Adi Nester

Adi Nester

Assistant Professor of German and Jewish Studies

Office location

436 Dey Hall

Adi Nester’s (Ph.D. 2020, University of Colorado Boulder) research and teaching interests focus on the interrelations of music, literature, theology, and political theory in the German and German-Jewish traditions. She is particularly interested in the ways in which aesthetics and aesthetic theories inform our understanding of concepts like identity and difference. In her current book project entitled “Unsettling Difference: Biblical Operas and the Critique of German-Jewish Identity," she relates the historicizing German reception of the Hebrew Bible and the Jewish people to the problematic position of opera as a modern revival of Greek tragedy, and shows how biblical themed operas contributed to the discourse of difference between Germans and German Jews in the twentieth century. Additional research projects include the study of music as an experiential phenomenon and its disruption of hermeneutic traditions, as well as a study of contemporary cultural production by Israelis in Germany. Nester's research has been supported by fellowships for emerging scholars in Jewish Studies from the Posen Society of Fellows and the Association for Jewish Studies.

Select Recent Publications

“Transmission, Silence, and Medium: Walter Benjamin’s Metaphysics of Language and Youth.” Force of Education: Walter Benjamin and the Politics of Education. Eds. Dominik Zechner and Dennis Johannßen. Walter Benjamin Studies Series London: Bloomsbury Publishing. Forthcoming.

“Beyond Representation: The Ethics of Music After Auschwitz.” Under review with Journal of the American Musicological Society

“The End of Abstraction and the Beginning of the People: On Law and Representation in Arnold Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron,” German Quarterly 93.1 (Winter 2020): 19-36.

“Eine ungeheure Epopöe unseres eigenen: Language and the Hebrew Bible in Rudolf Borchardt’s Das Buch Joram,” The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory 94.1 (January 2019): 16-38.


  • Music and Sound
  • Jewish Studies/German-Hebrew Relations
  • Twentieth Century
  • Nineteenth Century
  • Aesthetics
  • Intellectual & Cultural History
  • Literary Theory
  • Critical Theory
  • Political Theory
  • Literature, Religion & Theology
Curriculum Vitae
Download Adi Nester CV 2022 (pdf - 155.95 KB)