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MemberPetra McGillen

…” Invited Lecture, Landmarks of European Identity, Undergraduate History Seminar, Princeton University, scheduled for November 2018.
“Subjunctives and Serendipity in Lichtenberg’s Sudelbüchern.” Thought Experiments/Gedankenexperimente, Multi-Panel Series, 42nd Annual German Studies Association Conference, Pittsburgh, scheduled for September 2018.

…German Studies Association; AWIS/IAWERTI; SHARP….
…Books and Edited Volumes

The Fontane Workshop: Manufacturing Realism in the Industrial Age of Print (forthcoming with “New Directions in German Studies,” Bloomsbury 2019)
Second Book Project: From Our Own (False) Correspondent: Forms of Everyday Fakery in the Press, ca. 1635–1870 (in progress).
Co-Editor (with Deborah Helmer) of Theodor Fontane: Aus England for the Große Brandenburger Fontane-Ausgabe, ed. Gotthard Erler, continued by Heinrich Detering and Gabriele Radecke, Abteilung VIII “Das kritische Werk,” Bd. 1. Berlin: Aufbau, …

Petra McGillen works on German literature, media, and culture, ca. 1750 to 1900. Her research focuses on material histories of intellectual and cultural production. In particular, she explores the impact of different forms and media of notation—from doodles to writers’ notebooks, from lists to databases—on writing processes and modes of knowledge organization. Her first book, The Fontane Workshop: Manufacturing Realism in the Industrial Age of Print (forthcoming with “New Directions in German Studies,” Bloomsbury 2019) is the first in-depth study of the unpublished notebooks and other “paper tools” of the great German novelist Theodor Fontane. Her other research and teaching interests include print culture, book history, and the history of journalism.

MemberErvin Malakaj

…Ph.D. Germanic Languages and Literatures & Film and Media Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

B.A. & M.A. German Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago…

I am Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of British Columbia. Prior to my appointment at UBC, I served as Assistant Professor of German and Coordinator of the German Program at Sam Houston State University. I received my Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures and Film & Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis (2015) and hold a B.A. (2007) and M.A. (2009) in German Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

I specialize in late-18th to 21st-century German media and cultural history. In particular, my research focuses on 19th-century literary cultures, film history (Imperial Germany, Weimar Germany, cinema of the 60s and 70s), narrative theory, queer theory, and critical pedagogy.

Currently, I am writing a book examining the influence of fluctuating literary markets on authorial agency and narrative form provisionally titled Fragile Literary Cultures in Early Imperial Germany. Part and parcel of this research is my work on a volume titled The Becoming and Afterlife of Literature: Agents in the German Literary Field (co-edited with Vance Byrd).

My scholarship in film studies includes a book project examining the primacy of melodramatic form in the articulation of queer experiences in popular culture and the intellectual sphere of Weimar Germany. In addition, I am completing an article, which examines the queer potential of slapstick in Ernst Lubitsch’s early comedies. This article is part of my work on an edited volume titled An Interdisciplinary Companion to Slapstick Cultures (co-edited with Alena Lyons and under advanced contract with de Gruyter).

In 2016, I co-founded the international scholarly collective “Diversity, Decolonialization, and the German Curriculum” (DDGC). Following DDGC’s inaugural conference March 2017 at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, DDGC has been institutionalized into a biannual conference (the next conference will take place Spring 2019 at St. Olaf College). I also serve as the co-editor of DDGC’s official blog.

MemberJoela Jacobs

WORK and EDUCATION I joined the University of Arizona as Assistant Professor of German Studies in 2015, and I am affiliated with the Institute of the Environment, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, and the Arizona Center of Judaic Studies. I earned my Ph.D. in Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago, where I subsequently held a postdoctoral position as Humanities Teaching Scholar. Prior to coming to the US from Germany, I studied at the Universities of Bonn, St. Andrews, and the Freie Universität Berlin to receive my M.A. in German and English Philology. RESEARCH My research focuses on 19th-21st century German literature and film, Animal Studies, Environmental Humanities, Jewish Studies, the History of Sexuality, and the History of Science. I have published articles on monstrosity, multilingualism, literary censorship, biopolitics, animal epistemology, zoopoetics, critical plant studies, cultural environmentalism, and contemporary German Jewish identity. In my time at UChicago, I brought together an interdisciplinary community of scholars interested in Animal Studies, which turned into an on-going funded workshop and produced its first conference in 2014. BOOK PROJECT Currently, I am working on a monograph that examines a preoccupation with non-human forms of life in the micro-genre of the literary grotesque (die Groteske) around 1900 that begins with Oskar Panizza’s neo-romantic work in the 1890s, becomes a central element of modernism with authors such as Hanns Heinz Ewers and Salomo Friedlaender, and culminates in Franz Kafka’s unique oeuvre. This genre creates a field of artistic experimentation that allows for the transgression of categories such as species, race, and gender by introducing a non-human perspective on sexual and linguistic normativity. The vegetal, animal, and liminal human figures at the center of these grotesque texts challenge biopolitical measures of control through, for instance, their non-conformity with standard human language. This linguistic limitation is reinforced by the genre’s response to mechanisms of literary censorship, which resulted in new modes of expressing political dissent during modernity’s language crisis. One of these central strategies is the texts’ provocative use of grotesque humor vis-à-vis normative conceptions of what it means to be human, which also marks the genre’s distinct historical scope, as it perceptively critiques the rise of ‘the New Human’ from 19th century physiognomy to the wake of the Nazi rule. TEACHING I enjoy being in the classroom, both to teach the intricacies of German literature and language and to explore interdisciplinary connections surrounding fundamental questions about life and living beings with students. I have taught a wide range of courses on all levels of the German college curriculum and in adult education on topics such as German environmentalism, transatlantic perspectives on national trauma, (a)typical emotions in poetry, fairy tales, Kafka’s oeuvre, expressionist film, and German Jewish literature. As a certified Teaching Consultant, I am always happy to talk pedagogy and classroom technology.