Jason arrived at the University of Washington after completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Integrated Humanities at Yale University, where he also earned his doctorate in German Studies. Having grown up on the West Coast, where he attended the University of California, San Diego for undergraduate studies, he is delighted to return to this part of the world.
The question that runs through much of his work—What is the place of the human on the earth and how can the imagination open up to the geological time at which human activity now registers itself?—stretches from literature and geo-poetics in the Age of Goethe to the contemporary Anthropocene epoch, in which many geologists and thinkers conceive of our species as a geological force of earth magnitude.
Jason explores these and a number of other interests in publications that have appeared in the last year. “A View from the Edge: The Peripatetic Perspective,” reflects on the poetics of walking in the context of a forty-mile multi-day trek from San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum to the peak of Mt. Diablo; this appeared in The Best Things in Museums Are the Windows: Walking, Participation, and the Expanded Classroom. Another essay on the subject of wandering, “Goethe's Petrofiction: Reading the Wanderjahre in the Anthropocene” also appeared in the Goethe Yearbook this year. At the 2015 German Studies Association annual meeting, Jason presenting a talk on the movement and mobility of nonhuman things in The Rings of Saturn, a fictional travelogue by W.G. Sebald, and an expanded version of that talk will appear next year in German Ecocriticism, edited by Caroline Schaumann and Heather Sullivan. Apropos travel writing and the translocation of things, his translation of Werner Hamacher’s Für—die Philologie recently appeared at Fordham University Press in Minima Philologica. Currently he is also working on a translation of Sonja Neef’s Der babylonische Planet, which explores diverse forms of cultural encounter in sites ranging from the myth of Europe to the National Museum of the History of Immigration in Paris.
Currently teaching German 311 and advising several honors projects. His office door is open most days, so please don’t hesitate to drop by. If it happens to be closed, you can probably find him blogging at New Ecologies, reading in the UW’s medicinal herb garden, or cycling the Burke.