Fatima Naqvi, on leave

Fatima Naqvi's picture
Elias W. Leavenworth Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures & Film and Media Studies
P.O. Box 208251 New Haven, CT 06520-8210

Research Areas

German film from Weimar to the present, Austrian culture from the 19th to the 21st century (literature, film, architecture), Post-1945 literature from the German-speaking world, Spatial theory, Landscape studies, Affect theory, Media studies


Fatima Naqvi is Elias W. Leavenworth Professor of German and Film and Media Studies (FMS); she is currently chair of the FMS program. Her work is situated at the intersection of literature, film, and architecture. In her research and teaching, the environment as it relates to human experience stands in the foreground. Her work is deeply committed to curmudgeons, nay-sayers, and querulous types: Thomas Bernhard, Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke, Ulrich Seidl, Michael Haneke, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Friederike Mayröcker, and Ruth Beckermann are privileged subjects of study.

Recent work has looked at the interplay between landscape and what is known as “coming to terms” with the traumatic past in the Federal Republic of Germany after World War II. In The Insulted Landscape (2021), she groups strange bedfellows—Alexander Kluge, Wim Wenders, Peter Handke, Alexander Mitscherlich and Albert Speer—to show how discourses on the landscape become prominent simultaneously with the rehabilitation of Hitler’s premier architect and renewed interest in the Nazis’ conceptualization of landscape.

At the moment, she is working on a book on the “architectures of illness”: hospitals, clinics, and sanatoria in Vienna. Focusing on the period of 1880-2020, she examines the construction of clinics in the waning years of the Austro-Hungarian empire. In this period, hospitals mold the modern experience of the emergent middle class. (please see Yale Today for a short video on the project https://news.yale.edu/2023/08/28/meet-fas-faculty-fatima-naqvi?utm_source=YaleToday&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YT_YaleToday-Staff_8-30-2023) Another current project focuses on the topic of fremdschämen—the sense of shame for another—in contemporary media culture (with special attention to the works of Ulrich Seidl, Erwin Wurm, and Elfriede Jelinek).

She invites students from all parts of the university to help her think about such problems in courses such as “Landscape, Film, and Architecture” and “Post War German Film.” She strives for an inclusive classroom experience, where varied viewpoints can be expressed.

She has written books on the perception of victimhood in Western European culture between 1968 and the new millennium (The Literary and Cultural Rhetoric of Victimhood, 2007). The scintillating films of Michael Haneke have been a persistent focus, with three books titled Trügerische Vertrautheit (Deceptive Familiarity, 2010), Michael Haneke: Interviews (2020), and The White Ribbon (2020). She began exploring the built environment in her book on the intersection of the architectural avantgarde and the discourse of Bildung in novels by Thomas Bernhard (How We Learn Where We Live, 2016). She has held visiting professorships at the Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz and Harvard University, and for many years she taught at Rutgers University. In what feels like another lifetime, she attended Dartmouth (BA) and Harvard (MA, PhD).

Highlighted Publications

“Fassbinder’s Fascist Drag,” Facing Drag, eds. Evelyn Annuß and Julia Ostwald (forthcoming Vienna: mdwPress, 2023).

Fremdschämen: The Ethics of Embarrassment in Ulrich Seidl, Erwin Wurm, and Elfriede Jelinek,” Utopie und Dystopie, eds. Martin Vejvar und Nicole Streitler-Kastberger (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2023) 197–21

Choral Figurations. Co-editor of special issue of The Germanic Review 98.2 (2023); intro+translation of Ulrike Haß’s Kraftfeld Chor

Angst vor dem Krankenhaus [Fear of Hospitals]. Co-editor of special issue of Literatur + Kritik (March 2022)

The Insulted Landscape: Postwar German Culture 1960-1995 (Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 2021)