Georg Stanitzek Senior Fellow

Georg Stanitzek
April - September 2017


Georg Stanitzek (1953), is Professor of Modern German Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Siegen. Having studied German, History and Philosophy at the Universities of Cologne and Bielefeld (1974–1982), he wrote his dissertation on the meaning of "Blödigkeit" in German literature and social life of the eighteenth century. Stanitzek worked as a Research Assistant within the collaborative research center "Bürgertum" (Bielefeld) and later helped draft and coordinate the research group "Medien und kulturelle Kommunikation" at the University of Cologne, where he also completed his habilitation on the genre history of the essay in 1997. From 1997–1998 he served as an Interim Professor for Friedrich Kittler at the University of Bochum. He became Professor at the University of Siegen in 2000 where he has since led DFG-funded research projects on film title sequences and the history and intersections of bohème und boulevard. Within the research group "Medien der Kooperation," he is currently focusing on German literary public spheres of the eighteenth century, in particular on the semantics of friendship.

Fields of research

• non-fictional genres: the essay and comparable texts, their experimental manifestations, also "Ratgeberliteratur", as well as genres of academic practices and communication
• Historical Semantics, specifically focused on the social history of literature ("Dilettantismus", "Bildung", "Philistrosität")
• comparative analysis of paratexts in various media
• Media of literature: book and pamphlet – cf. his "Buch: Medium und Form–in paratexttheoretischer Perspektive", in: Buchwissenschaft in Deutschland. Ein Handbuch, ed. Ursula Rautenberg, 2 vols., Berlin: de Gruyter Saur 2010, vol. 1: Theorie und Forschung, pp. 156–200; or see his and Jan-Frederik Bandel's "Broschüren. Zur Legende vom 'Tod der Literatur'", in: Kodex. Jahrbuch der Internationalen Buchwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft 5: "Bleiwüste und Bilderflut. Geschichten über das geisteswissenschaftliche Buch," ed. Caspar Hirschi and Carlos Spoerhase (2015), pp. 59–90
• History of the New Sensibility in the 1960s and 70s (in preparation)

IKKM Research Project

Eighteenth-Century Semantics of Friendship: Concepts and Practices

Eighteenth-century literary history is still dominated by the narrative of the ascending bourgeoisie. Literary history is told as the story of emancipation; individuals, arguably no longer positioned in corporative, feudal structures, begin to appear as equals. Within the frame of this conventional narrative, friendship, characterized above all by symmetry, represents the ideal relationship. Yet social history has shown that literary public spheres emerge out of scholarly, courtly, and urban communication structures and the stubborn persistence of feudal prerogatives and patron-client relationships in eighteenth-century literary life suggests that the actual historical semantics of friendship and its multiple functions has not been fully recognized. In fact, the historical semantics of friendship has, from its Aristotelian beginnings, reflected asymmetrical social relations – and were for this very reason put to use in the modern era. – "There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals," reads Francis Bacon’s realistic assessment (Essays, 48: "Of Followers and Friends / De Clientibus, Famulis et Amicis"). An old proverb adduced by Denis Diderot in the article "Amitié" in the Encyclopédie states: "amicitia aut pares invenit, aut facit." The saying seems to suggest that the notion of friendship serves to guide processes of negotiation that allow for a situational and temporary equality under conditions of inequality. The research project will explore a mixed corpus, which consciously incorporates less cultivated, less high-status semantics, and particularly theoretical texts that thematize everyday, pragmatic dimensions of the friendship semantics, rather than simply reformulate standard notions derived from the traditional philosophical canon.

Selected publications

Bohème nach '68, ed. Walburga Hülk, Nicole Pöppel and Georg Stanitzek, Berlin: Vorwerk 8 2015.

La bohème comme milieu de formation: structure d'un topos social, trans. Isabelle Kalinowski, in: Trivium. Revue franco-allemande de sciences humaines et sociales 18: "Cultures de la créativité. Bohème historique et précarités contemporaines", ed. Walburga Hülk, Bénédicte Zimmermann and Anthony Glinoir (2014), URL:

Philister. Problemgeschichte einer Sozialfigur der neueren deutschen Literatur, ed. Remigius Bunia, Till Dembeck and Georg Stanitzek Berlin: Akademie 2011.

Essay – BRD, Berlin: Vorwerk 8 2011.

Strong ties/Weak ties: Freundschaftssemantik und Netzwerktheorie, ed. Natalie Binczek and Georg Stanitzek, Heidelberg: Winter 2010 (= Beihefte zum Euphorion. Zeitschrift für Literaturgeschichte, 55).

Reading the Title Sequence (Vorspann/Générique), trans. Noelle Aplevich, in: Cinema Journal 48,4 (Summer 2009), p. 44–58.

With Friends on the Phone: Alexander Kluge's "Networks", trans. Ellen Klein and Caroline Rued-Engel, in: IASLonline, 31.12.2008, URL:

Das Buch zum Vorspann. "The Title is a Shot", ed. Alexander Böhnke, Rembert Hüser and Georg Stanitzek, Berlin: Vorwerk 8 2006.

Ephemeres. Mediale Innovationen 1900/2000, ed. Ralf Schnell and Georg Stanitzek, Bielefeld: Transcript 2005.

Texts and Paratexts in Media, trans. Ellen Klein, in: Critical Inquiry 32,1 (Autumn 2005), p. 27–42.

Paratexte in Literatur, Film, Fernsehen, ed. Klaus Kreimeier and Georg Stanitzek, Berlin: Akademie 2004 (Reihe LiteraturForschung, ed. Eberhard Lämmert and Sigrid Weigel).

"The plastic people will hear nothing but a noice." Paratexts in Hollywood, The Beatles, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, et al., trans. Alexander Böhnke, in: Soziale Systeme 9,2: "Popular Noise in Global Systems," ed. Torsten Hahn, Nicolas Pethes and Urs Stäheli (2003), p. 321–333.

Blödigkeit. Beschreibungen des Individuums im 18. Jahrhundert, Tübingen: Niemeyer 1989 (= Hermaea. Germanistische Forschungen. Neue Folge, ed. Hans Fromm and Hans-Joachim Mähl, vol. 60).