Stefani Engelstein

Stefani Engelstein

Fellow: Awarded 2023
Field of Study: European and Latin American Literature

Competition: US & Canada

Stefani Engelstein is Professor of German Studies and of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. Her work addresses German and British literature and science, aesthetics, gender, political theory, and the history of knowledge. Her current book project, The Making of Oppositional Sexes, explores German literature, science, and philosophy around 1800 to trace the emergence of a concept of dynamically oppositional sexes that became crucial to biological, epistemological, ethical, and ontological theories. Her project also analyzes the afterlife of this paradigm in current political and legal debates in United States. Engelstein’s first book, Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse, explored the way biology’s dependence on teleology at its origin facilitated the turn to the human body as an arbiter of ideologies. Her second book, Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity, investigated genealogies constructed across disciplines to organize historical systems, revealing the sibling term as an active fault line at the nexus of epistemology, identity, and affect. Engelstein is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Alexander von Humboldt, and Fulbright Foundations and is a frequent Visiting Scholar at the Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin.

Photo Credit: Rich Foley

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