Graduate Students

 

BENJAMIN BRAND studied German, English, Politics and Journalism at the Saint Mary's University Halifax (CA) and the University of Dortmund, where he received his M.A. in Applied Literary and Cultural Studies. Benjamin is interested in "writing" understood as the now of literary production and the material as well as the immaterial resistances that have to be overcome in the emergence of a (literary) text.

ERIC FOSTER received a B.A. in Germanics from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2005, a B.A. in Linguistics from Western Washington University in 2007 and an M.A. in German Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2009. Eric's academic interests include 18th century German aesthetics (including Winckelmann, Baumgarten, Meier, Lessing, and Herder), religious studies, hermeneutics, anthropology, and the philosophy of language (specifically works by Herder, Hamann, and Wilhelm von Humboldt).

STEPHANIE GALASSO joined the German Studies department in Fall 2012, after graduating from the University of California at Davis in June 2012 with degrees in German and English Literature. Her dissertation explores the interrelations between and among conceptions of genre and national identity in German romantic literature, particularly in the works of Bettine von Arnim, Karoline von Günderrode, J.W. von Goethe, and Friedrich Hölderlin. Her research draws on and expands German feminist scholarship by critiquing depictions of perceived cultural otherness at both the thematic and formal levels. Portions of her dissertation work were completed at the Universität Konstanz on a Fulbright research fellowship from 2015-2016. 

REBECCA HAUBRICH Rebecca Haubrich received an M.A. in Comparative Literature and German Studies from the Goethe University of Frankfurt (Main) in 2011. In her thesis, she focused on the structural metamorphoses of poetic language from Ovid's artist-myths to their lyrical transformations of the nineteenth and twentieth century. In her dissertation, she plans to explore the relationship between the work of mourning and aesthetics, specifically in writings on psychoanalysis and photography. Before coming to Brown, she was a Visiting Research Scholar at Yale University (2012/13).

DENNIS JOHANNSSEN received a Magister degree in Cultural Studies from the Leuphana University of Lueneburg with a thesis on Walter Benjamin’s surrealism studies. Before coming to Brown, he was a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He received a Master’s degree in Philosophy through the Open Graduate Education Program, and he is currently writing his dissertation on the disputes and philosophical differences between Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno. His articles, interviews, and reviews have appeared in Anthropology & Materialism, Zeitschrift für kritische Theorie, and The German Quarterly.

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 etmology, as well as their cultural implications.

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 received her B.A. in American Studies with a minor in German Studies from the University of Hamburg in 2010 and her M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Vienna in 2014. In her M.A. thesis Zögern / Hesitate, she traces the movement of translating and its manifestation in theoretical and literary texts (Walter Benjamin, Paul Celan, Peter Waterhouse, Rosmarie Waldrop). She is co-founder of the collaborative translation project VERSATORIUM. Her research interests include the affiliation between the theory and practice of literary translation, language philosophy, philology, and critical theory.

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-Nuremberg and the Charles University in Prague. His often crossdisciplinary research interests include literary theory, critical historiography, and institutional sociology/critique. He also is interested in ways of (re)thinking and expanding comparativism. His main fields of investigation have been German Idealism (particularly Hegel) 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.

FILIP METRO ANCHIDIM ANI (History)
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 Reseach Center for Exile Culture at the Universitaet der Kuenste in Berlin.

IAN SAMPSON (English)
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.