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Thomas PfauThomas Pfau  
Alice Mary Baldwin Distinguished Professor and Bass Fellow

Office Location: 312 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: +1 919 684 2741
Email Address: pfau@duke.edu
Web Page: https://duke.academia.edu/ThomasPfau

Office Hours:

Spring 2024 Semester:

Tuesday 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 pm (312 Allen)


Ph.D., State University of New York, Buffalo

M.A., University of California, Irvine

BA, University of Constance, Germany

Eighteenth Century Literature
Nineteenth Century Literature
Critical Theory
Thomas Pfau is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English, with secondary appointments in Germanic Languages & Literatures and in the Duke Divinity School. A native of Germany, Prof. 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 interests have gradually broadened to include topics in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, philosophy, and intellectual history. Besides translating and editing two volumes of theoretical writings by Hölderlin and Schelling, he also edited three essay collections on English Romanticism, as well as special issues of South Atlantic Quarterly (1996) English Romantic Review ( 2010, 2011), and Modernist Cultures (2005). To date, he is the author of three monographs: Wordsworth's Profession (Stanford UP, 1997) Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy, 1794-1840 (Johns Hopkins UP, 2005) and Minding the Modern: Human Agency, Intellectual Traditions, and Responsible Knowledge (Notre Dame UP, 2013). He has published some thirty-five essays in numerous essay collections and scholarly journals on a wide range of writers, including Rousseau, A. Smith, Kant, Wordsworth, Wollstonecraft, Coleridge, Shelley, Goethe, Beethoven, Eichendorff, Schleiermacher, Thomas Mann, Walter Benjamin and other writers and philosophers.

Curriculum Vitae
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Pfau, T. "Response to My Interlocutors." Modern Theology 40.2 (April, 2024): 478-495. [doi]
  2. Pfau, T. Incomprehensible Certainty Metaphysics and Hermeneutics of the Image.  June 2022.  [abs]
  3. Aers, D; Pfau, T. "Exploring Christian Literature in the Contemporary and Secular University." Christianity and Literature 70.3 (September, 2021): 263-275.  [abs]
  4. Pfau, T. "Kantian Aesthetics as "soft" Iconoclasm." Logos (United States) 24.3 (June, 2021): 69-88. [doi]
  5. Pfau, T. "Absolute Gegebenheit: Image as aesthetic Urphanomen in Husserl and Rilke." Phenomenology to the Letter: Husserl and Literature.  2020. 227-260. [doi]  [abs]

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