Richard Langston

Langston 2022

Professor of German

Office location

Dey Hall 442

Richard Langston's (Ph.D. 2002, Washington University in St. Louis) research crisscrosses 20th- and 21st-century German literature, film, television and the visual and performing arts. Much of his recent work is concerned with situating Alexander Kluge’s massive multi-media oeuvre within the contexts of film and literary history, the Frankfurt School, European intellectual history and media history. Langston's first monograph Visions of Violence: German Avant-Gardes after Fascism tracks the evolution of German avant-garde praxis from the 1930s to 2000. His second book interrogates the centrality of "gravitational thinking”—a concept and practice developed in Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s social philosophy—in Kluge's prose, film and television programming. The sixth installment in the Camden House German Film Classics, his most recent book traces the centrality of labor in Kluge’s seminal 1979 film The Patriot. Langston is also co-editor of the Alexander-Kluge Jahrbuch, editor of an anthology of newly translated essays by Kluge and lead translator of History and Obstinacy (Zone Books, 2014). In addition to his work as translator, he has published articles and chapters on writers and directors such as Gottfried Benn, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, Harun Farocki, Hubert Fichte, Christian Kracht, Kurt Kren, René Pollesch, Christoph Schlingensief, W.G. Sebald, Peter Weiss and the now defunct German music magazine Spex. His current book project queries the historical transformation of social fantasies in postwar and contemporary German novels. 

Select Recent Publications

Dark Matter: A Guide to Alexander Kluge & Oskar Negt . London: Verso Books, 2020.

The Patriot. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2021.

Difference and Orientation: An Alexander Kluge Reader. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019.

“Marxist and Formless: Uncanny Materialism in Weiss’s The Aesthetics of Resistance.New German Critique 49.3 (Nov. 2022). Forthcoming. 

“Vers une sonorité de communisme: Traces de Georg Simmel dans le Livre de Passages du XXIe siècle d’Alexander Kluge.” Alexander Kluge: un auteur «global» pour une «Renaissance du XXIe siècle.» Eds. Wolfgang Asholt, Jean-Pierre Morel, Vincent Pauval. Paris: éditions Hermann, 2022. Forthcoming.

  • Political Theory
  • Literary and Critical Theory, Philosophy and Literature
  • Film, Media and Visual Studies
  • Twentieth Century
  • Modernism
  • Twenty First Century
  • Modernism, Avant-Garde & Postmodernism
  • Twenty-First Century
  • Literary Theory
  • Critical Theory
  • Intellectual & Cultural History
Curriculum Vitae
Download Langston CV 2022 (pdf - 199.47 KB)