Visiting Assistant Professor, German Studies
Critical and literary theory; environmental humanities; visual and media studies; intersections of philosophy, politics, and art


Michael Powers (B.A. New College of Florida; M.A. and Ph.D. Brown University) teaches and researches on German literature, art, and culture; critical theory; visual and media studies; and environmental humanities. He teaches courses in both German and English. He especially enjoys bringing cultural content into the language classroom, as well as developing interdisciplinary courses that bring together different areas connected to German Studies, from art, literature, and film, to philosophy, political theory, and environmental studies.

His recent publications include a comparative analysis of Goethe’s and phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s respective writings on color, an essay on the problem of ecocentric solidarity in the socialist fairy tales of Hermynia zur Mühlen, and an article that reexamines the early history of photography through the double lens of photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s cloud studies and Walter Benjamin’s media theory. He has published and presented extensively on Benjamin and other thinkers affiliated with the Frankfurt School, and he is completing a monograph on the figure of the cloud in Benjamin’s writings. He has also published on the topic of play in German Romantic literature, psychoanalysis, and critical theory, and is working on a new project about the politics of play.