Peter Schwartz

Associate Professor of German & Comparative Literature
STH 615
BA, Harvard University
MA, Columbia University
PhD, Columbia University

Spring 2014 Office Hours: M 1-2, Th 11-1, and by appointment.

Professor Schwartz teaches courses in German and comparative literature and in film. Most of his work to date centers on Goethe and his age (1749-1832). His special interests include the Enlightenment (as historical event and unfinished process), European neoclassicism and modernism, American, French, Dutch and Japanese literature, early film and photography, the history of New York City, the critical work of the Frankfurt School, and the “science of culture” (Kulturwissenschaft) of the art historian Aby Warburg and his circle.  His first book (After Jena: Goethe’s “Elective Affinities” and the End of the Old Regime) was released by Bucknell University Press in 2010, and he is conducting research for a book-length project on Aby Warburg’s response to the First World War.



After Jena: Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the End of the Old Regime (Bucknell University Press, 2010).

Articles and book chapters

“’I’ll burn my books!’  Faust(s), Magic, Media.”  Forthcoming in Simon Richter and Richard A. Block, eds., Goethe’s Ghosts and the Persistence of Literature; Essays in Honor of Jane K. Brown (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2013)

“Clarus, Woyzeck, and the Politics of Accountability.”  In Matthew Wilson Smith, ed., Georg Büchner: The Major Works (New York: Norton, 2012), 368-73.

“The Void at the Center of Things: Figures of Identity in Michael Haneke’s ‘Glaciation’ Trilogy.”  In A Companion to Michael Haneke, ed. Roy Grundmann (Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 337-353.

“Aby Warburgs Kriegskartothek. Vorbericht einer Rekonstruktion.”  In Kasten 117. Aby Warburg und der Aberglaube im Ersten Weltkrieg, ed. Gottfried Korff (Tübingen: Tübinger Vereinigung für Volkskunde, 2008), 39-69.

“Why Did Goethe Marry When He Did?” Goethe Yearbook 15 (2008): 115-130.

“Germans are to Greeks as French are to Romans: Metamorphoses of a Topos in German Literature, 1755-1819.” Myths, Foundation Texts and Imagined Communities, ed. Martin Prochazka & Ondrej Pilny (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2005), 207-225.

“Eduard’s Egotism: Historical Notes on Goethe’s Elective Affinities.” The Germanic Review, Vol. 76, Nr. 1 (Winter 2001): 41-68.

“An Unpublished Essay by Goethe? ‘Staatssachen. Über mündliche deutsche Rechtspflege in  Deutschland’.”  The Germanic Review, Vol. 73, Nr. 2 (Spring 1998): 107-131.

Review essay

“Goethe at 251.” The Germanic Review, Vol. 75, Nr. 4 (Fall 2000): 323-326 [review of: W. Daniel Wilson, Das Goethe-Tabu: Protest und Menschenrechte im klassischen Weimar; Karl Hugo Pruys, Die Liebkosungen des Tigers. Eine erotische Goethe-Biographie; Nicholas Boyle, Goethe: The Poet and the Age. Vol. 2: Revolution and Renunciation (1790-1803)]

Book reviews

Martin Dönike,  Pathos, Ausdruck und Bewegung. Zur Ästhetik des Weimarer Klassizismus 1796-1806Monatshefte 99, Nr. 4 (Winter 2007): 571-573.

Werner Schlick, Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften: A Middle-Class Critique of Aesthetic Aristocratism.   Monatshefte 96, Nr. 2 (Summer 2004): 292-294.

Jutta Linder, ‘Falsche Tendenzen’. Der Staatsdiener Goethe und der DichterLessing Yearbook XXXV (2003): 338-9.