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Richard Langston

Richard Langston

Departmental Chair; Professor of German


2002, Ph.D., Germanic Languages and Literatures, Washington University in St. Louis

Intellectual Biography & Awards

My scholarship focuses primarily on twentieth- and twenty-first century literature and its relationship to visual culture and philosophy. I have published widely on German-language prose, poetry, avant-garde and experimental cinema, as well as the visual arts. While much of my recent scholarship has focused primarily on the work of author and filmmaker Alexander Kluge and social philosopher Oskar Negt, I have recently started a new project about money, value and knowledge in modern and contemporary German literature. In 2011-2012 I was a fellow with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and from 2014-2018 I was appointed the Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Chair in Teaching and Research.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

  • Dark Matter CoverDark Matter: A Guide to Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt. London & New York: Verso Books, 2020.
  • The Patriot. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2021.
  • Difference and Orientation: An Alexander Kluge Reader. Ed. Richard Langston. Trans. Emma Woelk et al. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 2019.
  • “Cruising as Spiritual Communism: Theatricality and the AIDS Spectacle in Hubert Fichte’s Roman Fleuve.” Under Review.
  • “Novel Lessons in Microeconomics: On the Money Image in Enzensberger’s Critique of Impure Reason.” Forthcoming.
  • “Marxist and Formless: Uncanny Materialism in Weiss’s The Aesthetics of Resistance.” New German Critique 49.3 (Nov. 2022). Forthcoming.
  • “Vers une sonorité de communisme: Traces de Georg Simmel dans le Livre de Passage du XXIe siècle d’Alexander Kluge.” Alexander Kluge: un auteur «global» pour une «Renaissance du XXIe siècle» Eds. Wolfgang Asholt, Jean-Pierre Morel, Vincent Pauval. Paris: éditions Hermann, 2022. Forthcoming.


Frequently Taught Courses

  • GERM 60: Avant-Garde Cinema: History, Themes, Textures (FYS)
  • GERM 251: Ideology and Aesthetics: Marxism and Literature (Seminar)
  • GERM 280: Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: Twentieth-Century German Philosophy and Modern Youth Cultures (Lecture)
  • GERM 281: The German Idea of War (Lecture)
  • GERM 301-302: Advanced German I & II (Seminar)
  • GERM 303: Introduction to German Literature (Seminar)
  • GERM 349: Die Jahrhundertwende (Seminar)
  • GERM 382: Gangsters, Freedom Fighters, and Cold-Blooded Killers: Representations of Violence and Terrorism in Contemporary German Literature and Film (Seminar)

Undergraduate and Graduate Advising and Mentoring

  • Stephen Zaksewics – “The Ends of the World: Planetarity and the Anthropocene in Contemporary Austrian Prose” (Dissertation in Progress
  • Leonie Wilms – “Hate and His Children: Gender and the Performativity of Explosive Emotions in Contemporary German Theater” (Dissertation in Progress)
  • N.D. Jones – “Revolutionary Communities and the Subversion of Space: Rewriting Marxian Anthropology in Weimar Germany” (Dissertation in Progress)
  • Christoph Schmitz, Ph.D. ’22 – “Listening to Novels: Index and Voice in Post-War German Fiction” (Dissertation)
  • Benjamin Davis, B.A. ’21 – “100 Years Berlin Alexanderplatz: Disability, Gender and Race in Döblin, Fassbinder and Qurbani” (Honors Thesis)
  • Claire Staresinic, B.A. ’21 – “Homeopathy, Gender and Agency in German Romanticism: The Case of Bettina von Arnim and Annette von Droste-Hülshoff” (Honors Thesis)
  • Richard Lambert, III, Ph.D. ’17 – “In Search of Experience: Viennese Modernism’s Literary Experiments” (Dissertation)
  • Nate Wagner, B.A., ’17. “Cynicism or Revolt: Searching for the Political between Contemporary German Bildungsromane and Post-Wall Popular Music” (Honors Thesis)
  • Amelia Wallace, B.A., ’16 – “Ulrike Meinhof’s Bambule: Performing Politics in the Electronic Public Sphere” (Honors Thesis)
  • Andreas Hill, B.A., ’16 – “The Time and Space of Stimmung: Poetic Negotiations of Modernity in Hölderlin and Rilke” (Honors Thesis)
  • Nicole Johnson, B.A., ’14 – “Deconstructing the Masculine Wall: Exploring Gendered Experiences of German Reunification in Film and Autobiography” (Honors Thesis)
  • Alexander Fulk Kirkland, Ph.D., ’13 – “Literature as Utopia: Spaces of Alterity in West German Postcolonial and Science-Fiction Literature after Sixty-Eight” (Dissertation)
  • Kai-Uwe Werbeck, Ph.D., ’12 – “From Rubble to Revolutions and Raves : Literary Interrogations of German Media Ecologies” (Dissertation)
  • Robert Blankenship, Ph.D., ’11 – “Transforming Suicides: Literary Heritage, Intertextuality, and Self-Annihilation in GDR Fiction of the 1970s and 1980s” (Dissertation)
  • Rebeccah Dawson, Ph.D., ’11 – “‘Sport ist der Nerv der Zeit’: The Politics of Sport in German Literature, 1918-1962” (Dissertation)
  • Anja Wieden, Ph.D., ’11 – “Female Experiences of Rape and Hunger in Postwar German Literature, 1945-1960” (Dissertation)
  • Cyrus Shahan, Ph.D., ’08 – “Punk Poetics and West German Literature of the Eighties” (Dissertation)
  • David Palmer, B.A., ’04 – “Persecution & Propaganda: The Monstrous ‘Other’ in German Cinema” (Honors Thesis)

Additional Information

Alexander Kluge Jahrbuch (The Yearbook’s English-Language Site)
For more about Dr. Langston, see his Curriculum Vitae.