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Faculty Fellow

David Wellbery

LeRoy T. and Margaret Deffenbaugh Carlson University Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies University of Chicago


Professor Wellbery is the founding Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on German Literature and Culture at the University of Chicago. Two of his books are considered classics in the field of German literary history: Lessing’s Laocoön. Semiotics and Aesthetics in the Age of Reason (Cambridge University Press, 1984) and The Specular Moment: Goethe’s Early Lyric and the Beginnings of Romanticism (Stanford University Press, 1996). His edited volume, Positionen der Literaturwissenschaft: Acht Modellanalysen am Beispiel von Kleists “Erdbeben in Chile” (Beck Verlag, 1984), which is now in its fifth printing, has for four decades served as the principle introduction to literary theory for students of German literature. Professor Wellbery is also the editor-in-chief of the monumental A New History of German Literature, published by Harvard University Press in 2004. His most recent monographs are: Goethes Faust I: Reflexion der tragischen Form (Munich: Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung, 2016) and Goethes Pandora: Dramatisierung einer Urgeschichte der Moderne (Munich: Bayrische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2017).

For more on his research and publications, visit his profile page at the University of Chicago.


The Idealism Project: Self-Determining Form and the Autonomy of the Humanities

Project Team:

2015 – 2017