Jens Elias Klenner

Assistant Professor of German

Teaching this semester

GER 1155 / ENVS 1155. Into the Wild

Jens Klenner
An examination of the mix of conflicting ideas that shape the many conceptions of “wilderness.” Among other questions, explores the ideas of wilderness as a space without or preceding culture and civilization, as a mental state, and as an aesthetic experience. Considers the place of wilderness in the ‘urban jungle’ of cities. Puts Anglo-American and European theories and images of the wilderness into dialogue by comparing literary works, film, artworks, and philosophical texts. No knowledge of German is required.

GER 2203. Intermediate German I: Germany within Europe

Jens Klenner
Continued emphasis on the understanding of German culture through language. Focus on social and cultural topics through history, literature, politics, popular culture, and the arts. Three hours per week of reading, speaking, and writing. One hour of discussion and practice with teaching assistant. Language laboratory also available. Equivalent of German 1102 is required.

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, Universität Konstanz; Germany
  • M.A. Comparative Literature, Princeton University
  • M.A. American Studies, History, Cultural Studies, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg; Germany



“»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

Samuel Frederick. Narratives Unsettled: Digression in Robert Walser, Thomas Bernhard, and Adalbert Stifter. Northwestern UP, 2012. Journal of Austrian Studies 47:3 (2014): forthcoming.

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.

Conference Presentations & Invited Talks

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

“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.

“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.

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

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

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

“»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.

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