Doris Kirchner received her PhD in German Languages and Literatures from the University of Pennsylvania. She is Professor Emerita of German at the University of Rhode Island where she also directed the German International Business Program. She has taught at the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the Wharton School, at Huazhong University in Wuhan, China and at Columbia University.
Her research interests include twentieth century German literature, especially literature of "Inner Emigration", regionalism, and representations of trauma in literature. Her publications focus on twentieth century German literature and the linkage of German with other disciplines.