Seth Howes

Seth Howes
Assistant Professor of German and Director of Graduate Studies
458 Strickland Hall
Education

PhD, University of Michigan

BA, University of Texas

Research Interests

My research deals with 20th century literature and culture, focusing in particular upon German cultures of the Cold War. In addition to publishing several essays on punk rock in East Germany, and other articles on experimental filmmaking in East Germany and the early prose of Peter Weiss, I have co-edited a volume entitled Beyond No Future: Cultures of German Punk. My first book, Moving Images on the Margins: Experimental Film between Media in Late Socialist East Germany, studies East German experimental filmmaking as an intermedial practice. My second book, very much noch im Werden, will study the working life and intellectual development of Peter Weiss with an eye to the positioning systems—ethical, political, aesthetic—of the Cold War. 

If you would like to read any of my work but are unable to find or easily access a copy, please email me, as I am happy to provide a PDF. 

Frequently Taught Courses

I teach German at the intermediate and advanced levels of our undergraduate curriculum here at MU, emphasizing debate, dialogue and even argument in my conversation courses, which focus on hot-button issues in contemporary German society, and in my literature classes, which ask students to take up the challenges posed to them in works of engaged literature by authors such as Anna Seghers, Bertolt Brecht, Aras Ören, and Peter Weiss. While much of my graduate teaching concerns German literature and culture after 1945, I have made limited forays into previous periods. Particularly exciting, in this regard, was a 2015 course called Inszenierungen der Gewalt, in which students read Schiller, Kleist, Kafka, and Büchner through the lens(es) of Benjamin, Arendt, Jünger, and Scarry — and vice versa. Since coming to MU in 2014, I've taught the following courses:

  • German 3160, Conversation and Composition: "Die Deutschen im 21. Jahrhundert
  • German 3230, Introduction to German Literature: “Bertolt Brecht”
  • German 4005, Study Abroad: "World History on the German Stage"
  • German 4260, Recent German Literature: "Wirklichkeit und Literatur nach der Katastrophe"
  • German 4820, Blogging the World
  • German 4840/7840, Totalitarianism and Culture (co-taught with Professor Nicole Monnier, Russian Studies)
  • German 4980, Capstone in German: "von unten: Undergrounds and Underworlds in German Literature and Culture"
  • German 8087, Graduate Seminar in German Studies: “German Modernisms and Realisms after 1945"
  • German 8087, Graduate Seminar in German Studies: "Inszenierungen der Gewalt"
  • German 8087, Graduate Seminar in German Studies: "On the Uses and Abuse of Myth for Life: German Literature after 1945"
  • German 8087, Graduate Seminar in German Studies: "Totenbilder: The Dead in German Words, Images, and Sounds after 1945"
Selected Publications
Artists on the Surface of the Moon: Alexander Kluge’s GDR Reception and Obstinacy in Lutz Dammbeck’s Herakles
Essay

Artists on the Surface of the Moon: Alexander Kluge’s GDR Reception and Obstinacy in Lutz Dammbeck’s Herakles” Alexander-Kluge-Jahrbuch 6 (2019) 311-342.

Moving Images on the Margins: Experimental Film in Late Socialist East Germany
Book
Beyond No Future: Cultures of German Punk
Book

Mirko M. Hall, Seth Howes, and Cyrus M. Shahan, eds. Beyond No Future: Cultures of German Punk (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016).

DIY, im Eigenverlag: East German Tamizdat LPs
Essay

"DIY, im Eigenverlag: East German Tamizdat LPs." German Politics and Society 35.2 (June 2017) 26–47.

Subcultural Studies between the Blocs: Unexpected Cosmopolitanism and Stubborn Blind Spots in East German Theories of Punk
Essay
Pessimism and the Politics of the Future in East German Punk
Essay

"Pessimism and the Politics of the Future in East German Punk. The Journal of Popular Culture 49.1 (February 2016) 77-96.

Weiss/Sartre: Cold War Stellungnahme and the Poetic-Political Either/Or in Peter Weiss’s Final Swedish Novel
Essay

Weiss/Sartre: Cold War Stellungnahme and the Poetic-Political Either/Or in Peter Weiss’s Final Swedish Novel.” The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory 89.3 (Summer 2014) 285-304.

Killersatellit’ and Randerscheinung: Punk and the Prenzlauer Berg
Essay

‘Killersatellit’ and Randerscheinung: Punk and the Prenzlauer Berg.” German Studies Review 36.3 (October 2013) 579-601.

Special Double Issue on Carl Schmitt
Edited Journal

Julia Hell and Seth Howes, eds. Special Double Issue on Carl Schmitt. The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory 84.3/4 (Summer and Fall 2009).

Review

I have reviewed books in Contemporary SociologyGerman Studies Review, and Monatshefte.

Encyclopedia Entry

I have contributed to Vol. 11 of the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World.