John B. Lyon

  • Professor, Department Chair

John Lyon teaches courses ranging from both graduate and undergraduate seminars on Literary and Cultural Theory, Realism, Romanticism, and Aesthetic History, to large-enrollment undergraduate lectures on Indo-European Folktales.

His research interests include German literature, philosophy and culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In his book, Crafting Flesh, Crafting the Self: Violence and Identity in Early 19th Century German Literature (Bucknell University Press, 2006), he analyzes wounded human bodies in early nineteenth-century German literature and traces their connection to changing philosophical models of the self.

His most recent book, Out of Place. German Realism, Displacement, and Modernity (Bloomsbury, 2013), reads the literature of German Realism (Raabe, Keller, and Fontane) in terms of philosophical conceptions of place, specifically as a reaction to the changing sense of place resulting from the rise of capitalism, industrialism, and the metropolis during the nineteenth century.

He has co-edited volumes on Goethe, Fontane, and Joint Authorship in the Age of Goethe and published articles on German Realism, Theodor Fontane, Wilhelm Raabe, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Georg Büchner, Clemens Brentano, Heinrich von Kleist, Johann Caspar Lavater, Novalis, Friedrich Hölderlin and Friedrich Schiller and presented widely on topics in eighteenth and nineteenth century literature, culture, and philosophy..

Education & Training

  • PhD, German, Princeton University, 1997
  • MA, German, Princeton University, 1992

Representative Publications

Gender, Collaboration, and Authorship in German Culture: Literary Joint Ventures, 1750-1850. Co-Editor with Laura Deiulio. (August 2019, Bloomsbury)

Fontane in the Twenty-First Century. Co-Editor with Brian Tucker. (May 2019, Camden House)

“Disjunctive Transnationalisms in Fontane’s Frau Jenny Treibel.” in Fontane in the Twenty-First Century. Camden House, 2019, pp. 103-120.

“Place, Motion, and Guilt in Wilhelm Raabe’s Stopfkuchen,” Seminar 53.4 (November 2017): 333-348.

Goethe Yearbook (Vol. 24, 2017): Special Section, “The Aesthetics of Space in the Goethezeit,” Co-edited with Elliott Schreiber

“Disorientation and the Subterranean in Novalis.” Goethe Yearbook 24 (Spring 2017): 85-103.

“Mirrors of Urban Life: Realism and Naturalism.” Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Berlin, Cambridge UP, 2017, pp. 52-70.

“Kleist’s ‘Bombenpost’: The Subject, Place, and Power.” Colloquia Germanica 45.2 (Spring 2012, appeared 2015): 113-127.

“Space and Place in Goethe’s ‘Alexis und Dora.’” Goethe Yearbook 21 (Spring 2013): 23-38.

Out of Place.  German Realism, Displacement, and Modernity (Bloomsbury, 2013).

“’Ach!’: Kleist’s Unsettled Endings and Benjaminian Allegory.” in Heinrich von Kleist – Style and Concept: Explorations in Literary Dissonance. De Gruyter, 2013. 113-120.

“Tactical Citation in Georg Büchner’s Leonce und Lena.” In Commitment and Compassion. Essays on Georg Büchner. Festschrift for Gerhard P. Knapp. Edited by Patrick Fortmann and Martha B. Helfer. Rodopi (Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik), 2012. 195-210.

“German Realism’s Other: The Space of Modernity.” Realism’s Others. Ed. Geoffrey Baker and Eva Aldea.  Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010. 91-106.

“Kleist’s Prinz Friedrich von Homburg and the Crisis of Masculinity.” The Germanic Review 83.2 (Spring 2008): 167-188.  Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 222.  Kathy D. Darrow, Project Editor.  285-294. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2010.

“‘The Science of Sciences:’ Replication and Reproduction in Lavater’s Physiognomics.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 40, no. 2 (Winter, 2007): 257-277.

“Büchner and Theory: Never the Twain Shall Meet?” Georg Büchner: Neue Perspektiven zur internationalen Rezeption.  Ed. Dieter Sevin.  Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2007.  219-230.

Crafting Flesh, Crafting the Self: Violence and Identity in Early 19th Century German Literature (Bucknell, 2006).

“‘You Can Kill, but You Cannot Bring to Life’: Aesthetic Education and the Instrumentalization of Pain in Schiller and Hölderlin.” Literature and Medicine 24, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 31-50.

“Mediation and Domination: Paternity, Violence, and Art in Brentano’s Godwi,” in Literary Paternity, Literary Friendship.  Essays in Honor of Stanley Corngold.  Ed. Gerhard Richter.  UNC Press, 2002, 123-135.

“‘Was nemlich mehr sei, das Ganze oder das Einzelne’:  Hölderlin’s Hyperion as an Unresolved Crisis,” German Life and Letters, vol. 51, no. 1 (January 1998), 1-14.

“The Inevitability of Rhetorical Violence:  Georg Büchner’s Danton’s Death,” Modern Language Studies, vol. 26, nos. 2 and 3 (Spring and Summer 1996), pages 99-110.  Reprinted in Drama Criticism, Vol. 35, DC-35, August 2009, Gale Cengage Learning.