Karen Feldman

Karen Feldman

Associate Professor of German


Office: 5325 Dwinelle

Phone: (510) 642-2973

Karen Feldman’s areas of specialization include hermeneutics and phenomenology, the Frankfurt School, German Idealism, literary theory and aesthetics. She received her B.A. from the University of Chicago (1989) and her Ph.D. from DePaul University (1998). Her current research concerns aesthetics and historiography from Kant to Benjamin. Prof. Feldman spent 2010-2011 in Berlin on a grant with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She was a Fulbright scholar at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel and in Berlin (1998-2000); and a postdoctoral fellow at the Graduiertenkolleg “Repräsentation, Rhetorik, Wissen.” She is the author of Binding Words: Conscience and Text in Hobbes, Hegel and Heidegger (Northwestern University Press, 2006) and co-editor of Continental Philosophy: An Anthology(Blackwell, 1998). She has published articles on German Romanticism, German Idealism, the history of rhetoric, and literary theory in MLN, the Germanic Review, the Journal of the History of Ideas, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Word and Image, Angelaki, Philosophy Today, and in edited collections.


  • Binding Words: Conscience and Text in Hobbes, Hegel and Heidegger, Northwestern University Press, 2006.
Edited books
  • McNeill, William, and Feldman, Karen S., eds., Continental Philosophy: An Anthology.Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998.
  • “Not dialectical enough: On Benjamin, Adorno and Autonomous Critique,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 44.4 (2011).
  • “On Critique and Mediality in Gottsched,” http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/v/drehmomente/
  • “The Temporal Aside: ‘Transzendentale Buffonerie’ in Two Works of Novalis,” in The Germanic Review 85.2, April 2010.
  • “De Man’s Kant and Goebbels’ Schiller: The Ideology of Reception,” in MLN 124.5, December 2009.
  • “On Vitality, Figurality and Orality in Hannah Arendt, “ in Thinking Allegory Otherwise, ed. Brenda Machosky. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.
  • “Analogie: Über die Souveränität und ihre Alternativen,” trans. Birgit Kaiser and Kathrin Thiele, in Latenz, eds. Stefanie Diekmann and Thomas Khurana. Berlin: Kadmos, 2007.
  • “The Fictional and the Figural: On Derrida, Kant and the Textual Event, “in Cardozo Law Review 27.2, January 2006. “Reading by Example, “coauthored with Ellen Cox, in Intersubjektivität und Praxis, eds. Georg Bertram and Stefan Blank. Paris: L‚Harmattan, 2005.
  • “Heidegger and the Hypostasis of the Performative, “in Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 9.3, December 2004. “The Binding Word: Conscience and the Rhetoric of Agency in Hegel‚s Phenomenology of Spirit, in Qui Parle 14.2, Spring 2004.
  • “‘Per canales Troporum’: On Tropes and Performativity in Leibniz’s Preface to Nizolius,” inJournal of the History of Ideas, forthcoming December 2004.
  • “Johann Fischart,” coauthored with Niklaus Largier, in Harvard History of German Literature,Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2004.
  • “The Binding Word: Conscience and the Rhetoric of Agency in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit,” in Qui Parle 14.1, Fall/Winter 2003.
  • “The Naming of the Hymn: Heidegger’s Reading of Hölderlin’s ‘Der Ister’,” in Thinking Between Poetry and Philosophy, ed. Hugh Silverman. New York: Continuum Press, 2002.
  • “Die Endlichkeit des Performativen: Das Gewissen in Hegels Phänomenologie desGeistes,” inDiesseits des Subjektprinzips: Körper-Sprache-Praxis, eds. Thomas Bedorf and Stefan Blank. Berlin: Edition Humboldt, 2002, pp. 55-68. Reprinted in En-deçà du principe du sujet, eds. Thomas Bedorf and Stefan Blank. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2002.
  • “Conscience and the Concealments of Metaphor in Hobbes’ Leviathan,” in Philosophy and Rhetoric 34.1 (2001): 21-37.
  • “On the Performative Difficulty of Being and Time,” in Philosophy Today 44.4 (2000): 366-379.
Book reviews
  • Review of Slavoj Zizek, Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch. In Texte zur Kunst 11.42 (June 2001): 115-117.
  • Review of Miguel de Beistegui and Simon Sparks, eds. Philosophy and Tragedy.InPhilosophy in Review 21.3 (June 2001): 167-169.
  • Review of Drucilla Cornell, Just Cause: Freedom, Identity and Rights. In Philosophy in Review 21.6 (December 2001): 409-411.

Recent Courses

Benjamin & Adorno; 18th Century Theories of Language; Formalism and Historicism

Research Areas

Frankfurt School; German Idealism; Aesthetics; Literature and Philosophy; Intellectual History