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

HUM 208

Michael Powers (B.A. New College of Florida; M.A. and Ph.D. Brown University) teaches a variety of courses in German and English, including topics such as “Marx and Art,” “Green Germany,” and “The End of Nature: Culture and Catastrophe.” He especially enjoys engaging students with cultural content in the language classroom, as well as developing interdisciplinary courses that enable exploration of different areas within 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.