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Professor of Modern Languages-German; Chair of International Studies
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401
Professor in Modern Languages—German; Chair of International Studies
"I am interested in the intersections of modernity, story-telling, media and realism. My research focuses on film adaptations from Weimar Germany (1919-1933), paying particular attention to the manner in which these narratives draw attention to the performative act of story-telling as much as they communicate the story itself. I am also interested in the manner in which authors and filmmakers construct realism in various media, as well as the manner in which cultural critics of the Weimar Republic understood 'realism' with regard to highly mechanical modes of representation such as photography and film. My sources often creatively pass between categories of fiction and documentary while mixing media and genres.
Recently I have been working on the Austrian-born photographer Mario von Bucovich, whose extraordinary biography stands as a conceit of the geo-political ruptures of modernity and their effect upon modern subjectivity and identity. This project has allowed me to reconnect with my long-standing interest in Austrian culture (especially Vienna around 1900). My Bucovich research has also served as an opportunity to experiment with collaborative research and digital humanities. I have made use of research assistance from current students and recent graduates to acquire and organize archival documentation of Bucovich's life.
The courses I teach are often media rich, bringing a variety of sources to students to spark their interest. "
Years at Knox: 2009 to present
Ph.D., German Studies, 2010, University of Cincinnati.
M.A., Germanic Studies, 2004, University of Chicago.
B.A., German Literature, cum laude, 2002, University of Cincinnati.
German Literature, Guest Student, 2001-2002, Paris-Lodron Universität Salzburg/Bowling Green State University.
Late 19th and 20th century German literature and culture, film and visual culture, narratology and media.
Review: Berlin Coquette. Prostitution and the New German Woman, 1890-1933 by Jill Suzanne Smith, Film & History 45.2 (2016): 50-52.
"Alfred Döblin." Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Gen. ed. Stephen Ross. Forthcoming in 2016.
"Two Tales of a City: Photographing Weimar Berlin." Moderne und Antimoderne in Europa. Facetten des Stadtdiskurses in literarischen, filmischen und fotografischen Darstellungen. [Modernity and Antimodernity in Europe. Aspects of the Urban Discourse in Literary, Filmic and Photographic Representations.] Eds. Matthias Bauer and Christian Riedel. Hamburg: Igel Verlag. Forthcoming in 2015.
Ed. with Todd Herzog, German Cinema: A Critical Filmography to 1945. Caboose: Montreal. (In preparation.)
"Double-Take: Béla Balázs and the Visual Disorientation of G.W. Pabst's Dreigroschenoper." Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies. 50.2 (2014): 178-196.
"Kuhle Wampe or Who Owns the World. Kleiner Müggelsee" World Film Locations: Berlin. Ed. Susan Ingram. UK: Intellect Books, 2012. 26.
"The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. Eiswerder Island." World Film Locations: Berlin. Ed. Susan Ingram. UK: Intellect Books, 2012. 32.
"Erzähler and Information: Alfred Döblin's Epic Realism." Topography and Literature. Berlin and Modernism. Edited by Reinhard Zachau. Göttingen: V&R unipress (2009): 141-51.
"Image and Text, Fact and Fiction: Narrating W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants in the First Person." Image[&]narrative [e-journal] 22 (2008): n.p.
Edited volume, Focus on German Studies 15 (2008).
Interview, Birgit Dahlke. Focus on German Studies 15 (2008): 210-217.
Interview, Gerhild Scholz Williams. Focus on German Studies 15 (2008): 218-221.
"The Lives and Lies of Mario von Bucovich," Austrian Studies Association, Chicago, IL. March 16-19, 2017.
Program Director: 40th Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, San Diego, CA. September 29-October 2, 2016.
German "Sprachpolitik und -förderung" in North America: Challenges and Opportunities Confronting the Teaching and Learning of German, German Studies Association, San Diego, CA. September 29-October 2, 2016.
"The Absent Opa. Confronting Personal histories and History in Germany." Knox-Augustana Global Learning Retreat. Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, April 18, 2015.
Commentator, "New Contexts in Early and Weimar Film Studies." German Studies Association, Kansas City MO, September 18-21, 2014.
Commentator, "Literature, Society and Politics: Cultural Transformations from the Weimar Republic to the Early Nazi Period." German Studies Association, Denver, CO, October 3-6, 2013.
Moderator, "Diversity and Diversion in Film and Television." German Studies Association, Denver, CO, October 3-6, 2013.
"Keep it Cool, McLuhan! Communicating Across Cultures in a Digitized World." International Fair Roundtable, Knox College, Galesburg, IL, January 23, 2013.
"Gambling and the Spectacle of Chaos and Control." Modernist Studies Association, Las Vegas, NV, October 18-21, 2012.
"Mario von Bucovich. Weimar Germany's Forgotten Photographer." German Studies Association, Milwaukee, WI, October 4-7, 2012.
"It Takes a College. Institutional Support for Successful Undergraduate Research." German Studies Association, Milwaukee, WI, October 4-7, 2012.
Commentator, "Questioning German Film" German Studies Association, Louisville, KY, September 22-25, 2011.
"Too Good to be True? Kracauer and Balázs on Film and Reality" German Studies Association, Louisville, KY, September 22-25, 2011.
"Brecht, Pabst and Media" German Studies Association, Oakland, CA, October 7-10, 2010.
Campus & Community Involvement
What Students Say
"Todd is the type of person who, when you rush into his office panicking about a phone interview that you have to do in German for study abroad, will sit and practice with you for an hour. He's the type of person who can be the interim chair for a department and still find time to come to 8 a.m. meetings and talk about getting into graduate school. He's the type of person who can convince you to major or minor in German with just one class. Todd is engaged, enthusiastic, and excited about German studies, and that excitement rubs off on the increasing number of students involved in the German program at Knox."
-Anna Meier, International Relations and Modern Languages Double Major