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Matthew Wilson Smith



Building 260, Room 204
(650) 497 7419

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Matthew Wilson Smith

Professor of German Studies and Theater & Performance Studies

Matthew Wilson Smith's interests include modern theatre; modernism and media; and relations between technology, science, and the arts.  His book The Nervous Stage: 19th-century Neuroscience and the Birth of Modern Theatre explores historical intersections between the performing arts and the neurological sciences and traces the construction of a “neural subject” over the course of the nineteenth century.  It was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.  His previous book, The Total Work of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace (Routledge, 2007), presents a history and theory of modern artistic synthesis, placing such diverse figures as Wagner, Moholy-Nagy, Brecht, Riefenstahl, Disney, Warhol, and contemporary cyber-artists within a genealogy of totalizing performance.  He is the editor of Georg Büchner: The Major Works, which appeared as a Norton Critical Edition in 2011, and the co-editor of Modernism and Opera, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2016.  He previously held professorships at Cornell University and Boston University as well as visiting positions at Columbia University and Johannes Gutenberg-Universität (Mainz). 


2002: M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University
1995: M.A., University of Chicago
1993: B.A., Brown University


GERMAN 199 Individual Work
GERMAN 399 Individual Work
GERMAN 802 TGR Dissertation