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Erica Weitzman : Faculty Experts

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Erica Weitzman

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Associate Professor of German


Areas of Focus

  • 19th and early 20th century German and comparative literature
  • Critical theory
  • Theories of comedy, irony and humor
  • Realism in literature
  • Rhetoric and poetics
  • History of German philosophy
  • Ethics and aesthetics


  • German realism
  • Theories of the obscene
  • New materialisms
  • Comedy and irony in German literature
  • "Bluster" in German literature and philosophy
  • Franz Kafka
  • Robert Walser
  • Albanian literature (especially Ismail Kadare)


Weitzman has published two monographs: Irony’s Antics: Walser, Kafka, Roth and the German Comic Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2015) and At the Limit of the Obscene: German Realism and the Disgrace of Matter (Northwestern University Press, 2021).

Weitzman received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University in 2012. Prior to joining the Department of German at Northwestern University in 2014, she was a visiting assistant professor in the departments of German and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley from 2013–2014 and a Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Universität Konstanz in the German Research Foundation (DFG) Graduiertenkolleg “Das Reale in der Kultur der Moderne” from 2012–2013.

Weitzman also has been a doctoral fellow in the DFG-Graduiertenkolleg “Lebensformen und Lebenswissen” from 2008–2011. In 2017–2018 she was a visiting scholar at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung in Berlin, with a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.