Sie sind hier: FRIAS School of Language & … Fellows Prof. Dr. Kathleen L. Komar

Prof. Dr. Kathleen L. Komar

Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
Okt. - Dez. 2012

Vergangene FRIAS-Aufenthalte

  • Okt. - Dez. 2012



Kathleen L. Komar is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. She served as President of the American Comparative Literature Association from 2005 to 2007. She won UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award and has served as Chair of Comparative Literature, Associate Dean of the Graduate Division, and Chair of the Academic Senate at UCLA. She earned her PhD and Masters Degrees at Princeton University and her BA from the University of Chicago. Komar has published on a variety of topics from Romanticism to the present in American and German literature; she has written on the works of Hermann Broch, Rainer Maria Rilke, Alfred Döblin, Christa Wolf and Ingeborg Bachmann, among others. Her books include Reclaiming Klytemnestra: Revenge or Reconciliation (2003), Transcending Angels: Rainer Maria Rilke's "Duino Elegies" (1987), Pattern and Chaos: Multilinear Novels by Dos Passos, Faulkner, Döblin, and Koeppen (1983), and the collection Lyrical Symbols and Narrative Transformations (1998, co-edited with Ross Shideler). Her current research examines the crises of belief in meaning and order among early twentieth-century European and American authors. A second research interest ventures into the developing area of electronic literature and hypertexts.




Ausgewählte Publikationen

Books and Editions

  • Reclaiming Klytemnestra: Revenge or Reconciliation,Champaign-Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2003.
  • Transcending Angels: Rainer Maria Rilke's "Duino Elegies" Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, l987.
  • Pattern and Chaos: Multilinear Novels by Dos Passos, Faulkner, Döblin, and Koeppen, Columbia, S.C.: Camden House Publishers, 1983.
  • Lyrical Symbols and Narrative Transformations, co-edited with Ross Shideler, Columbia, S.C.: Camden House Publishers, 1998.



  • “Literary Memory & Technological Narrative: Comparative Literature as a living Patchwork Girl,” Published on CD ROM, 2010, “It Started in Venice: Legacies, Passages, Horizons—Fifty Years of ICLA,” pp. 635-42.
  • “Technologically Assisted Literature from Hyper-texts to Cybernetic Poetry,” in Beyond Binarism: Crossings and Contaminations--Studies in Comparative Literature, eds. Eduardo F. Coutinho & Pina Coco (International Comparative Literature Association, [aeroplano editora]: Rio de Janeiro, 2009) pp. 432-39.
  • “2005 Report on the Undergraduate Comparative Literature Curriculum by the Association of Departments and Programs of Comparative Literature (ADPCL),” Profession 2006, (New York: The Modern Language Association), pp. 177-97. (Kathleen L. Komar one of seven co-authors, main editor, Corinne Scheiner.)
  • “Revisions of Past Literary Traditions to Create a Viable Present and a Different Future: Bessie Head’s A Question of Power and Marie Cardinal’s Le passé empiété,” Temporal Transition: What Was the Past: What Will Be the Future? ed. Merle Williams, (Pretoria, South Africa: Unisa Press, 2006), Vol. 4, pp. 79-86.
  • “How Technology Changes Our Paradigms of Reading and Comparing Literatures,” Published as a plenary session in the Proceedings of the 2005 Korean Comparative Literature Association’s International Conference New Paradigms in Comparative Literature Studies, November 2005, pp. 11-24.
  • “The House of Atreus in Cyberspace: Gender Battles Revisited on the World Wide Web” Published in the Proceedings of the International Comparative Literature Association 2004 Conference in Hong Kong.(published on CD ROM)
  • "Rilke in the Boardroom: Receptions of Rainer Maria Rilke in America of the 1990s," in Memory, History and Critique: European Identity at the Millennium, eds. Frank Brinkhuis & Sachsa Talmor (Proceedings of the 6th International Society for the Study of European Ideas Conference at the University for Humanist Studies, Utrecht, August 1996, on CDROM, MIT Press, 1998).
  • "Of Curves and Caves and Culture: Uses of Space by Contemporary Women Writers," Proceedings of the XII Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association (Munich 1988), eds. Roger Bauer & Douwe Fokkema, Vol. 3 "Space and Boundaries in Literature" (München: Judicium Verlag, 1990), pp. 494-99.



  • “Comparativism,” The Encyclopedia of the Novel. Ed. Peter Melville Logan. West Sussex, England: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2011.
  • “Nach Duino: nach Rilke: Rilke und die Amerikanishe Dichtung,” in Nach Duino: Studien zu Reiner Maria Rilkes Späten Gedichte (in German), (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2010), pp. 93-108.
  • “The Duino Elegies,” The Cambridge Campanion to Rilke, Eds. Karen Leeder and Robert Vilain (Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 80-94.
  • “Exiles in Their Own Lands:Women Writers and Linguistic Exclusion,” Kulturpolitik und Politik der Kultur/Cultural Politics and the Politics of Culture, eds. Helen Fehervary & Bernd Fischer, (Bern: Peter Lang Verlag, 2007), pp. 221-35.
  • “Den zum Schweigen Verdammten zuhören: Christine Brückner’s Wenn du geredet hättest, Desdemona. Ungehaltene Reden ungehaltener Frauen,” in Christine Brückner und Otto Heinrich Kühner, ed. F. W. Block,(Kassel, Germany: Euregioverlag, 2007), pp. 28-35.
  • “Candide in Cyberspace: Electronic Texts and the Future of Comparative Literature,” Comparative Literature, Vol. 59, No.3, Summer 2007, pp. vii-xviii.
  • “Women, Socialization and Power: Die Liebhaberinnen and Was geschah, nachdem Nora ihren Mann verlassen hatte oder Stützen der Gesellschaften,” Elfriede Jelinek: Writing Women, Nation and Identity, eds. Matthias Konzett and Margaret Lamb-Faffelberger, (Madison, Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007), pp. 96-114.
  • "Mutability in Wallace Stevens's 'Sunday Morning,'" Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature, Vol. 50, 2002-03, pp. 71-82.
  • “Inscriptions of Power: Broch’s Narratives of History in Die Schlafwandler” in Hermann Broch: Visionary in Exile: The 2001 Yale Symposium, ed. Paul Michael Lützeler, (Rochester, NY: Camden House/ Boydell & Brewer, 2003), pp.107-124.
  • "Rilke in America: A Poet Re-Created," in Unreading Rilke: Unorthodox Approaches to a Cultural Myth, ed. Hartmut Heep (New York: Peter Lang, 2001), pp. 149-170.
  • "Rethinking Rilke's Duineser Elegien at the End of the Millennium," in A Companion to the Works of Rainer Maria Rilke, ed. Erika A. Metzger and Michael M. Metzger, (New York: Boydell & Brewer, 2001), pp 188-208.
  • "Whatever Happened to the Lyrical Novel?: Madness and the Lyrical in Bessie Head's A Question of Power and Bachmann's Malina," in Lyrical Symbols and Narrative Transformations, eds. Kathleen L. Komar & Ross Shideler (Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1998), pp. 172-185.
  • "Kassandra as a Rebel Against War: The Theme of Heroism in Christa Wolf's Re-Vision of the Trojan War," in Themes and Structures: Studies in German Literature from Goethe to the Present, ed. Alexander Stephan (Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1997), pp. 234-53.
  • "Rilke: Metaphysics in a New Age," in Rilke-Rezeptionen: Rilke Reconsidered, eds. Sigrid Bauschinger and Susan Cocalis, (Tübingen/Basel: Francke Verlag, 1995), pp. 155-169.
  • "The State of Comparative Literature: Theory and Practice 1994," World Literature Today, Spring 1995 Special Issue, pp. 287-92 (folio format).
  • "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Wields the Axe--Clytemnestra: Matriarch or Mariticide," in Thamyris, Najade Press: Amsterdam, Vol. 1, No. 1, Autumn 1994, pp. 81-103.
  • "'Es war Mord': The Murder of Ingeborg Bachmann at the Hands of an Alter Ego," Modern Austrian Literature, Vol. 27, No. 2, 1994, pp. 91-112.
  • "Feminist Curves in Contemporary Literary Space," in Reconfigured Spheres: Feminist Explorations of Literary Space, eds. Joan Templeton and Margaret Higonnet (Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994) pp. 89-107.
  • "Klytemnestra in Germany: Re-Visions of a Female Archetype by Christa Reinig and Christine Brückner," Germanic Review, Volume LXIX, Number 1, Winter 1994, pp. 20-27 (folio format; 30 typed pages).
  • "Why There Are So Few Men In My Comparative Literature Courses on Women Writers," Women's Studies, Vol. 23, 1994, pp. 133-51.
  • "Feminist/Comparatists and the Art of 'Resisting Teaching,'" in New Visions of Creation: Feminist Innovations in Literary Theory, eds. Maria Elena de Valdés and Margaret Higonnet, International Comparative Literature Association/University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, 1993, pp. 180-86.
  • "The Communal Self: Re-Membering Female Identity in the Works of Christa Wolf and Monique Wittig," Comparative Literature, University of Oregon, Vol. 44, No. 1, Winter 1992, pp. 42-58.
  • "The Difficulty of Saying 'I': Reassembling a Self in Christa Wolf's Autobiographical Fiction," in Redefining Autobiography in Twentieth-Century Women's Fiction, eds. Janice Morgan & Colette Hall, Garland Press, 1991, pp. 261-79.
  • "The Mediating Muse: Of Men, Women and the Feminine in the Work of Rainer Maria Rilke," The Germanic Review, Columbia University, Vol. 64, No. 3, Summer 1989, pp. 129-33 (folio format; 21 typed pages).
  • "Paradigm Change: The Female Paradigm in Brecht's Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder and Christa Wolf's Kassandra," Euphorion: Zeitschrift für Literaturgeschichte, Carl Winter Universitäts- verlag, Heidelberg, Band 82, Heft 1, l988, pp. 116-26.
  • "The Issue of Transcendence in Rainer Maria Rilke's Duineser Elegien and Wallace Stevens' Notes Toward A Supreme Fiction," Neophilologus, Engels Seminarium, Amsterdam, Vol. 70, l986, pp. 429-441.
  • "The Politics of Subject Matter: History as Subject in Hermann Broch's The Death of Vergil," Modern Austrian Literature, Univ. of California, Riverside, Vol. 18, No. 1, 1985, pp. 51-61.
  • "Rilke's Sixth Duino Elegy or the Hero as Feige(n)baum," Monatshefte, Univ. of Wisconsin, Spring 1985, pp. 26-37.
  • "The Death of Vergil: Hermann Broch's Reading of Vergil's Aeneid," Comparative Literature Studies, Univ. of Illinois, Fall l984, pp. 255-269.
  • "Linguistic Variety in Character Delineation in James's The Wings of the Dove," Twentieth Century Literature, Hofstra Univ., Winter, 1983, pp. 471-487.
  • "The Crisis of Consciousness in Rilke's Duineser Elegien," The Germanic Review, Columbia Univ., Fall 1982, pp. 149-56 (folio format).
  • "Structure and Meaning in Döblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz," The German Quarterly, Princeton Univ., May 1981, pp. 3l8-34.
  • "Fact, Fiction and Focus: Their Structural Embodiment in C.F. Meyer's Der Heilige," Colloquia Germanica: Internationale Zeitschrift für germanische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft, Band 14, 1981, Bern: Francke Verlag, pp. 332-41.
  • "The Structure of Heine's 'Harzreise': Should We Take the Narrator at his Word?" The Germanic Review, Columbia Univ., Fall 1981, pp. 128-33 (folio format).
  • "The Structure of Heine's 'Harzreise': Should We Take the Narrator at his Word?" The Germanic Review, Columbia Univ., Fall 1981, pp. 128-33 (folio format).
  • "Fichte and the Structure of Novalis' 'Hymnen an die Nacht'," The Germanic Review, Columbia Univ., Fall 1979, pp 137-44 (folio format).




1) “The Crisis of Consciousness in Modernist Literature” 
2) “From ‘Emotion Recollected in Tranquility’ to Electrons Reconstructed in Technology: Or How Do We Deal with Electronic Poetry?”

I would like to work on two somewhat related projects while I am at Freiburg. The first is a book manuscript entitled “The Crisis of Consciousness in Modernist Literature.” This is not a psychological study—as the title might lead one to believe—but rather an investigation of a crisis of belief in meaning and order among modernist writers. My research begins with Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling to establish the crisis I focus on. (It could also begin with Nietzsche, but I think Kierkegaard offers a clearer model of the crisis itself.) I will then move into the early twentieth century to look at writers active during the cultural shocks that take place in the aftermath of Einstein, Bergson and Freud (among others). After establishing the framework, I then proceed to explore several responses to the crises by authors in Europe and the United States. The works include Rilke’s Malte Laurids Brigge, Kafka’s Das Schloß, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Rilke’s Duineser Elegien, Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood, Faulkner’s Absalom! Absalom!, Sartre’s La Nausée, and Wallace Stevens’s “Notes towards a Supreme Fiction.” I am purposely mixing narrative and poetry in this group to see whether the poets have a different response given the varied set of linguistic tools they have at their disposal.

The second project explores the ways in which electronic and cyber poetry force us to rethink our notions of what poetry is and does—and most disturbingly, how it relates to human beings as opposed to machines. It could be titled something like, “From ‘Emotion Recollected in Tranquility’ to Electrons Reconstructed in Technology: Or How Do We Deal with Electronic Poetry?”