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German Studies, Cornell University

Cornell University Department of German Studies Cornell Univeristy

Leslie A. Adelson

Leslie A. Adelson


Professor Adelson’s teaching and research concentrate on German literature  from 1945 to the present and additionally reflect interdisciplinary as well  as transnational approaches to culture and history. Her focal interests include German literature of the post-war and post-socialist eras, emergent literatures often associated with minority and migrant populations (especially regarding  Jews and Turks), and postcolonial theories of difference and approximation.  Additional research and teaching projects revolve around futurity and experiments in narrative form in German literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, especially in the prose miniatures of Alexander Kluge. The Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of German Studies, Adelson is both former chair of the Department of German Studies and former director of Cornell’s interdisciplinary Institute for German Cultural Studies.  She belongs to the graduate fields in German Studies, Comparative Literature, Jewish Studies, as well as Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies.  She additionally serves on the International Advisory Boards for the Contemporary Comparative Literatures book series with Palgrave Press, the Stauffenburg Verlag's Discussion Series on Inter- und Multikultur, as well as Stauffenburg Verlag's Studies in Contemporary German Literature.  A contributing editor for New German Critique since 1983, she assists many other presses, journals, and research organizations with scholarly evaluations as well.

Selected publications

Futurity Now. Co-edited with Devin Fore. Spec. issue of Germanic Review 88.3 (2013)

"Horizons of Hope: Alexander Kluge's Cosmic Miniatures and Walter Benjamin." GegenwartsLiteratur: Ein germanistisches Jahrbuch 13 (2014): 203-225.

"Kosmopolitisch und parallel? Unterwegs auf 'verrosteten Schienen' mit Yoko Tawada im postnationalen Roman Das nackte Auge (2004)." Trans. Johannes Wankhammer. Kosmopolitische 'Germanophonie'? Postnationale Perspektiven in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur. Ed. Christine Meyer. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2012. 273-292.

"The Future of Futurity: Alexander Kluge and Yoko Tawada." The Germanic Review 86.3 (2011): 153-184

"Experiment Mars, Turkish Migration, and the Future of Europe: Imaginative Ethnoscapes in Contemporary German Literature." Ethnic Europe: Mobility, Identity, and Conflict in a Globalized World. Ed. Roland Hsu. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 2010. 192-211

“Experiment Mars.” Über Gegenwartsliteratur. Interpretationen—Kritiken—Interventionen.  Ed. Mark W. Rectanus. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2008. 23-49

The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature: Toward a New Critical  Grammar of Migration. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

“Migrants and Muses.” The New History of German Literature.  Ed. David E. Wellbery et al. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.  912-917

The Cultural After-Life of East Germany: New Transnational Perspectives.  Ed. Leslie A. Adelson. Helen & Harry Gray Humanities Program Series 13.  Washington, D.C.: American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, 2002

“Against Between: A Manifesto.” Unpacking Europe. Ed.  Salah Hassan and Iftikhar Dadi. Rotterdam: NAI, 2001. 244-255

Zafer Şenocak. Atlas of a Tropical Germany: Essays on Politics and Culture,  1990-1998. Ed. and trans. Leslie A. Adelson. Lincoln: University of Nebraska  Press, 2000

Making Bodies, Making History: Feminism and German Identity. Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1993

Crisis of Subjectivity: Botho Strauß’s Challenge to West German  Prose of the 1970s. Amersterdam: Rodopi, 1984


Recent courses

  Imaginative Arts of Migration (new course GERST/PMA, Spring 2015)
  Rites of Contact: Emergent Literatures and Critical Method (GERST 6960; Fall 2014)
  Postwar “Anchor” Seminar: German Literature 1949-1989 (GERST 6470; Spring 2013)
  Alexander Kluge, the Writer (GERST 6760; Spring 2012)
  New German Literature: After the Wall (GERST 4100; Fall 2011)
  Jews in German Culture and Literature Since 1945 (GERST/JWST 6150; Spring 2010)
  After the Fires: Divided Germany 1945-1989 (GERST 3210; Fall 2009)
  Changing Worlds: Migration, Minorities, German Literature (GERST 4420; Spring 2006)