People / Faculty

Bajohr Portrait2

Hannes Bajohr

Assistant Professor of German

Website

Research

German 20th century history of philosophy, theories of the digital, digital literature and generative AI, political theory.

Office:
5413 Dwinelle

Office hours:
M 2:30-3:30, W 2:30-3:30

Recent Courses

“Literary AI: Algorithmic Literature from the 1950s to ChatGPT”

Biography

After studying philosophy, German literature, and modern history at Humboldt University, Berlin, and New York University, Hannes Bajohr received his Ph.D. from Columbia University with a dissertation on Hans Blumenberg’s theory of language. Prior to joining Berkeley’s Department of German in 2024, he held postdoctoral positions at Berlin’s Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research, the University of Basel, Switzerland, and Zurich’s institute of advanced studies, the Collegium Helveticum.

His work has been supported by grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation as well as the Volkswagen Foundation. In 2022, he was invited to give the Walter Höllerer Lecture at the Technische Universität, Berlin, and the Hildesheim Poetics Lecture. He has published extensively on the impact of digital writing technologies on language and literature, the German philosophical tradition in the 20th century – especially the connection between phenomenology and anthropology – as well as liberal and republican political theory. A particular interest connects him to figures like Hans Blumenberg, Hannah Arendt, Peter Weiss, and the political theorist Judith N. Shklar, six of whose books he has edited and translated into German.

Professor Bajohr is not only a theoretician but also a practitioner of digital literature. He has published numerous generative works as a part of writers’ collective 0x0a, including the volume Halbzeug (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2018), which was translated into English as Blanks (Denver: Counterpath, 2022). In 2023, he published (Berlin, Miami), a novel co-written with a self-trained large language model.

Currently, he is working on a project about “post-artificial writing,” the impact of generative AI on literary reading expectations; and on another on “negative anthropology,” a strand of German philosophy that eschews any definition of an “essence of man” but still insists on making the human the main focus of its attention.

Selected Publications

A full list of publications can be found here.

Monographs:
Digitale Literatur zur Einführung
Digitale Literatur zur Einführung. Hamburg: Junius Verlag, forthcoming (with Simon Roloff).
Ad Judith Shklar
Ad Judith Shklar: Leben – Werk – Gegenwart. Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 2024 (with Rieke Trimçev).
Schreiben in Distanz
Schreiben in Distanz: Hildesheimer Poetikvorlesung. Hildesheim: Universitätsverlag, 2023.

 
 

Selected Edited Volumes:
 
Thinking with AI: Machine Learning the Humanities. London: Open Humanities Press, forthcoming.
Quellcodekritik
Quellcodekritik: Zur Philologie von Algorithmen. Berlin: August, 2024 (co-edited with Markus Krajewski).
Blumenberg Jonas Briefwechsel
Hans Blumenberg/Hans Jonas, Der Briefwechsel 1954–1978 und andere Materialien. Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2022.
History Metaphors Fables
History, Metaphors, Fables: A Hans Blumenberg Reader. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2020 (with Florian Fuchs and Joe Paul Kroll).
Weiss Blumenthal Briefe
Peter Weiss, Briefe an Henriette Itta Blumenthal. Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2011 (with Angela Abmeier et al.).

 
 

Journal Issues:
Das Subjekt des Schreibens
“Das Subjekt des Schreibens: Über Große Sprachmodelle.” Text+Kritik. Special Issue, 1/2024 (co-edited with Moritz Hiller).
Blumenberg at 101
“Blumenberg at 101” New German Critique. Special Issue, 1/2022.
Digitale Literatur II
“Digitale Literatur II.” Text+Kritik. Special Issue, 1/2021 (co-edited with Annette Gilbert).
Judith Shklars politische Philosophie
“Judith Shklars politische Philosophie.” Zeitschrift für Politische Theorie 9, no. 2 (2018, with Rieke Trimçev).
Judith N. Shklar
“Judith N. Shklar.” Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 62, no. 4 (2014, with Burkhard Liebsch).


Selected Articles and Book Chapters:

“Operative Ekphrasis: The Collapse of the Text/Image Distinction in Multimodal AI.” Word & Image 40, no. 2 (2024): 77–90.

“Writing at a Distance: Notes on Authorship and Artificial Intelligence.” German Studies Review 47, no. 2 (2024): 315-337.

“The Deixis of Literature: On the Conditions for Recognizing Computers as Authors.” Orbis Litterarum 79, no. 4 (2024): 309-322.

“On Artificial and Post-Artificial Texts: Machine Learning and the Reading Expectations Towards Literary and Non-Literary Writing.” Poetics Today 45, no. 2 (2024), 331–361.

“Publicking/Privating: The Gestural Politics of Digital Spaces.” Society 60, no. 6 (2023), 868–880.

“Dumb Meaning: Machine Learning and Artificial Semantics.” IMAGE 19, no. 1 (2023), 58-70.

“Passive Ungerechtigkeit in Zeiten des Klimawandels: Reflexionen im Anschluss an Judith N. Shklar.” Soziopolis, September 15, 2022.

“The Paradox of Anthroponormative Restriction: Artistic Artificial Intelligence and Literary Writing.” CounterText 8, no. 2 (2022), 262–282.

“The Vanishing Reality of the State: On Hans Blumenberg’s Political Theory.” New German Critique 49, no. 1 (2022): 131–161.

“Algorithmic Empathy: Toward a Critique of Aesthetic AI.” Configurations 30, no. 2 (2022), 203–231.

“Negative Anthropologie: Begriffe, Spielarten, Gegenstände.” Negative Anthropologie: Ideengeschichte und Systematik einer unausgeschöpften Denkfigur. Ed. Hannes Bajohr and Sebastian Edinger. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2021, 7–42.

“Arendt Corrections: Judith Shklar’s Critique of Hannah Arendt.” Arendt Studies 5 (2021): 87–119.

“Grundverschieden: Immanente und transzendente Begründungsstrukturen bei Hans Blumenberg.” Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 46, no. 2 (2021): 291–293.

“Keine Quallen: Anthropozän und Negative Anthropologie.” Merkur 840, no. 5 (2019): 63–74.

“The Sources of Liberal Normativity.” Between Utopianism and Realism: The Political Ideas of Judith N. Shklar. Ed. Samantha Ashenden and Andreas Hess (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019): 158–178.

“Hans Blumenberg’s Early Theory of Technology and History.” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 39, no. 3 (2019): 3–15.

“World-Estrangement as Negative Anthropology: Günther Anders’s Early Essays.” Thesis 11 153 (2019), no. 1, 141–153.

“Infrathin Platforms: Print on Demand as Auto-Factography.” In Book Presence in a Digital Age. Ed. Kári Driscoll, Jessica Pressman, and Kiene Brillenburg Wurth. London: Bloomsbury, 2018, 71–89.

“Experimental Writing in its Moment of Digital Technization: Post-Digital Literature and Print-on-Demand Publishing.” In Publishing as Artistic Practice. Ed. Annette Gilbert (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016): 100-115.

“The Unity of the World: Arendt and Blumenberg on the Anthropology of Metaphor.” Germanic Review 90, no. 1 (2015): 42–59.
 
 

Translations:

Hans Blumenberg, numerous essays in Metaphors, History, Fables: A Hans Blumenberg Reader, ed. Hannes Bajohr, Florian Fuchs, Joe Paul Kroll, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2020.

 Judith N. Shklar, numerous books, including Ordinary Vices, American Citizenship, and edited selections of her essays.

A number of digital and generative works, such as Nick Montfort, Megawatt, and Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Travesty Generator.
 
 

Selected Literary Works:
Berlin, Miami
(Berlin, Miami), Berlin: Rohstoff/Matthes & Seitz, 2023.
Renga Anger
Renga Anger, Bern: edition taberna kritika, 2022.
Blanks
Blanks (translation of Halbzeug), Denver: Counterpath, 2022.
Halbzeug: Textverarbeitung
Halbzeug: Textverarbeitung, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2018.
Durchschnitt: Roman
Durchschnitt: Roman, Berlin: Frohmann, 2016.
Timidities
Timidities, Berlin: Readux, 2015.