Associate Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature:
Zachary Sng works on the literature and philosophy of Britain and Germany around the 18th century, covering the intellectual and literary movements of the Enlightenment and Romanticism. His other interests include rhetoric, literary theory, and the history of aesthetics.
Zachary Sng was born and grew up in Singapore. He was an undergraduate at Brown University, where he obtained his Bachelor's degree in 1993 and his Master's 1994. After college, he worked as a high-school teacher in Singapore, teaching English literature.
He did his graduate work in Comparative Literature (with a focus on German) at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the University of Konstanz in Germany, and joined the Brown faculty in Fall 2004.
Dr. Sng has just completed a book, The Rhetoric of Error from Locke to Kleist, which looks at some important literary and philosophical texts from Germany and England. In the book, which appeared with Stanford University Press in 2010, he explores the relationship between language and understanding through the figure of error, and examines how authors claim to generate knowledge out of and about error in the period between the Enlightenment and Romanticism.
He is also working on a new project involving moderation, mediation, and other figurations of the "middle" in the 18th century and in contemporary theoretical discussions. Some of the authors that will be examined are Lessing, Kant, Hoelderlin, Kleist, Wordsworth, Adam Smith, Walter Benjamin, and Martin Heidegger.
He has also led a graduate seminar in Summer 2010 at the University of Konstanz on the topic of community, and is working on co-organizing a conference around that topic.
Ph.D. (Comparative Literature)
- 2002: Doctoral Fellow of the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD)
- 2003-04: Member of the Graduate Research Group (Graduiertenkolleg) on "The Figure of the Third," University of Konstanz, Germany
- Summer 2005, 2009: Guest at the Network Transatlantic Cooperation, University of Konstanz,Germany
- Spring 2007: Faculty Fellow at the Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University
- 2008-09: John Rowe Workman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities
- The Modern Language Association
- The German Studies Association
- The American Comparative Literature Association
- The North American Society for the Study of Romanticism
- The Network for Transatlantic Cooperation (University of Konstanz, Germany)
Zachary Sng teaches courses in the Departments of German Studies and Comparative Literature, with a focus on German literature and aesthetics. He particularly enjoys small seminars that allow for close readings and discussions of interesting literary and philosophical texts.
Wayland Collegium Curricular Development Grant ($2250), 2008
Dean of College Curricular Development Grant ($4000), 2010