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Karin Bauer

karin [dot] bauer [at] mcgill [dot] ca (e-mail)
(Professor)

Karin Bauer 2009

Karin Bauer received her Ph.D. in Germanics from the University of Washington in 1992. Under the supervision of the late Ernst Behler, she wrote her dissertation on the ways in which Frankfurt theorist Theodor W. Adorno utilized Nietzschean thought to formulate a critique of ideology and Marxist cultural theory. She came to her studies of Germanics and comparative literature with a degree in journalism and German from the University of Arizona.

Professor Bauer taught as lecturer and teaching associate at the University of Washington from 1986-1992. From 1992-94, she was assistant professor of German at Michigan State University. She also taught at the German Summer School in Taos. She came to McGill in 1994. Professor Bauer served as president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German from 2002-04 and has served as chair of the Department since 2000.

Broadly speaking, Professor Bauer's research is in the areas of intellectual history, cultural theories, the Frankfurt School, gender studies, Nietzsche, and contemporary German thought, literature, and film. Professor Bauer has also undertaken extensive archival research for a study of Nietzsche’s sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. She discovered an unpublished novella written by Förster-Nietzsche and investigated the strategies of colonial domestication employed by Nietzsche's sister in pursuit of an anti-Semitic colonial project in Paraguay.

Her interests focus on questions of radical aesthetics, narrative strategies of dissent, collective creativity, and the formation of counterpublics. Her recent book on the writings of radical icon Ulrike Meinhof explores the rise of a radical political culture of dissent in the 1960s. Her current SSHRC-funded research project entitled “Shaping Counterpublics: Ulrike Meinhof, konkret, and the Collective Imagination” investigates how alternative public spheres emerge to contest, augment, and subvert dominant ideas and paradigms. It examines the development of the concept of a counterpublic in relation to evolving concepts of publicity and mediality as it links the formation of a counterpublic in postwar Germany to historic processes of democratization and the attempt to move from a culture of consensus to a political culture of dissent. Counterpublics are examined in the context of theories of collectivity and relational aesthetics and as sites of collective creativity. Questions of gender and the participation of women in the counterpublic sphere are also an integral aspect of the study.

Selected Publications

Books:

Everybody Talks About the Weather: The Writings of Ulrike Meinhof. Editor and Introduction by Karin Bauer. Foreword by Nobel-Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek. Afterword by Bettina Röhl. Translation by Luise von Flotow. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2008. 268pp.  

[events surrounding the book include launches in Seattle at Third Place Books, at the Goethe Institute Montreal, and at Concordia University; a page-two article in the Montreal Gazette; an hour-long interview with KEPX Seattle, and numerous lecture invitations].                                                          

Adorno's Nietzschean Narratives: Critiques of Ideology; Readings of Wagner. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999. 286pp.

Journals:

Questioning the RAF: The Politics of Culture. Guest Editor and introduction of theme issue of Seminar 47:2 (2011). 

Ethik und Poetik im Werke Herta Müllers. Special issue of literatur für leser 2: 2011. Guest editor and introduction 34:2 (2011).

Journal editor

Seminar: Journal of Germanic Studies 48:2, 48:3, 48:4, 49:1. 

Articles   (selected)

“Narrating the Nation: Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche in the Jungle.” Sophie Discovers America. Ed. Michelle James and Robert McFarland (forthcoming). 

“Gender and the Sexual Politics of Exchange in Herta Müller’s Prose.”  Herta Müller.  Ed. Brigid Haines and Lyn Marven. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 

“The End of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of the RAF: Elfriede Jelinek’s Ulrike Maria Stuart. Zeitenwende: Österreichische Literatur seit dem Millennium. Ed. Michael Böhringer and Susanne Hochreiter. Vienna: Praesens Verlag, 2012. 157-172. 

“Editorial.” Ethik und Poetik im Werke Herta Müllers. Special issue of literatur für leser 34: 2 (2011) 63-69. 

 “Fragmentation and Collage in the Works of Herta Müller.”  Ethik und Poetik im Werke Herta Müllers. Special issue of literatur für leser 34:2 (2011). 131-44. 

“Introduction.” Questioning the RAF: The Politics of Culture. Seminar 47:1 (2011) 1-9. 

“From Protest to Resistance: The Case of Ulrike Meinhof.” Changing the World, Changing Oneself: Political Protest and Collective Identities in the 1960s/70s West Germany and U.S. Ed. Belinda Davis and Wilfried Mausbach. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2010. 171-190. 

“The Figure of Nietzsche as Adorno’s ‘Trace of the Better’.” Adorno.  Ed. Alfred Drake. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009. 124-140. 

“In Search of Ulrike Meinhof.” Everybody Talks About the Weather: The Writings of Ulrike Meinhof.  New York: Seven Stories, 2008. 13-99. 

“The Challenges of Domestication: Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche in Paraguay.” German Diaspora Experiences. Ed. Mat Schulze and David John. Waterloo: Wilfried Laurier University Press, 2008. 345-56. 

“'Der Kapitalismus finanziert seinen eigenen Untergang': Parodie und Subersion in Erin Cosgroves 'Die Baader-Meinhof-Affäre'." Geschichte(n) erzählen: Nachbilder der RAF. Ed. Inge Stephan. Weimar: Böhlau Verlag, 2008. 287-98. 

“Area Studies and the Unfulfilled Promise of Interdisciplinary Exchange” Lendemains: Etudes comparées sur la France.  Ed. Lawrence McFalls and Hans-Jürgen. Lüsebrink.  Tübingen: Narr, 2006. 14-22. 

“The Dystopian Entwinement of History and Identity in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz.”  W.G. Sebald: History—Memory--Trauma.  Ed. Scott Denham and M. McCulloh. Berlin: deGruyter, 2006. 233-50. 

“Adorno’s Wagner: History and the Potential of the Artwork.” Critical Inquiry 60 (2005) 68-91. 

“Die Entführung und Ermordung Hanns Martin Schleyers.” Politische Morde von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Ed. Michael Sommer. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftl. Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2005. 223-30. 

 “Nietzsche, Enlightenment, and the Incomplete Project of Modernity.” Habermas, Nietzsche, and Critical Theory. Ed. Babette Babich. New York: Prometheus Books, 2004. 105-23.                           

“‘Manchmal wird es mir peinlich, meinen eigenen Atem zu hören:’ Gescheiterte Performanzen des ver-rückten Körpers in Unica Zürns Prosa,” Körper und Diskurse in der deutschen Kultur. Ed. Sabine Wilke and Brigitte Prutti. Berlin: Synchronverlag 2003. 253-73. 

“Domesticating Nietzsche: Toward a Genealogy of Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche’s ‘Novellen-Eierchen’.”  Orbis Litterarum 57.5 (2002). 343-69. 

“Narrative Strategies of Identity/Image Construction in Nietzsche's Critique of Wagner.” Seminar 35:4 (November 1999) 295-307. 

“Erzählen im Augenblick höchster Gefahr: Zu Benjamins Begriff der Geschichte in Edgar Hilsenraths Jossel Wassermanns Heimkehr.” The German Quarterly 72. 4 (Fall 1998). 343-52. 

"That Obscure Object of Desire: Homoeroticism and Disaster in Ingeborg Bachmann's 'A Step toward Gomorrah'," in Queering the Canon: Defying Sights in German Literature and Culture. Ed. Chris Lorey and John Plews. New York: Camden House, 1998. 222-33   

"Patterns of Consciousness and Cycles of Self-Destruction: Nation and Gender in Herta Müller's Prose," in Gender and Germanness: Cultural Productions of Nation. Ed. Patricia Herminghouse and Magda Müller. New York: Berghahn Books, 1998. 263-75. 

"Tabus der Wahrnehmung: Reflexion und Geschichte in Herta Müllers Prosa." German Studies Review 19:2 (May 1996) 257-78. 

"Gegenwartskritik und nostalgische Rückgriffe: Die Abdankung der Frau als Objekt männlichen Begehrens und die Erotisierung der Kindfrau in Botho Strauß' Paare Passanten." German Quarterly 62.2 (Spring 1996) 181-95.      

"Zur Objektwerdung der Frau in Herta Müllers Der Mensch ist ein großer Fasan auf der Welt." Seminar 32:2 (May 1996) 143-54. 

"Lebensphasen und Existenzweisen: Prostitution, Ehe, Wahnsinn," Freiburger Frauenstudien: Zeitschrift für Interdisziplinäre Frauenforschung 2:1 (1996) 21-31. 

"The Canon between Modernism and Postmodernism," in Rethinking Germanistik. Ed. R. Bledsoe et al. New York: Peter Lang Verlag, 1991. 201-07.  

"What Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stronger: Nietzsche's and Adorno's Critiques of Bildung," in Rethinking Germanistik. Ed. R. Bledsoe et al. New York: Peter Lang Verlag, 1991. 155-6.                                                                                                      

Essays on the Life and Works

"Nelly Sachs." Women in World History.  Ed. Ann Commire. Vol. 13. Waterford: Yorkin Publications, 2002. 650-54. 

"Petra Kelly." Women in World History. Ed. Ann Commire. Vol. 8. Waterford: Yorkin Publications, 2001.  541-46. 

“Helene Weigel.” Women in World History. Vol. 16. Waterford: Yorkin Publications, 2003.  304-9. 

“Christa Wolf.” Women in World History. Vol 16. Waterford: Yorkin Publications, 2003. 693-98                                                                                                                              

Critical Reviews (selected)

Martin Klimke. The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany&the United States in the Global Sixties. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2010. The Sixties (forthcoming). 

Translating Canada. Charting the Institutions and Influences of Cultural Transfer: Canadian Writing in German/y. Luise von Flotow and Reingard M. Nischik (eds). Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2007. The Translator 17:1 (2011). 167-69. 

Baader-Meinhof Returns: History and Cultural Memory of German Left-Wing Terrorism. Ed. Gerrit-Jan Berendse and Ingo Cornils. The Sixties. 2.2 (2009) 261-64. 

Entdecken und Verraten: Zu Leben und Werk Friedrich Nietzsches. Ed. Andreas Schrimer and Rüdiger Schmidt. Weimar: Böhlau, 1999; Fredrick Appel, Nietzsche Contra Democracy. Ithaca: Cornell UPress, 1999; and Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy. Ed. R. Geuss and R. Speirs. Cambridge: Cambridge Upress, 1999: Review Essay for German Studies Review (forthcoming). 

With Nathalie Lachance: Adrian Del Caro.  Grounding Nietzsche’s Rhetoric on Earth. Berlin: deGruyter, 2004. Colloquia Germanica. Colloquia Germanica 38.3/4. 314-15. 

With Bernard Deschamp: Carol Jacobs. In the Language of Walter Benjamin. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999; Journal for Comparative Literature 54.1 (2002) 76-8.

James M. McGlathery, Wagner's Operas and Desire. New York: Peter Lang, 1998; Seminar 37.2 (May 2001) 183-4. 

Ralph Köhnen, ed. Der Druck der Erfahrung treibt die Sprache in die Dichtung: Bildlichkeit in Texten von Herta Müllers. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1997; German Quarterly (Fall 1999) 421-2. 

Bettina Bannasch, Von vorletzten Dingen: Schreiben nach "Malina": Ingeborg Bachmanns "Simultan" - Erzählungen. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1997; The German Quarterly (Spring 1999) 202-3.                                                                                                                  

Anatol Schneider, Nietzscheanismus: Zur Geschichte eines Begriffs. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1997; German Studies Review 22:2 (May 1999) 302-3. 

Karen Achberger, Understanding Ingeborg Bachmann. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995; German Studies Review 20:1 (February 1997) 200-1. 

Marie-Luise Gättens, Women Writers and Fascism: Reconstructing History. Gainsville: University Press of Florida; The German Quarterly 70:2 (Spring 1997) 206. 

Gregory Bruce Smith, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Transition to Postmodernity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996; The German Studies Review 20:2 (May 1997) 379-80. 

Bernd Widdig, Männerbünde und Massen: Zur Krise männlicher Identität in der Literatur der Moderne. Opladen: Westdeutscher Vlg., 1992; German Studies Review 18:3 (Oct. 1995) 503-4. 

Die erfundene Wahrnehmung, ed. Norbert Otto Eke. Paderborn: Igel Verlag, 1991; The German Quarterly 68:4 (Fall 1995) 481-2.  

Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte 1910 bis 1925. Ed. C. König and Eberhard Lämmert. Frankfurt: Fischer, 1993, reviewed for German Studies Review 17:2 (May 1994) 399-400.              

Invited Lectures

Bauer, Karin. “Who, If Not Us? When, If Not Now?” Civil Disobedience: Let’s talk about it. Public discussion, Goethe-Institute, Montreal, June 1, 2012. 

“Ulrike Meinhof and the Spectre of Fascism.” Keynote speaker for symposium Nazism and Terrorism: Violent Responses to a Dark Past. University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Studies, December 2011. 

“Schillers Schatten oder Das Ende des Trauerspiels aus dem Geiste der RAF: Elfriede Jelineks Ulrike Maria Stuart.”  Institute for Comparative Literature, University of Vienna, June 2011. 

The Politics of Remembrance Today: German Terrorism in the Media and the Arts.” Distinguished Lecture Series, Liberal Studies, Western Washington University, April 2011. 

“The Writings of Ulrike Meinhof.” QPIRG Concordia Resource Library, Concordia University, January 2011. 

“Toward a Poetics of Resistance: The Work of Herta Müller.” Humanities Nobel Prize Lecture, University of Calgary, March 2010. 

“Everybody Talks About the Weather." History Department, sponsored by Concordia University and the German Consulate, May 2009. 

“Baader-Meinhof in Film.” Keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Quebec Association of Teacher of German, Goethe Institute, Montreal, March 2009. 

“The Curious Case of Baader-Meinhof.” Speaker series, Department of Modern Languages, Bishop’s University, November 2009. 

“From Radical Politics to Radical Chic: Constructing the Female Terrorist.” Interuniversity German Lecture Series, Montreal, October 2009. 

“Ulrike Meinhof and the End of Writing." 2nd Alumni Lecture, University of Washington, May 2009. 

“Ulrike Meinhof and the German Protest Movement.” Invited Keynote Speaker, North Eastern Association of Women in German History and Culture, New York, March 2009. 

“Radical Visions: Aesthetic Representations of Ulrike Meinhof.” Key note lecture for symposium on German Autumn, Case Western University, Ohio, November 2007. 

“On the Various Functions of the Discourses on Globalization or Why Are We Speaking About Globalization Now?” International Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Globalization, Centre for German and European Studies, York University, March 2002. 

“The Power of Domestication and the Domestication of Power: Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche.” Invited Speaker sponsored by the Center of International Studies and the Department of German, Bryn Mawr College, April 2002.  

“Adorno and the Student Movement: On the Tension Between Theory and Praxis.”  Invited key note speaker, International Adorno-Symposium, Program in Social Thought, York University, April 2002.

“The Cure that Hastens the Disease: The Case of Nietzsche, Wagner, and the Gesamtkunstwerk.” Invited lecture at University of Toronto, Dept. of German, March 2000. 

“German Studies within a Humanities Curriculum.” Workshop on Globalization, Centre for German and European Studies, UdeMontreal, December 2001. 

“The Philosopher and His Double." Invited lecture at Bryn Mawr College, April 1999.

"The History of the Frankfurt School." Guest lecture, Department of Italian Studies, McGill, 1996.

"The Advantage and Disadvantage of Decadence for Wagner: Reconstructing Adorno for Contemporary Theory." Colloquium Series, Dept. of German Studies, McGill, November 1994.    

"Weibliche Sexualität und die Prinzipien des Tausches."  GSA, Dallas, October 1994.

 "Am Rande des Verstummens: Tabus literarischer Vergangenheitsbewältigung." Guest lecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 1993.

Presentations  (selected)

“On Suffering and Aesthetic Truth in Herta Müller’s Prose.” German Studies Association, Louisville, Kentucky, September 2011. 

“Narrative and Non-Identity: Toward a Poetics of Resistance in the Work of Herta Müller.“ MLA,  Los Angeles, January 2011. 

“Narration and Fragmentation in the Work of Herta Müller.”  PAMLA, Chaminade University, Honolulu, November 2010. 

“Herta Müller’s Invented Perceptions and the Aesthetics of Collage.” CAUTG Congress, Montreal, May 2010. 

“Normalizing Transgression--Narrating the RAF.” NEMLA, Montreal, April 2010.  

“Experimental Ethnography and Hubert Fichte’s Ethno-Poetics.” PAMLA, San Francisco, November 2009. 

“Eggs, Flour, Whipping Cream, and Other Recipes for Revolution: The 1967 Pudding Assassination of Hubert Humphrey.” Happy Birthday “BRD”: Transatlantic Reflections on Six Decades Full of Wonder, Universite de Montreal and McGill, International Conference, May 2009.

“Surveillance and Voyeurism: The Trouble with Metaphors in Harun Farocki.” PAMLA, 2008.

“Shaping a Counter-Public: Harun Farocki and Ulrike Meinhof.”  German Studies Association, Minneapolis, October 2008. 

“Hubert Fichte and the Ethnographic Imagination.” ISSEI Congress, Helsinki, July 2008. 

“The End of Writing: Elfriede Jelinek’s Ulrike Maria Stuart. CAUTG, Vancouver, May 2008. 

“Gender and Performance in Elfriede Jelinek’s Königinnendrama ‘Ulrike Maria Stuart.”  PAMLA Conference, Bellingham Washington, November 2007. 

“Sex, Lies, and Memory in Steven Spielberg’s Munich.” PAMLA Conference, Riverside, CA, November 2006. 

“The Domestication of Radical Ideas and Colonial Spaces: The Case of Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche.” The Diaspora Experiences, Waterloo Centre for German Studies,  August, 2006. 

“Terror-Pop: Fashion and the Prada-Meinhof Bande.” PAMLA Conference, Pepperdine University, November 2005. 

“The Transnational Move from Protest to Resistance.” German Studies Association, Milwaukee, October 2005. 

 “From Protest to Resistance: On the Uses and Abuses of ‘Resistance’ in the Political Rhetoric of the Militant Left.” International Symposium The Other Alliance, University of Heidelberg, Mai 2005.            

“The End of Violence: Of Deaths, Funerals, and Resurrections.” German Studies Association, Washington D.C., 2004.                                                         

 “The ‘Terrible Connectedness’ of Histories and Identities in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. International Sebald-Symposium at Davidson College, N.C.,  March 2003    

“The Potential of Area Studies for the Humanities.”  Beyond Area Studies: International Colloquium, Université de Montreal, March 2003. 

“Wagner’s Dreams, Zizek’s Deaths, and the Triumphal Defeat of the Colonial Enterprise: On the “Function of Opera in Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo.” German Studies Association, San Diego, 2002.     

“The End of Cosmopolitanism:  The Nomadic Narratives of W.G. Sebald.” Congress of the Canadian  Association of University Teachers of German, Toronto, May 2002. 

“The Splendor and Grandeur of the Uncommodified Intellectual, or Adorno has no Hobby.” German Studies Association, Washington, D.C., October 2001. 

“The Actualization of Wagner in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.” CAUTG, University of Laval, 2001. 

“Colonization, Domestication, and the Perverse Pleasures of Power in the Writings of Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche.” Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, Houston, October 2000. 

“Colonialization as Antimodernist Project.” Annual Conference of PAMLA, November 2000. 

“The Cure that Hastens the Disease: The Case of Nietzsche, Wagner, and the Gesamtkunstwerk.” Invited lecture at University of Toronto, March 2000. 

“The Philosopher and His Double." Invited lecture at Bryn Mawr College, April 1999. 

“Essays, Aphorisms, and the Erosion of Certainty: Reading and Writing as Aesthetic Experience in Nietzsche and Adorno." German Studies Association, Salt Lake City, October 1998. 

“Narrative Strategies of Image/Identity Construction in Nietzsche's Critique of Wagner." Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German, Ottawa, May 1998. 

"Die 'kleinen Quasselstimmen' der jüdischen Geschichte(n): Zu Walter Benjamins Begriff der Geschichte in Edgar Hilsenraths Jossel Wassermanns Heimkehr," Annual Conference of the Pacific Northwest Modern Language Association, San Jose, November 1997. 

"The March of History as Gesamtkunstwerk: Richard Wagner's Aesthetization of Social and Political Change." Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, Washington D.C., September 1997. 

"Sacrifice and Self-Promotion: The Case of Wagner and Nietzsche." Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, Seattle, October 1996. 

"Die Entwertung des Weiblichen und die Erotisierung der Kindfrau in Botho Strauß' Paare, Passanten." Annual Meeting of the CAUTG, Montreal, May 1995. 

"Zur Verschlingung von Aufklärungskritik und Ideologien des Weiblichen." Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, Chicago, 1995. 

"Die Inszenierung des Endes in Wolfgang Hildesheimers Marbot." Session on "Nihilism in Postwar Literature." Convention of the Modern Language Association, Toronto, 1993.            

"Das Wahre ist das Zufällige." Philological Association of the Pacific Coast, Seattle, November 1993.                                 

"Der Teufel sitzt im Spiegel: Verbote der Wahrnehmung." Conference of the German Studies Association, Washington D.C., October 1993. 

"Sprache der Heimat - Heimat in der Sprache?" Guest lecture at the  German Summer School, Taos, New Mexico, June 1993. 

"Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature." Seminar for College and High School Teachers of German, Michigan State University, 1993. 

"Adorno, Genealogy, and the Re-Presentation of History." Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky, Lexington, 1993.                                       

"Bodies Inscribed: Racial Stereotyping in the Third Reich." Lecture at the opening of the White Rose exhibition, Michigan State University, 1993.                                                                                                      

"Wagner's Aesthetics as the Origin of Totalitarianism." Philological Association of the Pacific Coast, San Jose State University, 1990. 

"Schuld und Erinnerung: Das Problem der Nachgeborenen in Peter Schneiders Vati." Colloquium Series, University of Washington, 1989. 

"The Canonization of Realist Principles as an Anti-Modernist Trend." Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky, 1988. 

"Habermas' Strategies of Exclusion: A 'Rational' Critique of Postmodernism?" Rethinking Germanistik: The Canon. DAAD sponsored conference, University of California at Berkeley, 1988.  

"Adorno's Theory of Halbbildung." Rethinking Germanistik: The Question of Culture. Conference sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, University of Washington, 1988.