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 joined Princeton’s German department as a Ph.D. candidate in 2013, after completing her B.A. in German and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research interests involve the concept of self formation in 19th century novels and novellas, particularly ones by Theodor Storm, Gottfried Keller, and Theodor Fontane. Her other interests include theories of the novel, responses to censorship, and literary realism.

Angiras Arya

Angiras Arya

Angiras Arya, the Assistant Director of the Summer Work Program, is a Ph.D candidate in the German Department, where he is writing a dissertation on Rilke’s Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge. 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. Since then he has worked as a Lecturer, teaching all of the 100-level courses that constitute the German Department’s language sequence, as well as the Summer Reading Course for graduate students. As a collaborator on Prof. Jamie Rankin’s innovative “der | die |das” online textbook project since 2013, Angiras has contributed content, served as a developmental editor, created materials for classroom instruction, and spearheaded its adaptation for Princeton’s Summer Reading Course. As Assistant Director of the Summer Work Program, he has updated the program’s data-management system, increased students’ access to funding, and continues to expand the range of internships offered to meet an ever growing demand for academic and professional opportunities.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Daniela Gandorfer

Daniela Gandorfer

Daniela Gandorfer is a PhD candidate at the German Department. Before joining the program, she studied German Literature and Law at the University of Vienna where she graduated with a Magister (M.A.) in the spring of 2013. Daniela completed her thesis on Kafka’s The Trial with focus on the legal systems depicted in the novel.

Daniela is mainly interested in critical legal theory, media theory, law and humanities, legal and political philosophy, gender studies and law.”


Elaine Fitz Gibbon

Elaine Fitz Gibbon

Elaine Fitz Gibbon is a graduate student in the German Department (entered 2014). After completing her B.A. in German studies and musicology at the University of Pennsylvania, she spent a year at the University of Heidelberg pursuing research and building marionettes. She is particularly interested in opera and vocal music of the 20th and 21st centuries in addition to German intellectual and literary (in particular, lyric) traditions from the 18th century to the present. A recent project involved the translation of four texts by Bernd Alois Zimmermann on the future of opera and his own opera, “Die Soldaten,” for Opera Quarterly. She also enjoys playing chamber music on modern and baroque cellos.

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.

Matthew Shen Goodman

Matthew Shen Goodman

Matthew Shen Goodman joined the German Department in 2016. He graduated from Swarthmore College with a special major in sociology and philosophy. He is an associate 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.

Mari F. Jarris

Mari F. Jarris

Mari F. Jarris joined the German Department as a Ph.D. candidate in fall 2016. She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University in German Studies and the College of Social Studies. Before coming to Princeton, she studied at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin with the support of a DAAD fellowship. Mari’s research interests include German philosophy in the late 19th through 20th century; the relationship between gender, language, and violence; and literary and visual forms of representation emerging from political crises.

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 entered the German Department as a PhD candidate in 2015. Before coming to Princeton, he studied Literature, Philosophy and History of Art in Bamberg and Oxford, where he received his MPhil with a thesis on Rilke’s politics of reference. Sebastian’s research interests are centered around the cultural history of Modernism, with an emphasis on lyrical poetry. Other interests include aesthetics, intermediality, psychoanalysis and comparative approaches to German literature since 1800. His most recent publication relates Paul Celan to the religious philosopher Lev Shestov (forthcoming in the November issue of Jahrbuch der deutschen Schiller-Gesellschaft).

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.

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. 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, and the medieval reception of classical antiquity. He is currently working on his dissertation, which will explore the use of changing legal concepts of consent and intentionality, primarily in the works of Heinrich von Veldeke and Hartmann von Aue.

Julian Petri

Julian Petri

Julian Petri is writing a dissertation about conceptions of action, responsibility, and commitment in German literature around 1800. He holds masters degrees in intellectual history and in German. At Princeton, he has been an instructor in the German Department’s survey course on German philosophy as well in the language sequence. He’s also taught writing at Deep Springs College and American literature through Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative.

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.

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.

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).

Diba Shokri

Diba Shokri

Diba Shokriworks 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 received his B.A. in 2012 from the University of Notre Dame, having studied in its Great Books Program, the Program of Liberal Studies. In 2013, he completed an M.A. in German Studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin under the auspices of Middlebury College in Vermont. Since that time, he has worked in the Berlin studio of the contemporary visual artist Olafur Eliasson. His interests include intellectual and cultural history, specifically theories of myth and modernity.


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 and at the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at the FU Berlin. 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

Matthew Vollgraff is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the German department and a fellow in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM). Before coming to Princeton he studied at the Humboldt-Universtität zu Berlin and the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a B.A. in Comparative Literature in 2010. With the support of a DAAD fellowship, he is spending the current academic year 2014-2015 as a visiting scholar at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL), Berlin. His research interests include aesthetic psychology, German-Jewish cultural history, gesture, mimesis, morphology and myth. Matthew is presently writing a dissertation on Ausdruckskunde, the study of expressive movement in the early 20th century, with a focus on the work of Aby Warburg, Helmuth Plessner, Ludwig Klages and Sergei Eisenstein.