Prof. Dr. Stefani Engelstein

Guggenheim Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and Fulbright Scholar with the project The Opposite Sex: A History


  • 2018-.  Professor of German Studies. German Studies Department. Duke University. Durham, NC.
  • 2021-. Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. Duke University. Durham, NC.
  • 2017-2021.  Chair. German Studies Department. Duke University. Durham, NC.
  • 2015-2017.  Associate Professor of German. Department of Germanic Languages and Literature. Duke University. Durham, NC.
  • 2009-2014. Director, Life Sciences & Society Program. University of Missouri. Columbia, MO.
  • 2007-2016.  Associate Professor of German. Department of German and Russian Studies. University of Missouri. Columbia, Missouri.
  • 2001-2007. Assistant Professor of German. Department of German and Russian Studies. University of Missouri. Columbia, Missouri. 
  • 2001. Ph.D. Comparative Literature. University of Chicago.
  • 1994. MA. Comparative Literature. University of Chicago.
  • 1992. BA with Distinction in the Literature Major. Yale University.


  • June, 2024-May, 2025. Guggenheim Fellowship.  (Awarded Spring, 2023.)
  • Jun, 2023-May, 2024.  National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.
  • Sep, 2023-Apr, 2024.  Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Fellowship.  
  • Jul 1, 2021-Apr 30, 2022.  Visiting Scholar at the Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin.
  • Feb-Apr, 2017.  Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science. 
  • 2013-2014.  Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers.  Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin.

Research Interests

  • German and British literature, 1770-1914
  • Literature and History of Science
  • Literature and philosophy, esp. aesthetics, epistemology, and political theory
  • Gender studies
  • Critical race theory



  • Geschwister-Logik. Genealogisches Denken in der Literatur und den Wissenschaften der Moderne. Trans. of Sibling Action (below) by André Hansen. De Gruyter, projected 2024.
  • Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity. Columbia University Press. Hardcover 2017. Paperback 2020.  Shortlisted for Kenshur Prize, Center for 18th-Century Studies.
  • Contemplating Violence: Critical Studies in Modern German Culture. Co-editor with Carl Niekerk. Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik 79. Rodopi Press, 2011.
  • Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse. Series: Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. SUNY Press. Hardcover 2008. Paperback 2009.

Articles (Selection)

  • “Sketchy! Kafka’s Drawings in medias res.”  Invited contribution.  Special issue on Kafka’s Drawings.  Ed. Carsten Strathausen.  The Germanic Review.  2024.
  • “Boundaries and Interdisciplines: Where Medical Humanities Meets Literature & Science in German Studies.”  Forward to Health Humanities in German Studies, ed. Stephanie M. Hilger.  Bloomsbury Press.  2024.
  • “Divisive Affect, Loyalty, and National Cohesion: Du Bois Contra Wagner.” Forthcoming in Comparative Literature. 76.3 (2024).
    • “Polarisierender Affekt, Öffentlichkeit und nationaler Zusammenhalt: Du Bois contra Wagner.” Transl. Seán Allan and Christian Moser. Re-Imagining the Public Sphere. Literatur, Kunst und das soziale Imaginäre. Hg. Seán Allan und Christian Moser. Bielefeld: Aisthesis.  2024.
  • “The Emergent Organism: Kielmeyer, Röschlaub, Schelling, and Novalis.”  Invited contribution.  Special issue on Science, Technology, and Early German Romanticism.  Ed. Leif Weatherby.  Symphilosophie 3 (2021): 1-32.  
  • “Sexual Division and the New Mythology: Goethe and Schelling.” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences special issue: Conceiving Reproduction in German Naturphilosophie. Ed. Susanne Lettow and Gregory Rupik. 42.39 (2020).
  • “Schelling’s Uncanny Organism.” Invited contribution. Artful Designs: The Automata and Hidden Machinery of Global Romanticism. Ed. Christopher Clason and Michael Demson. Bucknell University Press. 2020. 167-185.  Shortlisted for SAMLA Studies Book Award for best edited collection.
  • “Love or Knowledge: Sexual Epistemology in Fichte and Kleist.” Invited contribution. Special issue on Writing Polarities: Romanticism and the Dynamic Unity of Poetry and Science. Ed. Leif Weatherby and Antje Pfannkuchen. Germanic Review. 92.4 (Fall 2017). 368-387.
  • “Geschwister und Geschwisterlichkeit in der Epistemologie der Moderne.” Invited contribution. Special issue on Schwesternfiguren / Sister Figures. Eds. Michaela Hohkamp, Almut Höfert, Claudia Ulbrich. L’Homme: European Journal of Feminist History. 68.2 (Fall 2017): 49-68.
  • “Coining a Discipline: Lessing, Reimarus, and a Science of Religion.”  Fact and Fiction: Literary and Scientific Cultures in Germany and Britain.  Ed. Christine Lehleiter.  University of Toronto Press, 2016.  221-246.
  • “The Allure of Wholeness: The Organism around 1800 and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate.” Critical Inquiry. 39.4 (2013): 754-776.
  • “Civic Attachments & Sibling Attractions: The Shadows of Fraternity.”  (Presidential Address of the Goethe Society of North America, 2009.)  The Goethe Yearbook.  18 (2011): 205-221.
  • “Sibling Logic; or, Antigone Again.” PMLA. 126.1 (Jan 2011): 38-54.
  • “The Father in Fatherland: Violent Ideology and Corporeal Paternity in Kleist.” Contemplating Violence: Critical Studies in Modern German Culture. Ed. Stefani Engelstein and Carl Niekerk.  Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik 79.  Rodopi Press.  2011.  49-66.
  • “The Open Wound of Beauty: Kafka Reading Kleist.” The Germanic Review.  81.4.  (Fall 2006): 340-359.
  • “The Regenerative Geography of the Text in William Blake.” Modern Language Studies. 30.2 (Fall 2000): 61-86.
  • “Out on a Limb: Military Medicine, Heinrich von Kleist and the Disarticulated Body.” German Studies Review. 23.2 (May 2000): 225-244.  DAAD Outstanding Article Prize of the German Studies Association.