Katrin Pahl received her PhD from the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. She serves as co-director of the Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at JHU. In 2008, she was a visiting professor at the Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion” of the Freie Universität Berlin.
Professor Pahl approaches the German literary and philosophical canon from a queer-feminist perspective. The arc of her research is situated in affect and emotion studies. Three books (will) address the ethical, epistemological, and aesthetic implications of emotionality while moving the emphasis from subjectivity to performance to sociability. Her first book, Tropes of Transport: Hegel and Emotion (Northwestern UP, 2012) demonstrates that a fresh analysis of Hegel’s thought offers an important resource for the theory of emotionality. It addresses emotions as transformational forces that carry one out of oneself and to a different self, while introducing impersonal transports, such as release, juggle, acknowledging, tremble, and broken.
Currently, she works on a manuscript entitled Kleist’s Queer Feelings that examines the unusual performance of emotion in Kleist’s theater. It analyzes how Kleist struggles with the newly established imaginary order and experiments with alternative symbolic orders. As her next project, she will investigate how the practices and theories of sociability (Geselligkeit) that emerge in Germany in the 18th century present a critique of the other grand narrative of the German 18th century, namely Bildung. This book will explore how the historical models of sociability might be relevant in the 21st century for thinking, kinship, affinity, and mutual support beyond the apotheosis of the human.
Pahl edited the 2009 issue on Emotionality of the Modern Language Notes, and she was awarded the Best Article in Feminist Scholarship Prize from the Coalition of Women in German for “Transformative Translations: Cyrillizing and Queering.”