Nicole A. Sütterlin

Nicole A. Sütterlin

Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Nicole  A. Sütterlin

Office Hours: Thursdays 2:00pm - 4:00pm, or by appointment

Nicole Sütterlin studied German Philology and English Philology in Basel, Freiburg i.Br., and Leeds, UK. She received her M.A. and Dr. phil. from the University of Basel. Before joining Harvard’s German Department in 2014, she taught Modern German Literature at the University of Basel and at Middlebury College, VT.

Her research and teaching interests include the Age of Goethe; Romanticism; contemporary literature; trauma studies; poetics and politics of the body; literature and science; literature and social justice; literary theory, particularly discourse analysis, deconstruction, and Wissenspoetik.

Her publications include articles on E.T.A. Hoffmann, Clemens Brentano, Goethe, Kleist, Ulrike Draesner, and Jacques Derrida. She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as "Gegenwartsliteratur: A Contemporary German Yearbook" and in textbooks such as Reclam's "Zugänge zur Literaturtheorie: 17 Modellanalysen zu E.T.A. Hoffmann's 'Der Sandmann'."

In her current book project, titled "Poetics of the Wound," Nicole Sütterlin proposes a re-reading of early 19th-century German literature from the perspective of traumatology. Challenging current histories of clinical trauma, her interdisciplinary analyses reveal that authors such as Brentano, Hoffmann and Kleist professed an unprecedented knowledge of traumatic processes. Sütterlin argues that these authors discovered a new psychological model of human suffering that is still prevalent today. Indeed, they inaugurated what current critics have termed today's "paradigm of trauma" (W. Kansteiner). In her next book project she will explore the tension between biopolitics, auto-immunity, and new media in 21st-century German literature.

One of her pet topics is the history of vampirism and its impact on 21st-century culture. Her course “Biopolitics and Vampire Aesthetics” explores how authors from the 18th to the 21st century critically counter the rise of modern “biopolitical” institutions such as schools, mental asylums and prisons with a “vampiric” literature featuring criminals, monsters and madmen.

List of Publications on

2016-17 Courses:

German 102: German Literature, Art and Thought

German 231: Schwarze Romantik







Contact Information

Barker Center 357
p: 617-496-4924

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