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Photo of Mani

B. Venkat Mani

Associate Professor
On Sabbatical Leave 2008-09
858 Van Hise Hall


B. Venkat Mani joined the German Department, UW-Madison as Assistant Professor in 2001. He is a faculty affiliate of the Center for German and European Studies, the Center for European Studies, Global Studies, Women’s Studies Research Center, and Program in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. He served as Interim Director of Global Studies in 2007-08.

Mani received his BA (Honors) and MA in German Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1990-95). He was the recipient of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund Award for academic excellence (1995). He received an MA (1996) and PhD (2001) in German Studies from Stanford University. He has also studied at Universität Wien (1994), Freie Universität, Berlin (1998-99), and Bogaziçi Universitesi, Istanbul (1998). He was one of the recipients of Stanford University’s Centennial Teaching Award (2000), and a Geballe Dissertation Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center (2000-01). He has received several research grants and awards at UW-Madison. Most recent ones include a German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) grant for the Center for German and European Studies for the interdisciplinary project, “Positioning Modern Germany in the World: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism, Colonialism, and Migration”; a Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities (Spring 2009); and the Social Science Research Council Grant for the UW-Madison Project, “Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates.” Collaborators for this grant include Global Studies [Leader], UW-Madison’s Title VI National Resource Centers at the Division of International Studies, Division of Information Technology, and Wisconsin Public Radio.

Mani’s research and teaching interests include 19th and 20th century German and European literature, culture, and philosophy. He has designed and taught several new undergraduate and graduate courses at UW-Madison on German literature from the 19th to 21st centuries, post-1945 German identity, German engagements with India, European literature and migration, the idea of Europe, and German Studies from colonial/postcolonial perspectives. His work considers theories of multiculturalism, post-colonialism, migration, globalization, and cosmopolitanism. His current research projects include “Transposed Signs of Modernity,” a study of German-Indian engagements, and “Borrowing Privileges,” a study on comparative literature and world literature. His work has enriched from collaborative, interdisciplinary research with gradate students and faculty from a variety of disciplines. He was the co-organizer of the Mellon Workshop “Cosmopolitan Cultures, Cosmopolitan Histories” (2005-07) and is a co-leader of the “World Literature/s Research Workshop” 2007-09, (sponsored by the Division of International Studies, International Institute, Global Studies, and Institute for Research in the Humanities).

Mani has served as Faculty Liaison for Stockwerk Deutsch (German Immersion Floors at the International Learning Community) and Undergraduate Advisor for Letters and Science. He is a member of the Advisory Board, UW Center for the Humanities, and a Steering Committee of Member of UW-Madison’s Institutional Reaccreditation, 2009.


Select Publications:


  •  “Cages in Search of Birds: Preliminary Reflections on Naiyer Masud.” In Annual of Urdu Studies. (2008): 21-35.
  •  “Rehearsing Acquired Privileges. The Nonnative Informant and Didactics of Difference.” (8,500 words, Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, forthcoming, 2009)
  •  “German Studies as Perpetual Difference. A Cosmopolitical Sketch.” In German Quarterly, “Forum on Globalization and German Studies” 79.3 (2006): 381-384.
  •  “The Good Woman of Istanbul. Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Die Brücke vom Goldenen Horn.” In Gegenwartsliteratur. Ein germanistisches Jahrbuch. 2 (2003): 29-58.

Seminars and New Courses:

  •     Identifying the New Europe (Ger 560)
  •     The Other Germany (Ger 676)
  •     Vertauschte Zeichen. Deutschsprachige Literatur, Philosophie und Film imaginieren Indien (Ger 948)
  •     Multiculturalism in Germany (Ger 236)
  •     Literary Lives of Death (Ger 677)
  •     Identitätsdiskurs seit 1945 (Ger 742)

Other Courses:

  •     Honors Introduction to German Literature (1784-2005) (Ger 274/84/85)
  •     Introduction to 20th Century German Literature and Culture (Ger 221)
  •     Introduction to 19th Century German Literature and Culture (Ger 222)
  •     Composition and Conversation I (Ger 225)
  •     Composition and Conversation II (Ger 226)



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