Learn about our current graduate students.
Learn about our current graduate students.
Kylee Bolinger graduated from Portland State University in 2021 with a Bachelor's Degree in German and a history minor. Her honors thesis, Methods of Memorialization: Holocaust Commemoration in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, dealt with the various methods used by museums to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust. Her research interests include studying the written words of Holocaust experiencers to better understand the dynamics of loss and absence, and she is passionate about applying the lessons to be learned from history to the modern era. She is also interested in Jewish-German literature and art from the 20th Century.
Justin earned his BA in International Studies from the University of Colorado Denver, where his honors thesis examined the history of the Balkan nations since 1800 and its interplay with the construction of international norms. In 2019, he completed his MA in German Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. His thesis, titled Heine der Narr: Towards a Universal Freiheitsliebe, examines the intersections of political society with satire and poetry in the literary tradition of the German Vormärz. His academic interests continue to include historical memory, epistemology and the philosophy of language, and critical theory. Justin's family is dedicated to wildlife and natural resource preservation, operating a horse ranch and land conservation project in the Colorado foothills.
Simon is studying the overlapping tasks of literature and other media, continental philosophy, and critical theory in Europe and Latin America. He’s especially interested in kinds of negation, literal metaphors, materialities of thought, theories of history, critical style, and answerability. Kafka, Benjamin, Lispector, César Aira, Derrida, Heidegger, and Calderón are currently on his mind. He is a graduate of Yale and Cambridge.
Ethan LusskyTeaching Assistant
Ethan studied Critical and Political Theory at Macalester College (B.A. 2018). His research interests include difficulties with ethics and impossibility, read primarily within 19th and 20th century German and French prose and poetry, literary theory, Jewish-German philosophy, and psychoanalysis.
Jasmin studied philosophy, German Studies (BA) and the Ethics of Textual Cultures (MA) in an interdisciplinary degree program that brings together philosophy, German literary studies, linguistics, and religious studies. In her MA thesis, she focused on concepts of hope in Friedrich Nietzsche’s work. Her main current research focus continues to be the work of Nietzsche and its reception—often the subject of misuse or even abuse—in the present and the past. Her perspective derives from an “ethical” point of view and poses questions such as the following: What does it mean to read in an “ethical” manner, and what does this practice exclude? What does the possibility of “unethical” reading tell us about language itself?
Michael PaninskiTeaching Assistant
Michael studied Theater, Film and Media Studies, German, and Philosophy at the University of Vienna, where he received his M.A. in 2015 with a thesis entitled Hermeneutics Of Failure – Underway to Bertolt Brecht’s Fatzer-fragment. The text analyzes the possibilities of re-reading, re-discovering and re-interpreting the works of Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht in the aftermath of the theoretical conceptions of fragment, detail and discontinuity. Michael Paninski's research interests range from the legacy of the fragmentary demand of the Romantic via the broad operational areas of Critical Theory to current questions in literary theory and continental philosophy. At Brown University he wishes to explore contemporary discourses and narratives of human rights, justice, and violence in the wake of deconstructive theories of literature and language. His questions circle around the incalculable element within language—a critical residual, remnant, or relic (Rest)—and around the question of what happens when the intervention of this Other is not excluded from the calculus or economy of the political.
Mirjam Paninski previously studied Comparative Literature, German Studies, Aesthetics, and the Philosophy of Culture at the University of Vienna. Her multimedia dissertation project "Insistences – Voices in Partum, Bodies in Labor," consisting of a written dissertation and a series of art installations, seeks to counter imaginary concepts and stagings of the body during pregnancy and birth as well as the dehumanization of both the pregnant individual and medical staff. The project follows the argument, that the body during pregnancy and childbirth is itself always a site, which subverts the naturalization of a normative system. More broadly, her teaching and research interests have included translation and translatability of and within 20th-century poetry, the gaps of language, the manifestation of trauma, and the loss of speech within literature and multilingual literature. Prior to her time at Brown, Mirjam was a founding member of the poetry translation collective Versatorium, Vienna. She has significant professional experience curating.
Soenke studied European Literatures (B.A. 2017) and German Literature (M.A. 2020) at the Philipps University of Marburg, with shorter stays at the University of Bonn and Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on the interplay of intellectual history and the materiality of print media, both in discourses of theory and popular culture. Particular fields of interest include the chronopoetics of history, early critical theory, and the co-evolution of the popular imaginary and political thought.
Raiany RomanniRaiany hails from Brazil, where she published a novel on the workings of mortality (featuring the Greek mythological characters of Eros and Psyche) before moving to Poland for her undergraduate degree. She graduated summa cum laude from the Jagiellonian University, and then headed to Dartmouth for her MA in Comparative Literature, having worked mainly on Nietzsche's concept of life affirmation for both her degrees.
Presently, she’s most interested in an ontology and poetics of death, in the face of biotechnological advancements resulting in unforeseen extensions in human life and health. The Overhuman is coming—in AI, biotechnology, radical life extension, and beyond—and the ethical goal must be to democratize Her. She anticipates radical health extension will incite what Holden Karnofsky calls "accelerating economic growth"; more human flourishing; and less suffering.
Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Washington Post, Vox, Quillette, The Hill, and ABC. Raiany is a VitaDAO Fellow, an A360 Scholar (recognized by XPRIZE founder Peter Diamandis for her "probing curiosity and intellectual grasp of technological convergence and its implications"), and a fellow in Effective Altruism at Harvard. She is currently on a leave of absence from her PhD.
More on her mission to shift the underpinning philosophy, ethics, policy, and public narrative of aging research can be found at www.raianyromanni.com.
Armin Schneider did his MA and BA in cultural and media studies at Humboldt University Berlin (visiting at NYU), with theses on labor and economy in Hegel's early development and on technology and science in Heidegger. He did minor studies in musicology, economics, history of science and mathematics. His current research is focussed on Hegel and German philosophy around 1800, his interests range from ancient greek philosophy (Plato, Aristotle) through Spinoza, Marx and Freud to 20th century French theory and philosophy, with topics such as non-being and dialectic, nous and materialism, theoria and practice, revolution and political change, government and the machine, sex and formalization, structuralism and language, the need of philosophy. His dissertation departs from an investigation of becoming, materiality and dialectic in Hegel's Science of Logic in light of contemporary positions such as the Slovene School, Badiou, Malabou and the Frankfurt School. Two of his accidental obsessions are Bach's piano music as well as 1989 and the two Germanies.
Pasqual studied German, English and American studies and Ethics of Textual Cultures at the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg (M.A. 2015). His master’s thesis sets the framework for a new understanding of Friedrich Schiller's concept of "Idealität" by way of a re-evaluation of the chorus as figure of differentiality. Constantly brooding over all sorts of intersections of languages, terminologies and dictions, he mainly works on 18th to 20th century literature and philosophy. His research interests include rhetorics of desire, figurality and corporeality of language, philology as practice of emancipatory suspension, as well as critical theory, political theology and psychoanalysis.
There are many other graduate students at Brown working towards Ph.D.s in other field but who are active in our department through their participation in seminars, workshops, and colloquia.