Insa Braun is a visiting graduate student from the Goethe University Frankfurt. She studied German literature, English literature, and theatre studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum, the University College Cork, and the University of Bonn. Here, she received her MA in German literature with a thesis on Adorno’s ideas on lyric theory. Her research interests include literary theory, aesthetics, theories of language, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, and psychoanalysis.
Luce de Lire holds degrees in philosophy; media and communication; and gender studies from Humboldt University Berlin and European Graduate School Saas Fee.
Esther Edelmann studied Hispanic and German literature and comparative literature in Groningen and Leiden (The Netherlands). Her interests include Frankfurt School Critical Theory, Marxism, postcolonial theory, fascism and literature, the violence of and in literature, aesthetics of resistance, critical (anti-)realism, and the return of baroque allegory.
Marcus Heim received his Magister Artium in German Language and Literature, Medieval History, Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Münster in 2010. He had been working for the Film Education Program of North Rhine Westfalia from 2005-2010 and from 2008-2009 was Co-Director of the German House at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN before he became a member of GRLL in 2011. He draws inspiration from Hannah Arendt, Erich Auerbach, Hans Blumenberg, Albrecht Koschorke, Juri Lotman and other cultural critics, hermeneuticians and semioticians. Recent research dealt with the works of Ernest Hemingway, Christoph Ransmayr and concepts of modern and mythical subjectivity. Marcus Heim is currently at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School at the Freie Universität Berlin where he is working on his dissertation that aims to describe modes of aesthetic and spatial experience in Peter Weiss’ Aesthetics of Resistance.
Christina Hinz studied English and German linguistics and literature at the University of Bielefeld. Here, she received her BA in German literature in 2007 and MEd in English literature in 2009. In 2008, she was granted a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship and taught German at the St. Bonaventure University, NY, for two years. Since 2010, she has been a PhD student in the German program at the Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her MA in German literature in 2012. Her main interest lies in German literature of the late 18th/early 19th century with a particular focus on Kleist, Goethe, and theories of comic and humor.
John Hoffmann is a graduate student in the English Department. He holds a BA in liberal arts from St. John’s College and an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago. He works on the transition from the 18th century into Romanticism: 1750–1832, and his research focuses on the Enlightenment and its discontents in Great Britain and develops connections between British and continental, especially German, forms of the Enlightenment. He is especially interested in the way imaginative writers adopt and challenge developments in aesthetic philosophy and the philosophy of perception of the period. German literary criticism and literary theory in the 20th and 21st centuries (e.g., Szondi, Editionstheorie) are important resources for his work because they provide a counter-tradition to the history of New Criticism and reactions against it that have dominated American literary studies.
Christiane Ketteler completed her magister in 2011 at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she studied modern German literature and philosophy. She wrote her thesis on narratoloy and translation in Joseph Roth’s The Wandering Jews. Her research interests include German-Austrian-Jewish literature of the 19th and 20th century, aesthetics, feminism, debates on historical materialism, and psychoanalysis.
Bryan Klausmeyer received his BA in history in 2009 from the University of Michigan, where he graduated summa cum laude. Since 2010, he has been a PhD student in the German program at the Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his MA in German literature in 2012. From 2013 to 2014, he was affiliated as a visiting doctoral student with both the PhD-Net “Das Wissen der Literatur” (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and the Friedrich-Schlegel-Graduiertenschule für literaturwissenschaftliche Studien (Freie Universität Berlin). He is currently writing his dissertation, tentatively titled “Living Forms: Poetics and Epistemology of Formative Process in G. C. Lichtenberg, Jean Paul, and Goethe,” which examines different techniques of staging the formation—as well as deformation—of literary form around 1800. His research interests include literary theory, epistemology of literature, history of science, media studies, cosmology, and psychoanalysis.
Maya Nitis holds degrees in English, political science, and philosophy, and has embarked on another route through Germanistik where s/he intends to continue pursuing interests in pedagogy, queer theory, and resistance movements. Languages of Resistance 1: Performativity and Cultural-Political Translation, Nitis’s first book published in 2014, addresses the revolutionary in the intertwinement of language and reality through the work of Judith Butler in relation to Walter Benjamin. Nitis has also recently published in the areas of feminist pedagogy and queer knowledge production. Current considerations include neoliberal logic and postcolonial queer alternatives.
J. Brandon Pelcher received his master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his BA from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in mathematics. His research and teaching interests have included theories of forgetting, phenomenology, political aesthetics, film, and feminism, focusing on the Frankfurt School, Proust, Heidegger, the historical avant-garde, Debord, and Irigaray. His current project is an investigation into the use of strategic essentialism and mimesis in the historical avant-garde, concentrating mainly on the international chapters of Dada and their unique engagements with language, war, and consumerist capitalism.
Elisa Riga received her bachelor’s degree in English and German languages and literatures at the University of Liege, Belgium, in 2013. After this she continued her studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, working toward her master’s degree. Elisa is primarily interested in feminist readings of German literature in the light of gender studies, Foucauldian and psycho-analytical theories. While considering these perspectives she pays special attention to the work of Arthur Schnitzler and the movement of fin-de-siècle. Other areas of interest for Elisa are critical theory, formal aspects of narration and languages.
Daniel Schwartz is a graduate student in the Humanities Center. His interests include philosophies and literature of music (Kierkegaard, E.T.A. Hoffman, Hermann Broch, Thomas Mann, Adorno), optical illusions and pre-cinema (Werner Nekes), film (soviet comedy, Georgi Daneliya, Tarkovsky, Kalatozov), Andrei Bely, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger.
Benjamin Stein is a graduate student in the Humanities Center. His studies lie in modernist literature and aesthetics, particularly late 19th- and 20th-century German literature and thought and its consequences in the American and French traditions. His current research interests involve the relationship between shifting perspectives of subjectivity and literary form and representation.
Nina Tolksdorf studied modern German literature, comparative literature and philosophy at the Technical University, Berlin and at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She wrote her master’s thesis on perceptions of truth and identity in Heinrich von Kleist’s Amphitryon in the context of Kleist’s contemporary philosophy. Her interests include literary theory, philosophy, rhetoric, and epistemology of literature. She is currently working on her dissertation project “Riskante Redlichkeit. Truthfulness in Nietzsche, Kleist, and Kafka” were she explores possibilities and modes of truth telling and sincerity in literary works that radically suspend any notion of truth.
Rahel von Minden studied comparative literature and film studies in Berlin and Paris. Since 2014 she is enrolled in a master’s program in comparative literature at Freie Universität Berlin. Her research interests include German literature of the 20th century, intersections of literature and other media, poetics of knowledge, and theories of the novel. She is also interested in concepts of space in literature and film. She is a visiting graduate student during the academic year 2015–2016.
Jason Yonover graduated summa cum laude from Cornell in 2012. Following his BA, he studied German philosophy and literature in Heidelberg for a year with a state fellowship. At Johns Hopkins he is pursuing a joint PhD between German studies and philosophy. His dissertation project concerns Spinoza’s political philosophy and German Idealism.