Humanities researcher Carsten Strathausen seeks to compile the ultimate database of Franz Kafka adaptations.
Division of Research, Innovation & Impact
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Carsten Strathausen, professor of German and English

Carsten Strathausen, professor of German and English

When you picture university research, you might envision a lone scientist in a lab coat spending long hours peering at microscope slides to detect changes, or maybe a humanities professor poring over large, dusty volumes in an academic library. We rarely think of research as a collaborative effort, but investigators often rely on resources and collaborators across campus to help them accomplish their work.  

Carsten Strathausen, professor of German and English, is accustomed to writing his scholarly work on his own, but his latest project, Adapting Kafka, was made possible with help from MU library staff at the Interlibrary Loan service.

Adapting Kafka aims to catalogue as many adaptations as possible of Franz Kafka’s novel, “The Trial,” into a searchable database and website with visual tools for viewing the adaptations. The project is in collaboration with Verena Kick, assistant professor of German at Georgetown University.

“The Trial,” written in Germany at the start of World War I, has been translated more than 100 times into 45 languages. But even beyond the text translations, there are countless theater adaptations, feature-length films, art installations, audiobooks, operas, graphic novels and stand-alone works of art that seek to represent the novel in some way.