You are here

Portraits of Distinguished Alums: Karin Bauer (PhD 1992)

Submitted by Stephanie N. Welch on October 22, 2014 - 1:20pm
Karin Bauer

Karin Bauer is Professor of German Studies at McGill University in Montreal. From 2000-14, she has served as departmental chair, first of German Studies and then of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. She is co-editor of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, past president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German, and member of several editorial broads and committees of professional associations and funding agencies.


Karin received her MA in Germanics in 1987 and her Ph.D. in 1992 with a dissertation on Nietzsche and Theodor W. Adorno that she wrote under the direction of Ernst Behler. She published a book Adorno’s Nietzschean Narratives with SUNY Press in 1999. She also published extensively on Herta Müller and on an array of topics and authors, including  Adorno, Ingeborg Bachmann, Botho Strauss, Edgar Hilsenrath,  Unica Zürn, Walter Benjamin, and Jürgen Habermas.


Having just finished the last term of her 14-year stint as chair, she is currently on sabbatical and looking forward to another research year after that. During this time, she plans to catch up with reading, research, writing, doing yoga, and having fun. She will be finalizing a monograph manuscript tentatively entitled Radical Visions: Ulrike Meinhof and the German Imagination, which examines both Meinhof’s role in shaping German counterpublics in the 1960s and the ‘spectral capital’ of Meinhof as a radical icon in contemporary literature, art, film, and media. This manuscript is the culmination of her long-standing engagement with Meinhof scholarship that has resulted in the publication of several articles and of the 2008 book Everybody Talks About the Weather...We don’t (2008), an edition of Meinhof’s columns.


Karin’s second current project will take her to Berlin. Utilizing a combination of traditional close analysis and new computational text-mining tools, she is embarking on a new project on Reading Publics in the New Berlin. The objective of this study is to understand the impact of debates about literature and culture on the formation of actual and virtual publics.


Karin enjoys teaching undergraduate and graduate seminars at McGill on the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, contemporary literature and culture, literary theory, and Nietzsche and Wagner. She has supervised several MA theses and dissertations, and is currently directing 5 dissertation projects. 


She remembers her time in Germanics fondly and has—like many alumni-- a soft spot for the UW and for Seattle. She tries to come back often to visit friends and professors from graduate school. She says that at UW, she met brilliant, thought-provoking, and wonderful scholars and graduate students, whose support and friendship she values deeply.

News Category: