M.A. (German Studies), Ruhr-University Bochum
M.Ed. (German Studies, English Studies, Pedagogy), Ruhr-University Bochum
After earning Master’s degrees in German and English/American studies as well as pedagogy from Ruhr-University Bochum – tief im Westen and (supposedly) wo die Sonne verstaubt (Herbert Grönemeyer) – Sebastian Brass joined Harvard’s PhD program in 2016. He is working on a dissertation tentatively titled Fakt, Fiktion und Transparenz: Modi autobiographischer Selbstreferenz seit ca. 1850, which deals with authors such as Arthur Schnitzler, Walter Benjamin, Elias Canetti, Thomas Bernhard, Christa Wolf, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, and Marcel Reich-Ranicki, but also with Gérard de Nerval, Gertrude Stein, Serge Doubrovsky, Karl Ove Knausgård, and Donald Trump. The history and theory of autobiography and autofiction as well as German, Austrian, and Swiss literature of the 20th century are Sebastian’s main academic interests, but he continues to be fascinated by the (long) 19th century as well. He is also interested in the media theory and aesthetics of writing/reading scenes (in prep.: an article on the reading scenes in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Kater Murr and Die Elixiere des Teufels) and in casuistic writing (in prep.: an article on the literary epistemology in Ingeborg Bachmann’s Todesarten cycle).
In his free time, Sebastian more or less persistently tries to finish Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow or reads other postmodern American novels. He is a fan of rock music and concerts, theater and acting, and coffee and newspapers.
Office Hours (spring 2019): W, 3-4pm; F, 11-12am; or by appointment.