Professor, German and Russian Studies
Focuses on comparative literature, literary theory, culture from the 18th century to the present, philosophy, and literature written in German by “foreign”-language authors
David Martyn, Professor (B.A. Yale Univ., M.A. and Ph.D. Cornell Univ.), teaches courses on German literature from the 18th century to the present; German and European literature, philosophy, and critical theory; and German language. Recent offerings include “Romanticism: The Fantastic in Literature and Film,” “Literary Case Studies from Goethe to Kafka,” “Eccentricity and Mediocrity in the European Novel,” “Concepts of Freedom from Luther to Agamben,” and “Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud.” His research interests are 18th- and early 19th-century German literature and philosophy and theories of secularization. He is the author of Sublime Failures: The Ethics of Kant and Sade, Wayne State University Press, 2003, and a critical edition of Moses Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem. Recent articles include a critical essay for the new Norton Anthologies edition of Goethe’s Werther; a survey of the history of the “sublime” for Harvard Univ. Press’s forthcoming Keywords in German Aesthetics; and an article on Jewish secularization for a recent volume on Moses Mendelssohn in the Text + Kritik series. He is currently completing Literatur als Zweitsprache von Leibniz bis Tawada: Ansätze zu einer Archeologie der Sprachigkeit (under contract with the Fink Verlag).
In 2011, Martyn was resident scholar at the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies in Berlin (ZfL) and the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies at the Free University of Berlin.