Underwood International College

LOGO and Links

UIC Logo
main menu

Main Menu


Faculty Profiles

Tanvi Solanki

Assistant Professor of German and Comparative Literature

  • Stanford H. Taylor Postdoctoral Associate, Department of German Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University, 2016-8
  • Ph.D., Department of German, Princeton University, 2016
  • B.A., Comparative Literature and Germanic Studies, The University of Chicago, 2008

Email: tanvisol@gmail.com


I am Assistant Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Underwood International College since Fall 2018. I specialize in eighteenth- and early-nineteenth century German literature and philosophy, with an approach informed by media theory and intellectual and cultural history. I have a particular interest in the German and French receptions of classical antiquity in this period.

A guiding concern of my work is an interest in the sensory and embodied dimensions of literature, philosophy, and media particularly that of classical antiquity and the European Enlightenment.  Emerging from my dissertation on Herder’s “cultural acoustics,” a major strand of my research concerns the role that listening practices and imaginative conceptions of sound played in formative concepts of cultural difference and human diversity in eighteenth-century Germany and its impact on contemporary media theory.

My work has been recognized by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, the DAAD, Princeton’s Hyde Fellowship, Yonsei University’s Future Leading Fund, and the Goethe Society of North America. I have additionally been offered fellowships by the Volkswagen Stiftung and the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung.

Visiting Fellowships

  • Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Visiting Fellow, International Graduate Center for the Study of Culture, June 2018
  • Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Visiting Postdoctoral Associate, Research Group “Epistemes of Modern Acoustics,” May 2017-August 2017
  • Humboldt University of Berlin, Visiting Faculty Scholar, Thematic Network “Literature – Knowledge – Media” May 2017 – August 2017; Visiting Scholar and DAAD Research Fellow, PhD-Network “Wissen der Literatur,” October 2012-July 2013
  • University of Konstanz, Visiting Researcher at the Research Cluster, “Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration,” June 2010

Courses and Current Research Areas

• UIC Seminars

“Topics in Aesthetics: Politics and Culture of the Senses,” Fall 2020.
“Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism,” Fall 2020.
“Cultural Acoustics,” Fall 2019.

• Freshman World Literature (Introduction to 18-19th Century Literature)

“Introduction to German Romanticism,” Spring 2020.
“Introduction to Goethe,” Fall 2019.
“What is World Literature?: Practices, Institutions, Definitions,” Spring 2019.
“Converting Cultures: Early Modern Travel Narratives,” Fall 2018.

• Freshman World literature (Introduction to Comparative Literature)

“Languages of Nature: Lucretius and Goethe’s Poetic Science” Spring 2020.
“Literature and Media Theory,” Spring 2019.
“Literary Pathologies,” Fall 2018.

At Cornell, I’ve taught interdisciplinary upper-level undergraduate courses on the “Sound of Literature,” “Technologies of Verse,” and “The Cult of the Silent Woman: Male Fantasies in eighteenth-century German literature.” The latter was taught in German.

At Princeton, I precepted a writing-intensive course on “Growing up Global” cross-listed in the Comparative Literature and African American Studies departments, and taught German language courses at all levels in the Department of German.

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

“Mediating the Universal and Particular: Herder’s Tone in Pastoral Performance,” Germanic Review 96.1 (2021).

“Aural Philology: Herder Hears Homer Singing,” Classical Receptions Journal 12.4 (2020). (Link to PDF)

“Cultural Hierarchies and Vital Tones: The Making of Herder’s ‘Mother Tongue’” Special Issue: “The Rise and Fall of Monolingualism.” German Studies Review 41.3 (2018), eds. David Gramling and Bethany Wiggin.

“Une culture par l’ouïe depuis la chaire,” Special Issue: “L’ouïe dans la pensée européenne au 18c siècle.” Revue Germanique Internationale 27 (2018): 151-162, ed. Clémence Couturier-Heinrich.

“A Book of Living Paintings: Tableaux Vivants in Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften
(1809).” Special Issue: “Goethe and the Visual Arts.” Goethe Yearbook 23 (2016): 245-270.

Peer-reviewed Book Chapter:

“Rhythmus gegen den Fluss: Herder, die Oralität der Griechen und das ‘Meer der Gelehrsamkeit.’"In Materialitätsdiskurse der Aufklärung. Bilder - Dinge – Praxen, ed. Thomas Bremer, 81-92. Halle: Universitätsverlag Halle-Wittenberg, 2016.

Book Reviews

Bettina Brandt and Daniel Purdy, eds. China in the German Enlightenment(University of Toronto Press, 2016), Goethe Yearbook(Invited; Forthcoming 2021). 

Susan Stewart, Ruins Lesson: Meaning and Material in Western Culture(University of Chicago Press, 2020) EuropeNow, Journal of the Council for European Studies at Columbia University(December 2020). Invited.

Seán Williams, Pretexts for Writing: German Romantic Prefaces, Literature and Philosophy(Bucknell University Press, 2020) German Quarterly Spring 2020 (Invited).

Remigius Bunia, Metrik und Kulturpolitik(Berlin: Ripperberger & Kremer, 2014), Monatshefte 109.1 (2017).  


Excerpts from Goethe, J.W.’s “My Life: Poetry as Truth” with Stanley Corngold and Ruth Gross in The Sufferings of Young Werther, ed. Stanley Corngold, 108-120. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2012.

Selected Recent Talks

“Kant and Herder on Race, Culture, and the Senses,” Invited Talk at Ohio State University’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. January 2021. Online.

“Listening to Difference: Race, Culture, and Aesthetics in the German Enlightenment,” Invited lecture organized by the East Asia Intellectual History Network and funded by the Program of European Studies at Seoul National University. November 2020. Online.

“Kittler’s Sirens: German Media Theory and the Greeks,” at “Siren Echoes: Sound, Image, and the Media of Antiquity” Department of Classics and the Media Studies Initiative, Cornell University, November 2019.

“Herder’s Comparative Method,” Global Archive of Comparison Conference at the Oakley Center, Williams College. September 2019.

“Aurality, Colonial Travel Narratives, and the Enlightenment Concepts of ‘Culture’ and ‘Race,’ in “Enlightenment for the Ears” panel, at The International Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Congress, Edinburgh, UK, July 2019.

“German Philhellenism and Practices of Reading and Listening in Antiquity,” in “Greek Literature and Media Theory” panel, Congress of the Fédération international des associations d’études classiques and the Classical Association Conference, University College London, July 2019.

“Cultural Acoustics: Sound Studies and the Study of Culture,” Keynote lecture at International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany, June 2018.

“The Lyre, and the Well-tempered Lute: Theorizing the Social and the Divine Body in the European Enlightenment,” University of Luzern, Switzerland, June 2018.

“Racialized Listening and Cultural Difference in Eighteenth Century Europe,” “Entanglements of Race, Sound, and the Archive: Coloniality and the Globalised Present,” University of Amsterdam, December 2018.

“Between the Local, Cosmopolitan, and the Digital: The Case of the Jaipur Literature Festival,” at “Culture Industries in Asia into the Digital Age,” Situations International Conference, University of Hong Kong, November 2018.

“Aural Philology: Listening, Reading, and Cultural Difference in Eighteenth-Century Germany,” in Lecture Series on “Literary Sediments,” Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania, April 2018.

“The Eternal Tone: Herder’s Theology Between Musicology and the Natural Sciences,” at “Betwixt and Between: Sound in the Humanities and Sciences,” organized by Max Planck Institute for History of Science, Berlin Vossius Center for History of Humanities and Sciences, University of Amsterdam. Max Planck Institute, Berlin, February 2018.

Conferences, Panels, and Workshops Co-Organized

“Enlightenment for the Ears: Negotiating Identities through Acts of Listening in the Long Eighteenth Century,” Two-Part Panel Series at The International Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Congress, Edinburgh, UK, July 2019.

“Cultural Acoustics,” Brett de Bary and Cornell Society for the Humanities Interdisciplinary Mellon Writing Group; Organized and Accrued Funding.

“Herders Medienphilologie,” Co-organized, Humboldt University, July 2017. (In German).

“Topologies of Reading,” International German Department Graduate Conference, Co-organized at Princeton University. March 2012.


For more information, see https://yonsei.academia.edu/TanviSolanki

Address and Copyright

Display Page Loading Image


Loading ...