• Profile Image
  • Dominik Zechner
  • Assistant Professor
  • Degree: Ph.D., New York University
  • Email: dominik.zechner@rutgers.edu
  • Office: 15 Seminary Place, 4th floor
  • Campus: College Avenue Campus
  • Office Hours: Mondays, 3:00pm/ Thursdays, 2:00pm 





Research Interests:

Dominik Zechner’s research is informed by a variety of fields and subjects including literature, literary theory, philosophy, media, pedagogy, sexuality, and politics.

In his dissertation, The Survival of Literature, he examines literature’s relation to finitude using the striking example of Kafka’s works. The study investigates the representability of death in literature and defines survival as a movement that inherently structures the possibility of language.

More recent research is oriented toward problems concerning the pedagogical imperative, appraising the ways in which violence, sexuality, and education intersect in modern literary, cinematic, and theoretical scenes of learning and instruction. In side projects and co-edited volumes, Professor Zechner has been occupied with the question of prestige, literary prizes and prize speeches; Paul Celan and his relationship with philosophy; Walter Benjamin’s early writings on school reform and educational critique; and various aspects regarding the prose of Thomas Bernhard.

His wider research and teaching interests include: philology, rhetorical reading, hermeneutics, and deconstruction; psychoanalysis; phenomenology; modernism; 19th and 20th century literature and philosophy; contemporary literature; popular media cultures and pop literature.


2019: Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Pembroke Center, Brown University

2018: Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities

2018: Young Scholars Prize, International Walter Benjamin Society

2016: Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Arts and Science, NYU

2016: Otto Mainzer Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Science, NYU

2011: Joint Study Fellowship, University of Vienna/NYU Tisch School of the Arts


Articles (selected):

“Kittler and Heidegger: The Trouble with Ent-fernung,” The Technological Introject: Friedrich Kittler between Implementation and the Incalculable, eds. Jeffrey Champlin and Antje Pfannkuchen (New York: Fordham, 2018), 123-36.

“The Prize-Bearers: A Brief Introduction,” MLN 131.5 (December 2016), 1155-63.

“Thomas Bernhard, Prizefighter,” MLN 131.5 (December 2016), 1218-35.

“Aporias of Survival: Kafka’s Alien Incursion,” Experimental Practices 1: Narrating Life – Experiments with Human and Animal Bodies in Literature, Science and Art, ed. Stefan Herbrechter and Elisabeth Friis (Leiden and Boston: Brill/Rodopi, 2015), 191-210.

Edited Volumes:

The Bestowal: What Is a Prize? MLN 131.5 (Comparative Literature Issue), December 2016.


“Lesen nach Freundschaft oder Wie ich zur Germanistin wurde – bevor sie mich rausschmissen und wieder reinließen” [“Reading for Friendship; or, How I became a Germanist before they kicked me out and let me back in,” by Avital Ronell], Lesen: Ein Handapparat, eds. Hans-Christian von Herrmann and Jeannie Moser (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2015), 99-110.

“Unter Einfluss” [“Under the Influence,” by Christopher Wood], Einfluss, Strörmung, Quelle: Aquatische Metaphern der Kunstgeschichte, eds. Ulrich Pfisterer and Christine Tauber (Bielefeld: transcript, 2019), 327-46.