In Memory of Susanne Zantop


In Memory of Susanne Zantop


Obituaries; College teachers; Women--Societies and clubs


Suzanne Zantop (1945-2001). Susanne was a valued and active member of WiG. She was an insightful scholar, whose book "Colonial Fantasies" remains relevant to postcolonial and transnational studies in German, and a dear friend to many in the German Studies community. She and her husband Half, an economic geologist, were both well-liked professors at Dartmouth College when they were killed in their home on January 27, 2001.

Suzanne was born in 1945 in Kissingen, Germany. After graduating from high school, she attended the Free University in Berlin, where she majored in Political Science. She moved to the U.S. to attend Stanford University and to pursue a master's degree in political science. It was at Stanford that she met Half.

After Half completed his doctorate, he found work in Latin America, and Susanne happily accompanied him there. They were married in Argentina in 1970. They continued to live and work nomadically, in a variety of South American countries and in Africa for a while. During their travels, Suzanne gave birth to two daughters - Veronika and Mariana.

After a few years of work in the private sector, Half began considering an academic career. In 1975, the family moved to Germany so he could take a position as a research fellow at the University of Heidelberg. It didn't last long. In 1976, Half was hired by Dartmouth College, and the family headed to the U.S.

Back in the United States, with her daughters in school, Suzanne decided she was ready for a career. She earned a master's degree in comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts, and was subsequently accepted into a doctoral program at Harvard. In 1984, she got her PhD in German and Spanish. She was soon hired by Dartmouth to teach German and comparative literature.

WiG continues to commemorate Susanne with the Zantop Graduate Student Travel Award offered to two students each year.


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“In Memory of Susanne Zantop,” Women in German Herstory Project, accessed February 22, 2024,