Graduate Students


DANIEL LANGE received his degrees in Comparative Literature, International Women's and Gender History (both 2015), and Romance Studies (2013) from the University of Vienna. He has a particular interest in post-war German and Austrian literature (Aichinger, Mayröcker, Kling), translation and etymology, as well as their cultural implications.

JASMIN MEIER studied philosophy, German Studies (BA) and the Ethics of Textual Cultures (MA) in an interdisciplinary degree program that brings together philosophy, German literary studies, linguistics, and religious studies. In her MA thesis, she focused on concepts of hope in Friedrich Nietzsche’s work. Her main current research focus continues to be the work of Nietzsche and its reception—often the subject of misuse or even abuse—in the present and the past. Her perspective derives from an “ethical” point of view and poses questions such as the following: What does it mean to read in an “ethical” manner, and what does this practice exclude? What does the possibility of “unethical” reading tell us about language itself?

CHRISTIAN OBST studied Comparative Literature, Philosophy, and Sociology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, completing his studies with an M.A. thesis exploring the implied theory and politics of metaphor in the writings of Karl Marx. The authors who have informed his research are Hegel, Adorno, Derrida, Blanchot, and Benjamin, along with Musil. Obst, who also spent a year as a visiting scholar at Yale’s German Department, is interested in the ways in which various kinds of texts (literary, philosophical, theological, and essayistic) can be investigated in the medium of their literariness. He is preparing a project that examines the problematic nexus of coinage and characteristic marks in Benjamin and the Book of Esther.

MICHAEL PANINSKI studied Theater, Film and Media Studies, German, and Philosophy at the University of Vienna, where he received his M.A. in 2015 with a thesis entitled Hermeneutics Of Failure – Underway to Bertolt Brecht’s Fatzer-fragment. The text analyzes the possibilities of re-reading, re-discovering and re-interpreting the works of Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht in the aftermath of the theoretical conceptions of fragment, detail and discontinuity. Michael Paninski's research interests range from the legacy of the fragmentary demand of the Romantic via the broad operational areas of Critical Theory to current questions in literary theory and continental philosophy. At Brown University he wishes to explore contemporary discourses and narratives of human rights, justice, and violence in the wake of deconstructive theories of literature and language. His questions circle around the incalculable element within language—a critical residual, remnant, or relic (Rest)—and around the question of what happens when the intervention of this Other is not excluded from the calculus or economy of the political.

MIRJAM PANINSKI studied Comparative Literature, German Studies, Aesthetics, and the Philosophy of Culture at the University of Vienna. Her research interests include translation and translatability of and within 20th century poetry, the gaps of language, and multilingual literature by authors such as Ilse Aichinger, Ingeborg Bachmann, Yoko Tawada and Gertrude Stein.

MIRIAM RAINER Miriam Rainer studied American Studies, German and Comparative Literature in Hamburg and Vienna. She received her M.A. for a thesis on hesitation in Walter Benjamin’s translation texts, published in 2015. She is a co-founder of Vienna-based Versatorium, a translation and education project seeking to generate non-hierarchical communal spaces for study. Presently, her research focuses on notions of Rat [counsel, council] as both, linguistic phenomenon and para-individual political body, in the works of Hannah Arendt and Franz Kafka; the intersection of philology, ethics, and legal theory; nonviolence in language.

PASQUAL SOLASS studied German, English and American studies and Ethics of Textual Cultures at the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg  (M.A. 2015). His master’s thesis sets the framework for a new understanding of Friedrich Schiller's concept of "Idealität" by way of a re-evaluation of the chorus as figure of differentiality. Constantly brooding over all sorts of intersections of languages, terminologies and dictions, he mainly works on 18th to 20th century literature and philosophy. His research interests include rhetorics of desire, figurality and corporeality of language, philology as practice of emancipatory suspension, as well as critical theory, political theology and psychoanalysis.

JAN GEORG TABOR studied German and Philosophy (B.A. 2012), as well as Ethics of Textual Cultures (M.A. 2015) at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremburg and the Charles University in Prague.  His often crossdisciplinary research interests include literary theory, philology, literature and religion, and institutional sociology/critique.  He is also interested in ways of (re)thinking and expanding comparativism.  His main fields of investigation are medieval thought (particularly German Mysticism), German Idealism, Goethe, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Graduate Students from Other Departments

There are many other graduate students at Brown working towards Ph.D.s in other field but who are active in our department through their participation in seminars, workshops, and colloquia.

NATALIE ADLER (Comparative Literature)
Natalie received her B.A. from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU. Before coming to Brown, she was an English teacher at a primary school in Besançon, France. She studies modernism and psychoanalysis.

BA in History and Spanish Language and Literature; MA in History (U. Alberta). Filip works on modern war, genocide, interethnic communal massacre, and the Holocaust in the Department of History. Filip has an MA in Comparative Literature from Brown University, where he worked on representations of modern violence in the poetry and literature of the European tradition.

PETER KIM (English)
Peter holds a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley. He is interested in the relations between literature and philosophy with regards to critical theory and 19th-Century British literature. Specific interests include Frankfurt School aesthetics, the Victorian political novel, and theories of English and German Romanticism.

NATALIE LOZINSKI-VEACH (Comparative Literature)
Natalie holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish and a B.A. in German, both from SUNY New Paltz. She is interested in animality, posthumanism, feminism, theories of embodiment, reciprocity and liminality and their relationship to textual bodies and language. She works on 20th and 21st century literature, with a focus on German and Polish socialist and post-socialist works.

ADAM J SACKS (History)
Adam holds an M.A. from Brown University, a Masters of Science from the City College of the City University of New York, and a B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Cornell University. In 2011, he was the Cahnmann Foundation Fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York and was awarded the dissertation Grant of the Central European History Society. He is serving as a fellow of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes in 2012 while also a Guest Researcher at the new Research Center for Exile Culture at the Universitaet der Kuenste in Berlin.

Ian is a doctoral student in the English department, studying Romantic poetry and posthumanist theory. He holds degrees in English and creative writing from the University of Calgary and Simon Fraser University, where he wrote an MA thesis about the American sinologist Ernest Fenollosa and his influence on Ezra Pound. Since coming to Brown in 2011, he has also become a clandestine Germanist, reading Hölderlin and Heidegger alongside Wordsworth and Whitehead – a side-effect, no doubt, of regularly summering with family in Köln. Beyond Romanticism, his interests include media theory, psychoanalysis, and the avant-garde.

JONATHAN SOZEK (Religion and Critical Thought)
Jon received a B.A. in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College in 2003 and an M.A. (honours) in religious studies at McGill University in 2006. After working for several years in secondary education, Jon moved to Belgium to complete a second B.A. (2009) and M.A. (2010) in philosophy at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. His ongoing reserarch interests include the conceptual histories of 'religion' and 'the secular' and of their relation, modern theories of myth and the politics of mythmaking, political theology, and critical theory.

SETH THORN (Multimedia & Electronic Music Experiments)
Seth studied philosophy, critical theory and viola performance at Northwestern and completed an M.A. in political theory at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main. In addition to his doctoral pursuits in Brown's Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments (aka "MEME") program, Seth has special emphasis on the study of German philosophy and the philosophy of music and sound where it appears in that tradition and is working towards an M.A. in German Studies.

GEOFFREY WILDANGER (Comparative Literature)
Geoffrey Wildanger works at the confluence of art history, literary history, and critical theory. Prior to beginning his PhD at Brown, he received a Master's at the University of California, Davis, and was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. He recently published the article "Catastrophic Affects" in the British journal Transmission Annual.