Liliane Weissberg

Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in the School of Arts and Sciences
747 Williams Hall
(215) 898-7332

Liliane Weissberg is Professor of German and Comparative Literature. She is also a member of the Jewish Studies Program, the Art History Graduate Group, the English Graduate Group, the Program in Visual Studies, the Committee in Women's Studies, the Center in Folklore and Ethnography.

Weissberg's interests focus on late eighteenth-century to early twentieth-century German literature and philosophy. Much of her work has concentrated on German, European, and American Romanticism, but she has also written on the notion of representation in realism, on photography, and on literary and feminist theory. Among her more recent books are a critical edition of Hannah Arendt's Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess (1997), the anthologies Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity (with Dan Ben-Amos, 1999), Romancing the Shadow: Poe and Race (with J. Gerald Kennedy, 2001), Picture This! Writing with Photography (with Karen Beckman, forthcoming 2011), and Hannah Arendt und die Frankfurter Schule (forthcoming, 2011), as well as Hannah Arendt, Charlie Chaplin und die verborgene judische Tradition (2009).

Most of Weissberg's work in recent years has been concerned with the recovery and exploration of a German-Jewish literary and cultural tradition. She has worked extensively on Jewish women writers of the early nineteenth century, such as Henriette Herz, Dorothea Schlegel, Regina Frohberg, and Rahel Varnhagen, and has completed a book on early German-Jewish autobiography that focuses on the writings of Salomon Maimon, Lazarus Bendavid, and others. She is currently working on a book on Sigmund Freud and the notion of "acculturation."

Weissberg has also curated and co-curated art exhibitions, contributed to various exhibition catalogues, and has been heard on various radio shows by BBC World Service, CBC Toronto, Hessischer Rundfunk, Bayrischer Rundfunk, as well as NPR and the MLA radio service.

Weissberg's courses have included seminars on contemporary German women's literature, on turn of the century Vienna, on the Enlightenment, onr realism, and on literary theory, for example: GRMN 580 "Walter Benjamin," GRMN 540 "Memory, Trauma, Culture," GRMN 253 Freud: The Invention of Psychoanalysis," GRMN237 Berlin: History, Politics, Culture," and GRMN 242 "Fantastic & Uncanny in Literature."

Courses Taught: 
  • GRMN 252: The Emergence of the Individual
  • GRMN 580: Walter Benjamin
Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax / jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu