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.”

Image of Paul Babinski

Paul M. Babinski

Paul Babinski is a PhD candidate studying the history of orientalist literature. His dissertation, “World Literature in Practice: The Orientalist Manuscript, 1600-1800,” works from the manuscripts, notebooks, marginalia, and letters of European orientalists to follow the transformation of practices from the mid-seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, with a particular focus on how Ottoman institutions, scholars, and scholarship facilitated and informed the work of early modern German, Dutch, and French orientalists. Subjects addressed in the dissertation include…(more information)

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 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 is a PhD candidate in the German Department at Princeton University. She is writing a dissertation “Old Books, New Times: Medieval German Manuscripts in the Sattelzeit” (co-advisers: Sara Poor, Nikolaus Wegmann) on German Romanticism and the medium aevum, exploring the media practices affecting a “rediscovery” of Medieval German literature between 1750 and 1850 and their impact on literary and philological projects of that time. Her dissertation research has been supported by the Donald and Mary Hyde Fellowship for Research Abroad in the Humanities (AY 2013-14). She currently serves as Asst. Director for the German Summer Work Program.”

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 literary scholar specializing in Germanophone modernism. He takes both interdisciplinary and theoretically orientated approaches to literature, and focuses especially on the intersections of literature, media and medicine. In his dissertation project, tentatively entitled “The Poetology of Sleep, 1880-1929”, Sebastian offers a critical account of the promiscuous emergence of the modern notion of sleep in neuroscience, physiology, literature and film. In addition to studying subject formation in the shadow of the human sciences, the scope of his research interests comprises rhetoric, lyrical poetry, and questions of aesthetics and intermediality. Before coming to Princeton as a PhD candidate in 2015, Sebastian graduated from the University of Oxford.

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.

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).

Atussa H. Mohtasham

Atussa Hamamoto Mohtasham joined the German Department in Fall 2018. She received a B.A. in Comparative Literature and German Studies and a Minor in Iranian Studies from Stanford University before starting her Ph.D. at Princeton. She spent a year as a DAAD Undergraduate Scholar at the Universität Heidelberg studying German language, literature, and philosophy. Her overarching interest is in modernity and the intertwined histories of literature, philosophy, and science. Specific interests include the philosophy of identity and difference, German Romanticism, Naturphilosophie, the transformation and critique of subjectivity, Expressionism, Nietzsche and his legacy, the question of high and low in art, and the philosophy of sense perception and attention. She has an auxiliary interest in German Orientophilia and Germany’s reception of Persian and Islamic culture.

Mareike Peschl

Mareike Peschl researches historical notions of contradiction, such as the difference between corporeal and verbal expression, and their bearing on ideas of transformation and storytelling. Shifts between different medial renderings and discussions on aesthetic perception are recurring themes in her work, addressing phenomena in the psychological, artistic and scientific fields. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in Cultural History and Theory from Humboldt University Berlin. She has studied at New York University and was a Junior Fellow at the International Center for Cultural Studies (IFK) in Vienna. She joined the Princeton German Department in Fall 2018.

Julian Petri

Julian Petri studies German literature and philosophy around 1800 and is completing a dissertation about the representation of agency in the works of Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811). He is also interested in Robert Musil and the history of psychology, and he has worked in theater as a dramaturge. He holds master’s degrees in political thought and intellectual history from Cambridge University and in German literature from Princeton, and he has taught German philosophy as well as German language at Princeton, freshman writing at Deep Springs College, and American literature through Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative. In 2017-18, he will be a founding teacher of the humanities at Sequoyah School, a new progressive high school in Pasadena, CA.

Elias Pitegoff

Elias Pitegoff joined the German department in Fall 2018. He previously graduated from Brown University with a degree in German Studies and lived in Berlin working as a translator, writer, and actor for several years. His research interests include but are not limited to theories of translation and the notion of an idiom, Yiddish literary culture, and German Modernist literature and drama.

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 currently researches the historical establishment of key “psychologizing” categories in literary studies, narratology in particular. She investigates, for example, how such categories relate to self-observation theories and practices in experimental psychology around 1900. Neighboring fields of interest include the history of psychology more broadly, the various logics of (literary) historiographies, the sociology and poetics in the construction of knowledge and emotion, as well as rhetoric and genre theory. Diba read 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 Ph.D. candidate in the German department and a fellow in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM). He holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a guest researcher at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin, and a fellow in the research group ‘Naturbilder’ (Images of Nature) at the University of Hamburg. His dissertation concerns the cultural history of Ausdruckskunde, 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.

Kathrin Sophie Witter

Kathrin Witter studied Cultural Studies (B.A.) and Antisemitism Research (M.A.) in Munich and Berlin. Her main field of interest is the early Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory and to grasp its depth she also works on German history, literature and philosophy in the 19th and 20th century. She is especially interested in the intersections and boundaries of literature and philosophy and the early Frankfurt School’s understandings of this relation as well as on their concept of truth. Her M.A. thesis was about the philosophies of Theodor W. Adorno and Walter Benjamin regarding their concepts of what they sometimes call ‘micrology’. She also worked on Elfriede Jelinek’s literary ideology-critical perspective on sexuality and fordist society as well as on antisemitism within the New Left. She organized lectures on Critical Theory and Antisemitism Research and a conference on Critical Theory and metaphysics in Berlin and held a scholarship by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. She has joined the Princeton German Department in Fall 2018.