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  • Department of Germanic Languages
    414 Hamilton Hall, Mail Code 2812
    1130 Amsterdam Ave
    New York, NY 10027

  • Tel: 212.854.3202
    Fax: 212.854.5381
    E-mail: germanic@columbia.edu

  • Deutsches Haus
    420 West 116th Street
    (between Amsterdam Ave and Morningside Dr)

Graduate Students

  • Alexander Salvo Sophie

    Sophie Alexander Salvo came to Columbia in 2010 after graduating from Harvard with a B.A. in Comparative Literature. She received an M.A. in German Literature from Columbia in 2012. Her current research focuses on narration and the female subject in nineteenth- and twentieth-century German and French literature. Her other interests include: feminist and gender theory, philosophy of language, hermeneutics, and Yiddish poetry. Sophie is also affiliated with Columbia's Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.

  • Bajohr Hannes

    Hannes Bajohr, born 1984 in Berlin, studied Philosophy, German Literature and History in Berlin and New York. He is particularly interested in the intersection of literature, philosophy, and political theory. Moreover, his interests include twentieth century German literature, narratology, edition philology, philosophy of language, and philosophical anthropology. He has co-edited the exchange of letters between Peter Weiss and Henriette Itta Blumenthal (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2011), and his Master's thesis was published as "Dimensionen der Öffentlichkeit: Politik und Erkenntnis bei Hannah Arendt" (Berlin: Lukas 2011). He has edited and translated Judith Shklar "Der Liberalismus der Furcht," preface by Axel Honneth (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2013). Hans Blumenberg's theory of language is the topic of his dissertation.

  • Chaney Justine

    Justine Chaney is interested in critical theory, media studies, and 19th- and 20th-century literature. At Princeton University, she wrote her B.A. thesis on themes of corporal punishment in Franz Kafka's "In der Strafkolonie" and Der Prozess and Robert Musil's Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß. In 2010, after graduating from Princeton with German departmental honors and a certificate in European Cultural Studies, Justine was awarded a DAAD Fellowship to study at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

  • Chiritescu Sandra

  • Franke Alwin

  • Greene Alyssa

    Alyssa Greene studied German at Smith College and the Universität Hamburg. Before coming to Columbia, she taught English as a Fulbright fellow in Hamburg, Germany. Her research interests include modern and contemporary German and Austrian literature; critical theory; gender and postcolonial studies; and film studies.

  • Hessling Vincent

    Vincent Hessling studied Philosophy, Classics, and German Philology in Heidelberg and Berlin. In 2010 he graduated at the Freie Universtität Berlin with a Magister thesis on "Understanding in Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations" exploring the hermeneutic and narrative dimensions of Wittgenstein’s later thought. While working on the thesis, Vincent developed a keen interest in the different structures of knowledge organization as well as in the paradigm of history in the humanities. His current theoretical preoccupations include the idea of progress, history of technology and science, narratology, and systems theory. In engaging with works by Paul Scheerbart, Joseph Roth, Robert Walser, Jean Paul, Johann Rist, and others, Vincent is currently working on a dissertation project on narratives of technical progress in literature.

  • Holt Alexander

    After graduating from NYU in 2010 with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, Xan Holt spent two years working as an English-language teaching assistant in Austrian secondary schools, first in Vorarlberg and then in Vienna. During that time, he also attended German language and literature classes at the Universität Wien. His interests include epic and post-dramatic theater; expressionism; Robert Walser; Thomas Bernhard; contemporary Austrian film; and literary translation. His translations of poems by Georg Trakl have been published in the Broome Street Review.

  • Inbal Dalia

  • Kalal Peter

  • Kirzane Jessica

    Jessica Kirzane is a PhD candidate in Yiddish Studies. She received a BA in English Language and Literature and Jewish Studies from the University of Virginia, and holds an MA in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University. Her research interests include modern European and American Jewish history, the history of marriage, modern Yiddish cultural production, and questions of race, peoplehood, and gender in modern Jewish fiction.

  • Kurianowicz Tomasz

    Tomasz Kurianowicz, born 1983 in Bremerhaven, studied German Literature and Musicology at Freie Universität Berlin and Universität Zürich. After graduading in 2010 with a master thesis on Robert Musil's "Man without qualities," he worked as a critic for the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung," focusing on literature and music. In addition, he worked on a PhD project in Germany.

    His studies brought him in 2012 to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he graduaded in 2013 with a "Master of Arts" in German Studies. In the same year, he transfered to Columbia University, persuing a PhD in German literature. He is interested in the problems of global capialism, "poetologies of knowledge" and the question how concepts of mortality have changed since modernity has become a common global condition, focusing on European literature of the 18th and 19th century.

    Tomasz Kurianowiczis a member of Professor Joseph Vogl's PhD-network "Das Wissen der Literatur" at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Besides his studies, he works as a freelance critic, essayist and culture correspondent from New York City for the newspapers "Neue Zürcher Zeitung," "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung," "Der Tagesspiegel," and "Die Zeit."

  • Lipkin Michael

  • Moir Erin

    Erin Moir, who received her B.A. in German Studies from Oberlin College in 2011, also studied for a year at the Universität Hamburg with a VDAC scholarship and later served as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Schleswig-Holstein. Her academic interests include music in literature, 20th-century poetry, classicism in German literature, and modern German and Austrian minority literature.

  • Parks Evan

  • Price Joshua

    Josh Price graduated from Yale in 2011, with a BA in Judaic Studies. His senior thesis was a critical translation of selected essays by Chaim Zhitlowsky. Before starting Columbia's Yiddish Studies Ph.D. in 2012, he worked on bibliographic and digitization projects for the National Yiddish Book Center. His main interests are Yiddish literature and the culture and politics of the early-20th century Yiddishist movement, though close, maybe more bourgeois, but ultimately superior, seconds include: cottage cheese mixed with Nutella; Dostoevsky; clandestine viewings of Beyonce videos; less clandestine viewings of French cinema; and the company of a friend.

  • Radisoglou Alexis

    Alexis Radisoglou received a B.A. in Modern Languages and Literatures from the University of Oxford in 2007 before joining Columbia University as a doctoral student in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. His research is focused on 20th century Greek and German literature, comparative modernisms, and European cinema. More specifically, he is interested in the interstices between aesthetic theory, political and historical thought, and the philosophy of history. In his dissertation he examines a shift in the formal articulation of time and space in the work of the political modernists Alexander Kluge, Heiner Müller and Theo Angelopoulos, and analyzes the aesthetic, historical, and political implications of such a "transformation of chronotopes" in late modernity.

  • Salvo Arthur

    Arthur received his BA in German from New York University in 2005. After spending a year at Humboldt University in Berlin as a Fulbright Fellow, he returned to NYU, completing his Master's thesis on literary hermeticism in Goethe's Faust: Zweiter Teil. Since fall 2007 he has been a PhD candidate in the Department of Germanic Languages at Columbia University.

    Arthur's research interests include: 18th—20th-century German literature, particularly the Goethezeit; aesthetic theory; history of aesthetics; hermeneutics; and literary anthropology. His dissertation project, “Transformations of the Beautiful,” examines the problematic status of beauty in modernity, and literary responses to it in works by Winckelmann, Schiller, Goethe and Jean Paul. An enthusiastic teacher, Arthur has taught several courses in German language and culture in the Department, as well as “Literature Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Literature and Philosophy” as part of Columbia University’s Core Curriculum.

  • Schaub Christoph

    Before coming to Columbia in 2009, I studied Comparative Literature, German Literature, and Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin, Université Paris VIII, and Emory University. A former fellow of Fulbright and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, I was a Teaching Assistant in Comparative Literature at FU Berlin and team-taught self-designed classes in social theory and cultural studies at HU Berlin and TU Braunschweig. At Columbia, I taught German language and "Masterpieces of Western Literature and Philosophy" in the Core Curriculum.

    My dissertation situates the literature, performances, and films of Weimar's workers' movement in the contexts of modernism and urban culture, tracing interrelations between canonized and non-canonized cultural archives. I am interested in German literature and culture from the 19th century to the present, Weimar culture, urban studies, realism, modernism, minority studies, transnationalism and globalization, memory studies, and popular music studies. I have published several articles and book reviews, including texts on cosmopolitanism in Paul Auster and rapper Mos Def, urban culture and identity politics in Detroit Techno, and the politics of memory at the memorial for the Stasi victims in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen.


  • Schulz Miriam

  • Schweiger Sophie

  • Shields Ross

    Ross Shields is a graduate student at Columbia University pursuing a PhD in German with a concentration in Comparative Literature and a certificate in Psychoanalytic Studies. He works primarily with German, English, and French texts, but is also interested in audio and visual culture and mathematical formalization. Ross spent a year studying at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin following his undergraduate study at Macalester College, and is the author of "The Ethics and Beauty of The Trial: Kafka's Circumscription of Failure" in the volume Freedom and Confinement in Modernity: Kafka's Cages (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). His interests include modernism, erotic verse, semiotics, psychoanalysis, critical theory, Kafka, Benjamin, Lacan, Goethe, and Wittgenstein.

  • Straetker Niklas

    Niklas Straetker has joined the Department of Germanic Languages as a visiting graduate student for the academic year 2013/14.

    Starting in 2008, he studied German and English Literatures and Linguistics as well as Philosophy at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany and Mirail University in Toulouse, France. He obtained his B.A. from Ruhr University in 2012 with a thesis entitled "Contemporary Sociology and Psychology of Law in Franz Kafka's The Trial." Since 2012, Niklas has been a graduate student of German and English (M.A. and M.Ed.) in Bochum, where he will write his Master's thesis after returning from Columbia.

    He is most interested in 20th century German language and American writers (like Kafka, Rilke, Sebald, P. Roth and DeLillo) and the corresponding relationship between modernism and postmodernity. His other interests include literary theory and its concrete institutional development in different countries as well as the interfaces of literature and philosophy, law, linguistics and science.

  • Swellander Michael

    Michael Swellander is a third-year PhD student in the German Department. His interests include: German literature and philosophy from the 18th to 21st century, lyric poetry, Sturm und Drang, Junges Deutschland, Vormärz, the impact of journalism on literature and vice versa, nationalism and the idea of Heimat, J.M.R. Lenz, Georg Büchner, Heinrich Heine, Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller, and Elfriede Jelinek. A more recent interest is the group of so-called Prenzlauer Berg poets writing in the GDR during the 1980s. Before coming to Columbia, Michael studied German and English at the University of Texas at Austin as well as at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg and Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main.

  • Urzedowski Johanna

    Johanna studied German Literature and Political Science at the University of Hannover and FU Berlin where she graduated with a M.A. and a Teaching Certificate in 'German as a Foreign Language'. In addition to various language classes, she taught tutorials on Celan at FU and on Bachmann at HU Berlin. Her dissertation on the aesthetics and politics of (inter-)mediality deals with Jelinek, EXPORT and Röggla. Other research interests include postwar and contemporary German and Austrian literature, politics of memory, drama and performance theory, gender and feminist studies, Weimar Culture, Critical Theory, Literature of the 'Fin de Siècle' and 'Sturm und Drang'.

  • Walsh Patrick

    Patrick received his Bachelor's Degree in English from Davidson College in 2006 after submitting an Honors Thesis on the fate of the Bildungsroman in European modernism. After spending a year studying in Germany at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, he joined the Columbia Graduate Program in German in the fall of 2007. Patrick's research concerns the volatile intersection of literature, religion and politics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is currently working on a dissertation that examines the uses of prophetic speech in German literary and critical writings from 1770-1885. In 2013, he was awarded a ten-month fellowship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) to conduct dissertation research at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His further scholarly interests include: German, British and American literary relations; literary historiography; and the German Novelle. In his free time, Patrick enjoys running in Riverside and Central Parks and sampling the rich cinematic offerings of New York City.

  • Watzka Michael

  • Weitz Tabea

    Tabea came to Columbia with an M.A. in German Literature. Her research focuses on Hermann Broch and Franz Kafka, and she has a special interest in 20th century art. She is affiliated with Columbia's Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.

  • Ziolkowski Neil

    Neil Ziolkowski holds a B.A. in German studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before pursuing graduate work in literary studies, Ziolkowski worked in the bicycle industry, which, although not the stuff of any literary canon, has proven illuminating in how webs of production and reproduction are humiliatingly inescapable. His academic interests orbit the fields of literature in relation to philosophy of knowledge - specifically, the exchange between mathematics and literature in the later part of the long 19th century.

  • Živković Yvonne

    Yvonne Živković studied American, German and Slavic Literature in Tübingen and Long Beach, California. She holds an M.A. (Magister Artium) from the University of Tübingen (2007) and an M.Phil. from Columbia University (2011). Her dissertation examines geopoetical (de)constructions of the concept of Mitteleuropa among Austrian and South Slavic writers after 1945. Her research interests include German and Austrian literature from the 19th to 21st century, Jewish writers, Eastern European literature, Memory Studies, discourses of Transnationalism and Migration, as well as Balkan film. Yvonne is also affiliated with the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.

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