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Clayton Koelb
Guy B. Johnson Distinguished Professor of German; Professor of English and Comparative Literature


Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Harvard University

Intellectual Biography & Awards

After completing the BA in German at Harvard, Clayton moved briefly to Berlin, where he studied at the Freie Universität. He then returned to Harvard for graduate study in Comparative Literature, receiving the PhD in 1970.

Recent Publications

(Trans., with Kenneth Tigar) Frank Wedekind, Spring’s Awakening. New York: Broadway Play Publishing, 2016.



Kafka: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Continuum, 2010. viii + 183 pp.



The Revivifying Word: Literature, Philosophy, and the Theory of Life in Europe’s Romantic Age. Rochester, NY: Camden House/Boydell & Brewer, 2008. xiv + 205 pp.


Frequently Taught Courses

  • GSLL 50. First-Year Seminar. Literary Fantasy and Historical Reality
  • GERM 245. Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
  • GERM 246. Reality and its Discontents. Kant to Kafka
  • GERM 615. Cultural Foundations I
  • CMPL 842. Literary Criticism 1750-1950

Dr. Koelb’s Upcoming Course Offerings