IAS Fellow at Stephenson College, October-December 2023


Contact Details

  • Home Institution email: buettner@phil.uni-duesseldorf.de
  • Durham email: urs.buettner@durham.ac.uk
  • Durham Tel: +44 (0)191 3344696



Urs Büttner served as an assistant professor of German and Comparative Literature at the Universities of Hannover, Berlin and Düsseldorf. In spring 2023, he taught as Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and was awarded the prestigious Feodor Lynen Stipend by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundations to pursue a research project on Kafka becoming a Global Classic at the University of Oxford in 2024/25.

Dr Büttner’s research is mainly concerned with literature from the 18th to the 21st century. He earned his PhD with a study on the formation of sociological thought in Romantic literature. He has just completed his second book Snow. A Global History of Literary Meteorology, in which he traces the development of meteorological knowledge about snow through the lens of literary texts from the Little Ice Age to Climate Change. This project gave rise to an interest in a global history of literature, which Dr Büttner is pursuing in two projects. The Kafka Study and a book project on the Emergence of Global German Literature in the late 18th century. At IAS, he will work on the latter.

As part of this project, Dr Büttner will be in close collaboration with Professor Claudia Nitschke from Durham’s School of Modern Languages & Cultures. In the framework of the research topic ‘Offence’, they will work on the Sturm und Drang movement. Through its aesthetic and moral novelty, which was received as exciting innovativeness and as outrageous impertinence, German literature achieved global impact for the first time.


IAS Seminar – 4 December 2023 – 1.00 – 2.00pm. IAS Seminar Room, Cosin’s Hall, Institute of Advanced Study
Global Literary Scandals Conceptual considerations using the example of Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther
Registration is essential. Details here.

IAS public lecture – 13 November 2023 – 6.00 – 7.00pm, Platform 3, Stephenson College, Durham University
The Invention of the Public: globality and contemporaneity in the late 18th century
Further information here.