MU Scholar Receives Humboldt Fellowship

Associate Professor Sean Franzel

Associate Professor Sean Franzel, seen here in Budapest, Hungary, will spend a year in Germany researching his new book after receiving a Humboldt fellowship.

Jordan Yount
News Source: 
College of Arts & Science
German and Russian Studies

An associate professor of German will spend a year in Germany after receiving a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. Sean Franzel will begin part of his year-long fellowship at the Free University of Berlin this July and then complete the fellowship in 2021. While in Germany, Franzel will be affiliated with the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at the Free University, where he will conduct research for his new book, tentatively titled Writing Time: The Aesthetics of Ephemerality in Nineteenth-Century Periodical Literature.

“It’s a book about how the format of journals and newspapers shaped experiments in literary writing,” Franzel says. “I am particularly interested in how literary and critical texts were published serially, i.e. in installments across multiple issues of magazines or literary or cultural journals, and how this shaped new experiences of time.”

Franzel looks at the nineteenth-century periodical landscape as similar, in certain ways, to the digital media of today, creating a sense of a daily or weekly (or hourly) unfolding of the news. He also is researching how journals and newspapers catalyzed new ideas of time. “I’m looking at ideas of the ephemeral—something that is here today, gone tomorrow, and how literary experiments map different kinds of short time frames,” he says.

Franzel’s research interests span the literary, intellectual, and media history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His first book, Connected by the Ear: The Media, Pedagogy, and Politics of the Romantic Lecture was published by Northwestern University Press in 2013 and was a finalist for the Novalis Prize, a prestigious European prize awarded every two years for innovative interdisciplinary research on European romanticism. Franzel also is the book review editor at the Goethe Yearbook and is on the editorial board at the German Quarterly.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was created by the German government to promote academic cooperation between scholars from Germany and around the world.

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