People / Graduate Students
Em (B.A., Vassar College; M.A., UC Berkeley) is a Ph.D. candidate in UC Berkeley’s Department of German with a Designated Emphasis in Film and Media Studies. Their dissertation, “Breakdowns and Short Circuits: Media and Modernity, 1895-1920,” argues that the concept of “breakdown” in turn-of-the-century German and Swedish literature and film was no longer exclusively a narrative terminus; instead, it became the very condition for expression. By drawing on the overlapping electrical and psychophysiological discourses of the time, Em argues for a reevaluation of August Strindberg, Georg Kaiser, and Robert Reinert as critical theorists of affect in the age of electric media. Additional interests include the imagination and contemplative practices, the Frankfurt School, and contemporary German/Scandinavian literature and film. They have also worked as a freelance translator and as managing editor of TRANSIT: A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World.