André Fischer

André Fischer

Assistant Professor of German
PhD, Stanford University
research interests:
  • 20th-Century German Literature and Thought
  • European Cinema
  • Conceptual Art and Performance
  • Practices of Modern Myth-Making
  • Aesthetics of Modernism
  • Film-Theory and Philosophy

contact info:

office hours:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00 to 5:00 pm
    by appointment
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mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1104
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

André Fischer’s research focuses on 20th-century German literature, film, theater and performance art, as well as intellectual history.

Professor Fischer’s scholarship is located at the intersection of aesthetics and politics, where he investigates practices of modern myth-making, its aesthetics and political theologies, as well as associated concepts and strategies of resistance. In his current book project, Fischer explores the turn towards myth in German postwar literature, film, and conceptual art. He is also working on a project on forms of aesthetic and political resistance in modern European literature, as well as on a critique of the auteur concept in German and French new wave cinema. Fischer has published articles on Hans Henny Jahnn, Bertolt Brecht, Werner Herzog, and Peter Weiss.

Besides teaching all levels of German language, Professor Fischer offers courses on literature, film, and theater, for example “Migration Stories”, “Staging Revolutions”, or “Introduction to German Cinema.” He received his PhD in German Studies from Stanford University and has taught German at Auburn University, before joining the faculty at Washington University.

Fall 2021 Courses

German Literature and the Modern Era (German 340C)

Introduction in English to German writers from 1750 to the present. Discussion focuses on questions like the role of outsiders in society, the human psyche, technology, war, gender, the individual and mass culture, modern and postmodern sensibilities as they are posed in predominantly literary texts and in relation to the changing political and cultural faces of Germany. Readings include works in translation by some of the most influential figures of the German tradition, such as Goethe, Nietzsche, Freud, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Brecht, and Christa Wolf. Open to first-year students, non-majors and majors. Admission to 400-level courses (except 402, 403D, 404, and 408D) is contingent on completion of this course or 341/341D OR 342/342D. The main course is conducted in English, so this will only qualify for major or minor credit when taken in conjunction with one-hour discussion section in German (L21 340D). The discussion section provides and introduction to critical German vocabulary and is open to students with prior knowledge of German (German 210D or equivalent, or placement by examination).

    Germany Today (German 404)

    Introduction to the history, politics, and culture of contemporary Germany (1945 to the present). Topics include the cultural construction of identity in post-unified Germany; European integration and post-wall economy; the German constitution, electoral system and current elections; current debates and controversies; political parties and leading political figures; the role of literature, film, music, the visual arts, media and popular culture; the role of universities. Discussion, readings, and papers in German. Required for candidates planning to attend the overseas program in Tübingen, Germany. Prerequisite: German 302D (may be taken concurrently with German 404), or permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

      Selected Publications

      “Mythos and Pathos: Herakles in Peter Weiss’s ‘Die Ästhetik des Widerstands,’” The Germanic Review 97:1 (2022), pp. 69-91.