Research

My research focuses on the following areas:

  • German-Jewish Intellectual History, Literature, and Philosophy
  • Digital Humanities and Media Studies
  • Cultural Geography
  • Visual Culture and Art History (19th-20th Centuries)

Book Publications:

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Muscular Judaism: The Jewish Body and the Politics of Regeneration (London: Routledge Press, 2007), 279 + xxiv pp.

Mobile Modernity: Germans, Jews, Trains (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), 368 pp.

Lead translator of a collection of essays by Reinhart Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History/Spacing Concepts, Foreword by Hayden White (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002),  363 pp.

Digital_Humanities (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012), with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, and Jeffrey Schnapp, 170 pp.

HyperCities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities (Harvard University Press, 2014), with David Shepard and Yoh Kawano.

Books-in-Progress:

The Ethics of the Algorithm (“digital publication” within the Scalar platform; not yet under contract).  Taking the 50,000+ Holocaust testimonies of the Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive as its case study, this book asks how a database or information architecture can be “ethical.”  It explores a number of tools and approaches within the Digital Humanities, including data visualization, mapping, topic modeling, and network analysis in order to undertake both “close” and “distance” listening to the digital archive.

A Message in a Bottle: Holocaust Writing on the Edge of Death.  Projected length: 250 pp. (in progress). Taking its title from Paul Celan’s idea of a poem as a “Flaschenpost” (message in a bottle), this book analyzes a unique archive of Holocaust letters and diaries that were written days and sometimes even hours before the death of the author.  Using a conceptual framework built on the philosophies of Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida, the project investigates the idea of writing blindly on the edge of death, the attempt to communicate to the future, and the ethical imperatives of being open to the message of the wholly other.

 

Recent Articles:

“The Ethics of the Algorithm: Close and Distant Readings of the Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive” (work-in-progress, presented at the UCLA conference, “History Unlimited: Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture,” April 2012).  The image file can be found here.

“Critical Theory and the Mangle of Digital Humanities,” forthcoming in The Humanities and the Digital (MIT Press), edited by David Theo Goldberg and Patrik Svensson (2012).

“German-Jewish Studies in the Digital Age: Remarks on Discipline, Method, and Media,” in: Nexus 1: Essays in German Jewish Studies, ed. William Donahue (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2011), 7-26.

“Comparative Literature in the Age of Digital Humanities: On Possible Futures for a Discipline,” Blackwell Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011), 193-207.

“Hypercities: A Case Study for the Future of Scholarly Publishing,” The Shape of Things to Come, ed. Jerome McGann (Houston: Rice University Press, 2010), 251-71.  Also available online: http://cnx.org/content/m34318/latest/

“Digital Humanities 2.0: A Report on Knowledge,” Emerging Disciplines, ed. Melissa Bailar (Houston: Rice University Press, 2010), 63-86. Also available online: http://cnx.org/content/m34246/latest/

“Hegel’s Philosophy of History via Sebald’s Imaginary of Ruins: A Contrapuntal Critique of the ‘New Space’ of Modernity,” in The Ruins of Modernity, eds. Julia Hell and Andreas Schönle (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 193-211.

“Digital Geographies: Berlin in the Ages of New Media,” in: Spatial Turns: Space, Place, and Mobility in German Literary and Visual Culture, eds. Jaimey Fisher and Barbara Mennel (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010) (Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik),  447-69.

“HyperCities: Building a Web 2.0 Learning Platform,” in: Teaching Literature at A Distance, eds. Anastasia Natsina and Takis Tagialis (Continuum Books, 2010), 171-82.

“Remapping German/Jewish Studies: Benjamin, Cartography, Modernity,” in: German Quarterly, ed. Leslie Morris 82.3 (Summer 2009): 293-315

“The City in the Ages of New Media: From Ruttmann’s Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grossstadt to Hypermedia Berlin,” in After the Digital Divide: German Aesthetic Theory in the Age of New Media, eds. Lutz Koepnick and Erin McGlothlin (Camden House, 2009), 229-51.

“Seeing Urban Spaces Anew at the University of California” (co-authored with Suzy Beemer and Richard Marciano), Cyberinfrastructure Technology Watch, 3.2 (May 2007), 7 pages.  Available on-line at:

“Muscle Jews and Airplanes: Modernist Mythologies, the Great War, and the Politics of Regeneration,” in: Modernism/Modernity, 13.4 (Winter 2006): 701-28.

“‘The Fabrication of Corpses’: Heidegger, Arendt, and the Modernity of Mass Death,” Telos, no. 135 (Summer 2006): 84-108.

“Cultural History in the Age of New Media, or ‘Is There a Text in this Class?’” Vectors:Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular. Vol. 2 (Summer 2005).  The article is on-line (“launch project”)

“‘What a Synoptic and Artificial View Reveals’: Extreme History and the Modernism of W.G. Sebald’s Realism,” Criticism, special issue, “Extreme and Sentimental History.”  Vol. 46.  No. 3 (Summer 2004): 341-60.

“‘Clear Heads, Solid Stomachs, and Hard Muscles’: Max Nordau and the Aesthetics of Jewish Regeneration,” Modernism/Modernity.  Vol. 10.  No. 2.  (April 2003): 269-96.

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