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

Sonja Andersen is a first year graduate student in the German Department. She received her B.A. in German and Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, and has studied at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Her research investigates shifting attitudes toward German literary fairy tales in Great Britain during the 19th century. Her additional interests include: German translations of fables from abroad during the late Middle Ages; female authors of Weimar Classicism and motifs of magic and transformation in the female Bildungsroman; presentation of German Romantic themes in neo-Victorian historical novels.

Angiras Arya

Angiras Arya

Angiras Arya is a Ph.D candidate in the German Department. After undergraduate studies at Amherst College and a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Austria, Angiras earned his M.A. in German from Princeton University in 2009 and went on to work as a part-time Lecturer teaching German 101, 102 and 107. In 2011-2013, working closely with Prof. Jamie Rankin, he re-shaped the syllabus of GER 101/102 to adapt it to the specific needs of graduate students wishing to develop proficiency in reading as well as speaking and listening. The result is a hybrid course emphasizing both communicative proficiency and close-reading skills which prepares graduate students both for work on German-language research materials and for life in a German-speaking environment as they carry out their research. During the 2013-2014 academic year Angiras has taken on the responsibilities of the Assistant Director of the Department’s Summer Work Program and is expanding the internships offered, extending the capabilities of the website, and transitioning to a web-based application process. Fascinated by unusual syntactical forms and the often-surprising by-ways of Indo-European etymology, Angiras has long been enamored with languages. He is currently writing a dissertation on Rilke’s Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge. His hobbies include whatever his 7- and 4-year old daughters are into, which currently includes Legos, baking, and gardening.

Paul M. Babinski

Paul M. Babinski

Paul Babinski is a first year graduate student in the German Department. He is interested in literary and cultural history, particularly subjects related to the production and reception of literature in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as popular reading practices, methods of reproducing texts and images, copyright law, translation, and plagiarism. Other areas of interest include understandings of German national identity, practices of imagining and representing foreignness, and the digital humanities. Before coming to Princeton, he studied at the University of Colorado, where he received degrees in German Studies and Mathematics.

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.

Matthew Birkhold

Matthew H. Birkhold received his B.A. in German Literature and Cultural History from Columbia University in 2008. As a dual-degree candidate at Columbia Law School and Princeton University, Matthew completed his first year of law school before joining the German Department in 2009. Matthew will graduate with his J.D. in May, 2014. Currently, Matthew is writing a dissertation on fan fiction and intellectual property in 18th-century Germany. Additional research interests include: art and cultural property law; Federal Indian Law; German literature, especially the period around 1800; Russian literature; Psychoanalysis. In addition to encyclopedia entries on Indian Law and US legal history, Matthew has published articles on international cultural patrimony, Native American law, and Prussian jurisprudence in the works of Heinrich von Kleist.

Alice Christensen

Alice Christensen has been a graduate student in the German Department since the fall of 2010. She previously studied German literature in Baltimore and Berlin and epidemiology in New Haven. In 2012, she was selected to join the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM) at Princeton. She is spending the current academic year 2013-2014 at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) in Weimar with the support of a DAAD fellowship. Her research interests include: German literature and thought from the 18th century to the present; history of science and medicine; probability theory; film.

Megan Ewing

Megan Ewing

Megan Ewing received a B.S. in Biology and German Literature from the University of Michigan. She has held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission (University of Vienna, AY 2003-04) and the DAAD (University of Greifwald, AY 2010-11). Her dissertation is titled “Return to Aisthesis: The Collage Books of R.D. Brinkmann” and examines the role of sense perception in Rolf Dieter Brinkmann’s late collage practice, exploring its relationship to American aesthetic models, specifically those of the New York School and Conceptual Art. Research interests include the philosophy of the senses, aesthetics, media theory and history, and Austrian literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Daniel Fehr

Daniel Fehr is a Ph.D. candidate at the German Department and a freelance artist. Before he joined the program in 2008 he studied photography at the Zurich University of the Arts and the School of Visual Arts in New York. His academic research interests include interrelations between literature and religion from the 18th to 20th century and the knowledge respectively authority of literature; culture practices, especially techniques of reading and writing; media theory and the history of philology. Particularly, he studies cultural constellations in which media or media based operation hold a constitutive function for the subject. His dissertation, “Writing Conversion: Religious and Political Conversions in German Modernity,” is situated in this context. Fehr is currently (AY 2011-12) an guest doctoral student at the ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Mladen Gladić

Mladen Gladić received an MA in German Literature, Philosophy, and Political Science from the University of Cologne. After research positions at the Sonderforschungsbereich Medien und kulturelle Kommunikation, Cologne and the NCCR Iconic Criticism: The Power and Meaning of Images (eikones), Basel, he joined the graduate program of the German Department in Spring 2008. In 2010 Mladen was a guest researcher at Bauhaus Universität, Weimar (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, IKKM). He has coordinated the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies since 2011. Mladen has published articles on Adorno, Jean-Luc Nancy, Kant, and Benjamin, and is currently writing a dissertation on the media genre of war reporting, from William Howard Russel to Peter Handke, and from Johann Wolfgang Goethe to warblogging. Together with Christoph Engemann (Weimar), he is editing an English language reader on German Media Studies.

Hannah Hunter-Parker

Hannah Hunter-Parker is a Ph.D. candidate in her fourth year. She came to Princeton following her undergraduate studies in German Literature and the History of Art & Architecture at Middlebury College. 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 Hartmann von Aue and Hildegard von Bingen, and, more recently, on the topic of her dissertation at the Stanford-Berkeley-Princeton-Toronto Colloquium on Medieval German Studies in April 2013. During AY 2013-2014 she is doing dissertation research in Berlin funded by a Donald and Mary Hyde Academic-Year Fellowship for Research Abroad in the Humanities.

Christian Jany

Christian Jany is a Ph.D. student, and his main interests are phenomenology, aesthetics, and literature and music of the Long 19th Century. Before joining Princeton’s German Department, he studied Neuere deutsche Literatur and Kulturwissenschaft at the Humboldt University of Berlin, where he obtained a Magister degree in 2010. His dissertation, advised by Brigid Doherty and Claudia Brodsky, investigates the relationship of sense perception and narrative apperception in 19th century theory and literature. He has published on Kafka’s style of writing (Monatshefte 103.3, 2011), and two further essays, on “things” of looking in Rilke and musicality in Proust, are forthcoming in 2014.

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.

Jeffrey Kirkwood

Jeffrey Kirkwood is a Ph.D. candidate in the German Department where, funded by the Harold W. Dodds Fellowship, he is currently completing a dissertation entitled, “Cinema Non Facit Saltus: Early German Film and the Cinematic Psyche.” In AY 2011-2012 Kirkwood was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Germany, which he spent as a Visiting Junior Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) at the Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar. Additional research interests include: Media theory and history, German philosophy, twentieth century German literature, psychoanalysis, history of science, and film.

Peter Kuras

Peter Kuras is currently completing a dissertation arguing that theories of law played a crucial role in the formative years of the cinema. His other research interests include concepts of human deficiency, fiction as an epistemological tool, medial historiography, the historiography of media, and the history of style in academic writing. In addition to his studies at Princeton, Peter has studied at the University of Chicago and as a guest doctoral student at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduiertenschule für Literaturwissenschaftliche Studien, FU-Berlin

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. His research interests are centered around medieval German literature and culture, with a special interest in law and literature. Other interests include cultural transfer and multilingualism, the medieval boundaries between fictional and historical writing, the medieval reception of classical antiquity, and the reception and cultural understanding of the Middle Ages in Germany from the eighteenth century to the present.

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.

Hannes Mandel

Hannes Mandel

Hannes Mandel is a PhD candidate in the German Department. Before coming to Princeton, he studied at the Film and Television University in Potsdam-Babelsberg and the University of Potsdam, Germany – from where he graduated with a Master degree in Media Studies. He has worked for the Franco-German TV network arte, co-organized the international short film festival EmergeAndSee, and assisted in organizing an art exhibition and academic conference on multitasking in Berlin. His research interests are situated between media studies and their academic origin (in Germany) “Literaturwissenschaft”, and include media theory, the history of technology, cultural (media) practices (“Mediengebrauch”), and in particular relationships of media and cultural nostalgias, mostly in but not limited to the “very long” 20th century.

Julian Petri

Julian Petri

Julian Petri is a third-year graduate student in Princeton’s German Department and is currently studying Goethe, Kleist, Nietzsche, and Musil. Before coming to Princeton, he pursued interests in social theory, political philosophy, and intellectual history at Deep Springs College, Harvard, and King’s College, Cambridge. He’s also involved in Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative, where he has taught twentieth-century American literature.

Frederic Ponten

Frederic Ponten

Frederic Ponten is a PhD Candidate in the German Department. He previously studied in Siegen, Barcelona, Berlin and Baltimore and received a BA degree in Literary Studies and an MA degree in Media Studies from the University of Siegen. Main research interests lie in anthropological and sociological approaches to literary and media studies. His dissertation deals with the intellectual history of texts analyzing Nazi Germany and its alterity during WWII in the Anglo-American world.

Jelena Rakin

Jelena Rakin

Jelena Rakin received her M.A. degree in English and German Language and Literature in 2009 at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Since 2010 she has been an assistant and a PhD candidate at the Film Studies Department of the University of Zurich where she is working on a dissertation titled “Film Color 1895-1930: Aesthetics, Materiality and Discourses of Modernity”. For the academic year 2013-2014 the Swiss National Science Foundation granted Ms Rakin a fellowship to expand her research at the German Department at Princeton University. Her thesis treats the specificity of the use of color in film in the context of the visual media of the period, and the aesthetic categories used in different popular and academic writing on color as well as their relevance to the evaluative attitudes concerning the relation of color to the moving image. She is particularly interested in the connection between the aesthetic appreciation of film color to its materiality and the nature of the production processes involved. Ms Rakin’s stay in Princeton moreover incorporates extensive local archival research of various primary sources such as film prints, historical journals and also popular image practices like color prints and color photography. For additional information click here.

Cornelius Reiber

Cornelius Reiber

Cornelius Reiber is a Ph.D. candidate completing a dissertation on “apparent death” in 18th century texts, projects, and experiments. He received his M.A. in German, History, and Kulturwissenschaft from the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and is currently Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the Freie Universität Berlin for the “Phonopost” project led By Prof. Thomas Levin. His most recent publication is together with Nikolaus Wegmann “Deutsche Literatur. Die Gruppe 47 in Princeton” in: Sprache und Literatur 43/2 (2012).

Tanvi Solanki

Tanvi Solanki is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of German. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago (2008) and has studied in Berlin, Konstanz, Heidelberg, Vienna and Paris. In AY 2012-13 she was the recipient of a DAAD research grant which she spent as a visiting scholar affiliated with the Phd-Net “Wissen der Literatur” at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In Summer and Fall 2012 she conducted research at the Duchess Anna Amalia library and the Goethe and Schiller archives in Weimar and the BnF in Paris on a Donald and Mary Hyde Fellowship. She is currently completing a dissertation with the working title “The Noise of Print Around the Ear: Training Reading Bodies from Herder to Humboldt 1764-1836.” Her research has taken her down the following paths of inquiry: the discourse of the pathological and its relation to the ‘aesthetic’ in 17th-20th century literature, medicine and philosophy; the history of reading as cultural technique; the history of prosody, meter, verse forms; oral and acoustic techniques in rhetoric and pedagogy such as declamations; material cultures of the Enlightenment and the Gelehrtenrepublik; practices of textual circulation, translation across medial boundaries; Sanskrit’s function for German philology. A paper given at a 2013 conference in Wittenberg on Materialität von Aufklärung und Volkskultur: Bücher, Bilder, Praxen is forthcoming in German as “Rhythmus gegen den Fluss: Herder und das ‘Meer der Gelehrsamkeit’.”

Mareike Stoll

Mareike Stoll joined the doctoral program in the Department of German in 2008 after completing her M.A. (Magistra Artium) in Comparative Literature and in Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in 2005. Her M.A. thesis Erzähltechniken der Überblendung: Zeit, Photographie, Stückwerk bei W.G. Sebald was advised by Prof. Winfried Menninghaus. During the academic year 2011/2012 she was a guest scholar at the ZfL (Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung) in Berlin and in the summer of 2013 she spent four months at the Universität Konstanz as a guest doctoral student in the Graduiertenkolleg “Das Reale in der Kultur der Moderne.” Her research interests include concepts of emptiness in literature and photography, the history of photography and photobooks, the 20th century novel, female writers in the 21st century writing in German (not in their mother-tongue), and Vergleichendes Sehen. She has published papers on crime scenes and the notion of guilt as connected to capitalism in the work of Walter Benjamin, on photographers Joachim Brohm and Eugène Atget, and most recently, on Handschrift und Schreibmaschine in the correspondence between Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan. Public presentations include papers on conditions of emptiness in photographs by Michael Schmidt, on the series “Female” by photographer Jitka Hanzlová, and on Denkraum in photo-constellations by Aby Warburg and Karl Blossfeldt.

Sean W. Toland

Sean W. Toland

Sean Toland is a first-year graduate student in the German Department. He completed a BA in Comparative Literature and Intellectual History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2012 and has studied at the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at the FU Berlin. His research interests include theories of humor and the history of comedy; psychoanalysis; relationships between literature and music; German literature and philosophy of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Matthew Vollgraff

Matthew Vollgraff

Matthew Vollgraff has been a Ph.D. candidate in the German Department since the fall of 2011. Before coming to Princeton he studied at the the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a B.A. in Comparative Literature. His research interests include aesthetic theory since 1850, German-Jewish cultural history, gesture, mimesis, morphology, and myth. Matthew is currently at work on the subject of Ausdruckskunde (the ‘science of expression’) in early 20th century Germany, concentrating particularly on Aby Warburg, Ernst Cassirer, Jakob von Uexküll, Max Kommerell and Ludwig Klages.