Professor Inka Mülder-Bach, one of three Permanent Visiting Professors on the German Department faculty, will be in Princeton for the Fall semester teaching a graduate seminar (GER 512) entitled “Transformations of the Novel: Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister”, and an undergraduate class (GER 303) on “Literary Case Studies.”
Prof. Mülder-Bach’s description of the graduate seminar, which will take place on Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20pm, reads as follows:
While the 19th century canonized Goethe’s seminal novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795/96) as the paradigmatic “Bildungsroman” of German literature recent scholarship has rediscovered it as part of an open-ended literary project. Published six years after the French revolution Goethe’s novel reacts to the violent political, economical and cultural transformations of the age with a narrative of conflicts, illusions, crises, losses and transitions that transforms the genre of the novel itself. The course will study these transformations in the light of the novel’s immediate precursors and its critical reception in romanticism.
Regarding the undergraduate class, which will be taught on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3-4:20pm and will focus on works by Schiller, Kleist, Büchner, Kafka, Döblin and Musil, Prof. Mülder-Bach writes:
Since their emergence in the age of the Enlightenment, literary case studies have served as a genre which measures and weighs rules against exceptions, society against the individual, general norms against particular instances and thus implicitly negotiates the function of literature and its relation to normative and epistemological systems. The course will deal with narrative case studies and examine their development from the 18th to the 20th century.
Prof. Mülder-Bach received her PhD from the University of Tübingen after academic training at Tübingen, Oslo, and Berkeley. Before joining the Institute of German Philology at Ludwig Maximilian Universität (LMU) in Munich, where she has been since 1998, she held positions at the Freie Universität and the Zentrum für Literaturforschung in Berlin. Professor Mülder-Bach has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York, the IFK, Vienna, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, and NYU.
Inka Mülder-Bach is a Vertrauensdozentin der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. In 2008-09 and 2010-11, Mülder-Bach held an LMU Excellence-in-Research professorship, and from 2009-2010, she served as vice president of the LMU. She is the editor of the works of Siegfried Kracauer and co-editor of Poetica.
Professor Mülder-Bach’s research focuses on German literature from the 18th to the 20th century in a comparative perspective, traditions of aesthetics and poetics, theories or narration, scenes of origins and constructions of the beginning of modernity, and Robert Musil.