Christopher Chiasson

  • Visiting Scholar

Chris Chiasson has taught language, literature, and culture courses at Indiana University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Nebraska. 

In his research, he uses narrative theory and psychoanalysis in order to examine the different relationships that an audience can have with a work of art depending on its medium, genre, and historical moment, with a focus on German literature from the Goethezeit to Modernism, and Central European cinema. He is also interested in the problems of fictionality and historical representation raised by historical fiction.

Currently he is working on fictional representations of the rise of Nazism, guided by the question: what do we expect to learn, ethically and politically, from fictional representations, that we cannot get from historical accounts? In addition to literary works such as Klaus Mann’s Mephisto, he explores the images used to visualize this historical moment, such as Luchino Visconti’s evocation and interpretation of German history from 1864 to 1934 in the loose trilogy The Damned, Death in Venice, and Ludwig, and the contemporary representations of the end of the Weimar Republic in Jason Lutes’ graphic novel Berlin and the TV show Babylon Berlin.

Education & Training

  • PhD, Germanic Studies, Indiana University, 2017
  • MA, Germanic Studies, Indiana University, 2010
  • BA, Germanic Studies, University of Chicago, 2004

Representative Publications

"Much Ado about Nothing? The Absence of Events in Die Wahlverwandtschaften" in: Goethe Yearbook (2019) Vol. 26, pp. 49-64.

"The Economy of Sacrifice in the Grimms' Der treue Johannes" in: Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte (2017) Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 126-151.

"Mabuse’s Magical Media and the Disenchantment of the Spectacle" in: The Threat and Allure of the Magical, eds. Ashwin Manthripragada, Emina Musanovic, Dagmar Theison. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013, pp. 123-135.