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headshot of Carl A Gelderloos

Carl A Gelderloos

Associate Professor of German; Director of Undergraduate Studies for German; TRIP Courtesy Title

German and Russian Studies; Translation Research and Instruction Program (TRIP)


Carl Gelderloos’ research explores German modernism, Philosophical Anthropology, photography, science fiction, Marxism, critical theory, and the literature, culture, and thought of the Weimar Republic. His writing has appeared in German Studies Review, The German Quarterly, Monatshefte, The Germanic Review, Modernism/modernity, and Public Books, among other venues.

His first book—Biological Modernism: The New Human in Weimar Culture (Northwestern UP)—received the Honorable Mention for the 2020 DAAD/GSA book prize, and has been reviewed in Modern Language Review, The German Quarterly, The Germanic Review, Monatshefte, Modernism/modernity, and the Zeitschrift für deutsche PhilologieBiological Modernism identifies an intellectual current in the Weimar Republic that drew on biology, organicism, vitalism, and other discourses associated with living nature in order to redefine the human being for a modern, technological age. Contrary to the assumption that any turn toward the organic indicated a reactionary flight from modernity or a longing for wholeness, biology and other discourses of living nature in fact offered a nuanced way of theorizing modernity rather than fleeing from it. Organic life, instead of representing a stabilizing sense of wholeness, by the 1920s had become a scientific, philosophical, and disciplinary problem. In their work, figures such as Alfred Döblin, Ernst Jünger, Helmuth Plessner, and August Sander interrogated the relationships between technology, nature, and the human, thereby radically reconfiguring the relationship between the disciplines as well as the epistemological and political consequences for defining the human being.

Gelderloos is on the boards of The German Quarterly and the American Friends of Marbach, and serves as an academic delegate with the Binghamton chapter of United University Professions. He is currently working on a second book project on early German-language science fiction as a literary discourse that mediated between modernization and modernism.


Gelderloos’ courses range from first-semester German to larger courses taught in English, which are frequently cross-listed in the departments of Art History, Cinema, Comparative Literature, English, and Philosophy. These courses cover diverse topics including 18th to 21st-century literature, visual culture and film, literary theory, and critical theory. Recent courses include “Learning to See: Art & Media in Weimar Germany,” “Introduction to Marx & Critical Theory,” “Staging Revolutions,” “Cold War Science Fictions,” "Intermediate German I," and "Texts and Contexts II.”


  • PhD, MA, Cornell University
  • BA, New York University

Research Interests

  • 20th-century German literature and culture
  • Weimar modernism and the avant-garde
  • the photography of New Objectivity
  • Alfred Döblin
  • Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School
  • Philosophical anthropology
  • Science fiction
  • Marx and Marxism

Teaching Interests

  • German language
  • German literature
  • Marx and Critical Theory
  • Visual culture of the Weimar Republic
  • Science fiction


  • Honorable mention, DAAD/GSA Book Prize for the Best Book in Germanistik or Cultural Studies for Biological Modernism: The New Human in Weimar Culture (October 2020)
  • Max Kade Prize for the Best Article in The German Quarterly, for “‘Jetzt kommt das Leben’: The Technological Body in Alfred Döblin’s Berge Meere und Giganten” (November 2016)
  • Graduate Student Article Prize of the German Studies Association, for “Simply Reproducing Reality: Brecht, Benjamin, and Renger-Patzsch on Photography” (October 2013)
  • Fulbright Fellowship for Doctoral Research in Berlin (2011–2012)

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Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae