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David Wellbery

“Kafka’s Wish"

February 24, 2012

David E. Wellbery is the LeRoy T. and Margaret Deffenbaugh Carlson University Professor at the University of Chicago. He holds appointments there in the departments of Germanic studies and comparative literature and on the Committee on Social Thought. He is also the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on German Literature and Culture.

Wellbery is the author of two studies considered classics in the field of German literary history: Lessing’s Laocoön: Semiotics and Aesthetics in the Age of Reason (Cambridge University Press, 1984) and The Specular Moment: Goethe’s Early Lyric and the Beginnings of Romanticism (Stanford University Press, 1996). Wellbery is also the editor in chief of the monumental A New History of German Literature, published by Harvard University Press in 2004. Since 1998, he has been co-editor of the Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, the most distinguished journal in the field of German literary studies.

Before coming to the University of Chicago, Wellbery taught at Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University, and he has held visiting professorships at the University of Bonn, Princeton University, the University of Copenhagen and the State University of Rio de Janeiro.