Stefani Engelstein

Office Hours: 

Mon.   1:00p.m.  -  2:00p.m.
Thurs. 2:00 p.m. - 3:00p.m.

Professor of Germanic Languages and Literature

External Address: 
Germanic Languages and Literat, Campus Box 90256, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: 
(919) 660-3173

Stefani Engelstein’s research explores German and British literature, philosophy, and the life and human sciences in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her newest project, Living Things, Human Beings: The Entanglements of the Organism, unites interests in epistemology and anatomy to consider the complicated boundaries of the organism and their implications for social institutions in Romanticism and Idealism.  Engelstein’s most recent book, Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity (Columbia University Press, 2017), investigated the genealogical sciences in the long nineteenth century.  Genealogies were developed to organize many historical systems and in the process transformed contemporary terms in such systems – whether languages, races, nations, species, or subjects – into siblings of varying degrees.  As a link between epistemology and affect, the sibling is a key to both knowledge-systems and identity politics that destabilizes genealogies from within.  Engelstein’s first book, Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse (SUNY, 2008), explored theories of reproduction and healing at the turn of the nineteenth century.  It traced the concept of teleology at the root of the new discipline of biology to reveal its transformation from an explanatory principle in new epigenetic theories of inheritance to a rationalization for legitimating ideologies through the body. Engelstein also co-edited the anthology, Contemplating Violence: Critical Studies in Modern German Culture (Rodopi 2011) and her work has appeared in such journals as Critical Inquiry, the PMLA, the German Studies Review, the Goethe Yearbook, and Philosophy Today.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 2001
  • B.A., Yale University 1992

Engelstein, S. Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.

Contemplating Violence Critical Studies in Modern German Culture. Ed. S Engelstein and C Niekerk. Rodopi, 2011. (Edited Book)

Engelstein, SB. "Coining a Discipline: Lessing, Reimarus, and a Science of Religion." Fact and Fiction Literary and Scientific Cultures in Germany and Britain. Ed. C Lehleiter. University of Toronto Press, 2016. 221-246. (Chapter)

Engelstein, S, and Niekerk, C. "Introduction. Violence, Culture, Aesthetics: Germany 1789-1938." 2009. 13-+.

Engelstein, SB. "Reproductive Machines in E.T.A. Hoffmann." Body Dialectics in the Age of Goethe. Rodopi, 2003. 169-193. (Chapter)

Engelstein, S. "Schelling’s Uncanny Organism (Submitted)." Artful Designs: The Automata and Hidden Machinery of Global Romanticism. Ed. C Clason and M Demson. (Chapter)

Engelstein, S. "Love or Knowledge: Sexual Epistemology in Fichte and Kleist." The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory 92.4 (October 2, 2017): 368-387. Full Text

Engelstein, S. "Geschwister und Geschwisterlichkeit in der Epistemologie der Moderne." Ed. M Hohkamp, A Höfert, and C Ulbrich. L’Homme: European Journal of Feminist History 68.2 (2017): 49-68.

Engelstein, S. "On Respect and Meaning: Reply to Cynthia L. Hallen." Critical Inquiry 41.2 (January 2015): 451-457. (Scholarly Commentary) Full Text

Engelstein, S. "Sibling Logic; or, Antigone Again." PMLA 126.1 (January 2011): 38-54. Full Text

Engelstein, S. "Civic Attachments & Sibling Attractions: The Shadows of Fraternity." Goethe Yearbook 18.1 (2011): 205-221. Full Text

Engelstein, S. "Out on a limb: Military medicine, Heinrich von Kleist, and the disarticulated body." GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW 23.2 (May 2000): 225-244. Full Text

Engelstein, SB. "The Regenerative Geography of the Text in William Blake." Modern Language Studies 32:2.Fall (2000): 61-86.