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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

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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

    Sandra came to Columbia in 2014 after receiving a B.A. in German Philology (Major) and English Philology (Minor) from the University of Zurich. Her research interests include German, German-Jewish, American-Jewish and Yiddish literature of the 19th and 20th century; literature and ethnography; space and topography; edition philology; and Viennese modernism.

  • Franke, Alwin

    Before joining Columbia as a doctoral student in the Department of Germanic languages and the ICLS, Alwin Franke has studied Comparative Literature, History, and Philosophy at Free University in Berlin where he earned his BA with a thesis on the concept of fetishism in Kant's Critique of Judgment. Throughout his undergraduate studies, Alwin has developed a keen interest in symmetric histories of modernity and how they relate to the field of literature. His work focuses on the entangled histories of modern literature, anthropology, and critical theory at the interface of aesthetic and political thought. Besides his studies, Alwin Franke has worked as an editor and translator for various magazines and assistant to filmmaker Hito Steyerl.

  • 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

    Xan Holt received his BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. After graduating in 2010, he spent two years working in Austria as an English teaching assistant for the Fulbright Commission. His academic interests include bourgeois tragedy; depictions of the body in the work of Heinrich von Kleist; contemporary takes on the learning play; tropes of surveillance in German film; and postwar Austrian Nestbeschmutzer. He is also very interested in academic and literary translation. His translations of poems by Georg Trakl have been published in the Broome Street Review.

  • Inbal, Dalia

  • Kalal, Peter

    After initially training as an orchestral tubist, Peter Kalal received his BMus in the Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in May 2012 with a thesis on Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk and the concept's implications for contemporary stagings of the composer’s oeuvre. Peter received his BA in German from the University of Rochester later that year, writing a thesis that examined temporal and ontological ambiguities in Kafka's "Das Urteil." After graduation Peter spent a year teaching English and studying at the Universität zu Köln.

    As a PhD student at Columbia, Peter continues to explore his passion for music, this time in the context of German Studies, affording him novel perspectives on issues of musical reception, neue Musik, and the ontology of musical works. He also continues to pursue his not-necessarily-musical interests of modernism, critical theory, and the fin-de-siècle.

  • 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

    Evan Parks received his B.A. in European Cultural Studies from Brandeis University in 2010. His interests include the relationship between architecture and modern German fiction, the phenomenological tradition, German Jewish Literature and Thought, and the culture of German émigrés in Israel and America. He is affiliated with the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.

  • 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

    Born and raised Berliner Miriam Schulz completed her BA in Jewish Studies (Major) and History and Cultures of the Middle East (Minor) at Freie Universität Berlin in 2011 followed by an MA in Judaism in Historical Context, specializing in Modern Judaism and Holocaust Studies, at Freie Universität and Touro College Berlin in 2014. Before starting the Ph.D. in Yiddish Studies at Columbia, she worked at the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Topography of Terror and interned at both the Leo Baeck Institute in New York City and the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London. Her main interests are Yiddish cultural history and Holocaust Studies. More specifically, she is interested in the so called zamler tradition of Eastern European Jewry in general, Jewish documentation efforts in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust in particular, and Yiddish literary creation amidst and in reaction to the khurbn. This is matched by unhealthy proclivities for: hip hop, r'n'b, soul and funk music; Jacksons Michael and Janet; Sex and the City; and, most recently, clandestine viewings of Beyonce videos with Joshua Price.

  • Schweiger, Sophie

    Sophie Schweiger studied German Studies, Comparative Literature and Philosophy in Lisbon and Vienna, where she earned her Masters degree in 2013. Before joining the department at Columbia University in fall of 2014, she spent one year as a Fulbright teaching assistant in the US.

    Her academic interests range from drama theory and German Romanticism to Vienna 1900, philosophy of language and contemporary Austrian cinema. She wrote her thesis on German cold war literature and the aesthetics of the apocalypse: "Schreiben gegen die Bombe" (2012). She received several stipends and scholarships from the Fulbright program, the Max Kade foundation as well as the Austrian government.

    Sophie is eagerly interested in theatre as well as experimental and short film and engages in projects that allow her to explore and work on the intersection of art and academia.

  • 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.

  • 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

    Michael Watzka, born 1991 in Krumbach (Schwaben), is a first year graduate student, poet and journalist. As a Cusanus-Fellow, he received his B.A. in literature and musicology from Humboldt-University in Berlin and spent one term abroad at New York University.

    Michael is co-editor of the quarterly literary review metamorphosen and author of an upcoming volume of poems, titled Palisaden (Berlin 2015). As a journalist, he has been working for German broadcasters and newspapers, such as Bayerischer Rundfunk, ZDF and Südwest Presse. His research focuses on contemporary poetry, the intersection of music and literature, and the poetics of time and narrative framing in prose and poetry. He published on Hainbund-poet Johann Martin Miller in Lenz-Jahrbuch (2014) and Boris Blacher's variable meters in Musik & Ästhetik (2014).

  • 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 and an M.A. from Columbia. 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 literature and the natural sciences in relation to epistemology around 1900.

  • 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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