Esther Bauer

Esther Bauer

Esther Bauer

Associate Professor of German


330 Major Williams Hall 
220 Stanger St. 
Blacksburg, VA 24061





  • Weimar Republic
  • Literature, Visual Arts, and Culture of the 20th and 21st Centuries
  • Post-War and Contemporary German-Language Literature
  • History of Subjectivity: Gender, Sexuality, Aging, the Body
  • Desire

Professional Activities

  • Director, German Program


  • Ph.D. Yale University
  • M.Phil. Yale University
  • M.A. Yale University
  • M.A. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany
  • Erstes Staatsexamen Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freibug, Germany

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    Certificate of Teaching Excellence, 2014

    Selected Publications


    Bodily Desire, Desired Bodies: Gender and Desire in Early Twentieth-Century German and Austrian Novels and Paintings. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 2014.


    “Not so Happily ever after: Romantic Love in Novels by Alain Claude Sulzer,” Edinburgh German Yearbook 11 (2017): 25-46.

    “Ausbruch aus dem Krieg: Das Individuum in Kriegsszenen von Otto Dix und Thomas Mann,” Weimarer Beiträge 62.2 (2016): 179-98.

    “Mired in Perfection: Male Images, Forbidden Desire, and ‘Bad Faith’ in Novels by Alain Claude Sulzer.” German Life and Letters 69.1 (2016): 105-22.

    “Masculinity in Crisis: Aging Men in Thomas Mann’s ‘Der Tod in Venedig’ and Max Frisch’s Homo faber,” German Quarterly 88.1 (2015): 22-42.

    "The Power of the Look: Franz Kafka’s ‘The Cares of a Family Man.’” Kafka’s Creatures: Animals, Hybrids, and Other Fantastic Beings. Eds. Marc Lucht and Donna Yarri. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. 157-73.

    “Narratives of Femininity in Judith Hermann’s Summerhouse, Later.’” Women in German Yearbook 25 (2009): 50-75.

    Additional Information

    Current research concentrates on images of masculinity in times of crisis, including World War I and the interwar years, and on non-hegemonic masculinities, especially homosexual masculinities. A new book-length project explores depictions of aging men and male midlife crisis in prose texts since 1900, including Thomas Mann’s “Tod in Venedig,” Max Frisch’s Homo faber, Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, and Ingeborg Bachmann’s “Das dreißigste Jahr.”