Laurie R Johnson

Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Comparative and World Literature
Criticism and Interpretive Theory
European Union Center
Center for Global Studies

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Education

Ph.D. Washington University , M.A. Washington University, B.A. Northwestern University, Study at the Universities of Tübingen, Regensburg, Cologne

Specialty

18th- to 20th-century German literature, philosophy, and aesthetic theory; literary and cultural theory; history and aesthetic aspects of German psychology and psychiatry

Office Hours

W 1-3 PM and by appointment

Biography

Johnson's research focuses on intersections of literary, philosophical, psychological, and aesthetic discourses, particularly in German Romanticism and in the "long" nineteenth century (approx. 1780-1930)., Laurie Johnson is Associate Professor of German, Comparative Literature, and in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and the European Union Center. Her research and teaching focus on eighteenth- through twentieth-century intellectual history, literature, philosophy, and culture. She earned the B.A. from Northwestern University and the M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. While completing her Ph.D. she taught at St. Louis Community College and at the College of Wooster (Ohio). She has studied or conducted research at the universities of Cologne, Regensburg, and Tübingen as well as at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach. She is the recipient of Fulbright, DAAD, and Humboldt research grants. After spending four years in a tenure-track position at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Johnson joined the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Illinois in 2001., Her book entitled *The Art of Recollection in Jena Romanticism* (Niemeyer, 2002) treats representations of memory and remembering in the philosophically seminal 1790's, and argues that Romantic theories of memory reflect the influence not only of eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and critical philosophy, but of contemporary psychology and of natural science--and, in particular, of debates about the relationship between body and mind., Her book entitled *Aesthetic Anxiety* (Rodopi, 2010) analyzes uncanny repetition in different cultural disciplines (psychology, literature, philosophy, and film), and attempts thereby to produce a new narrative about the centrality of aesthetics in modern subjectivity. The repetitive and often horrible, but sometimes simultaneously enjoyable, experience of anxiety can be an aesthetic mode as well as a psychological state. Johnson's elucidation of anxiety in texts by authors from Kant to Rilke demonstrates how estrangement can produce attachment, and repositions Romanticism as an engine of modernity., More information on this book is available here:, http://www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?BookId=IFAVL+141, A review of *Aesthetic Anxiety* has appeared on literaturkritik.de:, http://www.literaturkritik.de/public/rezension.php?rez_id=15034, Johnson has developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses on Romantic and Idealist philosophy and literature, on literary and cultural theory and criticism, on power and knowledge in the Western cultural tradition, and on various other aspects of literature and culture from 850 to the present., In 2007, Laurie Johnson was named Helen Corley Petit Scholar in the College of Arts and Sciences. This award recognizes exceptional research and teaching during the tenure probation period., Johnson was named James A. Hagan Teaching Fellow in 2006-2007. She received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2009., More information on Johnson's research and teaching is available at the link "Visit Website," above.

Courses Taught

Freud, Nietzsche, Kafka, Modern Critical Theory: An Advanced Introduction , German Cultural History (Middle Ages to the Present), The Dark Side of Modernity , The Grimms’ Fairy Tales in Their European Context , German Idealism and Romanticism Conversation , Introduction to German Literature: Classicism to Postmodernism , Advanced German Composition and Conversation

Biography

Laurie Johnson works on eighteenth- through twenty-first-centuryintellectual history, literature, philosophy, and culture, with particularemphasis on German Romanticism and its afterlife. She earned the B.A. fromNorthwestern University and the M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University inSt. Louis. While completing her Ph.D. she taught at St. Louis Community Collegeand at the College of Wooster. She has studied or conducted research at theuniversities of Cologne, Regensburg, and Tübingen as well as at the DeutschesLiteraturarchiv in Marbach. She has been a member of the faculty at VanderbiltUniversity as well as at the University of Illinois, where she joined theDepartment of Germanic Languages and Literatures in 2001.

Her book entitled The Art of Recollection in JenaRomanticism (Niemeyer, 2002) examines representations of memory andremembering in the 1790s, and argues that Romantic theories of memory reflectthe insights not only of eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and criticalphilosophy, but of contemporary psychology and of natural science.

Her book entitled Aesthetic Anxiety (Rodopi,2010) argues for the centrality of aesthetics in modern subjectivity byanalyzing uncanny repetition in psychology, literature, philosophy, and film.Johnson explores ways in which anxiety illuminates the mind-body problem inGerman cultural products from the late eighteenth through early twentiethcenturies, and emphasizes Romanticism’s function as an engine of modernity.

A review of Aesthetic Anxiety in literaturkritik.de isavailable here:http://www.literaturkritik.de/public/rezension.php?rez_id=15034

Another review of Aesthetic Anxiety hasappeared in the Spring 2012 issue of The German Quarterly(85.2),pp. 219-221.

Johnson’s current book project, The New GermanRomanticism in the Films of Werner Herzog, continues to pursue therediscovery of alternate trajectories of German Romanticism—in film and inHerzog’s long career in particular. Johnson addresses the history of Herzog’sproduction from Germany to Los Angeles, and focuses on representations ofspace/landscape and on alterity in his feature and documentary films.

Johnson is also editing a volume of new psychoanalytic readings offolk and fairy tales (Freud and the Fairy Tale: New Approaches to Very OldStories), working on essays on intersections between philosophy,psychology, and aesthetics in the nineteenth century, and has written a contributionto a forthcoming volume on feedback loops between research and teaching atIllinois. She is editing a special issue of the journal Seminar on thetopic of German Romanticism. Some contributors to this issue will participatein a seminar on “Recycling Romanticism” that Johnson has organized togetherwith May Mergenthaler (Ohio State) as part of a pilot program at the 2013conference of the German Studies Association.

Johnson has developed and taught undergraduate and graduatecourses on Romantic and Idealist philosophy and literature, on literary andcultural theory and criticism, on power and knowledge in the Western culturaltradition, and on various other aspects of literature and culture from 850 tothe present, including a new course on “Freud-Nietzsche-Kafka.”

In 2007, Laurie Johnson was named Helen Corley Petit Scholar inthe College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois. This awardrecognizes exceptional research and teaching during the tenure probationperiod.

Johnson was named James A. Hagan Teaching Fellow in 2006-2007.She received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in theCollege of Arts and Sciences in 2009.

More information on Johnson's research and teaching is availableat the link "Visit Website," above.

Office Hours

  • W 1-3pm & by appt.

Publications

Book Contributions

  • "Recovered Voices: Viktor Ullmann’s Der zerbrochene Krug (1942)." Heinrich von Kleist – Style and Concept: Explorations in Literary Dissonance. 2013.

  • "Werner Herzog’s Romantic Spaces." Companion to Werner Herzog. 2012.

  • "Das 'ewig ringende, nie seyende Sein.' Schelling und das Unheimliche." Phantasmata. Techniken des Unheimlichen. 2011.

  • "The Curse of Enthusiasm: William Lovell and Modern Violence." Violence, Aesthetics, Culture: Germany, 1789-1938. Amsterdam: 2011.

  • "Aesthetic Anxiety: Uncanny Symptoms in German Literature and Culture." Series: Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft. 2010.

  • "Die Lesbarkeit des romantischen Körpers – Über Psychosomatik und Text in Fallstudien von Karl Philipp Moritz und Friedrich Schlegel." Die Lesbarkeit der Romantik. Material, Medium, Diskurs. 2009.

Journal Articles

  • "Uncanny Love: Schelling's Meditations on the Spirit World." Image & Narrative 11.3 (2010): 64-86.