Sabine Gölz

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Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature
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Prof. Gölz teaches German and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa's Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. She is also active in the University of Iowa's Program in Literary Translation. In addition to her scholarly work, she also has worked with photography and makes documentary films.

Education: PhD, Cornell University, 1987


My teaching and research interests include theories of textuality, gender and figurative language, theory and poetics of reading, the history and social impact of the invention of writing, manuscript studies, the relation of photography and textuality, performativity, and the construction of "space," and urban semiotics.  

Books in progress:

  • Reading and Retranslation (Edited Volume, with Adrienne Rose)
  • The Unconscious is in the Construction: Gender, Mimesis and Poetic Architecture in Walter Benjamin’s “Arcades” Essays (working title)


Book and Edited Special Issue:


  • “Introduction: Against Assimilation,” in Special Issue of Konturen on Re-Thinking Gender in Reading: (January 2019)
  • “Apostrophe’s Double,” in special Issue of Konturen on Re-Thinking Gender in Reading: (January 2019)
  • “‘Böhmen liegt am Meer’ - Die Heimkehr in den Grund.” In: Die Waffen nieder! Lay down your Weapons!" Ingeborg Bachmann's Schreiben gegen den Krieg, ed. Karl Solibakke and Karina von Tippelskirch. Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann 2012, 135-151
  • "Wenn Ich zu K. geht: Überlegungen zum Begriff der literarischen Mannigfaltigkeit, anhand von Kafkas "Ehepaar-Heft,” in: Franz Kafka und Robert Walser im Dialog, ed. Vesna Kondrič Horvat, Berlin: Weidler Buchverlag, 2010; 348-380
  • "In welcher Richtung liegt die Rettung? Geburtstag begehen bei Bachmann und Benjamin,” in Topographien einer Künstlerpersönlichkeit. Neue Annäherungen an das Werk Ingeborg Bachmanns, ed. Barbara Agnese and Robert Pichl, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2009, 135-159
  • ”Aura di San Pellegrino. Anmerkungen zu Benjamin-Archiv Ms. 931,” in: Benjamin-Studien, I, 1 (2008), 209-228. – Re-published online, with corrections, in 2017
  • "Kafka und die Parabel / das Parabolische: Gibs auf!, Von den Gleichnissen und Der Jäger Gracchus,” Kafka-Handbuch, ed. Prof. Oliver Jahraus and Bettina von Jagow, Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2008, 239-249
  • "Geistesgegenwart als Lichtung im Ähnlichen: Bachmanns ‘Heute’ oder Benjamins ‘Jetztzeit’?" in Re-Acting to Ingeborg Bachmann, ed. Caitriona Leahy and Bernadette Cronin, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2006, 97-109
  • “Moscow for Flaneurs: Pedestrian Bridges, Europe Square, and Moskva-City,” article with 10 photographs, in: Public Culture 18:3 (2006), 573-605.
  • "How Ethnic am I?" PMLA, January 1998, 46-51
  • "One Must Go Quickly From One Light Into Another: Between Ingeborg Bachmann and Jacques Derrida." In: Borderwork: Feminist Engagements with Comparative Literature. Edited by Margaret Higonnet. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994, 207-223; re-published as part of an e-book edition on 15 February 2018:
  • "Buttons." In: SubStance 68. 1992. 77-90
  • "Reading in the Twilight: Canonization, Gender, the Limits of Language -- and a Poem by Ingeborg Bachmann." In: New German Critique 47. Spring/ Summer 1989. 29-52
  • "Günderrode Mines Novalis,” in The Spirit of Poesy, ed. by Peter Fenves and Richard Block, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2000, 89-130.


  • 2021, In production: Gypsy Vengerka: Music and Culture of the Russian Roma (with Oleg Timofeyev, projected length ca. 90 min.)
  • 2017 Sorabji in Iowa (35’35”, producer)
  • 2016 ,Richard Gölz: Der Kantor Schwabens (Engl. Title: The Cantor of Swabia), feature-length documentary (106 min.; with Oleg Timofeyev; camera, editing, English subtitles); DVD available at: or contact me. See the trailer at
  • 2011, Mrii pro Mynule (English Title: “Dreaming Up The Past: Early Music in Ukraine”), 2011, Documentary film, 57 min., in Ukrainian, Russian, and English; with Oleg Timofeyev; camera, editing, English subtitles.)
  • 2010, Take Off One Ear (22’; experimental music documentary; camera, editing, English subtitles)
  • 2009, Czar’s Guitars Go Russia, short music video clip;
  • 2008, Frautschi, 2008, 49min., documentary, in Russian; English, German, French and Spanish subtitles; producer, camera, editor; co-directed with Oleg Timofeyev;


I have taught a wide variety of courses on literary theory, European literature, and World Literature. Advanced and graduate courses have focused on Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Ingeborg Bachmann, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Søren Kierkegaard, and on topics such as “The Gender of Language,” “City as Text/Text as City,” and “Geometries of Literary and Cultural Spaces.”


    • CL:2248 The Invention of Writing: Cuneiform to Computers
    • CL:3131 Undergraduate Reading Workshop
    • GRMN:3200/TRNS:3200 Literary Translation from German
    • CL:4800 Seminar in Comparative Literature (on varying topics, such as Franz Kafka as a Global Author; Poetry and Poetics of Charles Baudelaire; Modes of Repetition: Citation, Revision, Translation; Reading and Retranslation; Comparative Poetics and the Discourse on World Literature Today)