Wesleyan portrait of Krishna R. Winston

Krishna R. Winston

Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, Emerita

284 High Street, 305

Director, Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty

Wasch Ctr for Retired Faculty, 208

Professor, College of the Environment, Emerita

284 High Street, 305

Co-Director, Wasch Center Seminars


BA Smith College
MAA Wesleyan University
MPHIL Yale University
PHD Yale University

Krishna R. Winston

Krishna Winston specializes in literary translation and has translated over 35 works of fiction and non-fiction from the German. Her authors include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Günter Grass, Peter Handke, Christoph Hein, Golo Mann, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Hans Jonas, and Werner Herzog. Her translations make available to the entire English-speaking world works originally written in German, and she has received three major literary prizes for her translations. She has supervised numerous undergraduate honors theses that involve translation of entire works or collections of essays and short stories and a few years ago used some of her students' translations in a course on Germany as a multicultural society. Her academic training focused on the literature of the Weimar Republic, writers exiled from Hitler's Germany and Austria, and the literature of post-WWII Germany.

In 2017 she received the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande (Order of Merit) from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany for her contributions to the understanding and dissemination of German culture. In 2019 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the American Association of Teachers of German.

After majoring in German at Smith, which included a junior year and a post-B.A.-year in Hamburg, I earned my Ph.D. in German at Yale, writing a dissertation on the Hungarian playwright Ödön von Horváth (1901–1938), who wrote in German, pioneering the modern Volksstück. While still in graduate school, I published my first translation, Gunilla Bergsten's study of Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus (Univ. of Chicago Press). My entire academic career has taken place at Wesleyan, where in addition to teaching I have had a one-year stint as acting Dean of the College and a four-year term as Dean of the Arts and Humanities. I also spent two years as Director of Service Learning. From 1993 to 2016 I coordinated the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, and from 1979 to 2015 I served as the Campus Fulbright Program Advisor, stepping in to carry out that function temporarily in 2018-19 and again in 2021-22, when in addition to Fulbright applications I handled several other major grant programs. After the founding of the College of the Environment, I became an affiliated faculty member and served for several years on the governing board. On July 1, 2020, I began a three-year term as director of the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty.

In 2019–20 I completed translations of two essays and a novel by Peter Handke. The publication date is March 15, 2022. A translation of another novel, finished in 2021, will appear in 2024 along with Handke's most recent short novel.  

Under the auspices of the Wasch Center's Emeritus College I am available to advise theses and offer individual and group tutorials in German Studies. 

Since retiring, I have become increasingly involved in the Middletown community, especially in environmental efforts. In addition to my longterm service as chair of the City's Resource Recycling Advisory Commission and membership in the non-profit Jonah Center for Earth and Art, I now convene the City's Sustainable Middletown Team and have joined the City's Clean Energy Task Force. I regularly participate in the meetings and activities of the Environmental Collective Impact Network, created by the Jonah Center.  As a member of the Middlesex County Historical Society's Board of Directors, I have recently been reelected as secretary, and serve on the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

2021-22: I no longer schedule regular office hours, but I can hold meetings at the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty at 51 Lawn Avenue or in the College of the Environment at 284 High St. In the fall of 2022 I will be assisting, on a volunteer basis, with Fulbright advising and am available to meet in the Fries Center for Global Studies, as well as at the above two locations and on Zoom.