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Christoph Zeller

Chair, Department of German, Russian, and East European Studies
Professor of German and European Studies

A trained literary scholar and historian, Christoph Zeller received his PhD from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He focuses on aesthetics, intellectual history, cultural studies, and the intersection of visual and literary media in an attempt to shed light on philosophical concepts such as ‘experiment’, ‘authenticity’, and ‘value’ along with their aesthetic representations. His publications include different genres and connect several academic fields. Books and articles discuss a wide range of topics from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, from Romanticism to avant-garde movements, from economics to digital technology, and from the sciences to the arts. He promotes a holistic and hybrid approach to teaching, having students’ academic success as much as their personal growth in mind. Christoph Zeller received fellowships and awards from the State of Baden-Württemberg, the DAAD, the Humboldt Foundation, the Thyssen Foundation, and from Vanderbilt University.

His first book, Allegorien des Erzählens: Wilhelm Raabes Jean-Paul-Lektüre (Stuttgart and Weimar: Metzler 1999) received the Research Award of the Wilhelm-Raabe-Society. In Ästhetik des Authentischen: Literatur und Kunst um 1970 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter 2010), he introduces “authenticity” as an aesthetic category and a form of “mediated immediacy.” His recent monograph, Werte: Geschichte eines Versprechens (Stuttgart: Metzler 2019), maps the mutual influences of economic, ethical, and aesthetic values from the eighteenth century to the present. He is the co-editor of Heinrich von Kleist – Style and Concept: Explorations in Literary Dissonance (Berlin and Boston: de Gruyter 2013, with Dieter Sevin) and Transmedialität: Zur Ästhetik paraliterarischer Verfahren (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2006, with Roberto Simanowski and Urs Meyer), as well as editor of Literarische Experimente: Medien, Kunst, Texte seit 1950 (Heidelberg: Winter 2012). His current projects offer an analysis of the cultural practice of collecting in the digital age and an in-depth study of the idea of values in German literary texts between 1890-1930.