Paola Mayer | College of Arts

Paola Mayer

Picture of Professor Paola Mayer
Professor, Head of European and German Studies, Academic Advisor for European and German Studies (on leave)
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.