Daniel Medin

Associate Professor, Department Chair - Comparative Literature & English

  • Department: Comparative Literature and English
  • Complementary Department(s): History
  • Office: 
    G-111
  • Office Hours: 
    Tuesdays & Fridays 13:30–14:30 or by appointment

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A former fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Berlin) and visiting researcher at the Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Centre-Européennes (Sorbonne-Paris IV), Professor Medin joined the faculty of The American University of Paris in January 2010. He has taught German, English and comparative literature at Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis and the Free University Berlin. His research is principally concerned with modern fiction from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with an emphasis on the work and global reception of Franz Kafka. He also teaches classes on contemporary world literature; writing from Central Europe; the history and culture of Berlin, Vienna, and Prague; Flaubert and the birth of modernism; editorial practice; and small prose forms. He is a director of the Center for Writers and Translators and one of the editors of its Cahiers Series (published jointly with Sylph Editions in London). He is also co-editor of Music & Literature magazine, a contributing editor for The White Review, and advises other journals, publishers and agents on contemporary international fiction. He has judged leading translation prizes in the USA (Best Translated Book Award, 2014-2015) and the UK (Man Booker International Prize, 2016), and is now on the jury of their German equivalent (HKW Internationaler Literaturpreis, 2018-2020).



Education/Degrees

  • PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
  • MA, Washington University in St. Louis
  • BA, University of Connecticut

Publications

  • “Robert Walser’s Jewish Berlin.” A Companion to Robert Walser. Ed. Samuel Frederick and Rebecca Schuman. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, June 2018.
  • Volume 9 on and by Swiss author Peter Bichsel and Sylvia Legris (edited volume), May 2019.
  • Volume 8 on and by French author Eric Chevillard, Mark Turner, and Unsuk Chin (edited volume), November 2017. 
  • Volume 7 of Music & Literature on and by Paul Griffiths, Lera Auerbach and Ann Quin (edited volume), May 2016.
  • Volume 6 of Music & Literature on and by Alejandra Pizarnik, Dubravka Ugrešić, and Victoria Polevá (edited volume), April 2015.
  • “Le Kafka de J.-M. Coetzee.” Les Cahiers de L'Herne: Franz Kafka. Ed. Wolfgang Asholt, Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt, and Jean-Pierre Morel. Paris: Editions de l'Herne, October 2014.
  • Volume 5 of Music & Literature on and by Kaija Saariaho, Can Xue, and Stig Sæterbakken (edited volume), October 2014. 
  • Volume 4 of Music & Literature on and by Clarice Lispector, Barry Guy, Maya Homburger, and Mary Ruefle (edited volume), April 2014. 
  • Volume 3 of Music & Literature on and by Gerald Murnane, Vladimír Godár, and Iva Bittová (edited volume), October 2013.
  • “All the Bad Things.” Review of The Jew Car by Franz Fühmann, trans. Isabel Cole, and The Devil’s Workshop by Jáchym Topol, trans. Alex Zucker. Times Literary Supplement, 27 September 2013.
  • Volume 2 of Music & Literature on and by László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr, and Max Neumann (edited volume), April 2013.
  • “The Woman Who Disapperared: Traces of Kafka in Das nackte Auge.” Études germaniques. Special issue on Yoko Tawada, January 2011.
  • Three Sons: Franz Kafka and the Fiction of J.M. Coetzee, Philip Roth, and W.G. Sebald. Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, ed. Rainer Rumold and Marjorie Perloff. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press (March 2010).
  • “Like the Sunrise.” Review of The Tanners by Robert Walser and Robert Walser: Sein Leben in Bildern und Texten by Bernhard Echte. Times Literary Supplement (March 31, 2010).
  • “Decisive Days.” Review of Kafka: Die Jahre der Entkenntnis by Rainer Stach. Times Literary Supplement (April 24, 2009).
  • “Simply Made Up: Franz Kafka in W.G. Sebald’s Dr. K.s Badereise nach Riva.” Ed. Mark Rectanus. Über Gegenwartsliteratur. Aisthesis Verlag, 2008.
  • “Liebliche Lüge? Philip Roth’s ‘Looking at Kafka.’” Comparative Literature Studies Volume 44.1-2 (2007).

Conferences & Lectures

  • “Arabic Literature in Translation: A Masterclass.” Workshop for young writers of promise from the Arabic world; mentors include Alaa Al-Aswany and Adania Shibli. Sponsored by Foundation KfW Stiftung and the Commonwealth Foundation. Frankfurt, October 2019.
  • “Kafka from Pustzta to Pampa.” William H. Matheson Lecture. Washington University in St. Louis. February 2018.
  • “Literary Activism and the Academy.” Graduate workshop. Washington University in St. Louis. February 2018.
  • “Promoting Translation through a Literary Center,” La tâche poétique du traducteur, colloquium at the Institut des Etudes Avancées and Université Paris-Diderot, Paris, March 2017.
  • “Music & Literature: Missions and Platforms of a Twenty-First Century Journal,” presented at Le combat des revues: Ecritures collectives et discours alternatifs, Journée d’études organisée par Sciences Po, Lille, September 2016.
  • “Editing Literary Translations,” workshop at University of East Anglia, Norwich, November 2015.
  • “Notes from an Editor's Desk,” presented at Les revues internationales et l’espace  intellectuel européen: à partir de Lettre internationale, Journée d’études organisée par le Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po, l’IMEC et Ent’revues, Caen, October 2015.
  • “Fundamental Outsiders: Robert Walser and Jewish Berlin,” presented for Deutsches Haus at Columbia University, New York, November 2014.
  • “Les voyages d’hiver avec Kafka,” presented for W.G. Sebald colloquium at Le Centre Culturel International de Cerisy-la-Salle, September 2014.
  • “Kafka’s ‘Report to an Academy’: Its Contexts and Form,” presented for The New School in New York City (via videoconferencing technology), May 2014.
  • “Imperial Messages: Glimpses of Kafka Abroad,” guest lecture on Kafka in contemporary Chinese, Latin American, and Eastern European writing at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, July 2013.
  • “How to Review Translations,” presented at annual meeting of the American Literary Translators Association, University of Rochester, October 2012.
  • “The Legacy of Robert Walser,” presented at the Robert Walser Festival, Newcastle, March 2012.
  • “Lessons in Creative Reading: On Literature and Visual Culture,” lecture and workshop at the Piet Zwart Institute of Postgraduate Study, Rotterdam, March 2012.
  • “Philip Roth's Conversations with Volker Hage” presented at International Roth, American Literature Association annual meeting, Boston, May 2011.
  • “A Pack of Nobodies: Robert Walser’s Unelective Affinities,” presented at Reading Robert Walser, German Studies Association annual meeting, Oakland, October 2010.
  • “À la Porte. Une leçon kafkaïenne de J. M. Coetzee,” presented at Kafka après son siècle, Le Centre Culturel International de Cerisy-la-Salle, July 2010.
  • “Außenseiter unter Außenseitern,” presented at Dreißig Jahre deutsch-jüdische Literatur-und Kulturgeschichte: Eine internationale Konferenz, Jerusalem and Beer-Sheva, March 2010.
  • “The Woman Who Disappeared: Traces of Kafka in Das nackte Auge," Université François-Rabelais, Tours, May 2009.
  • “Kafka’s Hovering Trope,” Ben Gurion University of the Negev, July 2008.
  • “Art as a Trial,” American Comparative Literature Association, Long Beach, April 2008.
  • “Samuel Beckett’s Cardinal Virtue,” IHUM Fellows Research Colloquium, Stanford University, April 2008.
  • “Telling It Slant: Emily Dickinson and Indirect Communication,” guest lecture for Literature into Life, Introduction to the Humanities, Stanford University, May 2007.
  • “Several Instances of the Fundamental Unheroic,” IHUM Fellows Research Colloquium, Stanford University, April 2007.

Public Appearances

  • “An Evening with Eduardo Halfon,” CWT event at AUP, November 2019.
  • “A Conversation with Alaa Al-Aswany,” panel at The Politics of Translation: Arabic Literatures in Europe, Frankfurt, October 2019.
  • “Publishing Arabic Literature in Translation,” panel with Lynn Gaspard, Elisabeth Jaquettte, Pierro Salabè, Adiana Shibli at The Politics of Translation: Arabic Literatures in Europe, Frankfurt, October 2019. 
  • “Saison der Wirbelstürme : A Conversation with Fernanda Melchor and Angelica Ammar.” Award Ceremony of the HKW International Literaturpreis, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, June 2019.
  • “The Writer as a Literary Activist” with Mikhail Shishkin and Jacek Dehnel, Bibliotopia Festival, Fondation Jan Michalski, Montricher, May 2019. 
  • “Reversing the Gaze” with Aminatta Forna. Bibliotopia Festival, Fondation Jan Michalski, Montricher, May 2019. 
  • “The White Review Roundtable on Translation” with Nina Leger, Daniel Levin Becker, and Zeljka Marosevic, Shakespeare & Company, Paris, May 2019. 
  • “European Dreams and Fictions,” with Jonathan Coe, Olivia Rosenthal, Sophie Lewis, and Claudia Durastanti, Beyond Words French Literature Festival, Institut Francais London, May 2019.
  • “A Conversation about the French edition of Temporada de huracanes” with Fernanda Melchor and Joachim Schnerf, CWT event at AUP, March 2019.
  • “Berlin als Schaffensort (series)” with Dag Solstad and Audun Lindholm. Sponsored by Royal Norwegian Embassy in Berlin and Norwegian Literature Abroad, Literaturhaus-Berlin, March 2019.
  • “Beckett als Briefschreiber” with Dan Gunn, Gyorgy Dragoman, Chris Hirte, Ulrich Matthes, and Ulrich Peltzer, Akademie der Künste (German Academy of the Arts), February 2019. 
  • “What Does the Fox Say?” with Dubravka Ugresic, Bergen International Literature Festival. Bergen, February 2019.
  • “Translating Sorrow” with James Montgomery (about Cahier 32), Bergen International Festival, February 2019. 
  • “What Is Literary Quality?” with Ane Farsethås, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Kari Marstein, Peter Nielsen, and Eirik Vassenden, Bergen International Literature Festival, Bergen, February 2019.
  • “Berlin als Schaffensort (series)” with Tomasz Różycki and Maria Stepanova. Literaturhaus-Berlin, December 2018.
  • “TOLEDO on Tour Presents Music & Literature” with Dagmara Kraus, Daniel Levin Becker, Ulrike Draessner, and Roman Yusipey. Collaboration with Leipziger Literarischen Herbst. Kupfersaal, Leipzig, October 2018.
  • “Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translator’s Manifesto” with Mark Pollizzotti and Russell Williams. CWT event at AUP, October 2018.
  • “Companions” with Christina Hesselholdt, CWT event at American University of Paris, October 2018.
  • “CWT Salon” with Lisa Davidson, Amanda Dennis, Spencer Matheson, Aaron Park, and Aysegul Savas, CWT event at American University of Paris, September 2018.
  • “Berlin als Schaffensort (series)” with Eugene Ostashevsky and Sasha Mariana Salzmann, Literaturhaus-Berlin, July 2018.
  • “Schafe können sicher weiden” with Maxim Ossipow and Birgit Weit. Festival and award ceremony for 2018 Internationaler Literaturpreis. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, June 2018.
  • “Berlin als Schaffensort (series)” with Unsuk Chin, Clemens J. Setz, and Wu Wei. Co-sponsored by Music & Literature (European launch of Issue 8), Literaturhaus-Berlin, March 2018.
  • “European Literary Salon” with Jakuta Alikavasovic, Claire-Louise Bennett, and Esther Kinsky, Institut Français, London, May 2018.
  • “A Conversation with the 2018 Paris Writers’ Resident” with Daniel Hahn, event sponsored by AUP Creative Writing and University of Kent-Paris, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, March 2018.
  • “Berlin als Schaffensort (series)” with Lina Meruane and Samanta Schweblin, Literaturhaus-Berlin, March 2018.
  • “Publishing, Translation, and the Academy.” Faculty panel discussion with Danielle Dutton and Martin Riker, Washington University in St. Louis, February 2018.“
  • “This Little Art with Kate Briggs,” CWT event at American University of Paris, January 2018.
  • “Launch of Music & Literature No.8” with Éric Chevillard, Alyson Waters, and Rick Moody, sponsored by Yale French Department and French Book Office, Yale University, New Haven, November 2018.
  • “Launch of Music & Literature No.8” with Éric Chevillard, Mark Turner, Jeremy M. Davies, Alyson Waters, Kevin Sun, sponsored by French Book Office, Poets House, New York City, October, 2018.
  • Moderator and speaker at Triangular Talks: Intersections in English-, French- and German-Language Literature, Institut Francais, London, March 2017.
  • A conversation with Eugene Ostashevsky at Shakespeare & Company, March 2017.
  • A conversation with Florence Noiville at Shakespeare & Company, Paris, February 2017 
  • A conversation with Edwin Frank at Shakespeare & Company, Paris, November 2016.
  • Moderator of event featuring winners of 2016 Man Booker International Prize Han Kang and Deborah Smith, American University of Paris, September 2016.
  • Moderator and panelist for Man Booker International panel at Edinburgh International Book Festival, August 2016.
  • Moderator and panelist for Can Xue event at Edinburgh International Book Festival, August 2016.
  • Panelist for The Fall of Language in the Age of English with Minae Mizumura and others at Bradford Literature Festival, Bradford, May 2016.
  • Speaker at event celebrating the shortlist for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize with Boyd Tonkin and Fiammetta Rocco at Shakespeare & Company, Paris, April 2016.
  • Moderator and speaker at launch event for Music & Literature no.6 (Alejandra Pizarnik, Victoria Polevá, Dubravka Ugrešić), Norwich, November 2015.
  • Conversation with David Wagner about Robert Walser, opening event of the annual meeting of the Robert-Walser-Gesellschaft, Goethe Institut Paris, October 2015.
  • Speaker for Music & Literature vs. Vagant: On Transatlantic Publishing at Kapittel International Festival of Literature and Freedom of Expression, Stravagen, September 2015.
  • Panelist for The Role of Literary Journals in Showcasing Translated Literature, London Book Fair, April 2015.
  • Moderator and speaker at launch event for Music & Literature no.5 (Kaija Saariaho, Stig Sæterbakken, Can Xue) at Shakespeare & Company, Paris, February 2015.
  • Speaker at celebration of The White Review and Music & Literature at Hannah Barry Gallery, London, February 2015.
  • Moderator and speaker at launch event for Music & Literature no.5 (Kaija Saariaho, Stig Sæterbakken, Can Xue) at Nordic Embassies, Berlin, January 2015.
  • Panelist at presentation for Cahier de l’Herne edition on Franz Kafka, Goethe Institut Paris, December 2014.
  • Moderator and panelist for Celebrating Roberto Bolaño with Enrique Vila-Matas, Natasha Soobramanien, and Rodge Glass at Edinburgh International Book Festival, August 2014.
  • Moderator and interpreter for panels on contemporary Arabic literature with Samuel Shimon (novelist and editor of Banipal and Kikah magazines) and Margaret Obank (co-founder of Banipal) at the International Literature Festival, Berlin, September 2013.
  • Moderator and panelist at launch event for Cahier 18 (Elfriede Jelinek on Robert Walser) with Katie Kitamura and Damion Searls, McNally Jackson Bookstore in New York City, June 2013.
  • Speaker at launch event for issue 2 of Music & Literature (László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr and Max Neumann), Berlin, May 2013.
  • Panelist and interpreter at launch event for Cahier 18 (Elfriede Jelinek), Goethe Institut Paris, February 2013.
  • Moderator and panelist for Celebrating Franz Kafka with Yiyun Li at Edinburgh International Book Festival, August 2012.
  • Panelist for László Krasznahorkai: The Melancholy of Resistance with László Krasznahorkai and Colm Toíbín at Edinburgh International Book Festival, August 2011.
  • Panelist for Writing, Memory and Landscape in W.G. Sebald with Jo Catling and Geoff Dyer at Edinburgh Book Festival, August 2011.