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Marcel Schmid

Assistant Professor, General Faculty

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and by appointment.

Specialties: Contemporary German Literature; German Romanticism; Science, Media and Technology; Environmental Studies


I teach classes in German language, literature and culture, particularly on Serial Media, early German environmental movements, and Fairy Tales, which I established as popular courses in the German curriculum. 

I studied history, German literature, and art history at the University of Zurich, Yale, and New York University, and I wrote a dissertation on the concept of autopoiesis in literature. Prior to my appointment at UVa I have been a visiting scholar at Yale and Brown University, and a postdoctoral fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation. 

I am interested in literary history, specifically relating to the German Life Reform movement and the interface between literary analysis and technology. In the past few years, I have written and edited books on self-reference in literature and the life reform movement. I have also published in the Feuilleton of the Neue Zürcher ZeitungCurrently, I am working on a book project on car aesthetics. And I just finished co-editing a volume on the Swiss author Christian Kracht.




  • Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Virginia for the Course Design Institute (2019)
  • Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar, Brown University / Swiss National Science Foundation Advanced Postdoctoral Scholar (2017-2018)
  • Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar, Yale University / Early Postdoctoral Fellow, Swiss National Science Foundation (2015-2017)
  • Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation (Visiting Graduate Student, New York University / Yale University) (2011-2013)


  • “Lebensreform um 1900.“ Conference “Reinheit und die Ordnung des Politischen (1900-2000),” Universität Koblenz, May 12, 2023.
  • "Dream Car." with Lowell Paddock, former GM Planning Director, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA, January 19, 2019.
  • “The German Life Reform Movement.” Workshop “A Stronger Body for a Healthier Mind.” The IUPUI Max Kade German-American Center & IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, Indianapolis IN, November 2018.
  • "Seriality and Immediacy: The Journal Projects of the German Romantics." Uehiro Academy for Philosophy and Ethics in Education, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, April 2018.


  • “Refugee Urban Integration: Experiences and Challenges from Berlin, Charlottesville, and Tel-Aviv," September 7, 2023. Panel Discussion at UVa, co-organized with Zvi Gilboa. With the support of UVa Center for German Studies; UVa Jewish Studies Program; UVa European Studies; UVa Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; UVa Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures.
  • “The State as Experiment: Visions, Voices, Margins, A Centenary Symposium in Memory of Josef Popper-Lynkeus (1838-1921),” April 6-8, 2022. International Symposium at UVa, co-organized with Manuela Achilles and Asher Biemann. With the support of the Page-Barbour Funds; Virginia Center for the Study of Religion; UVa Center for German Studies; UVa Jewish Studies Program; UVa European Studies; UVa Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; UVa Global Affairs; UVa Center for Politics, Global Perspectives, and Democracy; UVa Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
  • “German Studies on the Line or the Need for a Passionate Humanities.” Panel for the 44th annual conference of the German Studies Association (GSA) 2020, co-organized with Stefan Bronner, University of Connecticut.
  • “Conceptual Clarity and Blurred Vision. Details in Early Modern and Romantic Thinking.” Workshop at Yale University, April 2017, co-organized with Evelyn Dueck, UPenn / University of Geneva).