M. Phil., University of Vienna; Ph.D., New York University
Susanne FuchsVisiting Lecturer in German Studies
Research areas: Literary Studies, Environmental Humanities.
I trained as a literary scholar at the University of Vienna (MA) and as a literary theorist at New York University (PhD). My dissertational work on scenes of surrender studies figurative and dramatic gestures of disarmament in German drama before and after the French Revolution. Interested in the social power of language and performance, I examine how the figures of speech and the scenes in question subvert militarized discourses and propose new concepts of the “human” and the political. In my second research project tentatively titled “Orchestrated Oblivion,” I shift my focus from military to economic and related psychological structures. Curious about the ubiquitous phenomenon of denial, I analyze depictions and explanations of willful ignorance and related phenomena in the 19th, 20th, and 21st century.
Both in my research and teaching, I like to draw on several art forms and disciplines, such as literature, visual media, cultural history, and gender studies. I taught classes on language, literature, film, and philosophy at New York University, University of Zurich, Boston College, and Williams College. Having studied and worked in the different German-speaking and other European countries, I enjoy presenting multifaceted insights into European contexts. Accordingly, my language courses focus on the histories and experiences of people living in German-speaking regions. Discovering the centers, margins, and frictions of their cultures invites us to think transnationally and reflect on our own diverse backgrounds and practices. Immersing oneself in a new language and culture always also illuminates parts of one’s own—this is one of my favorite aspects of language pedagogy.
My lifelong fondness for languages, literature, and the humanities is tied to my experience that theory and the arts teach a particular attentiveness to humans and other living and non-living beings. An interest in the possible relationships of this attunement and environmentalism has led me to the interdisciplinary research field of the environmental humanities. Equally interested in environmental and economic justice, I currently also participate in the co-operative management-degree program at the International Centre for Co-operative Management, Halifax.
The exploration of new systems informs many of my non-academic pursuits too. In recent years, I have been active in environmentalist, LGBTQ, and bike advocacy-networks. In my free time, I like to read and write, rock climb, hike, and work on bikes.