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Thomas PfauThomas Pfau  
Alice Mary Baldwin Distinguished Professor of English and Professor of Historical Theology and Bass Fellow and Professor of Germanic Languages and Literature

Office Location: 312 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 681-3098
Email Address: pfau@duke.edu
Web Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ1VKS

Teaching (Spring, 2021):

  • English 101s.03, The art of reading Synopsis
    Online on, MW 03:30 PM-04:45 PM

Office Hours:

Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and by appointment.


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. "“Superabundant being”: Disambiguating Rilke and Heidegger." Modern Theology 35.1WILEY, (January, 2019): 23-42. [doi]  [abs]
  2. Wolfe, J; Pfau, T. "Philosophy and theology in Germany, 1918 to 1933: Editorial introduction." Modern Theology 35.1WILEY, (January, 2019): 3-4. [doi]
  3.  Judgment and Action Fragments toward a History.  Northwestern University Press, December 2017.
  4. Pfau, T. "On attention." Salmagundi 2017-Spring.194 (March, 2017): 145-163.
  5. Pfau, T. ""Botched execution" or historical inevitability: Conceptual dilemmas in Brad S. Gregory's the unintended reformation." Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 46.3 (September, 2016): 603-628. [doi]

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