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Ross Shields

Visiting Assistant Professor of German Studies
Literature, philosophy, critical theory, the history of science, environmental humanities

Humanities 208

Ross Shields (Ph.D. Columbia University) teaches German language courses alongside a
range of seminars that includes “Modernism and the Interarts,” “The Modernist Fringe,”
“Early Modern Science,” “German Theories of Vegetable Genius,” and “Critical Ecologies”
(cross-listed with environmental studies).

His research focuses on the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries, contextualizing
literature, music, and the visual arts with respect to contemporaneous philosophical and
scientific developments. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book
chapters, including “The Piecemeal Coherence of Kafka’s Alchimistengasse Notebooks”
(Monatshefte, forthcoming), “Car Crashes in Literature and Film” (in Fuhrpark der Literatur,
Wallstein, 2022), “Morphology and Music Theory” (in Aus dem Leben der Form II, Wallstein,
2021), “Zusammenhang (Nexus)” (Goethe-Lexicon of Philosophical Concepts, 2021), and
“Wittgenstein on Music and Language” (Germanic Review, 2018). He is currently completing
a book manuscript titled The Critique of Pure Feeling: Goethe Reading Kant.

Before joining Macalester in 2023, Shields lived in Berlin, Germany, where he held
residencies and postdocs at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, the
Leibniz-Center for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL), and the ICI Berlin Institute for
Cultural Inquiry. He served as guest faculty at Bard College Berlin, where he acted as project
leader of the Science and Religion Project from 2021-2022.