Fleming to lead Society for the Humanities

Fri, 12/16/2016

The College of Arts & Sciences has announced that Paul Fleming, professor of German studies and comparative literature, will become the Taylor Family Director of the Society for the Humanities when Timothy Murray’s term ends on June 30, 2017.

Fleming is currently director of the Institute for German Cultural Studies. He is also leading a humanities and arts task force (also known as CIVIC) as part of a new provost initiative to support research collaborations across the university.

“I am pleased to welcome Paul Fleming as our new director of the Society for the Humanities at Cornell,” said Gretchen Ritter, the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences. “Paul’s impressive body of scholarship combined with his leadership experience and enthusiasm for collaboration makes him a great fit for the directorship of one of the premier centers for the study of the humanities in this country. I also want to thank Timothy Murray for all of his great work leading the Society and forging new partnerships throughout his time as director.”

Fleming’s teaching and research interests include the average man; eighteenth and nineteenth century German and European literature, especially the novel; aesthetics and hermeneutics from 1750 to the present; Critical Theory; constellations of German intellectual history after 1945; and the relation between narration and knowledge. His current research project examines the theoretical use of the anecdote with respect to questions of exemplarity, evidence, and rhetorical persuasion. 

In addition to being co-editor of the book series Paradigms: Literature & the Human Sciences (de Gruyter Press) and the series Manhattan Manuscripts (Wallstein Press), Fleming serves on the boards of the Signale book series, diacritics and New German Critique.  He is the author of Exemplarity and Mediocrity: The Art of the Average from Bourgeois Tragedy to Realism (Stanford University Press, 2009) and The Pleasures of Abandonment: Jean Paul and the Life of Humor (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2006). His translation of Peter Szondi’s Essay on the Tragic appeared in 2002 and of Hans Blumenberg’s Care Crosses the River in 2010. He is currently co-translating Blumenberg’s Saint Matthew’s Passion.

Cornell's Society for the Humanities was established in 1966 as one of the first humanities institutes in North America. Located in the historic home of Cornell's first president, Andrew Dickson White, the Society brings distinguished Visiting Fellows and Cornell Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows together each year to pursue research on a broadly inter-disciplinary focal theme. The Society sponsors numerous internal grants, workshops, and funding opportunities for Cornell faculty and graduate students in the humanities as well as hosting annual lectures, workshops, colloquia, and conferences organized by Cornell's distinguished humanities faculty.


   Paul Fleming