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Faculty: Thomas Pfau  

Thomas Pfau
Title: Associate Professor of Germanic Languages & Literature and Professor of Literature and Eads Family Professor of English
Office Location: 502 Allen Building
Office Phone: (919) 681-3098, (919) 684-2741
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  • Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1989
  • M.A., University of California at Irvine, 1985
  • BA, University of Constance, Germany, 1982

Research Interests:  

A native of Germany, Thomas Pfau began his academic career in 1980 as a student of History and Literature at the University of Constance. In 1982, he came to the U.S. where, at UC-Irvine, he joined the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature and Theory. In 1985, he continued his studies in the Comparative Literature Program at SUNY-Buffalo where he received his Ph.D. in 1989 with a dissertation on self-consciousness in Romantic poetry and theory (Wordsworth, Shelley, et al.). Since then, his main interests have broadened to include a large array of Romantic writers -philosophical, literary, historical- in England and Germany. His published work has explored such questions as paranoia as an mediation of historically induced anxiety (in Blake, Godwin and the 1794 Treason Trials); moral speech as performance (in Hegel and J. L. Austin); problems of historicism in contemporary Romantic Studies and the work of Work of Walter Benjamin; the Romantic conception of textual interpretation (in Schleiermacher). Besides translating and editing two volumes of theoretical writings by Hölderlin and Schelling, he also edited two essay collections on English Romanticism . Following his 1997 book, Wordsworth's Profession (Stanford UP), he has just completed a study of English and German Romanticism, entitled Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy, 1794-1840.

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

Edited Volumes

  •  Judgment and Action Fragments toward a History. Northwestern University Press, December, 2017 (360 pages pp.).
Articles in a Collection
  • Pfau, T. "“Superabundant being”: Disambiguating Rilke and Heidegger."  WILEY, January, 2019, 23-42. [doi]  [abs]
  • Wolfe, J; Pfau, T. "Philosophy and theology in Germany, 1918 to 1933: Editorial introduction."  WILEY, January, 2019, 3-4. [doi]
  • Pfau, T. "On Attention."  April, 2017, 145-163.
  • Pfau, T. ""Botched execution" or historical inevitability: Conceptual dilemmas in Brad S. Gregory's the unintended reformation."  September, 2016, 603-628. [doi]
Curriculum Vitae

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