Luke Beller received his BA in Classics and MA in German Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He began his PhD in German at Johns Hopkins in Fall 2020. In the Summer of 2019, he interned in the Handschriftenabteilung at the deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach. As a recipient of the 2020-2021 Fulbright Research Award, he will conduct a study of Platonic influences on Bertolt Brecht’s Geschichten vom Herrn Keuner at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. His broader research interests include the drama and aesthetic theories of Friedrich Schiller and Bertolt Brecht, the intersections between German Enlightenment philosophy and Ancient Greek thought, and the political traditions of Germany and the USA.
Käthe Erichsen received a BA with a double-major in English Literature and German Studies and an MA in German Studies from Wayne State University. Her master’s thesis ”Dreamscapes of Captivity” investigates the dream-like quality of Herta Müller’s fictional novel, Atemschaukel, and the poetic devices of the novel as a genre that connects stories of capitivity across time periods, places, and people. Käthe’s research interests include the Decolonization of the German Literary Canon, Women & Gender Studies, Afro-German Studies, as well as Poetics and Creative Writing, with a focus on 20th century German poets such as Paul Celan and Oskar Pastior and contemporary German poets and activists such as May Ayim. She is also interested in the transnational intersection of Poetry and Creative Writing, investigating the relationship between Russian, German, and English poetry. Käthe references questions of identity, cross-culturism, and bilingualism in her own poetry, a short collection of which she received the first-place Phillip Lawson Hatch, Jr. Memorial Award in 2021 at Wayne State University. Additionally, she investigates questions of time, identity and trauma within her own poetry and Theodor W. Adorno’s Traumprotokolle, in a paper she presented at the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Freie Universität in the summer of 2021. Käthe also spent a semester abroad at the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany and a semester abroad at the Moscow International University in Moscow, Russia.
Glen Gray received an M.A. in German Studies in 2020 and a B.A. in German Studies and a B.M. in Music Composition from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in 2017. In 2017, he received a Fulbright Austria English Teaching Assistant position to teach in Vienna. Glen was awarded a DAAD research grant in 2019 to fund a research stay at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, where completed his thesis on nineteenth century operatic adaptations of Kleist’s Das Käthchen von Heilbronn. He will continue his study of literary reception through operatic adaptation at Johns Hopkins. Glen is also a composer of electronic music and co-founder of the Los Angeles Electroacoustic Ensemble. Glen has premiered compositions at the 2019 “Oh My Ears” music festival, and in the 2019 production 13 Fruitcakes at LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club in New York. This summer, the LAEE has been presenting virtual concerts via ZOOM.
Antonia Grousdanidou holds degrees in philosophy and history of art. Her dissertation explores literary uses of urban space in German-language crime narratives of the interwar period (in fiction and documentary genres), while examining early 20th-century aesthetic and scientific discourses through the lens of crime/criminality.
Brad Harmon joined the programs in German Literature and Thought and Cinema and Media Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 2020 after previously earning an MA in Scandinavian Languages & Literatures from the University of Washington and a BA in German, Scandinavian & Dutch from the University of Minnesota. His dissertation research focuses on literary-philosophical representations of respiration and rhythm of modernity, particularly since Rilke. General research interests include phenomenology and existentialism; philosophies of time, truth, and translation; environmental studies, materiality, and (inter)corporeality; queer theory; and (the ethics of) aesthetic experience. He is also active as a literary translator from Swedish, German, and (occasionally) Danish and Norwegian. In 2021 he was invited to attend the translation workshop Översättargruvan in Sweden and in 2022 he was selected as an Emerging Translator Mentorship fellow for Swedish by the American Literary Translator’s Association. Authors he’s translated include Monika Fagerholm, Katarina Frostenson, Jila Mossaed, Birgitta Trotzig, Rilke, Nelly Sachs, Christa Wolf, Theis Ørntoft and Roskva Koritzinsky.
Bidyum Medhi is interested in exploring comparative perspectives on nature and the non-human world, in terms of animals and animality, wilderness and landscape, conservation and preservation. He examines the ways in which this relation shapes and reshapes new eco-literary trends in the two literary cultures of Assamese and German. His research focuses on the literary representation of the non-human animal, the spaces animals occupy in society and culture, and the human-animal interactions and seeks to explore various aspects of the animal turn in contemporary literary trends. He is trained in German language and literature and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in German Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi. His M.Phil dissertation, titled ‘The Eco-Discourse with Reference to Monika Maron’s Flugasche,’ attempted to examine the notions of progress, technology and heroism inherent in Maron’s work. He also worked as Assistant Professor at Tezpur University, Assam from 2014-2017 in the department of English and Foreign Languages.
Maya Nitis brings a transdisciplinary approach to literary and critical theory, focusing on the interrelation of feminist, queer and race-critical perspectives. With degrees in English, Political Science and Philosophy, they are completing a second PhD in German Studies. In Languages of Resistance 1: Performativity and Cultural-Political Translation, Dr. Nitis addresses the revolutionary aspect of the intertwinement of language and reality, primarily through the work of Judith Butler, Walter Benjamin and Audre Lorde. Maya has also published in areas of feminist pedagogy and queer knowledge production in journals including Diacritics, Feministische Studien and MLN. The current project, Literary Agency and Minoritized Knowledge, queries an agency specific to literary endeavors and examines the conception of unfinished knowledge as undermining dominant goals of mastery. In 2021, Maya Nitis received a Gender and Racial Justice Scholar Award, and a Dean’s Prize Fellowship for a class on “Critical Knowledges: Black, Feminist, Queer, Other.”
Lisa Schmitz is a PhD student in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Her fields of interest include modernist to contemporary literature and film as well as literary theory and the intersections of philosophy and literature. In addition to her academic work, she is also interested in innovative strategies to communicate literature and art to a broader audience. Since 2019, she has been working as an assistant for the Literaturhaus Augsburg. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, she earned a BA in Philosophy and German Studies from the University of Duisburg-Essen and an MA in German Studies from the University of Connecticut where she also completed a Certificate in Human Rights.
Almut Slizyk studied at the Universities of Würzburg and Padova in Germany and Italy and holds an M.A. in Italian, English, and German Language and Literature. Her M.A. thesis, “Cupiditas, Timor, Laetitia, Tristitia, and Ira. On the Formation and Representation of Emotions in Dante’s Vita Nova” examines the connections between encoded emotions and forms of modern subjectivity in the late Middle Ages. She also completed a two-year teacher certification with specializations in psychology and pedagogy while teaching German, Italian, and English at the middle and high school levels in Bavaria. Before pursuing her PhD at Johns Hopkins University, she received a fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to teach German at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Her dissertation project, “Lese-Zeichen: Scenes and Signs of Obstructed Reading in Austrian German Fiction around 1900,”focuses on material and processual aspects of discontinuous reading in A. Schnitzler, R. M. Rilke, and S. Zweig’s prose with particular attention to how these texts reflect on reading as a form of art and delicate cultural practice. Other research interests include German Jewish literature, theories of authorship and forms of self-writing as well as 19th and 20th century novels and poetry.
Josh Todarello completed his MA in German Studies at California State University, Long Beach. His dissertation examines the relationships between early 20th-century capitalism and literary realisms of the interwar period.
Shengshuang Wang holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Nanjing University, and she received her master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Renmin University of China. In 2020 she was accepted into the Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies Program to combine her interests in German studies and Sinology. Her research focuses on the influences of German literature and philosophy on Chinese modernity, especially on Chinese intellectual and political movements in the 20th century. Shengshuang also continues her investigations on the contemporary German writer W. G. Sebald, especially the theme of repetition in his works.
Tegan White-Nesbitt earned her B.A. in linguistics with a minor in music at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 2016. She completed her M.A. in German studies at California State University, Long Beach in 2018. She entered the German program at Johns Hopkins in the Fall of 2018. Her research interests include translation studies, literary theory, genre theory, Jewish language and culture, and the history of poetic forms.
Anna Wollenschläger received her MA in German Literature and Philosophy from the University of Hamburg on the concept of Non-Identity in Nietzsche and Adorno. Her interests are situated at the intersection of philosophy and literature and include psychoanalytic approaches as well as gender and sexuality studies with a particular emphasis on the political and social-political dimensions of experimental writing and its significant part in generating alternative formations of knowledge. Further research interests are the notion of “Nature” in German Literature and Philosophy from 17th century on, contemporary theater studies and early Romantic’s Philosophy. For her dissertation project, Anna envisions exploring the figure of “multi-dimensionality” in thinking and writing, with regard for philosophical as well as cognitive sciences considerations.