Max Kade Professors & Writers-in-Residence
Max Kade Professor, Fall 2022
Dr. Jens Kugele
Max Kade Professor, Fall 2022
Jens Kugele is Head of Research Coordination at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) of the Justus Liebig University Giessen. He is one of the research center’s Principal Investigators and has been a member of the center’s Executive Board since 2014. Previously, he held an appointment as Assistant Professor (Assistenz) at the LMU Munich. In 2016, he was Visiting Researcher at the Institute for German Cultural Studies at Cornell University. His research interests include intersections of the literary and cultural history with the history of religion, German-Jewish literature and culture, constructions of belonging, memory, and space. One of his current research projects looks at ‘sacred space’ as a concept for the interdisciplinary study of culture. He is co-founder and co-editor of the peer-reviewed interdisciplinary open access journal On_Culture.
Dr. Kugele taught an upper/under course in Fall 2022 titled “Kafka and World Literature,” GERM 464. This seminar explored aspects of Franz Kafka’s work in the context of “world literature.” The seminar introduced central approaches in order to apply them to selected texts by Franz Kafka as well as to central aspects of his work in general. Among other topics, constructions of authorship in a trans/national context, (re-)readings of Kafka’s work worldwide, Kafka’s situatedness in the context of German-Jewish literature, Kafka’s view of questions of “national literature” and “minor literature,” and the worldwide struggle for legitimate ownership of Kafka’s literature and legacy were examined.
Dr. Kugele is also an alum of the Georgetown University German PhD program (PhD, 2011). More information on his time as a graduate student at Georgetown can be found here.
Past Max Kade Professors and Writers-in-Residence
Dr. Judith Nika Pfeifer
Max Kade Writer-in-Residence, Spring 2020
Nika Pfeifer is a novelist, poet and transmedia artist. She studied Political Science and Communications in Vienna and as a Visiting Postgraduate Student in Lancaster, UK and at the University of Edinburgh. In 2017 she earned an interdisciplinary PhD from the University of Vienna, where she held a pre-doc position as a DOC-team research fellow from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Prior to her PhD research, she studied at the Universities of Vienna and Pavia, Italy to receive her MA in Political Science, Communications and Contemporary History.
During the Spring 2020 semester, she taught a unique course designed for upper-level undergraduates, “The Beat Goes On: German-US Poetry” (GERM 323) focused on transatlantic ‘Beat’ influences and the relevance of different generations in light of political turmoil, linking socio-historical, transnational, and transcultural perspectives.
Pfeifer’s texts appear in literary magazines and anthologies, such as “kolik,” “Literatur und Kritik,” “the gap,” and “Lichtungen.” She performs at poetry festivals and experiments with transmedia art projects in Vienna, Berlin, Edinburgh, Helsinki, and Munich and enjoys working together with other artists.
Books published in German: Violante (2017). manchmal passiert auch minutenlang gar nichts / sometimes nothing really happens, really (2015). between. Prose (2015). zwischen. Prosa (2014). nichts ist wichtiger. ding kleines du / nothing is more important. thing little you (2012).
Nika Pfeifer’s most recent book Violante is based on the true story of an honor killing that took place in 1559, written as a furious crossover of the great opera and Quentin Tarantino’s bloody cinema thrillers. Literature that is both literary and airy at the same time, unbiased present, nonchalantly historical. Sparkling prose peppered with references.Herbert J. Wimmer
Violante was awarded the Österreichische Buchprämie 2017. zwischen, her critically acclaimed collection of short stories, was awarded the Österreichische Buchprämie 2014 by the Federal Chancellory of Austria. sometimes nothing really happens, really received the Buchprämie in 2015. Other prizes, invitations, and awards: 2017 Max Kade Writer-in-Residence, Easton, PA. Writer-in-Residence, Paliano, Italy, 2016. Villa Waldberta Residency, Munich, 2015. Writer-in-Residence of the City Ptuj, Slovenia 2015. seestadt aspern 2014. Artist Residency Schloss Wiepersdorf, Germany, 2014. Reinhard-Priessnitz-Prize 2012.
Nika Pfeifer’s poems have been translated into English, Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, Malayam, French, Italian, Slovenian, Serbian, Polish, and Belarusian.
Dr. Andrea Geier
University of Trier
Max Kade Professor, Spring 2019
Dr. Andrea Geier joined the Georgetown German Department as the Max Kade Professor for the Spring 2019 semester. She taught GERM 540, a course on Gender and Postcolonial Perspectives in German Literature for graduate students. She also gave a public lecture in April 2019.
Dr. Geier is a Professor for German Literature and Gender Studies and has been directing the Center for Postcolonial and Gender Studies (CePoG) at the University of Trier (a platform for scholarly approaches that critically analyses constructs of gender, ethnic, and national identity) since 2010. Her research interests are on German contemporary literature and discourses of anti-Semitism, gender and alterity in contemporary German drama, and cultural and literary gender studies. Her publications include: Gewalt und Geschlecht. Diskurse in deutschsprachiger Prosa der 1980er und 1990er Jahre (2005); Wider die Frau. Zu Geschichte und Funktion misogyner Rede, co-edited with Ursula Kocher (2008); Konkurrenzen, Konflikte, Kontinuitäten. Generationenfragen in der Literatur seit 1990, co-edited with Jan Süselbeck (2009); and Spielräume des Anderen. Geschlecht und Alterität im postdramatischen Theater with Nina Birkner and Urte Helduse (2014).
Max Kade Writer-in-Residence, Spring 2018
Christopher Kloeble is a German novelist, playwright, and scriptwriter. He studied at the German Creative Writing Program Leipzig and at the University for Film and Television in Munich, and he has held teaching assignments and residencies in Germany, the US, UK and India, among others. His plays U-Turn and Memory have been staged at major theatres in Vienna, Munich, Heidelberg and Nuremberg. For his first novel Amongst Loners he won the Juergen Ponto-Stiftung prize for best debut 2008; his second book A Knock at the Door appeared in 2009. The third, Almost Everything Very Fast, was published in English with Graywolf Press (USA). His first film script, Inclusion, was produced in 2011 and nominated for the Prix Europa 2012 for Best Movie Script. His new novel, The Shadows of the Salz Family, which Kloeble is currently adapting as a feature film, came out in 2016. His first non-fiction book, Home Made In India, was published in 2017. Kloeble lives in Berlin and Delhi.
Kloeble taught the Level V course “Superheroes in German Literature and Culture” during the Spring 2018 semester.
Dr. Doris Bachmann-Medick
Max Kade Professor, Fall 2016
Prof. Doris Bachmann-Medick, Permanent Senior Research Fellow at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), University of Giessen, joined the Department as Max Kade Scholar-in-Residence for the fall semester 2016. She teaches and writes on recent disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transnational developments in the Study of Culture. Her 2006 book Cultural Turns. Neuorientierungen in den Kulturwissenschaften. Reinbek: Rowohlt has become indispensable for students and scholars of literary and cultural studies and is now in its 5th edition (a revised and translated edition appeared earlier this year with De Gruyter: Cultural Turns. New Orientations in the Study of Culture).
Professor Bachmann-Medick taught an advanced undergraduate class on “Die Alpen: Image und Realität” (The Alps: Image and Reality) and a graduate seminar on “Cultural Turns: Theorien und Literaturbeispiele.”
Max Kade Writer-in-Residence, Spring 2016
Maxi Obexer taught one course, a level V course for undergraduates as Max Kade Writer-in-Residence: Dramatic Voices: Myth and Conflict in German Drama (GERM-325). She also led several discussion group for faculty and students, and read from her dramatic work at a public reading.
Since becoming a fellow of the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (LCB) at the age of 23, Maxi Obexer has been living in Berlin. In addition to her creative work, she regularly writes reviews and essays for newspapers and anthologies and was responsible for the literature section of the weekly magazine Freitag for several years. In 2014, she founded the Neue Institut für Dramatisches Schreiben. Currently she is a guest professor at Deutsches Literaturinstitut Leipzig.
Obexer is known for her political plays, audio plays, and essays. A main focus of her work is the condition of migrants and refugees, e.g. in her play Geisterschiff (Ghostship), which deals with a refugee catastrophe in the Mediterranean Sea. In her work Illegale Helfer (Illegal Aides) she addresses Europeans who move in the grey zone of legality, supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and other persons without a legal status.
Obexer studied comparative literature, philosophy and theater studies in Vienna, Austria, and Berlin. She received numerous fellowships and awards and was previously a Max Kade guest lecturer at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Dr. Christian Sieg
University of Münster
Max Kade Professor, Spring 2015
Dr. Christian Sieg is a Fellow at the Cluster of Excellence ‘Religion and Politics’ in Münster. He studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and received his PhD from Stanford University in 2008. He holds a research position at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster where he is part of an interdisciplinary research center on religion and politics. He is the author of The Ordinary in the Novel of German Modernism (2011) and has published on 20th and 21th century literature, culture and philosophy. Currently, he is finishing his second book on political authorship in post-war Germany.
Dr. Sieg taught two courses, one level V course for undergraduates: Radio Voices: Postwar Germany (GERM-327), and one graduate seminar on Modernism and Modernity (GERM-735). His webpage is available here.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Michael Speier
Founder and publisher of the literary magazine PARK: Zeitschrift für neue Literatur
Author of several poetry collections including Haupt-Stadt-Studio (Aphaia-Verlag, 2012)
Max Kade Writer-in-Residence, Spring 2014 and Spring 2012
Dr. Speier is an award-winning poet, translator, and literary scholar living in Berlin. His poetry has appeared in eight volumes and over 40 anthologies and has been translated into ten languages. In 2007 he received the Schiller Award. He was awarded the “Literaturpreis der A und A Kulturstiftung” in Spring 2011.
Prof. Dr. Helmut J. Schneider
Professor em., Universität Bonn
Max Kade Professor, Spring 2013
Prof. Schneider has previously held positions at the University of California, at Irvine (1983-1990), and at Davis (1990-1993). A frequent visitor to the United States, he also has been a guest professor at Stanford University; University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Ohio State University, Columbus; University of Indiana, Bloomington; Harvard University; University of Washington, Seattle; George Washington University, Saint Louis; and Georgetown University. He has published books on German and European literature of the 18th/19th /20th centuries, in particular the history of the pastoral and the German idyll; landscape and utopia; body paradigms in the classical age; Lessing, Kleist, and Goethe; and classical drama and theater. In 2011 he published the book Genealogie und Menschheitsfamilie: Dramaturgie der Humanität von Lessing bis Büchner (2011).
Prof. Schneider’s webpage is available here.
Birgit Dahlke, Ph.D.
Max Kade Professor, Spring 2011
Professor Birgit Dahlke has broad-ranging expertise in modern and contemporary German literature, with particular foci in gender and canonization, life writing, interdependencies of race, gender and age, German unification, and literary and cultural life of East(ern) Germany. Having taken a German Literature PhD from Freie Universität Berlin in 1994 she got her Higher Doctorate (Habilitation) from Humboldt University Berlin in 2003. Major publications include books on underground women’s poetry of the GDR (1997), youth and masculinity around 1900 (2006), and a biography about the East German poet Wolfgang Hilbig (2011). She taught not only in Berlin but in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois as well as in Nottingham, Great Britain; Newcastle, Great Britain; and Toulouse, France.
Max Kade Writer-in-Residence, Spring 2010 and Fall 2008
Felicitas Hoppe, accomplished Berlin-based writer of fiction and world traveler, has been a Writer-in-Residence in the Department of German in the fall of 2008 and the spring of 2010. Her critically acclaimed works include Picknick der Friseure (short stories, 1996), Pigafetta (after having circumnavigated the world, 1999), Paradiese, Übersee (2003), Verbrecher und Versager (2004), Johanna (2006), Iwein Löwenritter (2008), Sieben Schätze (Essays, 2009), Der beste Platz der Welt (2009), and Hoppe (autobiographical novel, 2012).
Felicitas Hoppe has received a number of prestigious prizes including the Heimito von Doderer Preis and the Nicolas Born Preis (both in 2004), the Brothers Grimm Preis (2005), the Bremer Literaturpreis and the Roswitha von Gandersheim Preis (both 2007). In 2007, she was elected to be member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. In 2012, she was awarded the Georg-Büchner-Preis, the most prestigious German literary prize.
In addition to being a Writer-in-Residence at Georgetown, Felicitas Hoppe has held guest professorships in Wiesbaden, Innsbruck, Augsburg and Göttingen and at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and has been a Writer-in-Residence at New York University.
George M. Roth Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, Spring 2001
The German Department has been fortunate to count George M. Roth Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Peter Schneider among its members. This association was made possible in 2001 through the estate of George M. Roth.
Born in 1940 and raised in southern Germany, Peter Schneider has greatly contributed to the literary and cultural life of Germany over the last four decades. After finishing his studies in German, History, and Philosophy in 1964, Schneider became a central figure in the 1968 Student Protest Movements in Berlin and Turin, Italy. After completing his Staatsexamen in higher education, Schneider began his career as a writer with his novel Lenz. After the success of Lenz in Germany, over twenty other novels, screenplays, and volumes of journalistic essays followed, including the English translated works Der Mauerspringer (The Wall Jumper, 1984), Extreme Mittelage (The German Comedy, 1990), Paarungen (Couplings, 1996), and Eduards Heimkehr (Edward’s Homecoming, 2000). Schneider’s screenplays were filmed by Reinhard Hauff – Messer im Kopf (Knife in the Head) and Margarethe von Trotta – Das Versprechen (The Promise). His essays can be found in Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Le Monde.
Since 1985, Peter Schneider has served as a guest professor at Stanford, Princeton, Dartmouth, Harvard, Washington University St. Louis, and Georgetown University. During the 1996-97 academic year, Schneider was awarded a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Peter Schneider returned to Georgetown as the Parker Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the fall of 2000 and took up his role as Roth Distinguished Writer-in-Residence with the spring semester 2001. During the spring of 2002 he taught at the Emory College’s Halle Institute as a Distinguished Fellow.