tennessee Tech, Dr. Sheehan held lecturer positions at the Technische Universität Dortmund (Germany) and the University of Virginia.
Dr. Sheehan’s expertise and research activities center on 1) German literature, history, and culture of the Long 19th Century; 2) dramatic form and theatrical performance; 3) digital humanities, including social network analysis, video game studies, aleatoric remixing, and algorithmic poesis; 4) photography, cinema studies, and visual culture; and 5) literary representations of disability. His research has been featured in Seminar, Colloquia Germanica, Archive, Interdisciplinary Humanities, and Studia Neophilogica. Along with Carrie Collenberg-Gonzalez, he co-edited Moving Frames: Photographs in German Cinema (Berghahn Books, 2021), which also featured his research into photographic postcards in The Blue Angel (1930). In 2022, he was named a Fellow of the Berlin Seminar on German Literary Institutions. Sponsored by the Max Kade Foundation and the University of Notre Dame in partnership with the University of Georgia, this prestigious program brings together scholars of German literary and cultural studies with experts and leading figures of Germany’s contemporary literary scene.
Dr. Sheehan’s pedagogy aims to support students as they become “producers” of knowledge, regardless of which course he is teaching. In his classes, students design infographics, create art, and explore the power dynamics within communities via social network analysis. In 2022, his GERM 3010 students planned and produced playable video games that explored the video game clubs in East Germany during the Cold War. His GERM 3150 Intro to German Lit students have crafted social media profiles for characters from Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening, adapted E. T. A. Hoffmann’s The Sandman into a graphic novel, produced short films inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “The Panther,” and generated memes based on the writings of the German revolutionary Georg Büchner, In all his courses, Dr. Sheehan helps students discover and generate meaningful connections between their course work, the students’ own lives, and the world around them.