Professional and Biographical Information
Ph.D., Comparative Literary Studies and German, Northwestern University
B.A., Philosophy, Yale University
In my teaching, I bring together works from the German-language literary and cultural traditions with contemporary concerns of politics, racialization, migration, gender/sexuality, law, and much more. I teach survey courses from 1800 to the present, seminars on “Literature after Fascism” and “Borders, Migration, Gender,” as well as German language courses. I also have a great interest in teaching German poetry and poetics, the works of Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, and Kafka; the tradition of Critical Theory; and philosophies and literatures of education. From 2019 to 2022, I worked with the Northwestern Prison Education Program, including as director of volunteer development, and I remain interested in teaching across the traditional limits of the university.
My publications and research interests span Germanophone (and to a lesser degree Francophone) literatures from 1750 to the present; philosophy and literary theory; theories of nationalism, gender, and racialization; and the history of the senses as well as ecocriticism. My first book project, titled A Revolution of the Senses: Odor and Modern Poetry, produces an account of why smell has long been the most neglected of our senses and how deodorization has shaped our understanding of (ocularcentric) modernity. As the book shows in case studies of Hölderlin, Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Brecht, and Ponge, olfaction—as a modulation of our condition of “being-in-the-air”—constitutes a largely forgotten but highly significant site of contestation for questions of corporeality, mediality, and politics.
I have also begun work on a second project, under the working title “Toward a Critique of Geschlecht: Masculinities and Germanophone Literature 1945–1989.” Investigating the link between nationalism and sexuality/gender, the project looks at a wide range of West German and Austrian authors (Koeppen, Schmidt, Bachmann, Fritsch, Hubert Fichte, Jelinek, and others) who attempt to rewrite German masculinities after the catastrophe of fascist-masculinist sexual politics in Nazi Germany. My recently published articles have appeared in Comparative Literature (“Toward an Aesthetics of Obscurity: from Baumgarten to Blanchot”), The Germanic Review (on Walter Benjamin), and CR: The New Centennial Review (on palindromes).