Department ofGermanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Samuel Frederick

Samuel Frederick

Professor of German
Director of Graduate Studies
19th- and 20th-century German literature; narrative theory; film history and theory

240 Burrowes Building


Curriculum Vitae:


Ph.D. Cornell University, German Studies, 2008
M.A. Cornell University, German Studies, 2004
B.A. Boston University, English and German & Continental European Literatures, 2000
Samuel Frederick Headshot


Dr. Frederick has written on various topics in German literature from the Early Modern period to the present with a primary focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially the Swiss and Austrian traditions. His areas of expertise include narratology and the history of the novel; philosophical approaches to literature and film; thing theory; lyric poetry; experimental fiction; international modernism; and the narrative prose of Biedermeier and Poetic Realism. In his teaching and research he aims to bring together close reading with rigorous theoretical and philosophical inquiry.

Dr. Frederick has published three monographs: Narratives Unsettled: Digression in Robert Walser, Thomas Bernhard, and Adalbert Stifter (Northwestern University Press, 2012), The Redemption of Things: Collecting and Dispersal in German Realism and Modernism (Cornell University Press, 2021), and a short book on F.W. Murnau’s film The Last Laugh (Der letzte Mann, 1924) (Camden House, 2023). Alongside other essays on Walser, Bernhard, and Stifter, he has also published on Friedrich von Blanckenburg, Oswald Egger, Oskar Fischinger, Theodor Fontane, Jeremias Gotthelf, Heinrich von Kleist, Gerhard Meier, the Quay Brothers, and Friedrich Schlegel. With the poet Graham Foust he has translated four volumes of poetry by Ernst Meister (published by Wave Books), and has co-edited a collection of new scholarship on Robert Walser (together with Valerie Heffernan) as well as the volume Information: Keywords (with Michele Kennerly and Jonathan E. Abel).

last laugh      Book Cover    Book Cover

Current and Recent Courses:

  • GER 591: German Narrative Theory
  • GER 581: Brecht and Post-Brechtian Theater
  • GER 561: German Realism and Its Other
  • GER 189: German Film

Recent Publications:

  • Ernst Meister: Uncollected Later Poems (1968-1979). Translated together with Graham Foust (Wave Books, 2023)
  • The Last Laugh (German Cinema Classics) (Camden House, 2023)
  • The Redemption of Things: Collecting and Dispersal in German Realism and Modernism (Cornell UP, 2021)
  • Information Keywords. Co-edited with Michele Kennerly and Jonathan E. Abel (Columbia UP, 2020)
  • Robert Walser: A Companion. Co-edited with Valerie Heffernan (Northwestern UP, 2018).