Regional Research Area
Thematic Research Area
Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis
M.A. University of Illinois at Chicago
B.A. University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Malakaj specializes in late-18th- to 21st-century German media and cultural history. His research focuses on 19th-century literary cultures, film studies, queer studies, and humanities as well as language learning advocacy.
Dr. Malakaj’s first book, Anders als die Andern (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2023), concerns the aesthetics of mourning at the core of Richard Oswald’s infamous early queer melodrama. The monograph is part of a broader research arc concerning pre-1933 queer German cultural practice, which also includes a monograph in progress on early queer media theory and occult cultural practice tentatively titled Divinatory Cultural Techniques: Queer Media Engagement, 1900–1933.
Dr. Malakaj’s work on literary studies draws on queer theory, narrative theory, and book history in order to examine the influence of fluctuating literary markets on authorial agency and narrative form. Here, he is currently completing a monograph provisionally titled Fragile Poetics: Precarity and Literary Form in Early Wilhelmine Germany.
Following the publication of a personal essay on living with trauma, Dr. Malakaj began writing a book of essays provisionally titled, Tetka Theory: A Queer Life in the Bosnian Diaspora. The book theorizes tentative epistemologies as vital resource for navigating life in the queer Bosnian diaspora.
In 2016, Dr. Malakaj co-founded the international scholarly collective “Diversity, Decolonialization, and the German Curriculum” (DDGC) and is member of its steering committee. Together with Regine Criser (University of North Carolina, Asheville) he co-edited the volume Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies (2020, Palgrave). Dr. Malakaj also serves as a co-editor of DDGC’s official blog and is part of a number of DDGC initiatives, including the DDGC Mutual Aid Network.
At UBC, Dr. Malakaj collaborates with students on initiatives to enhance UBC’s intellectual cultures for undergraduate German studies. In this regard, he helped develop Augenblick: A Journal for Undergraduate German Studies and the annual German Studies Undergraduate Research Showcase, which is a collaboration between the undergraduate German Studies programs at UBC, the University of Victoria, and the University of Washington.
T1 Winter 2023 Dr. Malakaj will teach an undergraduate course titled “Sexuality and Weimar Cinema.” He currently advises theses or serves on supervisory committee for dissertation projects ranging from trauma studies to trans German studies. Dr. Malakaj additionally mentors a number of undergraduate students interested in German studies or related community projects. The extensive commitment to mentoring has been recognized by the UBC CENES Outstanding Mentorship Award.
Dr. Malakaj’s research has been funded (among others) by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. He serves on the editorial boards for Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature, Feminist German Studies, and the Women, Gender and Sexuality in German Literature and Culture series.
Anders als die Andern Queer Film Classics Series (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, forthcoming in 2023).
Edited Volumes & Special Issues of Scholarly Journals
“Queer Time and Contemporary German Cinema,” co-ed. with Kyle Frackman. Special Issue of The Germanic Review 97.4 (2022).
“Rupture, Slowness, Untimeliness: Queer Time and History in German Studies,” co-ed. with Kyle Frackman. Special Issue of Monatshefte 114.3 (2022).
Slapstick: An Interdisciplinary Companion, co-ed. with Alena E. Lyons (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2021).
Market Strategies and German Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century, co-edited with Vance Byrd, Interdisciplinary German Cultural Studies Series, ed. Irene Kacandes (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2020).
Diversity & Decolonization in German Studies, co-edited with Regine Criser (New York: Palgrave, 2020)
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
“Courasche and the Queer Life of Objects,” Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik (forthcoming)
“Queer Time and the Cinematic Pleasures of the locus amoenus in Free Fall” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 29.2 (2023): 237–260.
“Introduction: Queer Time and Contemporary German Cinema,” with Kyle Frackman, The Germanic Review 97.4 (2022): 299–309.
“Untimeliness and the Balkan Queer Diaspora in Dennis Todorović’s Saša,” The Germanic Review 97.4 (2022): 340–358.
“Approaches to Queer Temporalities in German Studies,” with Kyle Frackman, Monatshefte 114.3 (2022). (forthcoming)
“DDGC and Misfit Archives,” with Regine Criser, Seminar 57.3 (2021): 295-302.
“A Comparative Analysis of Cultural Representations in Collegiate World Language Textbooks,” with Baburhan Uzum, Bedrettin Yazan, Samar Zahrawi, and Siham Bouamer, Linguistics and Education 61 (2021).
“Announced but Not Enacted: Anti-Racist German Studies as Process,” with Andrea Dawn Bryant, Nichole M. Neuman, and David Gramling, Applied Linguistics (2019): 1–9.
“Advocating for Queer of Color Studies in German Graduate Programs,” with Priscilla Layne. Unterrichtspraxis/ Teaching German 52.2 (2019): 194-202.
“Queer Derailment and Pederast Adoration in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Michael (1924),” German Quarterly 92.3 (2019): 311-327.
“The Emotive Textualities of Wilhelm Jensen’s Karin von Schweden,” Neophilologus 102.1 (2018): 59-74.
“Richard Oswald, Magnus Hirschfeld, and the Possible Impossibility of Hygienic Melodrama,” Studies in European Cinema 14.3 (2017): 216-230.
“Teaching an Honors Seminar on #BlackLivesMatter in East Texas,” with Jeffery L. Littlejohn, Kimberly Bell, Patrick Lewis, and Julia May, Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 18.2 (2017): 3-15.
Peer Reviewed Chapters
“Resisting the Traps of Hegemony: Variation in Contemporary German Queer of Color Cinema,” with Priscilla Layne, Routledge Companion to European Cinema, ed. Gábor Gergely & Susan Hayward (New York: Routledge, 2022), 374-384.
“Introduction: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Slapstick,” “Introduction: History of Slapstick,” “Introduction: Instruments of Slapstick,” “Introduction: Narrative Structures of Slapstick,” “Introduction: Bodies of Slapstick,” “Introduction: Politics of Slapstick,” with Alena Lyons. Slapstick: An Interdisciplinary Companion, ed. Ervin Malakaj and Alena E. Lyons (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021).
“Lubitsch’s Queer Slapstick Aesthetics,” Slapstick: An Interdisciplinary Companion, ed. Ervin Malakaj and Alena E. Lyons (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021): 333-50.
“Diversity Programming, Student Outreach, and the Politics of Visible Inclusivity for Small German Programs,” Outreach Strategies and Innovative Teaching for Small German Programs, ed. Gabi Eichmanns and Melissa Etzler (New York: Routledge, 2020), 64-74.
“Alfred Rosenthal’s Rhetoric of Collaboration and Weimar Film Print Culture,” Rethinking Jewishness in Weimar Film, ed. Barbara Hales and Valerie Weinstein (New York: Berghahn Books, 2020): 111–31.
“The State of Diversity and Decolonization in North American German Studies,” Transnational Education and German Studies, ed. Ben Nickl, Deane Blackler, and Stefan Popenici (New York: Springer, 2020): 85-101.
“Introduction: Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies,” with Regine Criser, Diversity & Decolonization in German Studies, ed. Regine Criser and Ervin Malakaj (New York: Palgrave, 2020): 1–22.
“Introduction: Market Strategies and German Literature in the Nineteenth Century,” with Vance Byrd, Market Strategies and German Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century, ed. Vance Byrd and Ervin Malakaj (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020): 1-22.
“Carl Emil Franzos’s Deutsche Dichtung and the Politics of Painstaking Editorial Labor,” Market Strategies and German Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century, ed. Vance Byrd and Ervin Malakaj (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020): 171-193.
“Senescence and Der Stechlin,” Fontane in the Twenty-First Century, ed. John Lyon and Brian Tucker (Rochester: Camden House, 2019): 232-247.
“Cruel Optimism and Post-68 Nostalgia in Helma Sanders-Brahms’ Unter dem Pflaster ist der Strand,” Celluloid Revolt: German Screen Cultures and the Long 1968, ed. Christina Gerhardt and Marco Abel (Rochester: Camden House, 2019): 237-253.
“It’s Hard to Love Your Literary Studies,” Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach | blog. April 28, 2022.
“What Can We Learn from Slapstick Comedy?,” with Alena E. Lyons, de Gruyter Conversations. April 26, 2022.
“Historical Injury and Multidirectional Solidarity in Times of Crisis,” The New Fascism Syllabus. March 6, 2022.
“The Long Century’s Long Shadow: Weimar Cinema and the Romantic Modern by Kenneth S. Calhoon,” EuropeNow Journal. Issue 45, 9 November, 2021.
“Glacial Innovation,” Re-Imagining the Discipline: German Studies, the Humanities, and the University. Proceedings for conference held at Cornell University’s Institute for German Cultural Studies, 2020.
“Peter Handke Nobel Prize controversy: Literature Can’t be Judged on Esthetics Alone,” The Conversation. 27 January, 2020.