Robert S. Leventhal
Assistant Professor of German Studies
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
The College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, VA 23187
Office: (757) 221-7412
Home: (434) 979-5764 (NOTE NEW AREA CODE)
Cell: (434) 989-6748
10/75 - 8/82 Stanford University. Ph.D. in German Thought and Literature (August, 1982). Advisor: Kurt Mueller-Vollmer. Readers: David Wellbery, Ian Hacking. Minor in the History of Philosophy. M.A. in German Literature, with
Distinction (September, 1976).
7/79 - 6/80 Institut für deutsche Philologie, Ludwig-Maximillian-Universität, Munich, West Germany. DAAD Research Fellow.
1/76 - 7/76 Fellowship of the Foreign Academic Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt), Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität, Bonn, West Germany.
9/71 - 6/75 Grinnell College. B.A. in German and Philosophy, with Honors. Phi Beta Kappa, Grinnell College.
8/73 - 7/74 Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, West Germany.
6/73 - 8/73 Goethe Institut, Freiburg, West Germany. Completion of the Mittelstufe and the University Admission Examination (Zulassungsprüfung).
Assistant Professor of German Studies, The College of William and Mary
1999-Present VP of Sales, Marketing, and Project Development at InteLex Corporation, Charlottesville, VA.
1998-1999 Director of Electronic Publishing, Silverchair Science + Communication, Charlottesville, VA
1996-97 Steering Committee, Information Technology and Telecommunications, Center for Innovative Technology, Herndon, VA
1996-1998 Instructor, Piedmont Virginia Community College, "Web Technologies" Courses at the River Road Tech Training Center
1997 Spring/Summer Roanoke College, Taught Faculty Technology Workshops to Physical Education, English and Biology
1995-1998 President, Blueridge Internet Technologies and Services, Inc., a local Internet Presence Provider in an alliance with Waynesboro-based CFW Communications and Piedmont Virginia Community College
1995-96 Networked Fellow, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia
1994 Participant, Institute for Academic Technology,
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. One Week Training Workshop in Multimedia Authoring and Programming
1988-95 Assistant Professor of German, University of Virginia.
1986-88 Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies, University of Virginia.
1982-86 Assistant Professor of German, Washington University in St. Louis
1984 Director, Summer Language Institute of Washington
University at the Goethe Institute, Göttingen
1982 Instructor in German, San Francisco State University
1981 Lecturer in German, UC Santa Cruz
1980 Teacher, Intensive Summer Language Program, Stanford
1976 - 1981 Teaching Assistant and Research Fellow, Stanford University.
Summer Session Intensive Immersion
Intensive Introductory German
Intensive Accelerated Intermediate German
Intensive Intermediate German (Honors)
Advanced German Grammar
Survey of German Literature I: 1750-1890
Applied Linguistics and Methods of Teaching German
Topics in Literature and History: Enlightenment(Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Course)
German Intellectual History: Leibniz-Hegel
Seminar: Political Discourse, Language and Literature 1725-1800
Seminar: Contemporary German Literature
Undergraduate Seminar: Literature, Discipline and Modernity
Postwar German Literature (Undergraduate)
Literature of the 1970s and 1980s (Graduate)
Literature of the Holocaust (Undergraduate)
Seminar: Romanticism (Graduate)
The German City: Munich 1900-1945
Responses to the Holocaust(Undergraduate/Graduate)
(see syllabus for this course online at: http://www.aicgs.org/resources/daad/1994022.shtml)
Workshop in HTML, Basic Unix, and the Internet
Technology Courses Taught:
Introduction to the World Wide Web
Basic HTML Programming for the Web
The Internet in Depth
Basic UNIX for Internet Users
Web Technologies for the Humanities
Areas of Interest:
German Language (all levels); German literature of the Aufklärung, Sturm und Drang, Empfindsamkeit, Lessing, Herder, F. Schlegel; German and European Romanticism, German Intellectual History, 18th-20th century; 20th century German Literature, The German Novel, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Michel Foucault, Literature and Science, Psychoanalysis and Literature, Responses to the Holocaust, Holocaust Literature and Film, Advanced German Grammar, Stylistics; the use of digital technology in teaching; technology and literature; the history of (media)technology and its relation to the history of literature.
The Disciplines of Interpretation: Lessing, Herder, Schlegel and Hermeneutics in Germany, 1750-1800
(Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1994). (=European Cultures, Volume 5)
Figures of Entropy: The Second Law of Thermodynamics and German Culture, 1870-1920. A book on the
intersections between science, literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis in German modernist texts of the
late 19th and early 20th centuries. Readings of Carnot, Clausius, Maxwell, Boltzmann, Szilard, Brillouin
and their influence on classic German modernist texts: Nietzsche, Mainländer, Freud, Kafka, Mann, and
Rilke. (in progress)
Multi- and Hypermedia Projects:
Stimme -- Text -- Bild: Multimedia Deutsch. A multimedia intermediate
German text for the 2nd and 3rd year utilizing Macromedia Authorware Professional in conjunction with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere hypermedia software. (prototype)
"Responses to the Holocaust: A Hypermedia Sourcebook for the Humanities." A hypermedia sourcebook
in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) intended for the Internet that will include responses from
philosophy, literature, criticism, theory, film, art and architecture, sociology, psychoanalysis, theology, history and historiography to the Nazi Genocide of the Jews of Europe, 1933-45, with bibliographies and hyperlinks to other electronic documents.
Reading after Foucault: Institutionalization, Disciplinarity and Technologies of the Self in German
Literature 1750-1830 (Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1994). (=Kritik: German Literature and Cultural Theory)
1. "Order out of Chaos: Literary Discussion in the Classroom" Die Unterrichtspraxis Vol. XII, No. 1 (1979),
2. "The Ends of the Avant-Garde" Subject to Change: Washington University Journal for Politics and the Arts
Vol. XI, No. 2 (1985), pp. 22-25.
3. "Semiotic Interpretation and Rhetoric in the German Enlightenment" Deutsche Vierteljahrsschift für
Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte 2 (1986), pp. 223-248.
4. "The Emergence of Philological Discourse in the German Territorial States 1770-1800" ISIS. Journal of
the History of Science Vol. 77 No. 287 (1986), pp. 243-260.
5. "Language Theory, the Institution of Philology and the State 1770-1810" Papers in the History of
Linguistics eds. Hans Aarsleff, L.G. Kelly, H.-J. Niederrehe (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1987), pp. 349-365.
6. "Moralische und ästhetische Verantwortung: Zur Struktur der frühromantischen Utopie als Replik auf Kants
Geschichtsphilosophie" Goethezeit: Literatur und Utopie ed. Wolfgang Wittkowski (Tübingen: Niemeyer,
1988), pp. 343-366.
7. "The Rhetoric of Anarcho-Nihilistic Murder: Thomas Bernhard's Das Kalkwerk" Modern Austrian
Literature Vol. 21, Nos. 3/4 (1988), pp. 1-21.
8. "The Parable as Performance: Interpretation, Cultural Transmission and Political Strategy in Lessing's
Nathan der Weise" German Quarterly Vol. 61, No. 4 (1988), pp. 17-36.
9. "Heidegger's Signs" Kodikas/Code: An International Journal of Semiotics Nos. 1-2 (1988), pp. 195-211.
10. "Progression and Particularity: Herder's Critique of Schlözer's Universal History and the Göttingen School"
in: Wulf Koepke, ed., J.G. Herder: Language, History, and the Enlightenment (South Carolina: Camden
House, 1990), pp. 225-247.
11. "Zur Bildungsfunktion der Sprachkritik: Vico und Herder" History and Historiography in Linguistics ed.
H.-J. Niederrehe, Konrad Koerner (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1990), pp. 415-431.
12. "Critique of Subjectivity: Herder and the Foundations of the Human Sciences" Herder Today: An
International Symposium ed. Kurt Mueller-Vollmer (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1990), pp. 173-189.
13. "Institutionalisierung und Literaturwissenschaft: Zur Diskursivität der literaturwissenschaftlichen
Institutionen," Weimarer Beiträge 3 (1993), pp.360-377.
14. "G.E. Lessing: Literary Theory and Criticism," in: The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and
Criticism. Ed. by Martin Kreiswirth and Michael Groden (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1993), pp. 461-463.
15. "Reciprocal Influence" in: Robert Leventhal, ed., Reading after Foucault: Institutionalization, Disciplinarity,
and Technologies of Self in German Literature 1750-1830 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1994)
16. "Tod - Körper - Schrift: Zur rhetorischen Umschreibung bei Lessing" in: Wolfram Mauser & Günter Saße,
eds., Streitkultur: Strategien des Überzeugens im Werk Lessings (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1993),
17. "Diskursanalytische Bemerkungen zum Wissenschaftsbegriff beim frühen Herder" in: Martin Bollacher &
Harro Müller-Michaels, eds., Geschichte und Kultur (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1993), pp.
18. "Versagen: Kafka und die masochistische Ordnung" German Life and Letters Vol. 48, No. 2 (1995), pp.
19. "Romancing the Holocaust, or Hollywood and Horror: Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List"
Draft presented to "Responses to the Holocaust" course at the University of Virginia, also to be excerpted in a textbook for teaching cultural studies in the UK to be published by Heinemann in 2004.
20. "Narcissism, Masochism, and Love after the Holocaust: Paul Mazursky's Film Enemies, A Love Story (1989)" presented at the Virginia Festival of the Film, October, 1996.
21. "Art Spiegelman's MAUS: Parapraxis, Trauma, and the Holocaust," published on the website "Responses to the Holocaust," URL: http://rsleve.people.wm.edu/spiegelman.html
22. "The Critique of the Concept: Lessing, Herder, and the Semiology of Historical Semantics" in: Wilfried
Malsch, Hans Adler, Wulf Koepke, eds., Herder Yearbook/Herder Jahrbuch 1996 (Stuttgart/Weimar: J.B.
Metzler, 1997), pp. 93-111.
23. "Rewiring the Oedipal Scene: Image and Discursivity in Wim Wenders' Journey Until the End of the World"
in: Wilhelm Wurzer, ed., Panorama: Philosophies of the Visible (New York: Continuum, 2003). (together with Volker Kaiser)
24. "G.E. Lessing: Literary Theory and Criticism," in: The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. Ed. by Martin Kreiswirth and Michael Groden. 2nd Edition. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2002).
W.G. Sebald, On the Natural History of Destruction (New York: Random House, 2003) in: Culture Machine. (2003). URL: http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Reviews/rev31.htm and go to "Reviews".
Adam Phillips, Equals (London: Faber & Faber, 2002) in: Culture Machine. The Ethico-Policitcal Issue Vol. 4 (2002). URL: http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/frm_f1.htm and go to "Reviews".
Hans Aarsleff, From Locke to Sausssure: Essays on the Study of Language and Intellectual History (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1982) in: Isis. Journal of the History of Science Vol. 274, No. 4 (1983), 664-5.
David Wellbery, Laocoon: Aesthetics and Semiotics in the Age of Reason (Cambridge, 1984) in: Eighteenth Century Studies (1986), 424-429.
Klaus Behrens, Friedrich Schlegels Geschichtsphilosophie (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1984) in: Deutsche Bücher XVI, No. 2 (1986), 145-146.
Dennis Klein, Jewish Origins of the Psychoanalytic Movement (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1985) in: Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences 23 (1987). Essay with reply by the author.
Vassilis Lambopoulos & David Miller, eds., Twentieth Century Literary Theory: An Introductory
Anthology (Albany: State University Press, 1987) in: The German Quarterly Vol. 61, No. 4 (1988), 559-561.
Bernd Fischer, 'Gehen' von Thomas Bernhard: Eine Studie zum Problem der Moderne (Bonn: Bouvier,
1985) in: The Germanic Review LXIII, No, 3 (1988), 148-49.
Heidi Owrens, Herders Bildungsprogramm (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1985) in: The Germanic Review
LXIV, No. 2 (1989), 82-84.
James C. O'Flaherty, The Quarrel of Reason with Itself: Essays on Hamann, Michaelis, Lessing and
Nietzsche (South Carolina: Camden House, 1988) in: The German Quarterly 63 (1990), 543-545.
Peter Uwe Hohendahl, A History of German Literary Criticism 1730-1980 (Lincoln and London: Univ. of Nebraska, 1988) in: South Atlantic Review 55 (1990), 148-152.
Jill Anne Kowalik, The Poetics of Historical Perspectivism (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1991) in: South Atlantic Review 58 (1992), 134-137.
Thomas Althaus, Das Uneigentliche ist das Eigentliche. Metaphorische Darstellung in der Prosa bei Lessing und Lichtenberg (Münster: Aschendorff, 1991) in: Monatshefte 86, No. 1 (1994), 130-132.
Thomas Kempf, Aufklärung als Disziplinierung (München: Iudicium, 1991) in: The German Quarterly Vol. 67, No. 1 (1994), 133-134.
John Zammito, The Genesis of Kant's Critique of Judgment (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992) in: Journal of Modern History Vol. 67, No. 1 (1995), 206-209.
Friedrich A. Kittler, "From the Recreation of Scholars to the Labor of the Concept" in: Robert Leventhal,
Reading after Foucault: Institutions, Disciplines, and Technolgies of the Self in Germany 1750-1830
(Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1994).
Papers and Presentations:
"Aesthetic Revolution and Universal Communicativity in German Romanticism," Society for Eighteenth
Century Studies, Phoenix, Arizona, 1983.
"Semiotics and Rhetoric in the German Enlightenment," Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Phoeniz,
"The Emergence of Philological Disciplines in Hannover and Prussia, 1770-1810," Society for Eighteenth
Century Studies, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1984.
"Writing the Difference: The Romantic Critique of Transcendental Philosophy," International Conference
of the Association of Philosophy and Literature, Iowa City, Iowa, 1984.
"Language Theory and the Institution of Philology," Third International Conference on the History of the
Language Sciences, Princeton University, 1984.
"J.G. Herder's Critique of Universal History and Schlözer's Reply," International Herder Conference,
Monterey, California, 1985.
"The Rhetoric of Anarcho-Nihilistic Murder: Thomas Bernhard's Das Kalkwerk," Modern Language
Association, Chicago, 1985.
"World War II and Post-War German Literature," International Education Consortium, St. Louis, Missouri,
"'Politik' der Interpretation: Ansätze zu einer neuen Konzeption der Literaturtheorie unter Beiziehung des
wissenschaftstheoretischen Realismus," Literaturwissenschaftliches Seminar and Abteilung für Englische
Sprache und Kultur, Universität Hamburg, 1986.
"Moral and Aesthetic Responsibility," Goethezeit: Utopia and Responsibility, State University of New
York, Albany, 1986.
"The Rhetoric of Murder in Thomas Bernhard," University of Virginia, 1986.
Chair of Special Session "New Approaches to Narrative in Literature and History," Modern Language
Association, New York, 1986.
"The Parable as Performative in Lessing's Nathan der Weise," University of Virginia, 1987.
"The Invention of German Classicism: The Reception of Goethe in Early German Romanticism," American
Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1987.
"Die Bildungsfunktion der Sprachkritik bei Vico und Herder," International Conference for the History of
the Language Sciences, Trier, West Germany, 1987.
"Political Strategies and Rhetoric in Lessing," German Studies Association, St. Louis, 1987.
"The Criticism of Subjectivity: Herder's Foundation of the Human Sciences," International Herder
Conference, Stanford University, 1987.
"The War about Discourse: Habermas' Universal Pragmatics against the Agonistics of Lyotard," Modern
Language Association, San Francisco, 1987. Also given at the Symposium on Marxism, School of Art and
Architecture, University of Virginia.
"On Incomprehensibility: The Uses of a Critical Strategy," Modern Language Association, San Francisco,
"Voices of Peace," Modern Language Association, New Orleans, 1988.
Chair of Session "Reading after Foucault: Institutionalization and Disciplinarity in German literature, 1770-1810," Modern Language Association, New Orleans, 1988.
"Discipline, Performance, Subjection," 7th Annual GRIP Conference: "Discipline: Rhetorics, Histories,
Formations" Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1989.
"Autobiography as Necrology: The Black Print and the White Noise of Literature," German Studies
Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1989.
Respondent to the session "Aesthetics at the End of the Enlightenment" German Studies Association,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1989.
"Reciprocal Influence," International Herder Conference, University of Virginia, April 12-15, 1990.
"Umschrift/Umschreibung: Zur Struktur einer rhetorischen Strategie bei Lessing," Streitkultur: Strategien
des Überzeugens im Werk G.E. Lessings, Freiburg, W. Germany, May 21-24, 1991.
"Institutionalization and its Vicissitudes," AATG, Washington, D.C., November 24, 1991.
"Kafka und die masochistische Ordnung," Deutsches Seminar, Universität und Gesamthochschule Essen,
June 11, 1992.
"Der Wissenschaftsbegriff beim frühen Herder," International Herder Conference, Universität Bochum, June
"'Dunkle Stellen': On the Eclipse of the Spectacle and the Emergence of Romantic Specularity," Modern
Language Association, New York, December 27, 1992.
"Tod - Körper - Schrift: Zur rhetorischen Umschreibung bei Lessing," Department of German, University of Pennsylvania, November, 1992.
"The Critique of the Concept: Lessing, Herder, and the Practice of Negative Philosophy," Modern
Language Association, San Diego, California, December 27-30, 1994.
"Rewiring the Oedipal Scene: Wim Wenders' Journey Until the End of the World," (with Volker Kaiser)
International Association of Philosophy and Literature, Pittsburgh, PA, May 11-13, 1993.
"Kafka and the Masochistic Order," Department of German Studies, Stanford University, May 24, 1993.
"Masochism, Narcissism, and Love after the Holocaust: Paul Mazursky's Enemies, A Love Story." Virginia Festival of American Film, October 28, 1994.
"The Critique of the Concept: Lessing, Herder, and the Practice of Negative Philosophy," Modern
Language Association, San Diego, California, December 27-30, 1994.
"The Piano Teacher: Lessons in Coldness and Cruelty," The Virginia Psychoanalytic Society Film Series, April, 2003.
"The Entropy-Effect: Tracing the Second Law in the History of the Human Sciences," History of Science Society, Joint Conference with
British HSA and the Canadian HSA, University of Kings College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 5-7, 2003.
"Das vorbildliche Beispiel: Friedrich Schlegels Spinoza-Lektuere und die Entstehung einer kritischen Hermeneutik der Fruehromantik 1795-1800,"
"Spinoza: Literatur und Aesthetik," Tagung der Internationalen Spinoza-Gesellschaft und der Stiftung Weimarer Klassik, Weimar, September 9-11, 2004.
"Philology and Hermeneutics According to the Young Friedrich Schlegel," Georg Brandes School of the
University of Copenhagen, April 12, 2005 in conjunction with the Doctoral Course "Philology and Hermeneutics: The Romantic Legacy."
1993-94 Co-Director (with Volker Kaiser) of the Conference "Fascism and the Institutions of
Literature," Sept. 29-October 2, 1994, University of Virginia
1990 Director of 3rd International Herder Society Conference "J.G. Herder: Disciplines of
Knowledge," April 12-15, 1990, University of Virginia
Awards and Grants:
Grant from the Center for Advanced Studies and the Dean of the Faculty for the conference "Fascism and
the Institutions of Literature," to be held at the University of Virginia Sept. 29- Oct. 2, 1994.
Sesquicentennial Grant from the Center for Advanced Studies, University of Virginia, Fall, 1992.
Grant from the Center for Advanced Study, University of Virginia, for the International Herder Conference
"J.G. Herder: Disciplines of Knowledge."
Collaborative Grant from IREX to bring two scholars from the GDR -- Dr. Regine Otto and Dr. Günther Arnold -- to the United States
for the International Herder Conference
Faculty Summer Research Grant, University of Virginia, 1993
Faculty Summer Research Grant, University of Virginia, 1991
Faculty Summer Research Grant, University of Virginia, 1989
Andrew W. Mellon Scholars Award, Center for Advanced Studies, University of Virginia, 1986-88
IREX (International Research Exchange Board), Prague, Czechoslovakia, Statni Knihovna, Karl-Universität
Archiv (Prague), 1986.
Faculty Summer Research Grant, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Washington University, 1983.
DAAD (German Foreign Academic Exchange Service), 1979-80.
Fellowship of the Academic Foreign Office of the Universität Bonn, West Germany, 1976.
University Research Fellow, Stanford University, Dept. of German Studies, 1980-81.
Director of Undergraduate Language Instruction
Undergraduate Language Committee
University Judicial Board
Chair of Search Committee, Mellon Fellowship in Literature
Search Committee, Senior Position
Search Committee, Junior Position
Faculty Contact Person, German House
Chair, Student Faculty Interaction Committee
Coordinator, 100-Level Courses
Coordinator, 200-Level Courses
Director, Summer Language Institute (21 Students), Goethe Institute, Göttingen, West Germany, 1984
Team Teacher: "Morals, Politics, and Politeness in the Enlightenment" (Seminar) with Carol Kay and Harold Ellis, English and History,Washington University
University of Virginia
Undergraduate Advisor 1988-1991, German Department
Foreign Study Advisor, German Department
Leader, German Theory Group
Participant, Faculty Seminar 1988-89
Director and Coordinator, International Herder Conference: "J.G. Herder: Disciplines of Knowledge," April 12-15, 1990
Master's Examination Committee, 1991-92
Chair, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee 1990-91
Member, Ad-Hoc Committee on Departmental Chair, German Department
Graduate Admissions, 1991-1993
Undergraduate Advisor 1993-94
Master's Examination Committee, 1993-94
Co-Director and Co-Cordinator, with Volker Kaiser, of conference "Fascism and the Institutions of Literature," sponsored by the German Department, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Advanced Studies, University of Virginia
Dissertation Committee, Jeffrey Prudhomme, Department of Religious Studies (Advisor: Robert Scharlemann)
Participant in the Program on Bio-Medical Ethics (sponsored by Jim Childress and Dan Westberg, Dept. of Religious Studies)
Ph.D. Examination, Annette Bühler, Dept. of German
Ph.D. Examination Committee, Bettina Fischer, Dept. of German
Team Teacher: "Responses to the Holocaust" with David Novak, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam, Jonathan Sherwood, Dept. of Religious Studies
Prof. Lorna Martens, Department of German, University of Virginia
Prof. David Novak, Department of Philosophy and Jewish Studes Program, University of Toronto
Prof. Dr. Joachim Gessinger, Institut fuer Germanistik, Universitaet Potsdam
Prof. Ian Hacking, Institute of the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Toronto
Prof. David Wellbery, Department of German, The Johns Hopkins University
Prof. Helmut Mueller-Sievers, Departments of German and Comparative Literature, Northwestern University