Barbara Natalie Nagel focuses on how language works in relation to violence, as well as on the comical side effects of this linkage. Her research and teaching interests include the fields of rhetoric, theology, law, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality, with a historical focus on the Baroque, literature around 1800, and realism.
Barbara joined the faculty of the Princeton German Department in 2014; she was previously a wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin in the German Department at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
After studying comparative literature and history at the Free University Berlin, Barbara received her Ph.D. from the German Department at New York University in 2012. Her first book Der Skandal des Literalen. Barocke Literalisierungen in Gryphius, Kleist, Büchner was published the same year (Wilhelm Fink, 2012). An edited collection Flirtations: Rhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction appeared with Fordham University Press in May 2015. At the moment, Barbara is working on a monograph Ambiguous Aggressions. Flirtation, Passive Aggression, and Domestic Violence in Realism and beyond. With another book project Luther’s Languages: Reformations of Rhetoric and Affect, which has developed alongside Ambiguous Aggressions, she plans to take on an earlier moment in the history of German affect.
From 2008 to 2011, Barbara was a member of the DFG doctoral research group “Forms of Knowledge and the Know How of Living” (Frankfurt/Oder, Potsdam). She has published articles in Weimarer Beiträge, Law and Literature, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, and has further (forthcoming) articles, book chapters, and handbook entries on authors including Tacitus, Luther, Jean Paul, Büchner, Melville, Fontane, Jensen, Kafka, Stifter, Hauptmann, and Robert Walser.