Research

Recent Publications

Books
Improvisation as Art. Conceptual Challenges, Historical Perspectives. New York / London: Continuum, 2011; Paperback edition: New York / London / New Delhi / Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2014.

The Archimedean Point. From Fixed Positions to the Limits of Theory. Special Volume of SubStance. A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism.  (forthcoming)

Articles
“The Physiology of Observation in Nietzsche and Luhmann.” Observation in Science and Literature, eds. Rüdiger Campe, Elisabeth Strowick, Jocelyn Holland. Special Issue: Monatshefte 105/3 (Fall 2013): 472-488.

“Intimacy, Morality, and the Inner Problematic of the Lyric.” Goethe Yearbook / Jahrbuch XX (2013): 5-23.

“Improvisation, Agency, Autonomy. Heinrich von Kleist and the Modern Predicament.” In Form—Violence—Meaning. 200 Years of Heinrich von Kleist, ed. Dieter Sevin and Christoph Zeller, p.213-228. Berlin / New York: de Gruyter, 2013.

“Black Boxes and White Noise. Don DeLillo and the Reality of Literature.” In Addressing Modernity. Social Systems Theory and U.S. Cultures, edited by Hannes Bergthaller and Carsten Schinko, p. 85-112. Amsterdam / New York: Rudopi Press, 2011.

Werther’s Sentimental Narcissism. Consciousness, Communication, and the Origin of the Modern Psyche.” In The Self as Muse: Narcissism and Creativity in the German Imagination 1750-1850, edited by Alexander Mathäs, p. 129-149. Bucknell UP, 2011.

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Research Statement

My research focuses on the German literary, aesthetic and philosophical tradition since 1750 with a special emphasis on the Enlightenment and its continuation and critical review from Heinrich von Kleist and the Romantics to Nietzsche and beyond. My research gains contour through its methodological commitment: my interests in deconstruction, performance studies, and contemporary systems theory. My book Improvisation as Art. Conceptual Challenges, Historical Perspectives, which appeared in May 2011 and was reissued as paperback by Bloomsbury in 2014 (available on Amazon!), is a case in point. The book engages the most recent theoretical contentions surrounding improvisation in performance studies, deconstruction, and popular thought; and it offers a conceptual history, which challenges these contemporary assertions about improvisation by rethinking them alongside the evolving aesthetics of autonomy.

You will find a nice review of my book here: http://www.criticalimprov.com/article/view/2907/3176

My current book project looks at Nietzsche through the lens of contemporary posthumanist theories. It examines how Nietzsche’s epistemology developed in response to his study of the natural sciences, in particular neurophysiology. Nietzsche explores the fundamental questions 19th-century science raises about the nature of cognition, the relationship between consciousness, sensory organs, and the world, and the limits of both scientific and philosophical knowledge. Nietzsche’s early theories on the metaphoricity of language, his deconstruction of the subject, as much as his critique of the Enlightenment’s trust in reason must be understood in this context, as addressing what are perceived as fundamental discontinuities of human cognition and interaction. Nietzsche’s observations on physiology, his subsequent critique of the anthropocentrism of the Western tradition, and the recognition of paradox at the periphery of science and philosophy—where “logic coils up … and finally bites its own tail”— anticipate, I argue, concerns that are at the center of contemporary theories of posthumanism.