Graduate Students

For graduate student email addresses, please click on their name. For further information about the academic training, research projects and publications of our graduate students, please consult their Open Scholar Profiles which can be accessed by clicking on their photos.

Sonja Andersen

Sonja Andersen joined the German Department in 2013 after studying Comparative Literature and German at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation looks at the intersections between the works of four poets and artists of the 17th century: Anna Maria van Schurman, Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg, Anna Owena Hoyers, and Maria Sibylla Merian. As a recipient of Princeton’s Hyde fellowship in 2016, she conducted research in various archives across Europe. She was recently awarded a seed grant from the Center for Digital Humanities to pursue a collaborative project, in which an artifact featured in her dissertation will be rendered as a 3D model. Currently, she is co-organizing the Center for Medieval Studies’ graduate conference in April 2018, entitled “Superstition and Magic in the Medieval and Early Modern periods.”

Paul M. Babinski

Paul M. Babinski

Paul Babinski is a third year PhD student in the German Department. He works on subjects related to literary and media history from the early modern period through the early nineteenth century. His interests include reading practices, the history of philology, methods of image reproduction, drawings, book illustration, practices of collecting, categorizing and compiling, as well as the history of pedagogical practices and publications. He is especially interested in the material circumstances of the transmission of information about the world into Germany, in particular the collection of texts and art objects from the Ottoman Empire and India. Before coming to Princeton in 2013, he studied at the University of Colorado – Boulder.

Baharak Beizaei

Baharak Beizaei studied Philosophy, Comparative Literature, and Music at University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School of Music before joining Princeton’s Department of German in 2017. Her primary research interests are at the intersection of philosophy and literature, with particular emphasis on the idea of prose in Hegel and Benjamin. Other preoccupations include theories of knowledge as they bear on tradition and mediality, the afterlife of the Frankfurt School, psychoanalytic theory, Jewish philosophy, philosophies of history (Marx & Nietzsche), Trauerspiel and the nexus of sovereignty, law, and fiction, and inevitably, Proust.

Anat Benzvi

Anat Benzvi

Anat Benzvi, is a PhD. candidate in the German Department as of Fall 2013, as well as a poet. Her current research interests include historical questions about religion and poetics circa 1800 and philosophical questions about sovereignty, the modeling of religious formations, and the topography of literary authorship. She previously studied at the University of Chicago, Freie Universität Berlin, and the University of Texas at Austin. Her poems can be found in Dear Sir, Fairy Tale Review, Handsome, Sonora Review, Shoppinghour, and Western Humanities Review, and she edits “angled poetics” for the online journal Likestarlings. She was recently awarded a fellowship by the Princeton University Center for Human Values.

Christine Bernshaus

Christine Bernshaus joined the German Department as a Ph.D. student in fall 2017. She received her B.A in German Studies as well as her M.A in Media and Culture Studies from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. She also earned an M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Washington University in St.Louis.
Christine’s research reflects her diverse interests which include media theory and sociology – with a particular focus on the religious turn using the theories of Max Weber, Émil Durkheim and the Collège de Sociologie. In addition to that she is interested in research projects with respect to New German Cinema and Fin-de-Siècle Vienna.

Mary Grayson S. Brook

Mary Grayson S. Brook

Mary Grayson S. Brook, joined the German Department in 2016. Before graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in German literature and culture, Mary Grayson spent a year at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her senior honors thesis, which examined the relationship between family crises and fantastic elements in three works by Kleist, grew out of a strong interest in both literature around 1800 and literary works featuring disrupted realities. Her other areas of interest include lyric poetry, aesthetics, and German cinema.

Alice Christensen

Alice Christensen has been a doctoral student in the German Department at Princeton since fall 2010 and received her MA in 2013. Her dissertation traces a cultural history of heat in Germany and Europe in the years around 1900. She is a fellow in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM) and spent January-October 2014 as a Visiting Associate Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) at the Bauhaus Universität-Weimar with the support of a DAAD fellowship. She previously studied German literature and the natural sciences at Johns Hopkins University and the Freie Universität-Berlin and holds a master’s degree in epidemiology from Yale. Her research interests include German literature and philosophy of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the history of the human sciences, philosophy of language, history and theory of the novel, and German film.

Alexander Draxl

Alexander Draxl joined the German Department in Fall 2017, after studying Educational Sciences (BA, MA) and Psychology (BSc) at the University of Innsbruck and spending a semester as a visiting graduate student at the University of Alberta. His interests include psychoanalytic theory, Erste Kulturwissenschaft (Freud, Benjamin, and Warburg), Martin Heidegger (especially the History of Being), 20th and 21st century literature specializing in women’s writing, e.g. Ingeborg Bachmann, Christa Wolf, Elfriede Jelinek, and Marlene Streeruwitz. His current research focuses on philosophies of fate.

Matthew Shen Goodman

Matthew Shen Goodman

Matthew Shen Goodman Goodman joined the German Department in 2016. He graduated from Swarthmore College with a special major in sociology and philosophy. He is a senior editor at Triple Canopy.

Hannah Hunter-Parker

Hannah Hunter-Parker entered the program in Fall 2010, having received her BA from Middlebury College in German Literature and the History of Art & Architecture. She was awarded her MA from Princeton in the department in 2013. Her dissertation on German Romanticism and the medium aevum (co-advised by Profs. Sara Poor & Nikolaus Wegmann) explores the medial conditions for new attentions to Medieval German literature in the writings of Ludwig Tieck and his circle around 1800. Her research interests include: Late medieval and early modern Germanic cultures; the Artusepik and courtly romance; reading practices, past and present; text-image space in manuscripts; media and meaning; nineteenth- and twentieth-century receptions of medieval texts and culture; histories of Philology /Germanistik. She has presented on the works of medieval, early-modern, and nineteenth-century authors, most recently, on the topic of her dissertation at the University of Cologne and in the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies (both June 2014). During AY 2013-2014 she conducted dissertation research in Berlin funded by a Donald and Mary Hyde Academic-Year Fellowship for Research Abroad in the Humanities.

Daniel Kashi

Daniel Kashi

Daniel Kashi is a PhD student in Princeton since 2012. He studied German Literature and Philosophy at Freie Universität and Humboldt Universität in Berlin where he received his MA. His interests include Theory of Jokes, Tropes of Sovereignty, Marxism(s), and Theology. His MA thesis he wrote on Marx and Benjamin in the work of Giorgio Agamben. In 2009 he published an essay on Bartleby the Scrivener („Bartleby, der neue Messias?“). Off campus Daniel is a passionate swing dancer.

Sebastian Klinger

Sebastian Klinger

Sebastian Klinger is a second-year PhD candidate in the German Department. He focuses on the cultural history of Modernism from the 18th century to the present, with emphasis around 1900. His research interests include aesthetics, rhetoric, practices of reading and the poetology of knowledge. He also continues to write about lyrical poetry, notably on Rainer Maria Rilke. His most recent publication relates Paul Celan to the religious philosopher Lev Shestov (Jahrbuch der deutschen Schiller-Gesellschaft, 2015). Before coming to Princeton, Sebastian studied European literature, philosophy and history of art in Germany and Britain where he graduated from Oxford in 2015.
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Gyoonho Kong

Gyoonho Kong joined the German Department in fall 2017. Before he joined the department, he received his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in Comparative Literature and German Literature, with a minor in Spanish. After receiving his B.A., he served 2 years in the Republic of Korea Army as a military interpreter and linguist, stationed in a joint service unit with the 3rd Military Intelligence battalion of the United States Army. Gyoonho’s research interests include Modernism, experimental poetry, European Avant-Garde, and translation theory.

Carolina Malagon

Carolina Malagon

Carolina Malagon has been a Ph.D. candidate in the German Department since the fall of 2011. She received her B.A. in German Studies from Yale University in 2008 and her M.A. in German Literature from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 2011. Currently, she is researching the relationship between literature and chemistry in the Romantic period, particularly in the works of Johann Wilhelm Ritter, Hans Christian Ørsted, Schelling, Friedrich Schlegel and others. Other major interests include: lyric poetry; formalism; poetics of knowledge; historiography of science; practices of reading; intermediality.

Jonathan S. Martin

Jonathan S. Martin

Jonathan S. Martin has been a PhD. candidate in the German Department since 2012. He received his BA in German, Medieval Studies, and Classics from the University of Michigan in 2010 and an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2012. He is currently writing his dissertation on the ways in which the marriage law and theology is cited and used to structure early courtly romances in Germany. Other research interests include central European literature and culture, the medieval reception of classical antiquity, and multilingualism and translation.

Casey McCreary

Casey McCreary joined the German Department in the fall of 2017. Before joining the department, she studied at the University of Colorado — Boulder, where she received a B.A. in Russian Studies and a B.A. and M.A. in German Studies. Her research interests include the conversion from paganism to Christianity, medieval conceptions of gender and sexuality, historical linguistics, ritual in pagan Germanic religions, and the medieval sources of 18th and 19th century folklore. She is also interested in Russian folklore and religion, especially the dual-faith system (dvoeverie).

Anton Pluschke

Anton Pluschke

Anton Pluschke studied Comparative Literature and Philosophy at Humboldt and Free University in Berlin, at the Berlin Institute of Technology and at the Université de Lausanne. He received his M.A. degree at Peter Szondi Institute with a thesis on the power of Oblivion in the works of Martin Heidegger, Elena Esposito and Friedrich Kittler. In 2011 Anton organized a conference to commemorate and rethink the legacy of Daniel Paul Schreber. He gave conference talks at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, the German National Academic Foundation and the Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. His research interests include the classical foundations of Modern Literature in Antiquity, Deconstruction, System’s Theory, the Philosophy of Language, Ethics, Law and Literature and Media Theory. Anton is particularly interested in the form of Justice that can be provided by literary operations vis à vis the legal and philosophical tradition.

Ron Sadan

Ron Sadan works on questions of narrative and community by way of literary theory and history. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis and continued studies with support from the German Academic Exchange (DAAD) at the Free University and the Humboldt University in Berlin. Recurring interests include humanism and the history of hermeneutics, theories of media, and the stories of Robert Walser. Ron joined the Princeton German Department in 2015.



Diba Shokri

Diba Shokri

Diba Shokri works on questions that concern the relation between fiction and the self, poetics of knowledge and affect, practices of reading and writing, rhetoric and genre theory, the poetics of social forms and Robert Musil. Her research mostly draws on material from 1750 onwards, with notable emphasis circa 1900.
Diba studied Comparative Literature (MPhil, BA), Psychology and Sociology (BSc) in Munich and Oxford, before joining Princeton’s German Department in the fall of 2015.


William Stewart

William Stewart

William Stewart joined the Department of German after working for a number of years in the studio of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. His interests include the ways in which cultural-historical moments appear reflected in works of visual art, film, and literature, especially in the years following 1968.


Andreas Strasser

Andreas Strasser

Andreas Strasser has been a graduate student in Princeton’s German Department since 2015. He studied Comparative Literature, Theater Studies, and Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Edinburgh, and Humboldt Universität. His research interests include theories of aesthetic experience; German philosophy in the 18th and 19th century; the relation of literature and violence, especially in the 20th century; and the relation between economic processes, historical experience, and aesthetic form.



Sean W. Toland

Sean W. Toland

Sean Toland entered the German Department as a PhD candidate in 2013. He completed a BA in Comparative Literature and Intellectual History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2012 and has studied at the Universität Konstanz. He has held a DAAD study grant at the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at the FU Berlin, and support from a Fulbright grant for research at the HU Berlin and LMU Munich. His dissertation research examines the relationship between the social practices and subjective experiences of musical performance in early 19th century discussions of instrumental music. Further interests include the relationship between ethical and aesthetic discourse in general; ideas of “musicality” in lyric poetry; theories of humor and comedy; and German philosophy of the 18th through 20th centuries.”

Matthew Vollgraff

Matthew Vollgraff is a seventh-year Ph.D. candidate in the German department and a fellow in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM). He received his B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Since September 2016, he has been a fellow at the research group Naturbilder (Images of Nature) at the University of Hamburg. He is currently finishing a dissertation on the scientific study of expressive movement and gesture in early 20th century Germany. Research interests include Kunstwissenschaft and aesthetic psychology; the history of the life sciences, particularly Darwinism; philosophical anthropology; Jewish-German literature; social psychology and theories of cultural memory.