Christine Achinger – profile

achingerChristine Achinger is Associate Professor of German Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of German Studies at the University of Warwick. She studied Philosophy, Literature and Physics in Paris and Hamburg, where she was also involved in the non-commercial radio station FSK and in running the independent political library ‘Hamburger Studienbibliothek’, and worked at the concentration camp memorial site Hamburg-Neuengamme and in the ‘Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden’. An MA in ‘Gender and Ethnic Studies’ brought her to London. During that time, she investigated conceptions of the bourgeois subject and the modern state as reflected in Enlightenment debates on Jewish and female emancipation. She moved on to Nottingham to write a PhD on the intersection of constructions of race, class, gender, and nation in nineteenth-century Germany as reflected in Gustav Freytag’s novel Soll und Haben (1855), and stayed at the University of Nottingham for another year as a Teaching Fellow. She joined the Department of German Studies at Warwick in September 2006 and spent the winter terms 2009 and 2012 as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago. In 2013/14 she held a Research Fellowship at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

Her research interests are in the areas of critical social theory and aesthetic theory; constructions of gender, nation and race and their relation to the experience of capitalist modernity; history and theories of antisemitism; and Holocaust memory in Germany.

She is currently working on the dialectic between universalism and new ideas of difference in Enlightenment debates on the emancipation of Jews and women, on the affinities between Adorno’s Negative Dialektik and Celan’s poetry, and on an article on the dialectic of ‘civic’ and ‘ethnic’ nationalism in German liberal antisemitism (with Marcel Stoetzler). She is also preparing an edited volume on Antisemitism and the Politics of Emancipation with Werner Bonefeld (York) and Marcel Stoetzler, exploring the contradictory and historically changing relationship between antisemitism and the political Left, broadly conceived.

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