Erica Passoni

PhD Student
Princeton Graduate student standing inside archway

Erica Passoni joined Princeton University’s German Department in the Fall of 2020. Before coming to Princeton, she received a BA in Anglistik and Germanistik and an MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies from the Julius-Maximilians-Universität in Würzburg.

Erica is currently engaged in archival research for her dissertation, “The Other Among Us: Early Modern German Discourses on Atypical Bodies, 1500-1770,” an interdisciplinary project that will weave together methods from Monster Studies, Disability Studies, Bioarchaeology, and Anthropology with her training in literature, linguistics, and history.
She has been involved in digital humanities projects since 2019, and worked with the ZPD (Zentrum für Philologie and Digitalität) at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität in Würzburg as a student research assistant. In the fall of 2022, she also collaborated with the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Vienna) and MARBAS (Princeton University) to create new optical text recognition models for medieval German vernacular manuscripts. Erica currently serves as the Project Coordinator for Princeton University’s Environmental History Lab and is entering her second year as the organizer of the Race Before Modernity Book Club for Princeton’s Program in Medieval Studies.

In addition to her studies, Erica has taught in primary and secondary schools as a German and English language instructor and educator for exchange students, refugees, children, and immigrant youth. She is committed to helping children of all social backgrounds succeed in education and continues to offer private language instruction in English, German, and Italian.


“The Other Among Us: Early Modern German Discourses on Atypical Bodies, 1500-1770”.

Joel B. Lande