Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary
Directory Page Title

Robert Leventhal

Office: Washington Hall 315B
Email: [[rsleve]]
Website: {{}}

Rob Leventhal received his B.A. from Grinnell College (German and Philosophy) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in German Literature and Thought from Stanford University. He has taught at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Virginia prior to William & Mary. He teaches German Literature from the 17th century to the present, including the Modern German Critical Thought series, the Introduction to German Literature, Contemporary German Literaure, The Modern City, Advanced Grammar and Stylistics, and Kafka. In 2013, he taught a Group Independent Study on "Contemporary Research on Spinoza," focusing on the work of Deleuze, Balibar, Macherey, Melamed, Badiou, and Negri.

His research is currently focused on the emergence of the psychological case history at the crossroads between literature and medicine 1750-1830, on which he has just completed a book titled Making the Case: Psychological Case Histories and the Emergence of Modern German Literature. His other project concerns the Spinoza-Renaissance in Germany, 1750-1800, in which he is focused on Herder's early Spinoza reception and studies 1768-1778, a transcription of the "Blue Notebooks," and Herder's Gott, einige Gespraeche (1787).  Rob has written on G.E. Lessing, J.G. Herder, F. Schlegel, Kant,  Karl Philipp Moritz, Marcus Herz, Kafka, Thomas Bernhard, Wim Wenders, Jewish Identity and Community in Munich, and, most recently, the birth of Kriegsarzneywissenschaft (War Medicine) in Germany, 1700-1763 in: Stefanie Stockhorst, ed., Krieg und Frieden (Hannover: Wehrhahn, 2014) and "Gattungen und System der Kritik bei Friedrich Schlegel," Athenäum: Zeitschrift für Romantik 24 (2014), 99-146. Recent articles include: "The Jew as Respondent, Confidant, and Proxy: Marcus Herz and Immanuel Kant, 1770-1797" in: On the Word of a Jew: Oaths, Testimonies, and the Nature of Trust. Ed. Nina Caputo and Mitchell Hart (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017);  "Lessing and the Enlightenment," in: Johannes Endres, ed.,  Friedrich-Schlegel-Handbuch (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2015), 34-39 and "Eins und Alles: Herders Aneignung von Spinoza," Publications of the English Goethe Society 86.2 (2017).

CV in PDF Format

Book Publications

Robert S. Leventhal, Making the Case: Narrative Psychological Case Histories and the Invention of Individuality in German, 1750-1800 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2019) 


Robert S. Leventhal, The Disciplines of Interpretation: Lessing, Herder, Schlegel and the Emergence of Hermeneutics in Germany 1750-1800 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1994)

Disciplines of Interpretation
Robert S. Leventhal, ed., Reading after Foucault: Institutions, Disciplines, and Technologies of the Self in Germany 1750--1830 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1994) (=Kritik: German Literary Theory and Cultural Studies) Reading after Foucault