Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Associate Professor
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 in 2014 I was appointed the Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Chair.
“Specters of Ambivalence: Notes on Alexander Kluge’s Ambiguous Genre.” Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft. Sonderheft: Ambiguity in Contemporary German Art and Literature (2018): Forthcoming.
“Eyes Wide Open: The Look of Obstinacy, the Gaze of the Camera, and the 24/7 Economy in Antja Ehmann and Harun Farocki’s Labour in a Single Shot (2011-2015).” Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature. 40.2 (Summer 2016): Article 8.
Alexander Kluge-Jahrbuch. Vol. 2: Glass Shards: Echoes of a Message in a Bottle. Ed. Richard Langston. Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2015.
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)
Dr. Langston’s Upcoming Course Offerings
Undergraduate and Graduate Advising and Mentoring
- 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)