Steven Taubeneck received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1988. His dissertation deals with the early (1900-1912) writings of Franz Kafka. He has since published several articles on Kafka, the latest dealing with In der Strafkolonie. From 1988-1992 he worked at the University of Washington in German and Comparative Literature. His interests led increasingly towards cultural studies. He has published from this perspective on methodology and on Heiner Müller and the GDR. Throughout, he has worked on postmodernism and the relations between philosophy and literature. Regarding postmodernism, he has published on architecture, literature, theory, and the difficulties of the postmodern forest; regarding philosophy, he has published on Hegel, Nietzsche, and Richard Rorty. Taubeneck argues for an interdisciplinary concept of aesthetic experience that cuts across traditional conceptual distinctions.

Thesis Supervision

Doctoral Thesis Supervision

Honours Thesis Supervision

  • Rita Laszlo, Undergraduate Honours Thesis, “Kafka and Nietzsche” (Co-supervisor)
  • Martha Adem, Undergraduate Honours Thesis, “Environmental Policies in Germany and Canada” (Co-Supervisor)
  • Claudia Davison, Undergraduate Honours Thesis in Classical Studies, “Kafka’s K and the Book of Job” (Co-Supervisor)


Selected publications:

  • “Nature, Postmodernity, and German Studies: The Case of Clayoquot Sound,” in Germanics Under Construction, Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Prospects, eds. Jorg Roche and Thomas Salumets (Munich: iudicium, 1996), 157-72.
  • “Irony, Contingency, and Postmodernity: ‘In the Penal Colony,'” Approaches to Teaching Kafka’s Short Fiction, ed. Richard T.Gray (New York: MLA (Modern Languages Association), 1995), 114-122.
  • “The Ground is No Longer Flat: Postmodernity from Architecture to Philosophy,” in Critical Architecure and Contemporary Culture, ed. William Lillyman (new York: Oxford UP, 1994), 197-209
  • “Bloom, Nietzsche, and the Critique of Postmodernism,” in Fictions of Culture. Essays in Honour of Walter H. Sokel, ed. Steven Taubeneck (New York: Peter Lang, 1991), 343-351.

Courses currently teaching

Winter 2016

CENS404 Gender and Nation: Women's State in Modern Central, Eastern and Northern European Literatures and Cultures Sections

Cultural and social discourses of gender in literary works written in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe roughly between 1850 - 1930.

Winter 2016

GERM304 German Cinema (in English) Sections

Screening, discussion, and critical analysis of German cinema from the silent era to the 21st century.

Winter 2016

GERM403A Studies in Modern German Culture (in English) - MOD GERM CULTURE Sections

Topics of special interest, varying from year to year.

Winter 2016

GERM403B Studies in Modern German Culture (in English) - MOD GERM CULTURE Sections

Topics of special interest, varying from year to year.


  • intersections between culture as literature and film
  • philosophy and history
  • phenomenology, hermeneutics and pragmatism in philosophy
  • comparative cultural history

Steven Taubeneck’s Pre-concert Talk: Ute Lemper

Vocalist Ute Lemper performed at the Chan Centre, UBC on March 24, 2012.

In his pre-concert talk, Dr. Taubeneck provided an overview of her program, highlighting her wide range of materials, styles and sources. He presents her performance as a wonderful example of how very different cultures can be brought together through music.