Peter M McIsaac

Associate Professor
Director, Canadian Centre for German and European Studies

Office: S528A Ross
Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext: 88747
Emailpmcisaac@yorku.ca

I work on post-Enlightenment German-speaking literature and culture, Museum Studies and the history of German-speaking science, technology and medicine

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Area of Specialization

German/European Studies

Degrees

Ph, D., Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
B.S., Physics and German, With High Distinction, University of Michigan

Professional Leadership

Offices in Professional Organizations

Executive Committee,, MLA Division on 19th and Early 20th Century German Literature, 2008-2013.
Delegate to MLA Delegate Assembly, MLA Division on 19th and Early 20th Century German Literature, 2006-2012.
Panelist, National Endowment for the Humanities (United States), Summer Stipends, 2005, 2007.
Editing and Reviewing for Journals

Editorial Board , The German Quarterly (July 1- 2003-June 30, 2012)
Editorial Board, German Politics and Society (April 2009-present)
Editorial Board, Electronic Working Papers Series, JMCE Osnabrück and CCGES (April 17, 2009-present)
Editorial Board, Imaginations (September 1, 2009-present)
Guest editor of journals , New German Critique; Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik; German Politics and Society; Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studie s
Reader for journals, The German Quarterly; Studies in Twentieth & Twenty-First Century Literature; Modern Austrian Literature; Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies

Membership in Professional Organizations

Modern Languages Association (MLA), Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG), American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), German Studies Association (GSA), International Council on Museums (ICOM), International Association of Word and Image Studies (IAWIS), Modern Austrian Language and Culture Association (MALCA), Women in German (WiG)

Community Contributions

UNIVERSITY SERVICE
Departmental level

Tenure and Promotion Committee, Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, York University, April 2009- June 2010
Programmer, German Studies Internet Site, York University, 2008-present
Acting Director of Undergraduate Studies, Duke University, January- July, 2006
Organizer. German Studies Lecture Series, Duke University, 2004-2005.
Chair, Internet Committee, Duke University, July 2000-July 2001.
Programmer, German Department Internet Site, Duke University, 2000-2001.
Search Committee, German Department, Duke University, 1999.
Graduate Admissions Committee, German Department, Duke University, 1999, 2000, 2003.
Organizer of German Film Series, University of Connecticut, 1998.
Curriculum Development Committee, Tufts University, 1997-1998.
Programmer, Harvard German Dept. Web Page, 1996-1998

University level

Executive Committee, Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, York University, 2008-2010
Faculty Assembly, European Studies, York University, 2008-2009
Executive Committee, Arts and Sciences Council, Duke University, July 2004-June, 2009.
Elected Representative, Arts and Sciences Council, Duke University, July 2004-June, 2009.
Program II Committee, Duke University, 2004-2006.
Provost’s Strategic Planning Working Group for Instructional Technology, Duke University, 2005-2006.
Faculty Advisory Board, University Scholars Program. Duke University, 2001-2007.
Fulbright Faculty Interviewer, Duke University, 1998-2002, 2004, 2005.
Faculty-in-Residence, Trinity College of Duke University, Round Table Residence Hall, 1999-2002.

Research Interests

German , Science and Technology , Museum Studies

All Publications

Books

Museums of the Mind: German Modernity and the Dynamics of Collecting, University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2007. Pp. 322.
Reviews: Stephen Bann, College Art Association, Dec 9, 2008, http://www.caareviews.org; Anne Flannery, Modern Language Notes 124.3 (2009): 767-770. Richard Block, Modern Language Quarterly 70.3 (2009): 394-398. J. Laurence Hare, “German Literature and the Notional Museum,” H-German, Sept. 2009, http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=25263

Book Chapters

“Writing against the museum that is Austria: Thomas Bernhard, Gerhard Roth, Ingeborg Bachmann,” Fünfzig Jahre Staatsvertrag, ed. by Gilbert J. Carr and Caitríona Leahy. Munich: iudicium, 2008, pp. 160-174.

“Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds: Exhibitionary Practice, German History, and Difference” Museums & Difference. ed. Daniel J. Sherman. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2007, pp. 155-202.
reprinted as “Worrying About Democratic Values: Body Worlds in German Context, 1995-2004,” The Anatomy of Body Worlds: Critical Essays on Gunther von Hagens' Plastinated Cadavers, ed. C. Jespersen, A. Rodriguez, and J. Starr. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008. pp. 121-135.

“Taking Doris Dörrie Seriously: Literature, Film, Gender,” Processes of Transposition: German Literature and Film, ed. Christiane Schönfeld, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. Pp. 347-361.

“Autorschaft und Authorität bei W.G. Sebald,” Deutschsprachige Gegenwartsliteratur seit 1989: Zwischenbilanzen—Analysen—Vermittlungsperspektiven. ed. Clemens Kammler and Thorsten Pflugmacher. Heidelberg: Synchron Verlag, 2004. pp. 139-152.

Journal Articles

“Public-Private Support of the Arts and German Cultural Policy: The Case of Wilhelm Bode” International Journal of Cultural Policy 13.4 (2007): 371-391.

“Rethinking Tableaux Vivants and Triviality in the Writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johanna Schopenhauer, and Fanny Lewald,” Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur” 99.2 (2007): 152-176.

“Literatur und das Museum: kulturwissenschaftliche Schnittpunkte,” Literatur für Leser 30.2 (2007): 11-19.

“The Museal Path to Bildung: Collecting, Gender and Exchange in Stifter’s Nachsommer,” German Life and Letters 57 (2004): 268-289.

“North-South, East-West: Mapping German Identity in Cinematic and Literary Versions of Doris Dörrie’s Bin ich schön?” The German Quarterly 77.3 (2004): 339-361.

Guest editor, New German Critique 88 (2003). Special Issue on Contemporary German Literature. (with Andreas Huyssen and Werner Jung)

Guest editor, LiLi- Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik 124 (2001). Special issue on "Was bleibt? von der deutschen Gegenwartsliteratur.” (with Mariatte Denman and Werner Jung).

“Exhibiting Ottilie: Collecting as a Disciplinary Regime in Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften,” The German Quarterly 70.4 (1997): 347-357.

Guest editor, German Politics and Society 13 (1995). Special issue on "Germany in the American Mind: The American Postwar Reception of German Culture (with William C. Donahue).

Conference Papers

“More than Shock Value: Gestures of Exposure in Gottfried Benn’s Morgue Cycle,” GSA Conference, Oakland, October 7-10, 2010

“Exposing the Dead: The Functions of Anatomy Exhibition Around 1900,” University of Michigan German Studies Coloquium, January 22, 2010

“Federal Cultural Policy, German Identity and the EU,” Unity and Diversity in Europe and North America, Osnabrück, Germany, June 25-26, 2009.

“More than Shock Value: Gestures of Exposure in Gottfried Benn’s Morgue Cycle,” CAUTG, Ottawa, Canada, May 23-25, 2009.

“Dystopian Visions in Thor Kunkel’s Endstufe,” in Workshop: Visions of Tomorrow: Science and Utopia in German Culture,” ISSEI Helsinki, July 28-Aug. 1, 2008.

“National Paradoxes: German Identity in the Context of the European Union,” ACFTL/AATG Convention, San Antonio, TX, November 16-18, 2007.

“Testing the iPod’s Versatility in Literature, Culture and Composition Settings,” ACFTL/AATG Convention, San Antonio, TX, November 16-18, 2007.

“The Dead on Display: Public Anatomy, Private Finance and German Museum Culture,” GSA Convention, San Diego, October 4-6, 2007.

“Narrative as a Corrective to the Museum: Siegfried Lenz’ Heimatmuseum and the Benjaminian Collector,” MLA Convention, Washington, DC, December 27-30, 2005.

“Reconsidering Religious Conversion in Fanny Lewald’s Jenny.” MLA Convention, Washington DC, December 27-30, 2005.

“Writing Against the Museum that is Austria: Bernhard, Roth, and Bachmann,” The State Treaty Fifty Years On: Writing, Identity and Austrian Independence, Dublin, Ireland, November 25-26, 2005.

“Narrative as the Future of Memory: (Re)collecting the German 20th Century in Siegfried Lenz’ Heimatmuseum,” The Future of Memory, Manchester, England, Nov. 10-12, 2005.

“Narrative as a Corrective to the Museum: Siegfried Lenz’ Heimatmuseum,” Word & Image Conference, Philadelphia, PA September 23-27, 2005.

“Tableaux vivants in Entertainment and Literature: Gender in a High-Low Cultural Divide,” Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, Lexington, KY, April 21-23, 2005.

“Körperwelten as Spectacle: The Leichenfabrik, Globalization, and the Public Display of Human Corpses,” German Studies Association, Washington DC, October 6-10, 2004.

“Going South? Doris Dörrie’s Bin ich schön? and the Possibilities and Pitfalls of Transforming Literature into Film in the 1990s,” Galway Colloquium on Literature and Film, Galway, Ireland, April 2-4, 2004.

“Wilhelm (von) Bode, the Public Museum and the Case for Public Support for the Arts in 2nd Empire Germany,” The Case for Public Support for the Arts, S. Boston, VA, Oct, 2002.

“Embodying Progress in a Democratic Germany: Gunther von Hagens’ Körperwelten as Exhibitionary Practice.” GSA Conference, San Diego, October 3-6, 2002 and MLA Convention, New Orleans, December 27-30, 2001.

“Science in the Making: The Production of Knowledge in Romantic-Era Scholarly Collections.” MLA Convention, New Orleans, December 27-30, 2001.

“Mitigating the Sensational: Science, Travel, and Commercial Culture in German Ethnographic Displays,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference on “Exhibiting Culture, Displaying Race,” Eugene OR, April 19-21, 2001.

“Reaching American Students: Doris Dörrie's Mediations of German Culture,” Women in German Panel “Teaching the New Generation of German Women Filmmakers,” ACTFL/AATG Conference, Boston, MA, November 16-19, 2000.

“The Divide between Nature and Civilization: Second Empire Anthropological and Archaeological Exhibitions,” GSA Conference, Houston, TX, October 5-8 2000.

“The Bones of the Past: Archaeology, Exhibition and Tourism in Second Empire Germany,” Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, Lexington, KY, April 27-29 2000.

“Mitigating the Sensational: Ethnographic Collections, Commerce and Bildung in Wilhelmine Völkerschauen,” GSA Conference, Atlanta GA, October 7-10 1999.

“Exiting the Museum: Joseph Beuys and Fluxus,” MLA Convention, San Francisco CA, December 27-30, 1998.

“Administering the Necropolis: The War Museum in Ingeborg Bachmann’s Malina,” University of Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, Lexington KY, April 16-18, 1998.

“Ritual and Collecting in the Discourse of the Family in Stifter’s Nachsommer,” Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, Lexington KY, April 17-19 1997.

“Freezing the Feminine: Cultural Spectacle and the Tableaux vivants,” MLA Convention, Washington DC, December 27-30 1996.

Forthcoming

“Die performative Basis von anatomischen Zurschaustellungen vor und um 1900.“ Geschlechter Spiel Räume: Dramatik, Theater, Performance und Gender, ed. by Gaby Pailer und Franziska Schößler. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010

“Preserving the Bloody Remains: Legacies of Violence in the Austrian Heeresgeschichtliches Museum,” Contemplating Violence: Critical Studies in Modern German Culture, ed. by Carl Niekerk and Stefani Engelstein. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010


I work on post-Enlightenment German-speaking literature and culture, Museum Studies and the history of German-speaking science, technology and medicine

Area of Specialization

German/European Studies

Degrees

Ph, D., Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
B.S., Physics and German, With High Distinction, University of Michigan

Professional Leadership

Offices in Professional Organizations

Executive Committee,, MLA Division on 19th and Early 20th Century German Literature, 2008-2013.
Delegate to MLA Delegate Assembly, MLA Division on 19th and Early 20th Century German Literature, 2006-2012.
Panelist, National Endowment for the Humanities (United States), Summer Stipends, 2005, 2007.
Editing and Reviewing for Journals

Editorial Board , The German Quarterly (July 1- 2003-June 30, 2012)
Editorial Board, German Politics and Society (April 2009-present)
Editorial Board, Electronic Working Papers Series, JMCE Osnabrück and CCGES (April 17, 2009-present)
Editorial Board, Imaginations (September 1, 2009-present)
Guest editor of journals , New German Critique; Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik; German Politics and Society; Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studie s
Reader for journals, The German Quarterly; Studies in Twentieth & Twenty-First Century Literature; Modern Austrian Literature; Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies

Membership in Professional Organizations

Modern Languages Association (MLA), Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG), American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), German Studies Association (GSA), International Council on Museums (ICOM), International Association of Word and Image Studies (IAWIS), Modern Austrian Language and Culture Association (MALCA), Women in German (WiG)

Community Contributions

UNIVERSITY SERVICE
Departmental level

Tenure and Promotion Committee, Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, York University, April 2009- June 2010
Programmer, German Studies Internet Site, York University, 2008-present
Acting Director of Undergraduate Studies, Duke University, January- July, 2006
Organizer. German Studies Lecture Series, Duke University, 2004-2005.
Chair, Internet Committee, Duke University, July 2000-July 2001.
Programmer, German Department Internet Site, Duke University, 2000-2001.
Search Committee, German Department, Duke University, 1999.
Graduate Admissions Committee, German Department, Duke University, 1999, 2000, 2003.
Organizer of German Film Series, University of Connecticut, 1998.
Curriculum Development Committee, Tufts University, 1997-1998.
Programmer, Harvard German Dept. Web Page, 1996-1998

University level

Executive Committee, Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, York University, 2008-2010
Faculty Assembly, European Studies, York University, 2008-2009
Executive Committee, Arts and Sciences Council, Duke University, July 2004-June, 2009.
Elected Representative, Arts and Sciences Council, Duke University, July 2004-June, 2009.
Program II Committee, Duke University, 2004-2006.
Provost’s Strategic Planning Working Group for Instructional Technology, Duke University, 2005-2006.
Faculty Advisory Board, University Scholars Program. Duke University, 2001-2007.
Fulbright Faculty Interviewer, Duke University, 1998-2002, 2004, 2005.
Faculty-in-Residence, Trinity College of Duke University, Round Table Residence Hall, 1999-2002.

Research Interests:

German , Science and Technology , Museum Studies

All Publications

Books

Museums of the Mind: German Modernity and the Dynamics of Collecting, University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2007. Pp. 322.
Reviews: Stephen Bann, College Art Association, Dec 9, 2008, http://www.caareviews.org; Anne Flannery, Modern Language Notes 124.3 (2009): 767-770. Richard Block, Modern Language Quarterly 70.3 (2009): 394-398. J. Laurence Hare, “German Literature and the Notional Museum,” H-German, Sept. 2009, http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=25263

Book Chapters

“Writing against the museum that is Austria: Thomas Bernhard, Gerhard Roth, Ingeborg Bachmann,” Fünfzig Jahre Staatsvertrag, ed. by Gilbert J. Carr and Caitríona Leahy. Munich: iudicium, 2008, pp. 160-174.

“Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds: Exhibitionary Practice, German History, and Difference” Museums & Difference. ed. Daniel J. Sherman. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2007, pp. 155-202.
reprinted as “Worrying About Democratic Values: Body Worlds in German Context, 1995-2004,” The Anatomy of Body Worlds: Critical Essays on Gunther von Hagens' Plastinated Cadavers, ed. C. Jespersen, A. Rodriguez, and J. Starr. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008. pp. 121-135.

“Taking Doris Dörrie Seriously: Literature, Film, Gender,” Processes of Transposition: German Literature and Film, ed. Christiane Schönfeld, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. Pp. 347-361.

“Autorschaft und Authorität bei W.G. Sebald,” Deutschsprachige Gegenwartsliteratur seit 1989: Zwischenbilanzen—Analysen—Vermittlungsperspektiven. ed. Clemens Kammler and Thorsten Pflugmacher. Heidelberg: Synchron Verlag, 2004. pp. 139-152.

Journal Articles

“Public-Private Support of the Arts and German Cultural Policy: The Case of Wilhelm Bode” International Journal of Cultural Policy 13.4 (2007): 371-391.

“Rethinking Tableaux Vivants and Triviality in the Writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johanna Schopenhauer, and Fanny Lewald,” Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur” 99.2 (2007): 152-176.

“Literatur und das Museum: kulturwissenschaftliche Schnittpunkte,” Literatur für Leser 30.2 (2007): 11-19.

“The Museal Path to Bildung: Collecting, Gender and Exchange in Stifter’s Nachsommer,” German Life and Letters 57 (2004): 268-289.

“North-South, East-West: Mapping German Identity in Cinematic and Literary Versions of Doris Dörrie’s Bin ich schön?” The German Quarterly 77.3 (2004): 339-361.

Guest editor, New German Critique 88 (2003). Special Issue on Contemporary German Literature. (with Andreas Huyssen and Werner Jung)

Guest editor, LiLi- Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik 124 (2001). Special issue on "Was bleibt? von der deutschen Gegenwartsliteratur.” (with Mariatte Denman and Werner Jung).

“Exhibiting Ottilie: Collecting as a Disciplinary Regime in Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften,” The German Quarterly 70.4 (1997): 347-357.

Guest editor, German Politics and Society 13 (1995). Special issue on "Germany in the American Mind: The American Postwar Reception of German Culture (with William C. Donahue).

Conference Papers

“More than Shock Value: Gestures of Exposure in Gottfried Benn’s Morgue Cycle,” GSA Conference, Oakland, October 7-10, 2010

“Exposing the Dead: The Functions of Anatomy Exhibition Around 1900,” University of Michigan German Studies Coloquium, January 22, 2010

“Federal Cultural Policy, German Identity and the EU,” Unity and Diversity in Europe and North America, Osnabrück, Germany, June 25-26, 2009.

“More than Shock Value: Gestures of Exposure in Gottfried Benn’s Morgue Cycle,” CAUTG, Ottawa, Canada, May 23-25, 2009.

“Dystopian Visions in Thor Kunkel’s Endstufe,” in Workshop: Visions of Tomorrow: Science and Utopia in German Culture,” ISSEI Helsinki, July 28-Aug. 1, 2008.

“National Paradoxes: German Identity in the Context of the European Union,” ACFTL/AATG Convention, San Antonio, TX, November 16-18, 2007.

“Testing the iPod’s Versatility in Literature, Culture and Composition Settings,” ACFTL/AATG Convention, San Antonio, TX, November 16-18, 2007.

“The Dead on Display: Public Anatomy, Private Finance and German Museum Culture,” GSA Convention, San Diego, October 4-6, 2007.

“Narrative as a Corrective to the Museum: Siegfried Lenz’ Heimatmuseum and the Benjaminian Collector,” MLA Convention, Washington, DC, December 27-30, 2005.

“Reconsidering Religious Conversion in Fanny Lewald’s Jenny.” MLA Convention, Washington DC, December 27-30, 2005.

“Writing Against the Museum that is Austria: Bernhard, Roth, and Bachmann,” The State Treaty Fifty Years On: Writing, Identity and Austrian Independence, Dublin, Ireland, November 25-26, 2005.

“Narrative as the Future of Memory: (Re)collecting the German 20th Century in Siegfried Lenz’ Heimatmuseum,” The Future of Memory, Manchester, England, Nov. 10-12, 2005.

“Narrative as a Corrective to the Museum: Siegfried Lenz’ Heimatmuseum,” Word & Image Conference, Philadelphia, PA September 23-27, 2005.

“Tableaux vivants in Entertainment and Literature: Gender in a High-Low Cultural Divide,” Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, Lexington, KY, April 21-23, 2005.

“Körperwelten as Spectacle: The Leichenfabrik, Globalization, and the Public Display of Human Corpses,” German Studies Association, Washington DC, October 6-10, 2004.

“Going South? Doris Dörrie’s Bin ich schön? and the Possibilities and Pitfalls of Transforming Literature into Film in the 1990s,” Galway Colloquium on Literature and Film, Galway, Ireland, April 2-4, 2004.

“Wilhelm (von) Bode, the Public Museum and the Case for Public Support for the Arts in 2nd Empire Germany,” The Case for Public Support for the Arts, S. Boston, VA, Oct, 2002.

“Embodying Progress in a Democratic Germany: Gunther von Hagens’ Körperwelten as Exhibitionary Practice.” GSA Conference, San Diego, October 3-6, 2002 and MLA Convention, New Orleans, December 27-30, 2001.

“Science in the Making: The Production of Knowledge in Romantic-Era Scholarly Collections.” MLA Convention, New Orleans, December 27-30, 2001.

“Mitigating the Sensational: Science, Travel, and Commercial Culture in German Ethnographic Displays,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference on “Exhibiting Culture, Displaying Race,” Eugene OR, April 19-21, 2001.

“Reaching American Students: Doris Dörrie's Mediations of German Culture,” Women in German Panel “Teaching the New Generation of German Women Filmmakers,” ACTFL/AATG Conference, Boston, MA, November 16-19, 2000.

“The Divide between Nature and Civilization: Second Empire Anthropological and Archaeological Exhibitions,” GSA Conference, Houston, TX, October 5-8 2000.

“The Bones of the Past: Archaeology, Exhibition and Tourism in Second Empire Germany,” Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, Lexington, KY, April 27-29 2000.

“Mitigating the Sensational: Ethnographic Collections, Commerce and Bildung in Wilhelmine Völkerschauen,” GSA Conference, Atlanta GA, October 7-10 1999.

“Exiting the Museum: Joseph Beuys and Fluxus,” MLA Convention, San Francisco CA, December 27-30, 1998.

“Administering the Necropolis: The War Museum in Ingeborg Bachmann’s Malina,” University of Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, Lexington KY, April 16-18, 1998.

“Ritual and Collecting in the Discourse of the Family in Stifter’s Nachsommer,” Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, Lexington KY, April 17-19 1997.

“Freezing the Feminine: Cultural Spectacle and the Tableaux vivants,” MLA Convention, Washington DC, December 27-30 1996.

Forthcoming

“Die performative Basis von anatomischen Zurschaustellungen vor und um 1900.“ Geschlechter Spiel Räume: Dramatik, Theater, Performance und Gender, ed. by Gaby Pailer und Franziska Schößler. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010

“Preserving the Bloody Remains: Legacies of Violence in the Austrian Heeresgeschichtliches Museum,” Contemplating Violence: Critical Studies in Modern German Culture, ed. by Carl Niekerk and Stefani Engelstein. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010