Wesleyan portrait of Ulrich  Plass

Ulrich Plass

Professor of German Studies

Boger Hall, 326

Chair, German Studies

Professor, Letters

Boger Hall, 326


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MA University of Michigan
PHD New York University

Ulrich Plass

My scholarly work encompasses two main areas: (1) Critical Theory and its philosophical origins and (2) the aesthetics of modern and contemporary literature. In both areas, I examine problems of representation and representability: I am interested in the historically specific possibilities and limitations of philosophy as a discursive medium and literature as a fictional and imaginary medium. I have published monographs on the work and life of Franz Kafka and on the implicit theory of language in Adorno's literary criticism. My current book project is a multidisciplinary account of the intertwined origins of the Frankfurt School's dialectical concept of the culture industry. I am also in the process of writing and publishing articles on a number of interrelated issues in literary and critical theory: on debates over literary realism, on precarity and narrative form, and on the relationship between abstract labor and the work of art.

I have been at Wesleyan since 2004. In 2017, I was promoted to Professor of German Studies with a core appointment in the College of Letters. In 2015 and 2016, I was a research fellow at the Berlin Center for Literary and Cultural Research. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Hamburg, my M.A. at the University of Michigan, and my Ph.D. at New York University. I teach a wide array of classes, including courses on Nietzsche, Kafka, Marx and Marxism, Weimar Modernism, contemporary German literature, the Frankfurt School, and German Romanticism. 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2022: Mondays, 2:45-4:00 in Boger 326; Fridays, 3:30-5:00 in Fisk 411; and by appointment


Fall 2022
GRST 213 - 01
German Culture Today

GRST 268 - 01
Marx, Nietzsche, Freud