Participants

Omri Ben Yehuda
Omri Ben Yehuda is Minerva Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for German Philology at Freie Universität Berlin and the head of the research group Gaza: Towards the Landscape of an Israeli Hetrotopia at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. His work focuses on Jewish literatures in German and Hebrew, Mizrahi Israeli literature, Holocaust literature and postcolonial studies. His book The Speech Act of Kafka and Agnon will be published in 2018 with Mossad Bialik Publishers. Omri is currently working on his second book Auseinandergeschrieben: The Collapse of Storytelling in Modern Jewish Literature, to be published by The Hebrew University Magnes Press.

Domenic DeSocio
Domenic DeSocio is a PhD candidate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. His research interests span German and Austrian modernism, critical theory, media theory, temporality, feminist studies, and queer theory. His interdisciplinary dissertation, “The Time of Their Lives: Queer and Female Modernism, 1910-1934,” analyzes queer and female visions and figures of modern existence in German-language modernist literature during the early twentieth century. Asking what happens when we foreground sexual difference in thinking and writing ‘the modern,’ he interprets the ways in which these historically marginalized subjects conceive new notions of the nature and experience of their modern realities through the substrates of time, subjectivity, and desire.

Aviv Hilbig-Bokaer
Aviv has spent the last two years living and working in Vienna, Austria as a Fulbright/Austrian Ministry of Education teaching assistant where he also studies at the University of Vienna. He received his BA from Clark University where he wrote his Honors Thesis on Thomas and Klaus Mann under the guidance of Robert Tobin. He has published works on Franz Kafka, Yoko Tawada and Christian Marclay.

Verena Hutter
Verena is an adjunct lecturer at Portland State University and a freelance editor. She received her PhD at the University of California, Davis (2012). Her research interests include body theory, travel literature (with an emphasis on the South Pacific), and memory studies. This is her first essay on Klaus Mann’s Mephisto.

Nishant Narayanan
Nishant K. Narayanan teaches at the Department of Germanic Studies, School of European Languages at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India. His research areas include foreign language pedagogy, German studies in India, India in German literature, travel literature and contemporary German literature.

Maryann Piel
Maryann is a third-year PhD student and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  In 2019 Maryann was a fellow of the Notre Dame Berlin Seminar and a recipient of the Jacobson Bridges Award. She is currently conducting research for her dissertation project focusing on representation of celebrity in early 20th – century German literature.

Javier Samper Vendrell
Javier Samper Vendrell is Assistant Professor of German Studies at Grinnell College. His research focuses on LGBTQ history in Germany. He has published articles in The Germanic Review, German Studies Review, and in the Journal of the History of Sexuality on topics such as Weimar cinema; the queer history of the Holocaust; and youth psychology and adolescent sexuality in the early twentieth century. His first book, The Seduction of Youth: Print Culture and Homosexual Rights in the Weimar Republic, will appear in 2020 with the University of Toronto Press.

Jensen Suther
Jensen Suther is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale. Entitled “Spirit Disfigured: The Persistence of Freedom in Modernist Literature and Philosophy,” his dissertation takes up the question of freedom in a tradition that stretches from Kant to Heidegger, in order to offer a new interpretation of novels by Kafka, Mann, and Beckett as giving form to the contradictions of freedom in modernity. Jensen’s work has appeared in Telos and Mediation.

Courtney Yamagiwa
Courtney Yamagiwa received her BA in German Studies and Consumer Affairs from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in 2018. She is a second-year MA candidate in German Studies at CSULB, where she teaches second-semester German, and is a previous recipient of das Internationale Parlaments-Stipendium des deutschen Bundestages. In fall 2018, she was co-organizer of the conference “German Art in SoCal SoCal in German Art,” where she also delivered a paper entitled “Political Activism in Pacific Palisades: Thomas Mann’s Deutsche Hörer! and the Victory of Democracy.” Courtney Yamagiwa will graduate in May 2020 with her MA and plans to pursue a career in politics.

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