Jens Elias Klenner

Assistant Professor of German

Teaching this semester

GER 2205. Advanced German Texts and Contexts

Designed to explore aspects of German culture in depth, to deepen the understanding of culture through language, and to increase facility in speaking, writing, reading, and comprehension. Topics include post-war and/or post-unification themes in historical and cross-cultural contexts. Particular emphasis on post-1990 German youth culture and language. Includes fiction writing, film, music, and various news media. Weekly individual sessions with the teaching fellow from the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität-Mainz. Equivalent of German 2204 is required.

GER 3317. German Literature and Culture since 1945

An exploration of how successive generations have expressed their relationship to the catastrophe of the Nazi past. Examines representative texts of East and West German writers/filmmakers in Cold War and post-unification contexts. A discussion of German identity from several critical perspectives, including Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the political and cultural influence of the United States and the Soviet Union, gender in the two Germanys, and the politics of migration and citizenship. Authors may include Grass, B÷ll, Borchert, Brussig, Ízdamar, Schlink, and Wolf. Films by Fassbinder, von Trotta, Schl÷ndorff, Akin, and Levy.

Research interests comprise German fiction from 1800 to the present, especially Austrian literature; the history and theory of the novel; 19th and 20th century intellectual history; literature and the environment; and ecocriticism.


  • Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Princeton University
  • Dr. phil. German, Universit├Ąt Konstanz; Germany
  • M.A. Comparative Literature, Princeton University
  • M.A. American Studies, History, Cultural Studies, Friedrich-Alexander-Universit├Ąt Erlangen-N├╝rnberg; Germany

PDF Curriculum Vitae


In Progress

Writing the Mountains - Book Manuscript

Translation from German to English & Critical Introduction of Georg Simmel “Alpenreisen” (1895) & “Zur Ästhetik der Alpen” (1911)

Special Edition of Journal & Critical Introduction “Sprache und Rache – Language and Revenge” with Juliane Prade-Weiss (Yale/Frankfurt)

de profundis – E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Untranslatable Nature”

“Language Comes Back to Roost: Werner Schwab’s Constructive Revenge”

“Writing in Exception – Kathrin Röggla’s Poetics of Crisis”

“Whiteout: The Dissolution of Language in Bernhard’s Frost


“’Land der Berge’? Erhaben Unerhabenes in Frost und Die Kinder der Toten.” In Intertextualität - Korrelationen - Korrespondenzen. Elfriede Jelinek und Thomas Bernhard. Eds. Reinert, Bastian and Clemens Götze. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018. 158-69. (forthcoming)

“Where the Earth Folded: Celan’s Encounter with Leibniz, August 1959.” New German Critique 45 (2) 2018. (forthcoming)

“»Die Vermieter des Intellekts«: Kopflanger and Handlanger in Brecht and Kafka, (2010).” Journal of the Kafka Society of America. 31/32:1-2 (2007/08): 62-79.

“Ektopia: Skizze einer anatomischen Geographie in Thomas Bernhards Amras.Modern Austrian Literature. 42:1 (2009): 63-84.

“Spontaneous Spaces of Memory: Revisiting our Milieux de Mémoire.” In The Merits of Memory: Concepts, Contexts, Debates. Eds. Hans-Jürgen Grabbe and Sabine Schindler (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008), 17-34.

Book Reviews

Idyll with Drowning Dog and Madalyn. Michael Köhlmeier. Trans. David B. Dollenmayer. Riverside: Ariadne Press, 2016. Journal of Austrian Studies 51 (2) 2018. (forthcoming)

Ingeborg Bachmann und Paul Celan: Historisch-poetische Korrelationen. Ed. Gernot Wimmer. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014. Journal of Austrian Studies 49 (3-4) 2016. 141-43.

Samuel Frederick. Narratives Unsettled: Digression in Robert Walser, Thomas Bernhard, and Adalbert Stifter. Northwestern UP, 2012. Journal of Austrian Studies 47 (4) 2014. 136-38.

Hermann Broch und die Künste. Eds. Staskova, Alice and Paul Michael Lützeler. DeGruyter, 2009. Journal of Austrian Studies 45:3-4 (2012): 138-40.

akten-kundig? Literatur, Zeitgeschichte und Archiv. Eds. Marcel Atze et al. Wien: prae/sens, 2008. Modern Austrian Literature 43:4 (2010): 104-06.

Michael Billenkamp. Thomas Bernhard: Narrativik und poetologische Praxis. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008. The German Quarterly 83:3 (2010): 386-87.

Thomas J. Cousineau. Three-Part Inventions: The Novels of Thomas Bernhard. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2008. The German Quarterly 83:2 (2010): 256-58.

Invited Talks & Conference Presentations

Upcoming Talks & Responses

"Resistance of Nature: Simmel’s Alpine Aesthetics," German Studies Association Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA,  September 27-30, 2018.

Panel Response, "The Evolution of 20th-Century Philosophy and Aesthetics," German Studies Association Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA,  September 27-30, 2018.

"Georg Simmel's Aesthetic Writings on the Alps," Thinking Mounatins Interdisciplinary Summit, Banff, AB, Canada, October 2-5,2018

Invited Talks

De Profundis – E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Untranslatable Nature in Bergwerke zu Falun,” Ecological Archives: Histories of Environment in German Studies, Emory University, March 23-24, 2018.

“Kafka in the Office: White-Collar Workers in 20th Century Literature,” San Diego State University, October 3, 2016.

“Viennese Violence: Jelinek’s Die Ausgesperrten, ” Wellesley College, December 4, 2015.

“Mountains Dissolved: Elfriede Jelinek’s Die Kinder der Toten,” Bowdoin College, January 31, 2014.

“Friendship: Analog and Digital,” Panel Discussion, DIGITAL CULTURES, Dept. of North American Studies, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn, Germany, October 30, 2013.

“Turning the Screw” Grundkurs Literature, Dr. Karin Höpker, Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Erlangen, December 21, 2010.

“»Vermieter des Intellekts«: Brecht and Kafka,” Twentieth-Century Forum, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, May 6, 2009.

Conference Presentations

“Man-Made Nature? Cosmogonies of the Anthropocene,” German Studies Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA,  October 5-7, 2017.

“Sleepless in the Office: The Author as Young Manager,” Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Europe Research Colloquium, Bates College, Lewiston, ME, January 28, 2017.

“disasterscape 2.0 – Kathrin Röggla’s Poetics of Crisis,” German Studies Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, September 29 – October 2, 2016.

“Language Comes Back to Roost - Werner Schwab’s Constructive Revenge,” International Comparative Literature Association, Vienna, Austria, July 21–27, 2016.

“disasterscape 2.0 – Kathrin Röggla’s Austro-American Media Translations,” Annual Symposium of the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association, Vienna, Austria, March 14-17, 2016.

 “’Es hat sich die Erde gefaltet hier oben:’ Celan’s Mountain Poetics,” German Studies Association Annual Conference, Kansas City, MO, September 18-21, 2014.

“Taussig’s Terror,” Terror und Phantastik, conference of the Graduiertenkolleg Das Reale in der Kultur der Moderne in collaboration with the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kunlturwissenschaften IFK Wien, Vienna, Austria, March 24-25, 2011.

“Jelineks barockes Schreiben: Die Kinder der Toten,” Annual Symposium of the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association, Vienna, Austria, May 22-25, 2010.

“»Denken als Dienstleistung«: von Kopflangern und Handlangern in Brecht und Kafka,” Kafka, Brecht and Labor, special session organized by the Kafka Society of America, 2008 MLA Convention, San Francisco, CA, December 27-30, 2008.

“Ektopia - Narrative Topographies of Displacement in Thomas Bernhard’s Amras,” German Studies Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, October 4–7, 2007.

“Spontaneous Spaces of Memory: Revisiting our Milieux de Mémoire,” The Merits of Memory: Uses and Abuses of a Concept, Universität Halle Wittenberg - Stiftung Leucorea Halle Wittenberg, Germany, June 24–26, 2005.

“Cruising Spaces of Hyperrealism: The Humvee in William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and the Benefits of Literature for Cultural Studies,”Cultural Studies Association (U.S.) Annual Conference, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, May 5–9, 2004.

Panel Responses

“Thomas Bernhard’s Frenemies,” Annual Symposium of the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association, Chicago, IL, March 16-19, 2017.

“Literature and Ecocriticism,” German Studies Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, September 29 – October 2, 2016.

“Poetics and Politics of Memory,” Panel Respondent, German Studies Association Annual Conference, St. Paul, MN, October 2-5, 2008.