Associate Professor of German & Comparative Literature, Convener of German

Professor Schwartz teaches courses in German and comparative literature and in film. 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 critical work of the Frankfurt School, literary and musical folk genres, visual propaganda, and the “science of culture” (Kulturwissenschaft) of the art historian Aby Warburg and his circle.  He is the author of After Jena: Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the End of the Old Regime (Bucknell UP, 2010) and of articles on Goethe and his age, Georg Büchner, Aby M. Warburg, Michael Haneke, and the Faust tradition in its relation to media history; his most recent publication is an iconographic study of Chinese Communist paper money and Soviet silent film (2014).  His complete translation of a classic work of literary genre theory, André Jolles’s Simple Forms (1929), was published by Verso Books (London) in February 2017, and he is writing a book about 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). 358 pages.


Reviews: ECCB: The Eighteenth-Century Current Bibliography n.s. vol. 36 (for 2010):  442-45, Eighteenth-Century Studies 45.4 (2012): 613-16, German Quarterly 84.1 (Winter 2011): 110-12, German Studies Review 35.2 (May 2012): 402-403, Goethe-Jahrbuch 128 (2011): 357-58, Goethe Yearbook 18 (2011): 308-09, Monatshefte 105.2 (2013): 332-34, Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies 49.2 (2013): 254-56.


André Jolles, Simple Forms (London: Verso Books, 2017), with a foreword by Fredric Jameson and a critical introduction by Peter J. Schwartz. 272 pages

Verso Books

Reviews: Marta Figlerowicz, “How To Do Things With Genres,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 30 March 2017:; Jan Baetens, Critical Inquiry, August 29, 2018:; David Martyn, “The Morphology of Simple Forms – Then and Now,” Arcadia 2018; 53(2): 445-452; Geertjan de Vugt, “André Jolles: Vormen, Gebaren, en Formules,” De Nederlandse Boekengids / The Dutch Review of Books, 3/6 (December 2018-January 2019), 45-7.

André Jolles, “Legend” (an abridgement of one chapter from Simple Forms [1929]), with a short introduction.  PMLA 128, No. 3 (May 2013): 728-743.

Selections from Johann Christian August Clarus, The Legal Accountability of the Murderer Johann Christian Woyzeck, Demonstrated with Documentary Evidence According to the Principles of the Science of Public Health (1825).  In Matthew Wilson Smith, ed., Georg Büchner: The Major Works (New York: Norton, 2012), 199-208.


“The Ideological Antecedents of the First-Series Renminbi Worker-and-Peasant Banknote, or What Mao Tse-tung May Have Owed to Dziga Vertov.” Transcultural Studies (2014/1): 8-94.

“Rube Stories and Paradigmatic Crimes as Narrative Modulators at Thresholds of Cultural Change.” In Roberto Gilodi and Luigi Marfè, ed., Morphology and Historical Sequence. Cosmo: Comparative Studies in Modernism. (Turin) 18 (2021): 83-93.

“Aby Warburg and Cinema, Revisited.” New German Critique 139 (Feb. 2020): 105-40.

“’Guckt euch selbst an!’ Büchner’s Woyzeck and the Pericope Adulterae.” In Robert Gillett and Ernest Schonfeld, eds., Georg Büchner: Contemporary Perspectives (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 79-91.

“Formulating a Thesis; or: Chaos and Cosmos.” Journal of the Core Curriculum [Boston University], Number XXV (Spring 2016): 49-62.

“The Ideological Antecedents of the First-Series Renminbi Worker-and-Peasant Banknote or What Mao Tse-tung May Have Owed to Dziga Vertov.” Transcultural Studies 1 (2014): 8-94.

“’I’ll burn my books!’  Faust(s), Magic, Media.”  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), 186-214.

“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.


“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)]


Martin Dönike,  Pathos, Ausdruck und Bewegung. Zur Ästhetik des Weimarer Klassizismus 1796-1806 Monatshefte 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 Dichter Lessing Yearbook XXXV (2003): 338-9.