Stefan H. Uhlig


Position Title
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Unit; Affiliated Faculty of the Graduate Program in German Studies and the Program in Critical Theory

809 Sproul

Education and degrees

  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge
  • B.A., University of Cambridge

Research interests

I work on the history of literary studies, rhetoric, poetics, historiography, aesthetics, and the history of education. I teach anglophone and European literary writing from the late seventeenth into the early nineteenth century. Before coming to UC Davis, I was a Fellow and Director of Studies at King's College in the University of Cambridge.

Courses taught

  • COM 142 (Not) At Home in Romantic Poetry 
  • COM 195 The Bildungsroman
  • COM 120 Writing Nature: 1750 to the Present
  • COM 164D The Enlightenment
  • COM 7 Fantasy and the Supernatural
  • COM 141 Comparative Critical Theory
  • COM 210 Aristotle's Poetics and its Afterlives
  • COM 255 Graduate Colloquium in Comparative Literature
  • Freshman Seminar: What is the Point of an Interpretation?
  • Freshman Seminar: Democratic Education

Selected Publications

Edited volumes and journal issues

Goethe, Worlds, and Literatures, co-edited and introduced with Daniel Purdy and Chunjie Zhang, special issue of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, 54.2 (2018)

Wordsworth’s Poetic Theory: Knowledge, Language, Experience, co-edited and introduced with Alexander Regier (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Aesthetics and the Work of Art: Adorno, Kafka, Richter, co-edited and introduced with Peter de Bolla (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)


“Rhetoric and Aesthetics,” in The Cambridge History of Rhetoric: Volume 4, Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries (1650-1900), ed. Adam Potkay and Dietmar Till (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2023)

“The Poetics of Independence,” The Cambridge History of European Romantic Literature, ed. Patrick Vincent (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020)

“Humboldt’s Populations,” in Latin American Literature in Transition, 1800-1870, ed. Ana Peluffo (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020)

“Secondary Affect in Lessing, Mendelssohn, and Nicolai,” in Affect and Literature, ed. Alex Houen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019)

“Goethe’s Figurative Method,” in The Oxford Handbook of European Romanticism, ed. Paul Hamilton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 315-39

“Ferguson’s School for Literature,” in The Poetic Enlightenment: Poetry and Human Science, 1650-1820, ed. Tom Jones and Rowan Boyson (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013), 43-57

“The Long Goodbye to Rhetoric,” in REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature. Volume 28: Mobility in Literature and Culture, 1500-1900, ed. Ingo Berensmeyer, Christoph Ehland, and Herbert Grabes (Tübingen: Narr, 2012), 237-64

“Wordsworth and Poetic Objecthood,” in Wordsworth’s Poetic Theory, ed. Stefan H. Uhlig and Alexander Regier (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 36-42

“Wordsworth, Gray, and the Ordinary Life of Poetry,” in The Meaning of “Life” in Romantic Poetry and Poetics, ed. Ross Wilson (New York: Routledge, 2009), 33-56

“Changing Fields: The Directions of Goethe’s Weltliteratur,” in Debating World Literature, ed. Christopher Prendergast (London: Verso, 2004), 26-53


Review of Stefani Engelstein, Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), Goethe Yearbook, 26 (2019), 327-9

Review of César Domínguez, Haun Saussy, and Darío Villanueva, Introducing Comparative Literature: New Trends and Applications (New York: Routledge, 2015), Comparative Critical Studies, 15:1 (2018), 132-7

Review of B. Venkat Mani, Recoding World Literature: Libraries, Print Culture, and Germany's Pact with Books (New York: Fordham, 2017), The German Quarterly, 90:3 (2017), 404-6

Review discussion with Jon Klancher, Orrin Wang, and Ross Wilson, of Jon Klancher, Transfiguring the Arts and Sciences: Knowledge and Cultural Institutions in the Romantic Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), posted at Romantic Circles (2015),

Review of Frederick Burwick and James C. McKusick, ed., Faustus: From the German of Goethe. Translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2007), The Review of English Studies, 61:251 (2010), 645-8

Review of David Marshall, The Frame of Art: Fictions of Aesthetic Experience, 1750-1815 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), Modern Philology, 105:2 (2007), 381-5