Alexander Knopf

Alexander Knopf

Assistant Professor

Member of:

    In January 2019, I came to Copenhagen to start a position as a Marie Curie Fellow. My research project was concerned with German Romantic philosophy of language. Since 2021, I have held a postdoc position in the VELUX-funded research project ‘Where Love Happens: Topographies of Emotions in Nineteenth-Century European Literature’ (PI: Lene Østermark-Johansen), which has been promoted to Assistant Professor in April 2023.

    My current project is dealing with the history and theory of emotions from Romanticism to the beginning of the twentieth century. In connection with these issues, I have directed my research interests towards the field of medical humanities and, in particular, the relationship between technology and the psyche in the works of Günther Anders. I have organised a conference entitled ‘The plasticity of emotions: Günther Anders’s contribution to the history of feelings’. The aim of this conference was to give a comprehensive account of Anders’s ideas and relate them to our present situation. A conference report can be found here. A publication of the conference proceedings is in preparation.

    I was already occupied with the relationship between technology and mental health issues in my previous work. I investigated, for instance, the narrative strategies in contemporary literature to represent pathological states of the mind resulting from the impact of surveillance techniques on the human psyche (link). The literary representation of trauma was another concern of mine. In an extensive afterword accompanying 33 elegies written by Günther Anders during his exile years in New York, I tried to show how these poems were meant to deal with a situation in which the unexpected arrival of lost family belongings suddenly reactivated a traumatic experience. In another piece, I gave an account of W. G. Sebald’s pathography of emigration. It turned out that in Sebald’s works — ‘a culmination of the trauma fiction genre’ (Roger Luckhurst) — trauma is inseparably linked to technology.

    Over the past years, I did extensive research on German Romanticism and German Idealism, working, for instance, on the Romantic theory of polemics, on Friedrich von Hardenberg's philosophy of language, on the modern concept of "farce" and its emergence around 1800, on Kant and emotions, and on Novalis's novel Heinrich von Afterdingen (Ph.D. thesis). With María Verónica Galfione, I co-edited a volume on Romantic individuality and critical responses relating to it.

    Another anthology on the problem of aestheticisation, co-edited by myself and María Verónica Galfione, will be published in Spanish by Herder Editorial in 2024. Contributors include Christoph Menke, Juliane Rebentisch, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Friedrich Balke, Boris Groys and others.


    Selected publications

    1. Published

      Symptomatik: Friedrich von Hardenbergs (Novalis) Idee einer Lehre von äußeren Kennzeichen

      Knopf, Alexander, Dec 2023, Blütenstaub: Jahrbuch für Frühromantik. Mahoney, D. F., Rommel, G. & Saul, N. (eds.). Würzburg: Verlag Königshausen & Neumann, Vol. 8. p. 87-103 17 p.

      Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch

    2. Published

      Am Rande des Gesprächs: Untersuchungen zur epistolaren Kommunikation im Schlegel-Kreis (Friedrich Schlegel, Caroline Schlegel, Friedrich von Hardenberg/Novalis, Dorothea Veit)

      Knopf, Alexander, 2023, In: Literatur für Leser. 44, 2, p. 125-139 15 p.

      Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    3. Published

      Abschied vom Individuum? Romantische Konzeptionen von Individualität und ihre Kritik

      Knopf, Alexander (ed.) & Galfione, V. M. (ed.), 2022, Paderborn: Brill Schöningh. 216 p. (Schlegel-Studien, Vol. 14).

      Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearch

    4. Published

      Günther Anders: Die Totenpost. Elegien

      Knopf, Alexander (ed.) & Anders, G., 2022, Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag. 206 p.

      Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch

    5. Published

      Seelenwanderungen: Pathographie der Emigration in W. G. Sebald

      Knopf, Alexander, 2022, Der gute Europäer: Grenzgänge zwischen Sprachen, Künsten und Kulturen. Latifi, K. (ed.). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, p. 129-143

      Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch

    6. Published

      "Anfang aller Erkenntniß": Theorie und Praxis der Polemik im Kreis der Frühromantiker

      Knopf, Alexander, 2021, In: Athenäum - Jahrbuch der Friedrich Schlegel Gesellschaft. 29, p. 111-157 46 p.

      Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    7. Published

      Tower of Babel: transcendental linguistics in Friedrich von Hardenberg's (Novalis) "Fichte Studies" [version 1; peer review: 3 approved]

      Knopf, Alexander, 2021, In: Open Research Europe. 1, 32

      Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    8. Published

      Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner Wirkungslosigkeit: Überlegungen zur Entstehung der modernen Farce

      Knopf, Alexander, 2020, Serapion: Zweijahresschrift für europäische Romantik. Latifi, K. (ed.). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, Vol. 1. p. 121-142 22 p.

      Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

    ID: 211140339