Wesleyan portrait of Iris  Bork-Goldfield

Iris Bork-Goldfield

University Professor of German Studies

Fisk Hall, 409


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MA Ludwig Maximilians University
PHD Ludwig Maximilians University

Iris Bork-Goldfield

Resistance and opposition in East Germany, methods for teaching languages and literature, Migration Literature in Germany, short films and their use in the Foreign Language Classroom, and Jewish Life in Germany today are Iris Bork-Goldfield's areas of expertise.


Bork-Goldfield’s book Wir Wollten Was Tun (We Wanted To Do Something!) was published in Germany, in 2015. An hour-long documentary with subtitles that tells the story of resistance fighters (including Bork-Goldfield’s father and his friends) in the former East Germany is available online. An interview about her book appeared on German TV and in Potsdamer Nachrichten, a German newspaper. Bork-Goldfield has developed teaching materials on this topic that are also available online. She is conducting further research on resistance fighters and the role of the CIA in Germany from 1950 to 1953.

As an expert on the German language, she follows development and debates on linguistic changes in German such as the slang Kiezdeutsch that has been criticized by some Germans, defended by others. For her review of a book on the subject go here.

Born, raised and educated in Germany, Bork-Goldfield has lived and worked in China, England and Israel. Her academic degrees, from undergraduate to doctorate, are from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. Prior to Wesleyan, Bork-Goldfield taught at Dartmouth College, Plymouth State University, and Fairfield University, where she was also Associate Director of International Studies and academic advisor for study abroad for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Awards and selected grants

  • Pedagogical Grant (2021)
  • Digital Scholarship Innovation Fund (2019)
  • Student-Faculty Research Internship Award (2018)
  • Rosenbaum-Anderson Award for Teaching 2009
  • "Neuer Blick Neue Stimmen" a grant by the German government and Wesleyan University for attending a two-week educational seminar in Berlin to create teaching materials for the German classroom 2011.
  • "Resistance in the former GDR," Wesleyan University research grant 2012 and 2013/14
  • Intern for summer and fall 2013 and spring 2020
  • German Embassy grants 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2023

Leadship position in the field

  • Member and Secretary, AATG-Steering Committee, and Northeast Regional Representative to the Executive Council of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), Testing Chair, AATG-CT Chapter

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 12 -1 PM  or by appointment.


Spring 2024
GRST 102 - 01
Elementary German

GRST 102 - 02
Elementary German