Florian Fuchs

Florian Fuchs's picture
Lector Germanic Languages & Literatures

MA, MPhil, PhD

Bio: 2006-2010 B.A. in Comparative Literature & Art History (Kulturwissenschaften), European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany; 2008-2009 Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France; 2010-2011 Visiting Researcher in the DLCL, Stanford University, California; 2011-2017 PhD program, German Department, Yale University; 2013-2014 fellowship in the Mellon Foundation’s graduate concentration “Technologies of Knowledge”, Yale University. 2017-2018 Lector, German Department, Yale University.

Research interests: poetics of genre, short prose, formalism, praxeology, ars topica, metaphorology, literature and cinematography, personhood, media archaeology, art history.

Dissertation: “Inheriting Ars Topica: Short Narrative Forms and the Practice of Modern Life” (May 2017, with distinction)
The dissertation investigates the afterlives of the topical function of speech, which had been in use from Aristotle to Bacon, after classical rhetoric and dialectics seized to be accepted techniques of discourse around 1700. After inquiring into this disappearance from Locke, to Vico, and Baumgarten, the dissertation goes on to argue that modern short literary forms were in particular able to inherit this topical function of speech because of their form, autonomy, and narrative agency. Four such literary forms that developed a topical function are then studied in separate chapters, namely novella (Schlegel, Foucault, Storm), fairy tale (Propp, Benjamin, Bloch), proverb (Flaubert, Keller, Permjakov), as well as the fable and its failed attempt to be modernized (Hölderlin, Kleist, Blumenberg). In a final part, this hypothesis is confirmed by readings of James Joyce’ “epiphany’ as well as Hannah Arendt’s concept of “enacted story” and subsequently a praxeology of short narrative forms is proposed. This conclusion argues to reconsider these narratives as autonomous actors, or epistemic objects in the modern lifeworld and hence is able to shed a new light on the epistemic function and raison d’être of modern literature.
Table of Contents – Advisor: Rüdiger Campe – Comittee: Carol Jacobs, Kirk Wetters, Christopher Wood (NYU).


Selected Academic work

  • Book projects

Hans Blumenberg, Collected Writings on Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Literature, edited & translated by Hannes Bajohr, Florian Fuchs, and Joe Paul Kroll, Cornell University Press 2018, under contract

Inheriting Ars Topica: Short Narrative Forms and the Practice of Modern Life, manuscript, in preparation


  • Recent Academic Publications

research assistant (2011-2013) for the commented edition of Hans BlumenbergParadigmen zu einer Metaphorologie, ed. Anselm HaverkampSuhrkamp 2013

Panel 48: Fortuna. Symbol of the struggle of the self-liberating man (merchant)”, annotated pathway essay for Mnemosyne: Meanderings through Aby Warburg’s Atlas, The Warburg Institute & Cornell University, August 2014

Skepsis” in: Blumenberg lesen – Ein Glossar​, ed. Robert Buch, Daniel Weidner, Suhrkamp 2014, pp. 276-290 (with Kirk Wetters)

Emilies Amortisierung: Zu Rom und Roman bei Hölderlin” in: Rom rückwärts. Europäische Übertragungsschicksale von Lucan bis Lacan, ed. Judith Kasper, Cornelia Wild, Fink 2015, pp. 152-157

Agierende Form. Über Friedrich Schlegels Theorie der Novelle”, Athenäum – Jahrbuch der Friedrich Schlegel-Gesellschaft, 26. Jg. (2016), 23-50

Review of Gattungs-Wissen. Wissenspoetologie und literarische Form (ed. Michael Bies, Michael Gamper, Ingrid Kleeber, Wallstein 2013), in: arcadia. International Journal of Literary Culture, Vol 52/1, 2017, 224-229

Sich des Lügners entzücken. Ästhetische Freiheit und Baumgartens Szene ›schöner‹ Parrhesie”, in: Bella Parrhesia: Begriff und Figur. Studien zu Ästhetik, Theologie und Politik der freien Rede in der Neuzeit, ed. Rüdiger Campe, Malte Wessels, Rombach 2017 (forthcoming)

“Combinatory Life and Topical Thought in Goethe’s Urworte Orphisch” (under review)

“Topoi, Actants, Epistemic Objects. Reclaiming the Agential Ontology of Literature” (in preparation)


  • ​Recent Conference Talks

“Aby Warburg’s Archaeology of the Person”, NYU, December 2013

“The Idyll as Small Form (of Novelized Life). Herder, Lukács, Joyce”, Annual ACLA Meeting, NYU, New York City, March 2014

“The Agency of Small Forms: Gesture and Parable”, Mellon Work-in-Progress Colloquium, Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, April 2014

Surveillance and the Resacralization of the Everyday: The Novella as Critical Form”, Annual GSA Meeting, Kansas City, September 2014

Endoxon, Topos, petite perception – On Microevents and the Beginning of Prose”, Annual ACLA Meeting, Seattle, March 2015

Real/Surreal Excess: The scandal of screening Melusine in Fontane’s ’Ellernklipp’ and Breton’s ‘Nadja’”, workshop The Resurfacing of the Screen”, Yale University, April 2015

“After the Ars Topica. The Here-and-Now of Prose in Kleist’s Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden“, Annual GSA Meeting, Washington DC, October 2015

“The Prose Act”, conference “Speech unbound/ Ungebundene Rede: On prose and prosaics”, Deutsches Haus, NYU, October 2015

“Symbolic Everyday – Broch’s and Zweig’s Novellas”, conference “Austrian Modernism and the Habsburg Myth”, Yale University, April 2016

“Inciting the People: On the Violence of Quoting Proverbs”, On Citation, 2nd Harvard-Brown-Yale Colloquium, Brown University, April 2017

“›Ausblick auf eine Theorie des Unverstands‹ – Blumenberg’s Fable Hermeneutics”, Annual ACLA Meeting, Utrecht, NL, July 2017

Participant in the Seminar “Technologie: Readings in a Neglected Discipline”; Commentator for the Panel “Cosmology and Cosmopoetics (3): Cosmic Science”, Annual GSA Meeting, Atlanta, October 2017

“Wilde Literatur und Anthropozän: Über den unnatürlichen Grund des Erlebnisses”, conference “Die Rückkehr des Erlebnisses in die Geisteswissenschaften? – Diagnose und Geschichte”, DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1767 Faktuales & Fiktionales Erzählen, Universität Freiburg, December 2017.


  • Recent Other Publications

Das Wissen ist an die Person gebunden. Eine transatlantische Beobachtung amerikanischer Universitäten”, Merkur Blog, August 2015

Cosmology Returns in the Connected Age: Werner Herzog’s »Lo and Behold«”, The Los Angeles Review of Books, September 2016


  • Conference/Workshop Organization

“Popular, Prosaic, Profane: Structures of ‘Pre-Critical’ Art and Literature”, panel series, co-organized with Christopher Wood (NYU), ACLA 2015

“Versuche über den Roman: Life and Literature after Lukács”, conference, Yale 2015; co-organized with the Yale German graduate students

“Brevity”, panel series, GSA 2015; co-organized with Sage Anderson (NYU/Viadrina)

“Harun Farocki: A Vocabulary of Crisis”, screening & lecture series, Yale Media Research Group 2015/2016, co-organized with Regina Karl (Yale)

“Cosmology & Cosmopoetics”, panel series, GSA 2017, co-organized with Bryan Klausmeyer (Occidental) and Johannes Wankhammer (Reed)