Paola Mayer | College of Arts

Paola Mayer

Picture of Professor Paola Mayer
Professor, German and European Studies
School of Languages and Literatures
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 ext. 58562
MacKinnon 255


  • B.A. University of Toronto
  • M.A. Princeton University
  • Ph.D. Princeton University
Fields of Specialization
  • German Romantic literature and thought
  • Myth and fairy tales in German culture, 18th -19th century
  • The uncanny and fantastic in German literature and theory
  • Early 20th Century German-Jewish literature


Current Research Projects
  • Working Title: Leo Perutz and his Circle (with Ruediger Mueller)
Edited Volumes:
  • Anthology (co-edited with Ruediger Mueller): Alexander Moritz Frey, Der Mensch und anderen Erzählungen. Elsinor Verlag, forthcoming 2021


  • The Aesthetics of Fear in German Romanticism. Kingston & Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 2020.
  • Jena Romanticism and its Appropriation of Jacob Böhme: Theosophy – Hagiography – Literature. Kingston & Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 1999.
Books Edited
  • Special issue of Oxford German Studies 46.1 (2017): Satires of Dehumanization 1918-1945. Co-edited with Ruediger Mueller and Helena Tomko.
  • Traditions in German Literature: Romanticism, Humanism, Judaism. Essays in Memory of Hans Eichner.  Co-edited with Hartwig Mayer and Jean Wilson. Bern: Lang, 2012.
  • Benedikte Naubert. Neue Volksmärchen der Deutschen. Edited, with commentary and afterword by Marianne Henn, Paola Mayer & Anita Runge. 4 vols. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2001.
Refereed Articles
  •  “Transgressive Science in E.T.A. Hoffmann's Fantastic Tales.” Christopher R. Clason (ed.). E.T.A. Hoffmann: Transgressive Romanticism. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 2018. pp. 65-81.
  • co-authored with Ruediger Mueller: “Fascism as Dehumanization: Alexander Moritz Frey's Political Fables.” Oxford German Studies 46:1 (2017):  58-74.
  • “Jean Paul, E.T.A. Hoffmann and the Definition of the Romantic.” Hartwig Mayer, Paola Mayer, Jean Wilson (eds). Romanticism, Humanism, Judaism: The Legacy of Hans Eichner. Bern: Peter Lang, 2012. pp. 115-138.
  • “The Veiled Goddess and the Naked Truth: Revisiting Schiller’s and Novalis’s Adaptations of the Sais Myth.” Germanisch-romanische Monatsschrift 61 (2011):  145-164.
  • “Religious Conversion and the Dark Side of Music: Kleist’s Die Heilige Cäcilie oder die Gewalt der Musik and Hoffmann’s Das Sanctus.” Colloquia Germanica 40 (2009): 237-258.
  • “Variations on a Romantic Theme: The Education of the Artist in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Der Kampf der Sänger and Der Feind.Seminar 43:3 (2007): 280-300.
  • Reflections on Mythology: Eichendorff’s Response to Schiller and Novalis.” Euphorion 101:2 (2007): 197-225.
  • “Melusine: The Romantic Appropriation of a Medieval Tale,” Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift 52.2 (2002): 289-302.
  • “Das Unheimliche als Strafe und Warnung: Zu einem Aspekt von E.T.A. Hoffmanns Kritik an der Frühromantik.”  E.T.A.  Hoffmann Jahrbuch 8 (2000).  56-68.
  • “Reinventing the Sacred: The Romantic Myth of Jakob Böhme.” German Quarterly 69.3 (1996): 247-59.
  • “Die unheimliche Landschaft: Ein Aspekt von Eichendorffs lyrischer Dichtung.” Athenaeum 5 (1995): 169-96.