Johannes Türk

Johannes Türk

Associate Professor, Comparative Literature

Associate Professor, Germanic Studies

Director, Institute of German Studies


  • Ph.D., Freie Universitat, Berlin

About Johannes Türk

Johannes Türk studied at Freie Universität Berlin, Paris 8 (Paris Vincennes-St. Denis), and Yale University. In his work, he embeds German topics into a comparative perspective rooted in the classical traditions of rhetoric, aesthetics, and poetics as well as in the tradition of continental philosophy. He also works on topics related to the history of knowledge and has a strong investment in psychoanalysis. His book on immunity and literature, Die Immunität der Literature, is concerned with the formation of immunological knowledge from Roman law to the biomedical sciences and its literary and cultural reflection showing that immunity is an important language in which literature has defined its role. Although he also researches other literary genres such as drama, his major interest lies in the German and the European novel. He is currently working on two book projects: homo immunis examines exemption as a gesture defining sovereignty and its iconography from Greek antiquity to the twentieth century. The second, The Modernity of Insult, investigates the relationship between legitimization and affect. In this project, insult as a political resource plays the central role. He teaches a wide range of topics from German cultural history from Charlemagne to the First World War to more specialized graduate courses on nostos and nostalgia in the German literary tradition, on literature and the life sciences, temporality in knowledge history and in the novel, eighteenth-century literature and thought, theatricality, as well as on literary theory.