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Scholarly Interest Report
         
Martin Blumenthal-Barby
Associate Professor
Associate Professor of German Studies
 
e-mail:Martin.Blumenthal-Barby@rice.edu
 
  • M.Phil. German Studies (2006) Yale University, New Haven
  • Ph.D. German Studies (2008) Yale University, New Haven
 
Primary Department
   Department of Classical and European Studies
   Department of German Studies
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Websites
 Department Webpage
 
Research Areas
 Literary theory and aesthetics, German film and film theory, twentieth-century German literature
 
Teaching Areas
 European film and film theory, German literature from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, literary theory and aesthetics
 
Selected Publications
 Refereed articles
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “The Complicit Gaze: Michael Haneke’s Cinema of Guilt,” The German Quarterly 89.2 (Spring 2016): 202-220.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, "Counter-Music: Harun Farocki's Theory of a New Image Type," October 151 (2015): 128-150.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, "'Cinematography of Devices': Harun Farocki's Eye/Machine Trilogy," German Studies Review 38.2 (2015): 329-351.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, "The Surveillant Gaze: Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon," October (2014): 95-116.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “Faces of Evil: Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler,” Seminar 49.3 (2013): 322-343.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “Of Friends and Foes: Lang’s Cinema of War,” Krieg und Literatur/War and Literature 18 (2012): 95-118.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “Holocaust and Herring: The Resuscitation of the Silenced in W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn,” Monatshefte 103.4 (2011): 537-58.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “‘The Odium of Doubtfulness,’ or the Vicissitudes of Metaphoric Thinking,” New German Critique 36.1 (Winter 2009): 61-81.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “Pernicious Bastardizations: Benjamin’s Ethics of Pure Violence,” Modern Language Notes 124.3 (Spring 2009): 728-51.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “‘Germany in Autumn’: The Return of the Human,” Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 29.1 (Winter 2007 [de facto 2008]): 140-168.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “Why Does Hannah Arendt Lie?, or the Vicissitudes of Imagination,” The Germanic Review 82.4 (Fall 2007 [de facto 2008]): 369-388.

 
 Articles
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, "'Rückläufige Zeitlichkeit': Alexander Gelley zu Benjamins Passagen," IASL Online (2017) (9 pp.).

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “Johann Paul Sattler" and "Christian Friedrich Henrici,” both in Manfred Kühn and Heiner Klemme, eds., Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century German Philosophers (London: Thoemmes Continuum Press, 2010).

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “‘Unhintergehbare Differenzen’: Sigrid Weigel zu Walter Benjamins Umgang mit Säkularisierung,” IASL Online (2010) (13 pp.).

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “Humanism & Revolution: Eighteenth-Century Europe and Its Transatlantic Legacy,” H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences, July 2009.

 
 Books
 

Der asymmetrische Blick: Film und Überwachung (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2016).

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, Inconceivable Effects: Ethics through Twentieth-Century German Literature, Thought, and Film (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013).

 
 Editor of books
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, The Place of Politics in German Film (Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2014).

 
 Book chapters
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, "Topologies of Film and Politics," in Martin Blumenthal-Barby, ed. The Place of Politics in German Film (Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2014), 9-34.

 
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, "‘Bruch’ ohne Neuanfang – Zu Kontinutiäten der ‘Jungen Pioniere,’ der Hitlerjugend und ‘ihren’ Literaturen," in Rüdiger Steinlein, Heidi Strobel, Thomas Kramer, eds., Handbuch zur Geschichte der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur in der SBZ und DDR (1945-1990) (Stuttgart: Metzler Verlag: 2006), 34-50.

 
 Book reviews
 

Blumenthal-Barby, Martin, “‘The Juridical Unconscious: Trials and Traumas in the Twentieth Century’ by Shoshana Felman,” Modern Language Notes, 120.3 (Spring 2005): 703-707.

 
Presentations
 Invited Talks
 

"'Trash Art': Thorsten Brinkmann's The Great Cape Rinderhorn," presented at Cultures of Trash, Rice University Art Gallery, April 2016.

 
 

"'Uncalculated Beauty': Harun Farocki's Theory of Surveillance Imagery," presented at the Department of Germanic Studies, University of Chicago, February 2016.

 
 

"Surveillance, Observation and the Complexities of Spectatorial Complicity," presented at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam, May 2016.

 
 

“The Terror of Representation: Michael Haneke's Cinematic Aesthetics,” presented at Terror and Representation, Department of Classical and European Studies, Rice University, March 2016.

 
 

Counter-Music: Harun Farocki’s Theory of a Noncanonical Image Type,” presented at the 2014 Rice-Leipzig Lovett Seminar Canon and Canon Building in the Humanities, University of Leipzig, July 2014.

 
 

“Faces of Evil: Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler,” presented at the Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, May 2012.

 
 

“Of Friends and Foes: Lang’s Cinema of War,” presented at the Ethics and Literature Colloquium, Stanford University, May 2012.

 
 

“Natality, Nationality, and the Challenge of Secularization in Kafka,” presented at the Department of German Studies, Stanford University, November 2011.

 
 

“Kafka's Theopolitics of Vision,” presented at the Department of German, UC Davis, November 2011.

 
 

“Kafka’s Thanatopoetics,” presented at Indiana University (Bloomington), Germanic Studies Department, March 2010 (by invitation as Hedwig Leser Lecturer for 2009 - 2010).

 
 

“‘The Odium of Doubtfulness,’ or the Vicissitudes of Hannah Arendt’s Metaphoric Thinking,” presented at Rice University, German Studies Department, March 2009.

 
 

"A Question of Style: Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism," presented at Haverford College, Department of German, February 2009.

 
 

“Why Does Hannah Arendt Lie? Or, the Vicissitudes of Imagination,” presented at the German Department Colloquium, Yale University, April 2007.

 
 

“The State of Exception in Early Twentieth-Century German Children’s Literature,” presented at The Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University, June 2006.

 
 

“The Elusive Child: Illustrated Children’s Books in Early Twentieth-Century Germany,” presented at The World in Pictures: Illustrated Children’s Books in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Germany, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, September 2005.

 
 Panelist
 

“‘The Epic Side of Truth’: Narration and Knowledge in Harun Farocki,” presented at the German Studies Association Convention, Washington D.C., October 2015.

 
 

"Beyond Barriers: Harun Farocki's Theory of Surveillance," presented at Barriers: Confronting Obstacles in Language, Media, Politics and Culture, Department of German, UC Berkeley, March 2015.

 
 

“Surveillance, or the Faculty to See (Without Being Seen),” presented at the World Picture Conference, University of Toronto, November 2015.

 
 

“Of Smart Bombs and Intelligent Weapons: The Poetics of Modern Warfare,” presented at the German Studies Association Convention, as part of the “Surveillance and German Studies” panel, Kansas City, Missouri, September 2014.

 
 

“Theorizing Surveillance,” presented at the World Picture-ICI Conference, Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin, November 2014.

 
 

“‘Cinematography of Devices’: Harun Farocki’s Eye/Machine,” presented at the ACLA Annual Meeting, as part of the “The Cosmos as Medium” panel, New York University, March 2014.

 
 

“‘The Right Hand of God’: Michael Haneke’s Anthropology of Guilt,” presented at the ACLA Annual Meeting, as part of the “Tactics of the Visible in the Age of Overexposure” panel, University of Toronto, April 2013.

 
 

“‘Uncalculated Beauty’: Harun Farocki’s Counter-Music,” presented at the World Picture Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto, November, 2013.

 
 

“Out of Sight: Cinema and Secularism,” presented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Convention, as part of the “Philosophies and/of Art Cinema” panel, Chicago, March 2013.

 
 

“The Politics of Terror, or the Cinema of Michael Haneke,” presented at the German Studies Association Convention, as part of the “Religion in Contemporary German Culture” panel, Denver, Colorado, October 2013.

 
 

“The Surveillant Gaze: Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon,” presented at the World Picture Conference, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, November, 2012.

 
 

“Cinemas of Surveillance,” presented at the German Studies Association Convention, as part of the “Film-Philosophy” panel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 2012.

 
 

“Faces of Evil, or the Cinematic Cabinet of Fritz Lang,” presented at the ACLA Annual Meeting, as part of the “Transformations of Catastrophe: Violence as Cultural Artifact” panel, Brown University, March 2012.

 
 

“Faces of Enmity: Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler,” presented at the German Studies Association Convention, as part of the “Questioning German Film” panel, Louisville, KY, September 2011.

 
 

“A Strike of Rhetoric: Benjamin’s Paradox of Justice,” presented at the German Studies Association Convention, as part of the “Law, Society, and Culture in Germany: Law and Literature in the Twentieth Century” panel, Oakland, California, October 2010.

 
 

“Opening Remarks: The Place of Politics in German Film,” presented at The Place of Politics in German Film, Rice University, November 2010.

 
 

“‘Have Faith And Wait!’: Religion and Representation,’” ACLA Annual Meeting, as part of the “(Re)turning to Religious Texts? Diasporas and Modern Jewish Literatures” panel, Harvard University, March 2009.

 
 

“Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Reading Resolution in the Works of W. G. Sebald,” presented at the Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Boston, February 2009.

 
 

“Kafka’s Political Theologies,” presented at the German Studies Association Convention, as part of the “Jewish Mysticism, Philosophy, Literature: Buber, Kafka, Marx, Benjamin & Adorno” panel, Washington, D.C., October 2009.

 
 

“Kafka’s Challenge to Justice,” presented at the ACLA Annual Meeting, as part of the “The Challenge of Justice” panel, Long Beach, April 2008 (by invitation).

 
 

“‘Germany in Autumn’: The Paradoxes of Political Violence,” presented at the Modern Language Association Convention, as part of the “German Culture and Political Violence” panel, Chicago, December 2007.

 
 

“Walter Benjamin’s Mimetic Child and Sigmund Freud’s ‘Burning Child,’” presented at the German Studies Association Convention, as part of the “Herder’s and Benjamin’s Children: Childhood in Theory” panel, San Diego, October 2007.

 
 

“From Youth to Childhood: (Dis)continuities Between Benjamin’s Early Pedagogical Writings and ‘The Arcades Project,’” presented at the CCLA Annual Meeting. York University, Canada, May 2006.

 
 

“Schmutz, Ekel und Schamloses in Kafkas ‘Proceß-Roman.’ Poetik der Invisibilisierung des Nicht-Illusionsfähigen,” presented at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, April 2006.

 
 

“The Paradox of Trauma: Hiroshima Mon Amour,” presented at the ACLA Annual Meeting, on the “Psychoanalysis and the Human” panel, Princeton University, March 2006.

 
 

“Word Games and Verbal Explosions, or Questioning the Enlightenment in Novalis’ ‘Monolog’ and Heinrich von Kleist’s ‘Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden,’” presented at the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism Convention, as part of the “Science, Language, and Epistemology in Kleist and Novalis” panel, Purdue University, September 2006.

 
 

“W. G. Sebald’s Orbis Pictus,” presented at "Wie wir (gewesen) sein sollten": Zur Politischen Psychologie von Identitäts- und Erinnerungsbrüchen in Deutschland, Universität Halle-Wittenberg, November 2004.

 
 Seminar Speaker
 

“German Postcolonialism After Kant,” presented at Mapping Channels between Ganges and Rhine: German-Indian Cross-Cultural Relations, University of Toronto, Canada, May 2006.

 


 
Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
 External Faculty Fellowship, Humanities Center, Stanford University, 2011-12.

 Finalist, Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, Rice University, 2012.

 Conference Grant (for “The Place of Politics in German Film,” November 2010 at Rice University), awarded by Humanities Research Center, Rice University, 2010.

 Freshman Seminar “Visions of Community in German Film” listed among the ten best courses campus-wide by Rice Thresher, 2010.

 LMU Research Fellowship (“Excellence Fellowship”), Young Academy of the LMU Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 2009 (offer declined to accept the Rice Assistant Professorship).

 Outstanding Dissertation Nomination, 2008-2009 Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Doctoral Dissertation Award in the Arts and Humanities.

 Presidential Research Award, Rice University, 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014; 2015.

 Franz Rosenzweig Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2009 (offer declined to accept Assistant Professorship at Rice).

 Ph.D. awarded “with distinction", Yale University, 2008.

 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of German, Rice University, Fall 2008 - Spring 2010 (second year declined to accept Rice Assistant Professorship).

 Postdoctoral Fellowship, “Exzellenzcluster,” “Religion and Politics in Pre-modern and Modern Cultures,” Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Department of German Studies, 2008 (offer declined to accept postdoctoral fellowship at Rice).

 Cleanth Brooks Fellowship, Yale University, 2007 - 2008.

 John F. Enders Award, 2006, Yale University.

 Princeton University Research Fellowship, 2006 - 2007.

 Mellon Instructional Grant through Holocaust Testimonies Archive and Shoah Foundation, Yale University, 2003 - 2004.

 Richard J. Franke Fellowship, Yale University, 2002 - 2004.

 University Fellowship, Yale University, 2002 – 2007.

 Travel Grant, Free University Berlin, 2001.

 Direct Exchange Program (“Direktaustauschstipendium”), Cornell University, 2001 - 2002.

 Jacob Gould Schurman Assistantship to Professor Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Cornell University, 2001 - 2002.