Stefani Engelstein

Stefani Englestein

Professor of German

Office location

116C Old Chemistry

(919) 660-3173

In her work, Stefani Engelstein (Ph.D. 2001, University of Chicago) addresses literature and science, aesthetics, gender, political theory, critical race theory, history of knowledge, and perspectives on nature.  She works on these issues from 1770 to the present, particularly in the period of Age of Goethe / Romanticism.  Engelstein is currently working on two book projects: The Opposite Sex and Reflections from Germany on Diversity and Violent Pasts: An Essay in Six Cemeteries.  In 2024-2025, the writing of The Opposite Sex will be funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship.  In 2023-2024, the project is being funded by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright Foundation.  Engelstein is on leave as a Visiting Scholar at the Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin from 2023-2024.  She has published two monographs: Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity (Columbia University Press, 2017) and Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse (SUNY Press, 2008). She also co-edited the anthology Contemplating Violence: Critical Studies in Modern German Culture (Rodopi, 2011).  Authors to whom she returns include Goethe, Lessing, Kleist, Blake, Mary Shelley, Hoffmann, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Darwin, George Eliot, Wagner, and Kafka.

Select Recent Publications

Geschwister-Logik.  Genealogisches Denken in der Literatur und den Wissenschaften der Moderne.  Trans. André Hansen.  Trans. of Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity (below). De Gruyter.  Forthcoming 2024.

Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.

  • Shortlisted for Kenshur Prize, Center for 18th-Century Studies, Indiana University.

Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse.  Series: Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century.  SUNY Press.  Hardcover 2008.  Paperback 2009.

"Death Writes: Franz Kafka, Tubercular Soundscapes, and the Place of Literature.”  New German Critique.  Forthcoming.

“Sketchy! Kafka’s Drawings in medias res.”  Invited contribution.  Special issue on Kafka’s Drawings.  Ed. Carsten Strathausen.  The Germanic Review.  2024.

“Boundaries and Interdisciplines: Where Medical Humanities Meets Literature & Science in German Studies.”  Forward to Health Humanities in German Studies, ed. Stephanie M. Hilger.  Bloomsbury Press.  2024.

“Divisive Affect, Loyalty, and National Cohesion: Du Bois contra Wagner.”  Comparative Literature.  76.3 (Fall, 2024).

“Polarisierender Affekt, Öffentlichkeit und nationaler Zusammenhalt: Du Bois contra Wagner.”  Trans. Seán Allan and Christian Moser.  [Trans. of Divisive Affect, Loyalty, and National Cohesion: Du Bois contra Wagner]  Re-Imagining the Public Sphere. Literatur, Kunst und das soziale Imaginäre.  Ed. Seán Allan and Christian Moser.  Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2024.  Forthcoming.

“The Emergent Organism: Kielmeyer, Röschlaub, Schelling, and Novalis.”  Invited contribution.  Special issue on Science, Technology, and Early German Romanticism.  Ed. Leif Weatherby.  Symphilosophie 3 (2021): 1-32. 

“Sexual Division and the New Mythology: Goethe and Schelling.”  History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences special issue: Conceiving Reproduction in German Naturphilosophie. Ed. Susanne Lettow and Gregory Rupik.  42.3 (2020): 24 pages,

“Schelling’s Uncanny Organism.”  Invited contribution.  Artful Designs: The Automata and Hidden Machinery of Global RomanticismEd. Christopher Clason and Michael Demson.  Bucknell University Press.  2020.  167-185. 

  • Short-listed for SAMLA (South Atlantic Modern Languages Association) Studies Book Award for best edited collection.


  • Eighteenth Century
  • Romanticism & Idealism
  • Nineteenth Century
  • Science & Culture
  • Aesthetics
  • Gender Studies
  • Critical Race Studies
  • Literary Theory
  • Political Theory
  • Philosophy & Literature
  • Jewish Studies
  • Intellectual & Cultural History
  • Ancient Modern Relations
Curriculum Vitae
Download Englestein CV 2023 (pdf - 221.25 KB)