Barbara Natalie Nagel focuses on the relation between rhetoric and affect. Her research and teaching interests include the fields of 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 Aggression: Flirtation, Passive Aggression, and Domestic Violence (German Realism and beyond.) With another book project Luther’s Languages: Reformations of Rhetoric and Affect, which has developed alongside Ambiguous Aggression, 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 and forthcoming essays in Critical Inquiry, Law and Literature, Weimarer Beiträge, Figurationen, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, and has further (forthcoming) book chapters, and handbook entries on authors including Tacitus, Luther, Jean Paul, Goethe, Büchner, Melville, Fontane, Henry James, Jensen, Kafka, Stifter, Hauptmann, Robert Walser, Thomas Mann, and Jean Genet.
From 2018 to 2021, Barbara is the recipient of the Robert Remsen Laidlaw '04 University Preceptorship; she is also a recipient of the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin.