Professor Emerita of German Studies
Contact & Office Hours
Seelye Hall 413
Ph.D., Yale University
A.B., Smith College
Jocelyne Kolb taught at Smith from 1977–79, at Dartmouth College from 1979–87, and returned to Smith in 1988.
Kolb’s research focuses on European Romanticism with a concentration on the works of Heinrich Heine. She has written on Heine and literary antisemitism; on music and literature in the works of Heine, Thomas Mann and Wagner; on romantic irony; on literary decorum in Goethe, Diderot, Byron and Heine; and on literary correspondence. Currently, she is at work on a monograph on Heine (Heine’s European Doubles from Lessing to Freud); a book about her father, Philip Kolb’s, 21-volume edition of Marcel Proust’s correspondence (Kolb’s Way: In Search of Proust Letters); and an edited volume, with Rainer Nicolaysen, about the long and fruitful collaboration between Smith College and the University of Hamburg (Smith College and the University of Hamburg: Stories from Fifty Years of a Transatlantic Friendship), to appear in 2016.
Before returning to Smith in 1988, Kolb spent the year at the University of Hamburg as a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The resulting book,The Ambiguity of Taste: Freedom and Food in European Romanticism (University of Michigan Press, 1995), was awarded the Jean-Pierre Barricelli prize by the International Conference on Romanticism. Her fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation was renewed in 2000 and again in 2005 for work at the Free University of Berlin. Kolb was the president of the North American Heine Society (NAHS) from 2006–14.
She has served on the advisory board of the Program in Jewish Studies, the Book Studies Concentration and the Comparative Literature Program. In 2016–17, she will direct the Smith College Study Abroad Program at the University of Hamburg for the sixth and final time before retiring in the spring of 2018.