PhD students 1st cohort

Monika Ludwig

Monika Ludwig

Curriculum Vitae

Monika Ludwig (born 1988) earned her Bachelor in German studies and Romance studies (Spanish) at Friedrich Schiller University Jena from 2009 to 2012. She continued her studies at FSU from 2012 to 2015 with a Master of Literature, Art, and Culture, majoring in German studies and with minors in art history and film studies, modern history and Spanish literature studies. During her studies she worked as an assistant in the Institute for Romance Studies and in the Institute for German Literature Studies (chair of German Medieval Studies). She was a PhD student at the ‘Romanticism as a Model’ research training group from October 2015 through February 2019.

PhD project

Close to the Edge of an Abyss: Romantic Subjects at Risk in German and Spanish Works of Dark Romanticism

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the understanding of autonomy and individualization changed profoundly following sociocultural modernization processes in Europe. This development and its consequences for the self are extensively discussed in the theoretical writings and literary works of authors of the period. Especially for the Romantics (1790 1850) the autonomous subject tends to be a central part of their artistic creations. The subjectʼs permanent search for the absolute and its total freedom in the sphere of the imagination are indications of the dissolution of the subject and of artistic limits within Romantic discourse. However, that which is considered an opportunity to feel ‘complete’ in (early) Romanticism undergoes an existential reinterpretation in the so-called ‘Dark Romanticism’: Neither reality nor the inner world offer anchors for the personal identity by which means the Romantic subject is constantly at the edge of an abyss. A main objective of the dissertation project is therefore to show the different ways of representing a potential danger for the Romantic self and to discuss functions of the ‘Dark Romantic’. Closer specification of Dark Romanticism is required, since previous studies present a remarkably inconsistent image of Dark Romanticism. Here it is understood to be “an undercurrent” (K. Geltinger) to the historical Romantic period. The relationship between the main current and the undercurrent will be illustrated with recourse to model theory according to which Dark Romanticism can be considered a particular manifestation of the original model of Romanticism. The effectiveness of this approach will be demonstrated by analyzing works by German authors (including E. A. F. Klingemann, L. Tieck and E. T. A. Hoffmann) in comparison with works from Spain (including from G. A. Bécquer). Ultimately this will clarify the variation and range of a Dark Romantic movement within the European phenomenon of Romanticism.


Kleinere Beiträge

Werner Busch/Petra Maisak (Hg.), unter Mitwirkung von Sabine Weisheit: Füsslis Nachtmahr. Traum und Wahnsinn. Ausstellungskatalog, Petersberg 2017:
o    Die Nacht und ihre Geschöpfe seit der Romantik, S. 187-188.
o    Kat.-Nr. 124: Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853). Der blonde Eckbert, S. 191-192.
o    Kat.-Nr. 125: Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822). Der Sandmann, S. 192.
o    Kat.-Nr. 138: Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855). Aurelia oder Der Traum und das Leben, S. 200-201.
o    Kat.-Nr. 139: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). Das schwatzende Herz und andere Novellen, S. 201.
o    Kat.-Nr. 140: Alfred Kubin (1877-1959). Wahnsinn, S. 202.


  • ‚La cruz del diablo‘ como expresión moderna de la tradición oral popular [Intensivprogramm: El pueblo y su voz en el espacio cultural europeo, Universität zu Köln, 20. Juli – 1. August 2012]