Research and Teaching Profile
Sonja Boos, Assistant Professor of German, joined the faculty at the University of Oregon in Fall 2013. Prior to that, she was Visiting Assistant Professor of German at Oberlin College. Boos received her PhD in German from Princeton University in 2008; she also has an M.A. in German and Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Düsseldorf.
Boos has completed her first book, titled The Challenge of Public Speech. Postwar Germany and the Holocaust (forthcoming with Cornell University Press). The book investigates canonical public speeches by Theodor W. Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Ingeborg Bachmann, Martin Buber, Paul Celan, Uwe Johnson, Peter Szondi and Peter Weiss that both facilitated and subverted the construction of a public discourse about the Holocaust in postwar Germany.
Currently, Boos is working on a new book-length study, tentatively titled Agonistic Hemispheres: The Emergence of Neuroscience and the German Novel. It will be the first systematic and comprehensive study of the disciplinary cross-pollination between the emerging field of neuroscience and the German realist novel in the long nineteenth century. Agonistic Hemispherebuilds on Boos’ expertise in nineteenth and twentieth century German literature and culture while combining her longstanding academic interest in psychoanalysis and psychopathology with her new focus on the history of neuroscience. She hopes to demonstrate that the textual and aesthetic experimentations associated with early literary modernism represent symptomatic responses to experimental investigations conducted by contemporary neuroscientists and psychopathologists.
Boos’ teaching focuses on 19th – 21st century German literature, culture and film as well as critical thought. She has published articles on Peter Szondi, Hannah Arendt, Uwe Johnson, Johann W. von Goethe and Gottfried Keller.
Recent courses: Aesthetics and Politics of the Avantgarde; Drama und Recht; Representations of Terror; Poetic Realism; Sexuality; War, Violence, Trauma