Working at the intersections of German Studies, literary studies, and queer studies, my research has two main aims. First, I contribute to a new turn in German Studies away from applying an abstractly queer theoretical lens to canonical authors and texts and toward studying overlooked queer authors and texts themselves, thereby recasting our understanding German literary history. Second, by engaging extensively with major debates and scholars in queer studies and theory, I bring the neglected German context to queer and feminist debates around topics such as normativity, desire, subjectivity, and relationality. As you’ll see below, I actively publish in both fields in pursuit of a cross-disciplinary conversation.
You can find my academic CV here.
In my current book project, The Times of Their Lives: Queer and Female Modernism, 1910–34, I investigate the relationships between time and sexuality and how they interact on and with the page in modernist literature. Through close readings of the prose—novels, novellas, diaries, essays, letters—of Robert Musil, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Klaus Mann, Siegfried Kracauer, and Marieluise Fleißer, I analyze how the rhythms of erotic desires mold time and how time inflects sexuality. I show how these authors’ female and queer characters in particular simultaneously are shaped by and exert control over the entwined narrative articulations of time and sex. In doing so, they generate original modernist worlds and sensibilities adjacent to, yet distinct from, what we’ve come to understand as canonical modernism.
I am currently working on a new article aimed for publication in a leading queer studies journal. The article brings Max Weber and 1970s American gay liberation literature together to reconceptualize camp sensibility as a queer art of reenchantment and a discursive practice of worldmaking. In doing so, my goals are twofold. First, I seek to demonstrate the usefulness of Weber’s thought—and German Studies more generally—for contemporary queer theory in thinking about sexual politics and the relationship between text, speech, and identity. Second, I offer an alternative to Sontag’s famous text on camp and its assertions of camp’s apolitical, purposely “useless” role and instead show its productivity for queer utopian thought and radical practices of life.
Additionally, I am at the beginning stages of a new, transnational research project that looks at frivolity, fantasy, and queerness in the literature, visual art, film, and music of 1910s and 1920s Germany, France, Great Britain, and the United States. Amidst war, revolution, modernism, and New Objectivity, why did so many queer artists and writers of this period embrace seemingly silly, effete, and popular topics, genres, and aesthetic forms? What does it mean to create “frivolous” art, and how do frivolity and fantasy intersect with non-normative forms of gender and sexual identity and expression? How can investigating these figures and their works of art retell stories of modern Western culture and society? Included in this study are: Klaus and Erika Mann, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Jeanne Mammen, Ronald Firbank, Charles Demuth, Carl Van Vechten, Florine Stettheimer, Charles Henri Ford, Marcel Vertés, and Raymond Radiguet.
Scholarly Publications & Book Reviews
“Continuity and Rupture in Queer Studies, or, Klaus Mann’s Der fromme Tanz,” in “Rupture, Slowness, Untimeliness: Queer Time and History in German Studies,” special issue of Monatshefte 114, no. 3 (Fall 2022). (forthcoming)
“In der Zwickmühle der Zeit: Marieluise Fleißer’s Mehlreisende Frieda Geier (1931) and the Non-Simultaneities of Gendered Subjectivity,” The German Quarterly 94, no. 4 (Fall 2020): 466-483. (Link here.)
“The Politics and Aesthetics of Camp as Queer Belonging: The Films of Rosa von Praunheim.” Zugehörigkeiten, ed. DFG-Netzwerk Queere Zeitgeschichten im deutschsprachigen Europa. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2023/4. (forthcoming)
“The Role of Reading and Queer Citizenship in Early Twentieth-Century Germany.” Queer Print Cultures, eds. Vance Byrd and Javier Samper Vendrell, University of Toronto Press, 2022. (forthcoming)
The Seduction of Youth: Print Culture and Homosexual Rights in the Weimar Republic (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020), in “Queering Sexual and Gendered Citizenship in the ‘Modern World,’” special issue of Canadian Journal of History (December 2022) (forthcoming)
The Naked Truth: Viennese Modernism and the Body, Alys X. George (The University of Chicago Press, 2020), in The German Quarterly 95, no. 2 (2022) (forthcoming)
Robert Walser: A Companion, eds. Samuel Frederick and Valerie Heffernan (Northwestern UP, 2018), in Studies in Twenty and Twenty-first Century Literature 45, no. 1 (2021), Article 13 (Link here.)
Queering German Culture, ed. Leanne Dawson (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2018) in German Studies Review 42, no. 1 (2019). (Link here.)
2022: AESTHETICIZING THE WORLD: CAMP, QUEER SENSIBILITY, AND THE RE-ENCHANTMENT OF THE MODERN WORLD IN WEIMAR GERMANY
Presented at the 2022 German Studies Association Conference for the panel “Style as a Way of Life: Sexuality, Aesthetics, Ethics.”
2021: A QUEER REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: BRUNO VOGEL’S ALF AND THE ROLE OF READING IN HOMOSEXUAL CITIZENSHIP
Presented at the 2021 Modern Language Association Conference for the panel “Queer Print Cultures.”
2020: TO BE UNDERSTOOD IS TO BE DESIRED: SEXUAL LOVE AND METAPHOR IN ROBERT MUSIL’S EARLY FICTION
Presented at 2020 German Studies Association Convention for the panel “Robert Musil as Sexual Theorist: Polyvocal Eros and the Problem of Form.”
2020: PANEL SERIES: ROBERT MUSIL AS SEXUAL THEORIST
At the 2020 German Studies Association Conference, I co-organized a series of panels dedicated to the work of Robert Musil and his fictional literature as a space for theorizing human sexuality in all its forms. The two panels were: “Robert Musil as Sexual Theorist (1): Polyvocal Eros and the Problem of Form” and “Robert Musil as Sexual Theorist (2): Desire, Dissolutions, and Disorientations.”
2020: CONTINUITY AND RUPTURE IN QUEER STUDIES; OR, THE EXAMPLE OF KLAUS MANN’S DER FROMME TANZ
Presented at the 2020 conference “The Past and Present of Queer German Studies Conference,” hosted virtually at the University of British Columbia.
2019: KLAUS MANN’S DER FROMME TANZ AND HOMOSEXUALITY AS LIFE
Presented at the 2019 workshop “The Mann Family: Lives and Fictions,” at Dartmouth College.
2019: THE PROPULSIVE AUGENBLICK OF HOPE: ANNEMARIE SCHWARZENBACH’S EINE FRAU ZU SEHEN AND THE UTOPICS OF QUEER FEMALE SUBJECTIVITY IN THE LATE WEIMAR REPUBLIC
Presented at the 2019 German Studies Association Convention for the panel “Modern Women in a World of Possibilities.”
2019: MARIELUISE FLEIßER’S NARRATIVE DOUBLINGS & THE POLITICS OF ‘FEMININE’ NARRATION IN THE LATE WEIMAR REPUBLIC
Presented at the 2019 Midwest Modern Language Association Convention for the panel “Transgressing Gender Ideals in German Women’s Writing.”
2018: WHO AND WHERE IS “MODERN”? MARIELUISE FLEISSER’S EINE ZIERDE FÜR DEN VEREIN AND THE UNGLEICHZEITIGKEITEN OF GENDERED SUBJECTIVITY
Presented at the 2018 German Studies Association Conference as a participant in the seminar “Weimar Culture Revisited.”
2017: “ICH GLAUBE AN DIESE WELT”: KLAUS MANN’S DER FROMME TANZ AND QUEER HISTORICITY
Presented at the 2017 German Studies Association Conference for the panel “Sexuality and Time in the Weimar Republic and Beyond.”
2016: “EIN ZUSTAND DER LOSGELÖSTHEIT”: SIEGFRIED KRACAUER’S THEORIES OF SUBJECTIVITY IN GEORG
Presented at the 2016 graduate student conference “The Aesthetics of Dissonance” at Yale University, hosted by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.