Research/Language Interests: German-language literature of the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries; Gegenwartsliteratur; Bertolt Brecht and (Brechtian) theater; narratology and stylistics; the reading process; the detective/mystery genre; image-text relations; the human experience of time; Enlightenment aesthetics; semiotics; perception and synaesthesia.
About Me: I have been a faculty member in German since 1992 and served as Faculty Director of the Honors Program for the College of Letters & Science from 2015 to 2021. I teach modern German literature, literary theory, and theater, and received a UW-Madison Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999. Between 1993 and 2017, I produced and/or directed 13 “German Plays” on campus (including plays by Handke, Dürrenmatt, Gryphius, Soeren Voima, Horváth, Fassbinder, Büchner, and others). I am affiliated with the Theatre Department, Interdisciplinary Theater Studies, and Visual Culture. 2003-2007 I served as Vice President and President of the International Johann Gottfried Herder Association and am a long-time member (and sometime Executive Council member) of the International Society for the Study of Time. I have served as Book Review Editor of the journal Monatshefte continuously for two decades. A Griebsch Bascom Professor of German (since 2018), in 2021 I received the UW-Madison Hilldale Award for the Arts and Humanities as well as the Herder-Medaille awarded by the International Herder Society.
Affiliated Departments: Department of Theatre and Drama, Interdisciplinary Theater Studies, Visual Culture
• University of California, Santa Barbara, Ph.D. in German Literature (1991)
• Staatsexamen (State Board Examinations)
• Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main/Germany (1982)
• Studies in Slavic Language and Literature, Translation, English and American Literature, German Literature, and Pedagogy, Heidelberg and Frankfurt Universities (1977-1982)
• International Baccalaureat, Frankfurt am Main/Germany (1976)