Kollegiat:innen 3. Kohorte

Andrew Wildermuth, M.A. (10/2021-03/2022)

Andrew Wildermuth, M.A. (10/2021-03/2022)

Curriculum Vitae

Andrew Wildermuth is a research associate in “The Sentimental in Literature, Culture, and Politics” at the University of Erlangen–Nuremberg. He holds an MA in North American studies from the University of Erlangen–Nuremberg (2021) and a BA in English from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (2017). From 2021–22, he was a research associate in “Modell Romantik” at the University of Jena. His research interests include critical theory, poetry, and nineteenth-century U.S. literature. His dissertation is a comparative analysis of “malleability”—or, the aesthetics and politics of change—in U.S. literature from 1830–1870. His poems have appeared in journals like Oxford Poetry, Columbia Journal, and Ninth Letter. His critical work has appeared in Iperstoria, aspeers, and ZAA: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik.


American Malleability: The Aesthetics and Politics of Change in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature

My dissertation is a revisionist literary historical project examining “malleability”—or, the aesthetics and politics of change—in the literature of the United States, from 1830–1870. I posit three different “tendencies” in such engagement with the malleable: the liberal-reform, the radical-critical, and the nihilist avant-garde. I compare texts by authors including Margaret Fuller, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, John Rollin Ridge, Frances Harper, and Emily Dickinson. I am interested in the categories of the human, the flesh, and the nation, and how these were variously negotiated in literary texts in a time of public debate over who and what was capable of being changed, and who was able to direct this change, amid the solidification of a settler-colonial nation with expanding systems of slavery, industrialization, and war.


  • “Grammar and Violence as Change: Malleability in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” Amerikastudien / American Studies (Under Review, Fall 2023)
  • “‘Water, Water Everywhere’: Flows, Fate, and Transcendental Settlerism in Margaret Fuller’s Summer on the Lakes, in 1843.” Iperstoria 19 (2022): 49–65. iperstoria.it/article/view/1150
  • “Measured Life: Making Live, the ‘Modern System of Science,’ and the Animated Bodies of Frankenstein.” ZAA: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 69, no. 4 (2021): 331–48.
  • “’A Thing Apart’: Sonnet Poetics and Radical Politics in Claude McKay’s Harlem Shadows.” aspeers 14 (2021): 15–31.

Poems (select)

  • “London, Something Like Work” and “Teach Me to Breathe,” Oxford Poetry (forthcoming)
  • “2x,” Cola Literary Review (2023)
  • “Containers,” Ninth Letter (2022)
  • “Subdued Ochre,” Miracle Monocle (2021)
  • “Amerikanistik,” Columbia Journal (2020)


  • “‘Pamphlets of a Very Seditious and Inflammatory Character’: Inflammation and Injury in David Walker’s Appeal,” Refuse/Refusal: Biennial Symposium of the British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, University of Bristol, England, December 2023
  • “We, You, and Me: Pronouns, Protest, and Baez–Dylan in D.C.,” Sentimental Ballads in Popular Music, International Symposium, University of Siegen, Germany, September 2023
  • “Foraging, Forging, Forgoing: Thoreau as Settler Disaster,” Annual Conference of the Bavarian American Academy, Munich, Germany, July 2023
  • “Reading the Body Politic: Phrenology and Ideology in Moby Dick and Woman in the Nineteenth Century,” Annual Conference of the British Association of American Studies, Keele University, England, April 2023
  • “Reading, Liberatory Violence, and Malleability in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” Infrastructures of Racism and the Contours of Black Vitality and Resistance: An International Conference, University of Torino, Italy, March 2023