Ian Fleishman

Ian Fleishman
Penn German
Assistant Professor of German

Ian Fleishman is an Assistant Professor of German and the newest member of the standing faculty of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. In May 2013 he completed his doctorate in French and German Literature at Harvard University, having previously studied at the Freie Universität in Berlin, the Sorbonne Nouvelle and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and at Middlebury College in Vermont. He has published articles and book chapters in German QuarterlyFrench StudiesEssays in Romanticism, Mosaic, The Journal of Austrian Studies and elsewhere on subjects ranging from the Baroque to contemporary cinema.

His work focuses largely on sex and violence in order to trace the evolution of narrative form and its underlying epistemological shift from modernism to the postmodern. His first book manuscript, An Aesthetics of Injury: The Narrative Wound from Baudelaire to Tarantino is the 2015 winner of the Northeast Modern Language Association Book Award. Examining representations of the open wound, his monograph exposes injury to be an essential aesthetic prinicple of twentieth-century narrative in the works of ten exemplary authors and filmmakers: Charles Baudelaire, Franz Kafka, Georges Bataille, Jean Genet, Hélène Cixous, Ingeborg Bachmann, Elfriede Jelinek, Werner Schroeter, Michael Haneke and Quentin Tarantino. 

His next book project seeks to modernize two towering figures of the German-language literary canon, Heinrich von Kleist and Franz Kafka, by examining their influence on the works of Cormac McCarthy and J.M. Coetzee. In other work he intends to investigate formal experimentalism as an expression of sexuality in order to map queer strategies of storytelling in André Gide, Jean Genet, Werner Schroeter, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Xavier Dolan. 

Since arriving at Penn, Fleishman has taught, among other courses, both graduate and undergraduate seminars on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and a survey of German cinema. He also helped to organize an international and interdisciplinary (un)conference on the Digital Humanities and the future of German Studies, which took place at the Kislak Center last April. This past summer he served as Resident Tutor and Assistant Director of the Harvard summer program in Munich and Vienna.

Cinema Studies Program
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