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Carl Gelderloos

Associate Professor of German
Director of Undergraduate Studies (German)

Carl GelderloosI joined the department of German and Russian Studies at Binghamton in 2014. In my research I explore topics related to the literature, culture, and thought of the Weimar Republic, German modernism, Philosophical Anthropology, photography, science fiction, and critical theory. A common theme of my scholarship is an interest in the ways in which writers grappled with concepts of modernity, modernization, and modernism.


I teach courses ranging from third-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."


Biological Modernism: The New Human in Weimar CultureBiological Modernism: The New Human in Weimar Culture (Northwestern University Press, 2019) 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, Biological Modernism argues that biology and other discourses of living nature offered a nuanced way of theorizing modernity rather than fleeing from it. In their work, figures such as Alfred Döblin, Ernst Jünger, Helmuth Plessner, and August Sander interrogated the relationships between technology, nature, and the human, and thus also radically reconsidered the relationship between the disciplines as well as the epistemological and political consequences for defining the human being.

Biological Modernism received an Honorable Mention for the 2020 DAAD/GSA book prize, and has been reviewed in Modern Language Review.

Selected article publications
  • “Döblins ‘Mutterlauge’ vom Expressionismus bis zur Schicksalsreise. Laufbahn einer interdisziplinären Denkfigur.” Internationales Alfred-Döblin-Kolloquium Zürich 2015. Exil als Schicksalsreise. Alfred Döblin und das Literarische Exil 1933–1950, edited by Sabina Becker and Sabine Schneider, Peter Lang, 2017, pp. 287–297.
Curriculum vitae
Office: Library Tower 1408A

Fall 2020 office hours: 

Profile and publications available at the open access repository of the MLA Commons:

Last Updated: 11/17/20