Paul Buchholz

Paul Buchholz

Assistant Professor of German

Office: Dwinelle 5327

Office Hours: On Leave 2016-17

Paul Buchholz' research focuses on German narrative prose of the 20th and 21st centuries, and its intersection with modern social and political thought. He is particularly interested in how modern authors' experiments with narrative form have enabled alternative ways of thinking about political community, the family, and the environment. After studying at the University of Wisconsin, he earned his PhD in German Literature from Cornell University in 2010, and subsequently held academic appointments at New York University and Scripps College, before joining the German Department at Berkeley in July 2015. His scholarship has appeared in TRANSIT, the Journal of Austrian Studies, the Thomas Bernhard Yearbook, and Gegenwartsliteratur: A German Studies Yearbook, and he has written a contribution for the forthcoming Robert Walser Companion (Northwestern Press). He is currently completing his first monograph, "Private Anarchy: Impossible Community and the Outsider's Monologue in German Experimental Fiction," which studies the anarchic models of community expressed within the experimental prose monologues of authors such as Gustav Landauer, Franz Kafka, Thomas Bernhard, and Wolfgang Hilbig. His second book project, tentatively entitled "Communities of Desolation," will consider how visions of environmental desolation and destruction became the basis for re-imagining political community within German literature and media culture after 1968.


  • "Bordering on Names: Strategies of Mapping in the Prose of Terézia Mora and Peter Handke." TRANSIT 7(1) (Spring 2011)
  • "Konstellationen der Klischeevorstellungen. Zur politischen Thematik in Thomas Bernhards frühen Leichtlebig-Fragmenten." Thomas Bernhard Jahrbuch 2009/2010 (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 2011)
  • Introduction for special issue Satire and Polemic in Austrian Literature. Journal of Austrian Studies 46:1 (Spring 2013): xxiii-xxiv
  • “Anarchic Affinities in Thomas Bernhard’s Fiction of 1978: Ja, Der Stimmenimitator, and the Specter of Ingeborg Bachmann.” Gegenwartsliteratur: A German Studies Yearbook 13 (2014): 87-110
  • "Planetary Alienation: Negation of the Whole Earth in 1970s Austrian Prose." Forthcoming 2015 in the Journal of Austrian Studies
  • “Eco-Romanticism: Terezia Mora’s Der einzige Mann auf dem Kontinent and the Re-reading of Marlen Haushofer’s Die Wand.” Gegenwartsliteratur: A German Studies Yearbook 14 (2015): 147-169
  • “Out of a Job: Giving Notice in The Tanners and The Assistant.” Forthcoming in A Companion to Robert Walser (Northwestern University Press, 2016)

Recent Courses

German 39N, Freshman Seminar: Imagined Environments, Fall 2015; German 148, Topics in Narrative: Family Stories, Fall 2015

Research Areas

narrative prose, German-language literature of the 20th and 21st century, Austrian literature, experimental fiction, poetics, literary theory, narratology, literature and ecology, German social theory