My teaching and research have been committed to understanding how people come to know one another and themselves. How do we perform roles and identities? How does the re-enactment of tropes, stories, and questions from antiquity shape our understanding today? I am especially interested in the performative practices and acts of self-assertion involved in the reception of Greek drama and philosophy, Shakespeare, and Eastern Thought. The German intellectual and cultural worlds of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries provide a rich locus in which these strands of research converge.
I am currently finishing up a book that explores dramatic recognition in Homer, Shakespeare, Goethe, and Kleist. Other ongoing projects include a study of the rhetoric of sympathy in ethics and aesthetics. I have published articles on Aristotle, Shaftesbury, Mendelssohn, Lessing, Adam Smith, Goethe, Kleist, Tom Stoppard, Heiner Müller, and the Sanskrit dramatist Kālidāsa. I am also interested in connections between evolutions in scientific understanding and artistic creation, and my translation of Rüdiger Campe’s The Game of Probability: Literature and Calculation between Pascal and Kleist, was published by Stanford UP in 2013. All of my sundry interests unfold from some aspect of performance studies: it is instructively revealing to view even the scientific experiment as a staged performative space.
Before coming coming to UW, I taught at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Priamursky State University Shalom Aleichem in Birobidzhan, Russia.
- Sympathy for the Devil: the Rhetoric of Compassion (German 390), Team Learning Projects, 2016
- Ellwood Wiggins, "The Myth of Tragedy: Fictions of Dialogue in Mendelssohn's Letters on the Sentiments and Shaftesbury's The Moralists," Lessing Yearbook/Jahrbuch, XLIII (2016): 35-54.
- Ellwood Wiggins, "Cold War Compassion: The Politics of Pity in Tom Stoppard’s Neutral Ground and Heiner Müller’s Philoktet," Literatur für Leser, 4-15 (2015): 255-269.
- Ellwood Wiggins, "Pity Play: Sympathy and Spectatorship in Lessing’s Miss Sara Sampson and Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments," in Performing Knowledge, 1750-1850. Ed. Mary Helen Dupree and Sean B. Franzel. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2015. 85-112.
- The Tele-Novel: Seriality and Visual Storytelling (German 390), Learning Team Projects, 2015
- Ellwood Wiggins, "Kleist's Four Causes: Narration and Etiology in Das Erdbeben in Chili" MLN 130.3 (2015): 580-606.
- Sympathy for the Devil: The Rhetoric of Compassion (German 390), Team Learning Projects, 2014
- Ellwood Wiggins, “Depicting Artist and Viewer: Performed Aesthetics in Kālidāsa’s Śakuntalā,” The International Journal of the Arts in Society, 6/6 (Sept. 2012): 179-192.
- Ellwood Wiggins, trans. Rüdiger Campe's The Game of Probability: Literature and Calculation from Pascal to Kleist. Stanford University Press: 2013. 504 pp.
- Autumn 2017: Humanities Courses in English (2) - June 20, 2017
- New Takes on Classic Plays - June 19, 2017
- Beginning 2017-18: Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Germanics - May 1, 2017
- Why major (or minor) in German? - May 1, 2017
- News from our Alums: Ana Sofia Knauf (BA 2013) - March 10, 2017
- How Compassionate Are You? Student projects from Fall '16 Germanics course: "Sympathy for the Devil" - March 8, 2017
- Mentoring Lunch with Germanics Alum Darren Langston - March 7, 2017
- Congratulations to the class of 2015-2016! - June 16, 2016
- Discovering Sympathy for the Devil this Autumn Quarter - May 18, 2016
- Why Major in German? - October 22, 2014
- Faculty Friday: Ellwood Wiggins featured on The Whole U - June 16, 2017
- Meet our Graduates: Hayley McCord, BA Germanics and International Studies: - June 14, 2017
- Germanics Hosts Autumn 2015 Mentoring Lunch for Undergrads - December 1, 2015
- Graduate Students and Faculty Attend Digital Humanities Summer Institute - October 1, 2015
- Tele-Novel Course Launches Project Website - May 8, 2015
- Germanics Hosts Second Mentoring Lunch for Undergrads - March 17, 2015
- Faculty Achievement: Ellwood Wiggins Awarded Two Research Fellowships - March 17, 2015
- Popular Germanics courses offered in English - October 30, 2014
- How Compassionate Are You? - July 1, 2014
- The Environment, the Holocaust in Film, and the Devil: Winter 2014 Undergraduate Course Offerings - October 10, 2013
- Germanics Chair, Sabine Wilke, Shares her Experiences with Team-Based Learning in a Pedagogy Journal - August 2, 2013
- Spring Undergraduate Course Launches a Website on the Tele-Novel - July 12, 2013
- Faculty News - Spring 2012 - June 15, 2012
- Chair's Letter - Spring 2012 - June 13, 2012