Meryem Deniz

Meryem Deniz

Ph.D. Student in German Studies, admitted Autumn 2016
Ph.D. Minor, Classics

Before joining Stanford German Studies Department as a Ph.D. student in 2016, I studied German, Spanish, and Ancient Greek languages and literatures at Harvard University. My research interests include German Romanticism, classical reception, environmental humanities, ecocriticism, migration studies, and contemporary transnational literature, cinema, and theater.
My dissertation project entitled “Ethereal Romanticism: Dynamic Materiality in German Thought in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries” combines literature, philosophy, and science to analyze the emergence of an atmospheric, fluid, and vibratory understanding of nature, mind, and poetry in Early German Romanticism. It proceeds from the reinterpretation of the scientific conception of aether as an original elastic fluid medium. I argue that the idea of “elasticity” underwrites German Romantic thinking when it grounds nature, poetry, and creative mind in a dynamic materiality that creates, destroys, and restores its own forms. In doing so, my project explains why both teleological and vitalist accounts have failed to show how Romantic writers understand not only organic and inorganic nature as equally productive, but also restorative. In each chapter, I show how newly emerging fields such as atmospheric chemistry, hydrodynamics, and acoustics changed the way humans interact with nature and each other continuously and non-hierarchically, suggesting a model of distributed agency in the Anthropocene. 


  • “Jean Paul’s Acoustic Romanticism and Aeolian Soundscapes in Vorschule der Ästhetik and Titan” in Monatshefte (2022), Vol. 114 (2): 220-241.
  • "Antigone in Ferguson: Tragedy as an Open Network" in Reception Studies: New Challenges in a Changing World, ed. by Anastasia Bakogianni and Luis Unceta, De Gruyter, Forthcoming (2022). 
  • “Lessing’s Critical Hermeneutics and Elliptical Reading of Aristotle’s Poetics” in Lessing Yearbook 2020, Vol. XLVII: 53-71.

Book Reviews:

  • Jennifer A. Miller, Turkish Guest Workers in Germany: Hidden Lives and Contested Borders, 1960s to 1980s (Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 2018) in Focus on German Studies (2020), Vol. 25/26: 141-145.

Courses Taught:

CUNY- Hunter College (Adjunct Lecturer)
CLA 101: Classical Mythology - Autumn 2019
Stanford University 
Complit 121 (TA): Poems, Poetry, Worlds – Spring 2022
German 106/206 (PI): Turkish German Literature, Cinema, and Theater – Winter 2022
German 120B (PI): Fairy Tales – Autumn 2021
German 106/206 (PI): Turkish German Literature, Cinema, and Theater – Summer 2021
German 131 (PI): What is German Literature? – Autumn 2020
German 120C (PI): German in Public: 99 German Songs from Mozart to Metal – Spring 2020
Gerlang 5 (PI): Intensive First Year German – Summer 2020
German 88 (TA): Germany in 5 Words – Spring 2019
Gerlang 21 (PI): Intermediate German 1 – Winter 2019
Gerlang 20C (PI): Advanced German Conversation – Autumn 2018
Gerlang 20B (PI): Intermediate German Conversation – Autumn 2018
Gerlang 3 (PI): First Year German – Spring 2018
Gerlang 2 (PI): First Year German – Winter 2018
Gerlang 1 (PI): First Year German – Autumn 2017
Gerlang 20B (PI): Intermediate German Conversation – Winter 2017



Research Interests

  • Drama History, Criticism, and Theory


  • German Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


  • Intellectual History


  • Philosophy and Literature


  • Romanticism


  • Theater