Pfau, Thomas

A native of Germany, Thomas Pfau began his academic career in 1980 as a student of History and Literature at the University of Constance. In 1982, he came to the U.S. where, at UC-Irvine, he joined the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature and Theory. In 1985, he continued his studies in the Comparative Literature Program at SUNY-Buffalo where he received his Ph.D. in 1989 with a dissertation on self-consciousness in Romantic poetry and theory (Wordsworth, Shelley, et al.). Since then, his main interests have broadened to include a large array of Romantic writers—philosophical, literary, historical—in England and Germany. His published work has explored such questions as paranoia as a mediation of historically induced anxiety (in Blake, Godwin and the 1794 Treason Trials); moral speech as performance (in Hegel and J. L. Austin); problems of historicism in contemporary Romantic Studies and the work of Walter Benjamin; the Romantic conception of textual interpretation (in Schleiermacher). Besides translating and editing two volumes of theoretical writings by Hölderlin and Schelling, he also edited two essay collections on English Romanticism. Following his 1997 book, Wordsworth's Profession (Stanford UP), his most recent study of English and German Romanticism, entitled Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy,1794-1840 is forthcomingfrom Johns Hopkins University Press.

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