MemberJames Pangborn

Trained in 20th-centure American Lit with forays into 18th-C Brits, psychological approaches, poetics, and lit theory (decon., hermeneutics, and Frankfurt-school critical studies), I’ve evolved toward ecocriticism with a perspective I’m calling biopragmatism. Concerned to develop a robust poetics for the present century (and the long haul) I work the intersection of several disciplines and ideas: cognitive studies, especially linguistics; ecology, evolution, and other environmental models and disciplines; the canonical American pragmatists (especially Peirce and Dewey) and their present-day interpreters, and contemplative discipline (e.g. Zen). I think this nexus of theory and praxis offers us a better framework for studying art and culture, and a much better rhetorical presence as a discipline among other disciplines, than poststructuralism and/or the cultural studies hegemony presently do. I also write poems.

MemberJames Parsons

James Parsons is Professor of Music History at Missouri State University, where he has taught since 1995. He edited The Cambridge Companion to the Lied (Cambridge University Press) in 2004 and also contributed two essays, one on twentieth-century German song, the other devoted to that of the eighteenth century. Recent publications by him have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Beethoven Forum, Companion to European Romanticism, Early Music, Music Analysis, Music & Letters, Music and Literature in German Romanticism, and Telos, and the 2011 edited volume Modernity from Schiller to the Frankfurt School (Bern: Peter Lang). Essays by him on twentieth-century Lieder by, respectively, Ernst Krenek and Hanns Eisler appear in Austrian Studies, (vol. 3), and Edinburgh German Yearbook (vol. 8). He has presented scholarly papers in the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Scotland, and widely throughout the United States. He currently is editor of the American Musicological Society Newsletter.

MemberArnim Alex Seelig

I’m a PhD candidate in German studies at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and a course lecturer at the University of Paderborn in Germany, where I am finishing my dissertation. For my research I received a doctoral scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). I am a visiting scholar at the Free University of Berlin and an associated member of the graduate research training group “Automatismen” at the University of Paderborn. In my dissertation I analyse the aesthetics of the Swiss author Christian Kracht, with an eye towards discourses about conservatism in his works and reception. By combining reader-response criticism and post-structuralism with the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and 20th century theories of conservatism, I approach Kracht’s oeuvre as a form of cultural and philosophical critique of the globalizing technological consumer society of the 20th and 21st century. Furthermore, I argue that Kracht’s texts are literary examples of a new German cultural conservatism, which is characterized, among other things, by semiological sophistication, irony, and a certain elitism. My long-term objective is to continue working at an institution of higher education after the completion of my PhD, preferably as a professor at an American or Canadian research university or liberal arts college.You can find out more about me in my online teaching portfolio at and at LinkedIn.

MemberBill Hughes

Bill Hughes was awarded a PhD in English Literature in 2010 from the University of Sheffield on communicative rationality and the Enlightenment dialogue in relation to the formation of the English novel. His research interests are in eighteenth-century literature; cultural and literary theory, particularly Raymond Williams, the Bakhtin circle, and the Frankfurt school; genre theory; aesthetics; intertextuality and the Semantic Web; and paranormal romance. He is co-founder, with Dr Sam George, of the Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture Project at the University of Hertfordshire. He has publications out or forthcoming on Jane Austen, Elizabeth Hamilton, Frances Burney, Sydney Owenson, Bernard Mandeville, Maria Edgeworth, and Charlotte Smith. Bill has also published on Richard Hoggart, with contributions in Richard Hoggart and Cultural Studies, ed. by Sue Owen (Palgrave, 2008), and Richard Hoggart: Culture and Critique, ed. by Michael Bailey and Mary Eagleton (Critical, Cultural and Communications Press, 2011). In addition, he is researching contemporary vampire literature and paranormal romance, co-editing (with Dr George) and contributing to two collections: ‘Open Graves, Open Minds’: Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present (Manchester University Press, 2013); and In the Company of Wolves: Werewolves, Wolves, and Wild Children (Manchester University Press, 2020) and with articles forthcoming on the eighteenth-century novel and paranormal romance. This apparently disparate research is not unfocused; it has at its core Bill’s concerns with the Enlightenment as viewed through the theory of Habermas and the Marxist tradition.

MemberYannleon Chen

Yannleon focused on the socio-political conditions of squats in Europe in their Bachelor’s thesis at UC Irvine, and drew comparisons of different representations of terrorism in German literature in their Master’s thesis at University of Oregon. At the Department of German Studies at the University of Arizona, they are currently developing research questions surrounding representations and Leftists understandings of the Red Army Faction with support from Professor Ilse Nagelschmidt at Universität Leipzig. They have taught first and second year German for eight terms at UO and for two terms at the UA. They also served as an English Teaching Assistant and Cultural Ambassador in Graz, Austria as part of the Austrian-American Education Commission’s United States Teaching Assistant program from Fall of 2014 to Spring of 2015. They have taught and developed several courses as instructor of record, including GER 371 Contemporary German Culture, GER 301 German Cultural and Literary History, and GER 244 Language of Power. In addition to first and second year German language courses. Yannleon’s research interests include Critical Theory, the New Frankfurt School, and dialectics of aesthetics and power, literary and film representations and cultural memory of German leftism and terrorism, and intercultural German didactics. Beyond these core research topics, Yannleon also has two articles under review, “‘Gute Menschen’ and Teaching about Racism in Germany” and “Tokin’ Asians: Stoner Comedies and their Asian Americans” Co-author with David Gramling.

MemberLeon Chisholm

Leon Chisholm studied applied music and musicology in Canada and the United States, obtaining a PhD in historical musicology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. His dissertation research, funded in part by the Cini Foundation in Venice, concerned the mechanization of polyphonic vocal idioms brought about by the rise of lute and keyboard playing in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Music at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Previously, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, the Humboldt University Berlin, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, CRC 980, “Epistemes in Motion,” at the Free University Berlin, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, and the Italian Academy at Columbia University. Leon’s recent work has focused on projects concerning the long history of the keyboard interface, the social construction of timbre in organ building, the material origins of musical style and concepts in early modern Europe, and the circulation of Corelli’s sonatas in eighteenth-century Scottish fiddling. In addition to his academic research, Leon is a software developer and practicing musician specializing in organs and historical keyboards.

MemberJason Josephson

…I am currently completing a further book length manuscript–Absolute Disruption: The Future of Theory after Postmodernism, which attempts to extend the insights of the Hegelian tradition (particularly as articulated by the Frankfurt School) to one of the central impasses of the discipline of Religious Studies—the disintegration of its central term “religion.” It articulates new methods for the social sciences by simultaneously radicalizing and moving past the postmodern turn….

I am currently Chair & Associate Professor of Religion at Williams College. I have three primary research foci: Japanese Religions, European intellectual history, and Theory. The common thread to my research is an attempt to decenter received narratives in the study of religion and science. My main targets have been epistemological obstacles, the preconceived universals which serve as the foundations of various discourses. I have also been working to articulate new research models for Religious Studies in the wake of the collapse of poststructuralism as a guiding ethos in the Humanities.