Oxford University Press, 2014


Adrian Daub is an academic and critic based in San Francisco and Berlin. He is Professor of Comparative Literature German Studies at Stanford University, where he specializes in the thought, literature and music of the nineteenth century. He directs the Program for Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as the Mellon Postdoctoral Program at Stanford.

He is the author of three academic books: Four-Handed Monsters: Four-Hand Piano Playing and Nineteenth Century Culture was published by Oxford University Press in 2014 (the substantially different German version: “Zwillingshafte Gebärden”: Zur kulturellen Wahrnehmung des vierhändigen Klavierspiels im neunzehnten Jahrhundert appeared in 2009). Uncivil Unions: The Metaphysics of Marriage in German Romanticism and Idealism and Tristan’s Shadow: Sex and the Total Work of Art after Wagner appeared with University of Chicago Press in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

His academic articles have dealt with topics as diverse as Richard Wagner, Charlie Chaplin, and literary scandals. He has written about writers like W.G. Sebald, Heinrich Heine, Frank Wedekind, Stefan George, and Alexander Kluge; about composers like Franz Schreker, Richard Strauss and Olivier Messiaen; artists and directors like Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, Hermann Nitsch, Günther Brus, Terrence Malick and even Quentin Tarantino. He is the co-editor of the Goethe Yearbook and has guest-edited issues of Opera Quarterly and Republics of Letters.

Adrian is also an active cultural critic. With Charles Kronengold he has published The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2015), and a book of his German-language essays appeared with Hanser Verlag as Pop-Up Nation in 2016. He writes about academic matters, literature, culture and politics for German newspapers (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, DIE ZEIT, Die Welt and others) and for American online outlets (among others for Public Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, Huffington Post and Paste Magazine), and has appeared on the radio in both Germany, the UK and the US.

Adrian is currently at work on two academic books: Dynasties: The Nuclear Family and its Discontents traces the fate of the extended family in the age of the nuclear family, focusing on Romanticism, the Hegelians, Richard Wagner, Emile Zola and Sigmund Freud. The book is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press in 2018. Adrian’s other book What the Ballad Knows: Memory Culture and the German Nation will appear next year with Oxford University Press.


4. Four-Handed Monsters — Four-Hand Piano Playing and Nineteenth Century Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, 272 pp. This heavily revised English edition traces the phenomenon of four-hand piano playing in the nineteenth century, as well as the philosophical, political, aesthetic and literary discourses surrounding it. It draws more heavily on the European (and even American) scene than the German edition. Like the German edition, it draws on specific four-hand transcriptions, literary and artistic depictions of four-hand players and nineteenth century writings on four-hand playing, it explores how the image of two pianists hunched over the same keyboard permitted contemporaries to investigate the relationships between gender, community, eroticism and work.

Read my description of the book on the official blog of the American Musicological Society Read an article in the Stanford Daily about the four-hand piano project

3. Tristan’s Shadow — Sexuality and the Total Work of Art after Wagner. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2013, 240pp.

This study traces the entwined fates of operatic form and eroticism in German music from Wagner to Weill, and the ramifications of their entwinement in the wider culture. Individual chapters deal with Richard Strauss, Franz Schreker, Franz Schmidt, Siegfried Wagner, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Eugen d’Albert, Kurt Weill and others.

2. Uncivil Unions — The Metaphysics of Marriage in German Idealism and Romanticism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012, 376 pp.

Uncivil Unions traces a number of attempts to deduce the nature of marriage and the love relation from the faculty of pure reason alone, a strategy developed by the early Romantics and Idealists to establish a politics autonomous from vested religious or secular authorities. Focuses on the political philosophies that a number of thinkers (Fichte, Hölderlin, the Schlegels, Novalis, Schleiermacher, Sophie Mereau and Jean Paul) attempted to derive from this constellation.

1. “Zwillingshafte Gebärden” — Zur kulturellen Wahrnehmung des vierhändigen Klavierspiels im neunzehnten Jahrhundert. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2009, 257pp.

This study traces the phenomenon of four-hand piano playing in the nineteenth century, as well as the philosophical, political, aesthetic and literary discourses surrounding it. Drawing on specific four-hand transcriptions, literary and artistic depictions of four-hand players and nineteenth century writings on four-hand playing, it explores how the image of two pianists hunched over the same keyboard permitted contemporaries to investigate the relationships between gender, community, eroticism and work.

Hear a review of the book (and general discussion of the topic) from German public radio WDR. [in German]

The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism

Adrian Daub and Charles Kronengold

Starting with 1964's Goldfinger, every James Bond film has followed the same ritual, and so has its audience: after an exciting action sequence the screen goes black and the viewer spends three long minutes absorbing abstract opening credits and a song that sounds like it wants to return to 1964. In The James Bond Songs authors Adrian Daub and Charles Kronengold use the genre to trace not only a changing cultural landscape, but also evolving conceptions of what a pop song is. They argue that the story of the Bond song is the story of the pop song more generally, and perhaps even the story of its end.

Each chapter discusses a particular segment of the Bond canon and contextualizes it in its era's music and culture. But the book also asks how Bond and his music reflected and influenced our feelings about such topics as masculinity, race, money, and aging. Through these individual pieces the book presents the Bond song as the perfect anthem of late capitalism. The Bond songs want to talk about the fulfillment that comes from fast cars, shaken Martinis and mindless sex, but their unstable speakers, subjects, and addressees actually undercut the logic of the lifestyle James Bond is sworn to defend. The book is an invitation to think critically about pop music, about genre, and about the political aspects of popular culture in the twentieth century and beyond.

Critical Reactions to The James Bond Songs (selection)

"Critique of ideology at its best: taking our pleasures at their most stupid and marginal, and discerning in them echoes of global social and ideological antagonisms. A must for all those who believe that we really live in post-ideological times!" —Slavoj Zizek

"In prose that purrs like a Bond girl, Daub and Kronengold tell a remarkable story not just of these curious songs but of popular music since the early 1960s. A terrific history!" —Alice Echols, Professor of History and Gender Studies, The University of Southern California

"This refreshingly unique study chronicles Bond songs as part of pop music and apart from it, within the Bond movies and apart from them, imagining hip futures while desperately holding onto anachronistic visions of empire." —Dana Polan, Cinema Studies, New York University

"A book as sophisticated as a shaken martini, as clever as Q's gadgets, as zippy as an Aston Martin, as razor sharp as Goldfinger's laser, as gorgeous as Shirley Bassey's voice, and as enthralling as any Bond movie I've ever seen." —Alexander Rehding, Harvard University

"The James Bond Songs, especially good at dissecting the music and its place in the films, is most interesting when it's fleshing out the Bond character and his era. More than a book for music lovers and Bond devotees, it's a wise statement of how commerce tries to pass itself off as art." —Pasatiempo

"The most scintillatingly analytical book on music I've read since Robert Cantwell's When We Were Good: The Folk Revival, and that came out in 1996... what makes the book sing is Daub and Kronengold's rare sense of songs thinking, as creations that acquire their own agency, and their acute ability to put flesh on the bones of the late-capitalist shibboleth."— --Greil Marcus, Pitchfork

Interviews connected to The James Bond Songs (selection)

“The Fractured DNA of James Bond Songs,” The Music Show (ABC Australia), 11/12/15.

“The James Bond Songs,” Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, Radio New Zealand, 11/04/15.

“The recipe for a James Bond Song,” Take Two, KPCC, 11/05/15

“From Shirley Bassey To Sam Smith, Bond Songs Remain A Pop Oddity,” NPR Weekend Edition, 10/24/15

“The worst band to play a James Bond song would be…” The Boston Globe, 11/20/15

“Professors Talk “The James Bond Songs,” Adele's “Skyfall,” “The Writing's On the Wall,” The Stanford Daily, 11/06/15

Interview with Brent Bambury on Day 6 (CBC)

Publications connected to The James Bond Songs

“Sam Smith's ambitious attempt to reshape the Bond song lands with a whimper,” The Conversation, 11/05/15

“The Broken Pop of James Bond Songs,” longreads.com, 10/29/15

Leben und Sterben Lassen: James Bond, die schwarzen und die weißen Stimmen,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10/21/15

“James Bond Song: Halb Flop, Halb Hit,” ZEIT online, 09/26/15

“So You're Writing the New Bond-Song,” Paste Magazine, 09/24/15

“When Did the Bond Song Become So White? Why Picking Sam Smith for SPECTRE May Not Have Been a Good Idea,” The Huffington Post, 09/17/15

Pop-Up Nation: Innenansichten aus dem Silicon Valley

Adrian Daub

Von Uber-Flexibilität über Selfies bis zum für immer veränderten Liebesmarkt des Online-Datings: Den Boom ständig neuer Technologien könnte nicht einmal ein neues Erdbeben stoppen, glauben viele Bewohner von Silicon Valley. Als einer von ihnen stürzt sich der langjährige Kalifornier Adrian Daub auf Start-Up-Großraumbüros, Nerd-Kuppelshows und die verbindende Funktion des „Dick Pics“ – stets wissbegierig und ohne jeden Kulturpessimismus. Ein Essay, sprühend vor Beobachtungen und Theorien für jene High-Tech-Welt, in der wir längst alle leben.

Sie können das Buch hier als e-Buch herunterladen (auch im Kindle Shop und Apple Store erhältlich):

Eine Hörbuchfassung existiert beim Heyra Verlag, gelesen von Martin Mantel:

Hier eine Kostprobe des Hörbuchs auf YouTube:

Scholarly Articles

31. “Program Music and Literary Wissenschaft in 19thCentury Germany — on Music, Narrative and Musical Narrative” [forthcoming]

30. “Wagner’s Ring in Popular Culture.” In The Cambridge Companion to Wagner’s Ring, ed. Nicholas Vaszonyi and Mark Berry. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. [forthcoming]

29. “Synaesthesia and Gesamtkunstwerk in the Music of Hermann Nitsch.” In Hermann Nitsch: Das Gesamtkunstwerk [forthcoming]

28. “Comments on Robert Pippin’s After the Beautiful.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 73, No. 3 (Summer 2015) [forthcoming]

27. with Thomas Grey, “Opera after Freud: Stages of Analysis.” Opera Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Spring 2014) [forthcoming]

26. “The Ob-Scene of the Total Work of Art: Strauss and Wedekind.” [under review]

25. “’Ein Blitz, Für Uns’ — Stefan George’s Dynastic Thinking.” Deutsche Vierteljahresschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte [forthcoming]

“The Sonic Yardstick: The Pianoforte and Musical Knowledge around 1800.” In Performing Knowledge in the Long Eighteenth Century, ed. Sean Franzel. New York: Peter Lang, 2014 [forthcoming]

22. “Defense of Marriage Acts: Wagner on Marriage.” In: Richard Wagner: Neue Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven, ed. Georg Mein, Elisabeth Strowick and Stefan Börnchen. Munich: Fink, 2014, 83-97.

21. “An All-Too Secret Wagner: Ernst Bloch the Wagnerian.” Opera Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 2-3, 188-204.

20. With Elisabeth Bronfen, “Broomhilda Unchained: Tarantino’s Wagner.” Jump Cut, No. 55 (Fall 2013).

19. “Die Familie als Geste — Das Käthchen von Heilbronn und die Ästhetik des Als Ob.” In Kleist Revisited, ed. Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht and Friederike Knüpling. Munich: Fink, 2013, 243-253.

18. “’Ein allzu geheim gebliebener Wagner’ — Ernst Bloch als Wagnerianer.” Wagnerspectrum, Vol. 9 (2013), No. 1, 159-176.

17. “Hermann Nitsch — Austria in the Age of Post-Scandalous Culture.” German Life and Letters, Vol. 66, No. 3, 256-274.

16. “Platen’s Retreat: On the Poetics and Ethics of Memorizing Ballads.” German Quarterly, Vol. 84, No. 2 (Spring 2012), 137-155.

15. “From Maximin to Stonewall: The Sexual Afterlives of the George Circle.” The Germanic Review, Vol. 87, No. 1, 19-34.

14. “The Politics of Longevity: Hans Jürgen Syberberg’s Essayism and the Art of Outliving Oneself.” New German Critique, No. 120, 137-170.

13. “Erotische Akustik: Walter Benjamin geht (nicht) zur Oper.” In Klang und Musik im Werk Walter Benjamins. Tobias Klein, Asmus Traut, eds. Munich: Fink, 2013, 105-116.

12. “’All Evil is the Cancellation of Unity”: Joseph de Maistre in late German Romanticism.” In Joseph de Maistre and his European Readers: Receiving Early Conservatism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Carolina Armenteros and Richard Lebrun, eds. Leiden/Netherlands: Brill Publishers, 2012, 113-140.

11. “On the Power of the ‘Verfluchte Lohe’: (Post-)Wagnerian Redheads in Das Rheingold, Fredegundis and Irrelohe.” Opera Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 4, 526-551.

10. “The State a Family: German Romanticism and French Counter-Revolutionary Thought on Paternity and Sovereignty.” Republics of Letters, Vol. 2, No. 2, 127-157.

9. “Sphinxes Without Secrets — W. G. Sebald’s Albums and the Aesthetics of Photographic Exchange.” In On Writing with Photography, ed. Liliane Weissberg and Karen Beckman. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2013, 254-296.

8. “’Hannah, can you hear me?’ — Charlie Chaplin, Schtonk and the Vicissitudes of Voice.” Criticism, Vol. 51, No. 3 (Summer 2009), 451-482.

7. “Taceat Mulier in Theatro — Richard Strauss’s Guntram, Arthur Schopenhauer and the Female Voice.” Opera Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 3-4 (Summer-Autumn 2009), 230-246.

6. “Sonic Dreamworlds: Benjamin, Adorno and the Phantasmagoria of the Opera House.” In A Companion to the Works of Walter Benjamin. Rolf Goebel, ed. New York: Camden House, 2009, 273-293.

5. “Mother Mime — Siegfried, the Fairy Tale and the Metaphysics of Sexual Difference.” Nineteenth Century Music (Vol. 32, No. 2 (Fall 2008), 160-177.

4. “’The Abyss of the Scream’ — On the Music of Hermann Nitsch.” In Blood Orgies: Hermann Nitsch in America. Aaron Levy, ed. Philadelphia: Slought Books, 2008, 34-75.

Reprinted in the Exhibition Catalogue for The Theatre of Performance at the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Torino/Italy, January 2010: Danilo Echer (ed.), The Theatre of Performance. Turin: Umberto Allemandi, 2009, 65-106.

“Die Abgründe des Schreis” — Die Musik Hermann Nitschs.” In: Hubert Klocker (ed.), Existenz Fest. Hermann Nitsch und das Theater. Berlin/Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2015. [forthcoming]

3. “Donner à voir — The Logic of the Caption in W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn and Alexander Kluge’s Devil’s Blind Spot.” In Searching for Sebald — Photography after W.G. Sebald. Lise Patt and Christel Dillbohner, eds. Los Angeles: ICI Press, 2007, 306-330.

2. “Adorno’s Schreker: Charting the Self-Dissolution of the Distant Sound.” Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Autumn 2006), 247-271.

1. “Half Necessity, Half Accident — Thinking the Abolition of Good Health Through Adorno’s Concept of Natural History.” Rethinking Marxism, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring2006), 141-151.

Entries in Handbooks and Encyclopedias

3. Entries: “Runde,” ”Reich” in Der Siebente Ring, ed. Christophe Fricker [forthcoming]

2. Entries: “Alberich,” “Brünnhilde,” “Erda,” “Fricka,” “Götterdämmerung,” “Gunther,” “Hagen,” “Hunding,” “La Spezia,” “Loge,” “Mime,” “Das Rheingold,” “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” “Siegfried,” “Sieglinde,” “Siegmund,” “Vorwort zur Herausgabe der Dichtung,” “Die Walküre,” “Wotan,” “German Romanticism,” “Karl Gutzkow,” “Georg & Emma Herwegh,” “E.T.A. Hoffmann,” “Heinrich Laube” in The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia, ed. Nicholas Vaszonyi (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

1. Entries: “Holocaust,” “Pacific Palisades,” “Neukantianismus.” In Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Dan Diner, ed. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, 2012-2014.

Review Articles

1. “The Opera and the Opera: Hermann Nitsch Stages Olivier Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise.” Opera Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Autumn 2011), 496-502.

Shorter Texts, Editorial Texts

3. “Opera after Freud — Guest Editor’s Introduction.” Opera Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Spring 2015) [forthcoming]

2. With Michael Taylor, “Introduction: Family Politics.” Republics of Letters, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Fall 2013).

1. “Biographical Note on Jean Améry.” Wasafiri, No. 48 (Spring 2005), 17-19.

Newspaper Articles

“Here at the End of All Things: On Getting Lost in Fantasy Maps,” Longreads, 08/24/17. https://longreads.com/2017/08/24/fantasy-maps-game-of-thrones/

Friday, July 21, 2017: “Der Sandkasten, dem die Monster entsteigen,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 07/21/17. https://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/h-p-lovecraft-und-die-aera-trump-der-sandkasten-dem-monster-entsteigen-ld.1307081

“Der Algorithmus schlägt die eigenen Programmierer,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 07/05/17. https://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/silicon-valley-der-algorithmus-schlaegt-die-eigenen-programmierer-ld.1304333

“BRAAAM: The Sound that Invaded the Hollywood Soundtrack,” Longreads, 12/08/16. https://blog.longreads.com/2016/12/08/braaam-inception-hollywood-soundtracks/

“Westworld” and the Dawn of Baroque TV,” Public Books, 11/04/16. https://http://www.publicbooks.org/westworld-and-the-dawn-of-baroque-tv/

“Where ‘It’ Was: Re-Reading It on its 30th Anniversary,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 09/11/16. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/where-it-was-rereading-stephen-kings-it-on-its-30th-anniversary/

“Amerikanische Literatur: Apokalyptisch Schön,” Zeit online, 09/02/16. http://www.zeit.de/kultur/literatur/2016-09/us-literatur-donald-trump-amerika-utopie

“Die Unsichtbare Tradition: Wo War die schwule Literatur Nachkriegsdeutschlands?” Merkur, 09/2016. https://volltext.merkur-zeitschrift.de/article/mr_2016_09_0088-0093_0088_01.pdf?&_ga=1.268327815.807800370.1453998778

“Die Welt Hinter den Apps: Überall nur noch Silicon Valley,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 08/23/16. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/service-apps-silicon-valley-ist-ueberall-14399458.html

“Donald Trumps Gefolgschaft: Keine Helden,” NZZ, 08/23/16. http://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/zeitgeschehen/donald-trump-sie-quellen-aus-ihren-turnsocken-ld.112375

“Hier bin ich Mensch, hier Schlaf ich ein,” ZEIT Online, 07/25/16. http://www.zeit.de/kultur/2016-07/bayreuther-festspiele-richard-wagner-oper-schlaf

“Deutschlands fehlende Kultur der Auswanderung,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 07/11/16. http://www.nzz.ch/meinung/kommentare/emigration-deutschlands-fehlende-kultur-der-auswanderung-ld.104653

“Verklemmte Tech-Welt: Homosexualität im Silicon Valley,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 07/04/16. http://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/zeitgeschehen/maennerbuende-und-homosexualitaet-im-silicon-valley-verklemmte-tech-welt-ld.103640

“Out of the Bars, Into the Streets: San Francisco am 12. Juni 2016,” Merkur, 06/21/16. https://www.merkur-zeitschrift.de/2016/06/21/out-of-the-bars-san-francisco-am-12-juni-2016/#more-4647

“Peter Thiel: Der Milliardär als Opfer,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 06/12/16. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/peter-thiel-der-milliardaer-als-opfer-14280002.html

“Unbehagen im Writers’ Room: Das neue amerikanische Autorenfernsehen und seine Zukunft,” Schweizer Monat, 06/2016. https://www.schweizermonat.ch/subscription_visitor/unbehagen-im-writers-room

“Was die Visionäre nicht sehen,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 05/25/16. http://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/zeitgeschehen/silicon-valley-was-die-visionaere-nicht-sehen-ld.84503

“Metaphysik der Nerds,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 04/29/16. http://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/zeitgeschehen/suendenbock-und-silicon-valley-metaphysik-der-nerds-ld.16908

“Wer der Regierung misstraut, ist ihr Mann: Bernie Sanders’ Treue Helfer,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 04/16/16. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/bernie-sanders-treue-helfer-aus-dem-silicon-valley-14180748.html

“Mehr Tugendfuror Wagen: Das Sprachspiel ‘politische Korrektheit’,” MERKUR blog, 02/03/16.

“The Next Big Thing?” Schweizer Monat, 12/2015, 12/01/15.

Leben und Sterben Lassen: James Bond, die schwarzen und die weißen Stimmen,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10/21/15.

“The Broken Pop of James Bond Songs,” longreads.com, 10/29/15.

“James Bond Song: Halb Flop, Halb Hit,” ZEIT online, 09/26/15.

Verdorbenes Fleisch und im Hintergrund Gebrüll: Die Epik und das Musikdrama der bürgerlichen Familie — Zola mit Richard Wagner verstehen,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 06/24/15.

Der neue Schlachtruf gegen Ungleichheit.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 03/25/15.

Der Totalitarismus der Transparenz: Der Schriftsteller Dave Eggers hat in seinem zornigen Roman ‘The Circle’ das ‘1984’ fürs Internetzeitalter geschrieben.” DIE ZEIT, 01/27/2014.

Auch ein Meister von Hollywood: Richard Wagner ist immer ein Zitat Wert,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12/13/13

Was der Stern auf dem T-Shirt bedeutet,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11/13/13.

Die Techies und die Fuzzies,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, 07/30/13. Reprinted in Forschung & Lehre, 10/13.

Achtung für die Form, Verachtung für den Inhalt,” Die Welt, 07/20/13.

Eine Geographie der Goethe-Institute: In L.A. gewesen, Roman geschrieben,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 07/10/13.

What ‘traditional marriage’ could teach Rick Santorum,” The Huffington Post, 10/03/12.

Public Appearances

Adrian’s radio essay on the United States’ relationship to elites and how tech and Trumpp complicated that relationship. Listen to the segment here.

Adrian on Four-Handed Monsters at “A Company of Authors,” Stanford University, April 2015.

Adrian on Philosophy Talk, “The Mystery of Music,” July 24, 2016.

Adrian on BR2 Kulturwelt speaking about emigration from Germany, August 5, 2016 (in German).

Adrian speaks at the NZZ Podium at the German Historical Museum Berlin about “Germany’s Missing Culture of Emigration” (in German).

ABC Australia: Songs, Bond Songs, 11/8/2015

Radio New Zealand: James Bond Songs, 11/3/2015

BBC Radio 5: Up All Night, 09/26/2015

BR-Klassik: Phänomen Bond-Songs, 04/11/2015

“Adrian Daub on Repetition.” CCA Wattis Institute, 11/17/2014

Panelist, “Another Look: J.R. Ackerley,” Another Look Series, Stanford University, 10/29/2013.

“Fuzzies oder: Geisteswissenschaftler in den USA: Gespräch mit Adrian Daub,” DRadio Wissen, 08/16/2013.

News & Events


Wednesday, October 25, 2017: I wrote an essay for n+1 on Helmut Kohl, Germany in the 80s and the rise of populism. The article is online here.

Thursday, October 7, 2017: I reviewed Marilyn Manson’s new album Heaven Upside Down for ZEIT online. You can read the article online here.

Friday, September 28, 2017: My review of Andres Muschietti’s IT is now up on ZEIT online. You can read the article online here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017: I have some ideas about libertarianism in Silicon Valley, and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung paid me to share them. The article is online here.

Saturday, September 9, 2017: This lovely review/essay on the new film version of Stephen King’s It on The Ringer responds to my year-old essay on the novel LA Review of Books: check it out! (My own opinions on the adaptation will be up at ZEIT online soon and I will have an article on Stephen King-adaptations in the German magazine Filmdienst (spoiler alert: it’s not bad at all!)).

Monday, July 28, 2017: A final article reflecting on the seventh season of Game of Thrones on ZEIT online. You can read the article online here.

Sunday, July 27, 2017: I wrote about the awkward, wonderful first date between Silicon Valley and Karl Marx for ZEIT online. You can read the article online here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017: My essay “Here at the End of All Things: On Getting Lost in Fantasy Maps” has just appeared on Longreads – check it out.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017: A beautiful (and hefty) volume on Stefan George’s Der Stern des Bundes, edited by Christophe Fricker, is out today. I have two articles in Krise und Gemeinschaft (Victorio Klostermann). If you like Stefan George, you should check this one out!.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017: I wrote about siblinghood, mythology and Game of Thrones for ZEIT online. You can read the article online here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017: I wrote about Silicon Valley’s genius aesthetics for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the article is online here.

Saturday, July 22, 2017: Just in case you think I’m only writing about TV and pop culture anymore, here’s an academic thing: Seth Brodsky published a beautiful, insightful critique of a special issue of Opera Quarterly I edited on “Opera after Freud,” and the Opera Quarterly editors were kind enough to ask me to respond. If your institution subscribes to OUP’s publication platform, you can read my thoughts online here. (The same issue will contain an article from the one and only Charlie Kronengold — so in a way we’re getting the band back together!

Friday, July 21, 2017: I wrote about reading and adapting H.P. Lovecraft in an age of xenophobia, for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the article is online here.

Thursday, July 20, 2017: I wrote a brief review of TNT’s new Shakespeare-series “Will” for ZEIT online. I, um, didn’t care for it, as you can find out online here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017: I wrote about gender, sex and trauma in Game of Thrones for ZEIT online. You can read the article online here.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017: I wrote about Waze, digital space and the logic of suburbanization for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the article is online here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017: My review article of Bruno Perreau’s Queer Theory: The French Responseis now up at the LA Review of Books.

Monday, June 12, 2017: My article about Elon Musk, the State, and the art of the pivot is in today's Neue Zürcher Zeitung and online here.

May 30, 2017: My article about watching House of Cards in the age of T***p is now up at ZEIT online. You can read it online here.

Saturday, May 27: taz: die tageszeitung has a lovely article about “bubbles” and queerness. Jan Feddersen quotes me extensively here.

Saturday, May 20, 2017: Deutschlandfunk Radio gave me a half hour window for a radio essay on the United States’ relationship to elites and how tech and T***p complicated that relationship. You can listen to the segment here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017: I wrote about FOX News, T***p and the Decline and Fall of Bullshit for ZEIT online. You can read it online here.

Monday, May 1, 2017: I reviewed American Gods for ZEIT online. Find it online here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017: My article about the anti-T***p-resistance and different styles of Democratic politics is in today's Neue Zürcher Zeitung and online here.

Monday, April 24, 2017: There’s a beautiful writeup (with pictures) of the Queering Science Fiction event up on Meg Elison’s Blog!

Friday, April 21, 2017: I’ll be emceeing a symposium called “Stars in Our Pockets: Queering Science Fiction” at Stanford, featuring Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, Alyssa Wong and the one and only Samuel R. Delany!

Friday, March 17, 2017: I'll be giving a keynote lecture at the University of Pennsylvania's conference “Inglorious Comparisons: The Uses and Abuses of Historical Analogy.” I'll give you one guess who I'll be talking about.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017: I'm giving a lecture for the Feminisms & Queerings Workshop at Stanford on literary fag hags – the lecture is titled simply “Hags.” To find out more you'll have to stop by the Stanford Humanities Center at 6pm.

Friday, February 24, 2017: My third pre-concert conversation with pianist Sarah Cahill and composer John Adams attending the SF Symphony's performance of John Adams' “Scheherazade.2” and “The Gospel According to the Other Mary.” The conversation runs from 7 pm to 7:30.

Thursday, February 23, 2017: Again, a pre-concert conversation with pianist Sarah Cahill and composer John Adams attending the SF Symphony's performance of John Adams' “Scheherazade.2” and “The Gospel According to the Other Mary.” The conversation runs from 7 pm to 7:30.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017: I'll be on a panel with pianist Sarah Cahill and composer John Adams attending the SF Symphony's performance of John Adams' “Scheherazade.2” and “The Gospel According to the Other Mary.” The conversation runs from 7 pm to 7:30.

Friday, February 3, 2017: I wrote about why Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Fouris not the book of the moment – out in today's Neue Zürcher Zeitungand online here.

Monday, January 30, 2017: My review article of Marjorie Perloff's Edge of Ironyis now up at the LA Review of Books.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017: I wrote about lies, damn lies and the T***p administration for ZEIT online. It’s online here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017: The Stanford Dailyhas an article about my colleague Michele Dauber's new course in FGSS – which I am very excited about(I say so in the article).

Friday, January 13, 2017: My article on literature in the Age of Amazon is out now in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung check it out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017: BRAAAM, BRAAAM everywhere! In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Max Fellman reacts to my piece on “Hollywood's Favorite Sound.”

Monday, January 9, 2017: Deutschlandradio Kultur has a nice write-up of my piece on Silicon Valley and T***pism.

Monday, January 9, 2017: My article “Silicon Vichy” about the Tech Industry and the incoming US Administration appeared in today's Neue Zürcher Zeitung– check out the online version here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017: I'm talking BRAAM on “Word of Mouth” on New Hampshire Public Radio – warm up with the link here!


Thursday, December 8, 2016: My essay “BRAAAM: The Sound that Invaded the Hollywood Soundtrack” just appeared on Longreads – check it out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016: My article on democracy in the Internet Age appears in today's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung– the online version is here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016. My review of Jarett Kobek's I Hate The Internetis in today's Neue Zürcher Zeitung. I really liked the book!

Monday, November 21, 2016: A right-wing think-tank has some choice quotes from my articles as an example of “The Return of European Anti-Americanism.” I'm not sure I count as European any more, but only John Bolton (I'm not kidding, it's his outfit!) could think I'm anti-American – though I certainly am anti-John Bolton. If you'd like to gag, check it out here.

Sunday, November 20, 2016: I'm talking once more about You-Know-Who and the intellectuals on Deutschlandfunk.

Thursday, November 17, 2016: I'll be giving a talk on Mahler's and Wagner's use of song, Friedrich Kittler and Theodor Adorno at the workshop “Zeit, Sinn & Signal” at the Leuphana Universität Lüneburg.

November 15, 2016: More on He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, this time for the NZZ: “[Redacted] und das lange Scheitern der Intellektuellen” – check it out!

Friday, November 11, 2016: Apparently someone did a translation of my post-election cri-de-coeurand published it in the Handelsblatt Online– the translation is pretty good, but either I or someone at the Handelsblattneeds to bone up on copyright law.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016: I wrote about the election of You-Know-Who and the end of the Enlightenment at ZEIT online. An article I really didn't want to have to write.

Saturday, November 5, 2016: SPECTREcame out a year ago! To mark the anniversary, an interview with Charlie Kronengold and me just appeared at IASPM Online – check it out!

Friday, November 4, 2016: My article on WestWorldis now up at PublicBooks.

Monday, October 31, 2016: Another article, “Die Nächste Blase,” for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, this time about the question of the future, good fortune and San Francisco's various bubbles – check out the online version here.

Monday, October 24, 2016: I wrote about Michael Moore in TrumpLandfor ZEIT Online check it out!

Thursday, October 13, 2016: My article about R. Buckminster Fuller, Elon Musk, Elizabeth Holmes and Neal Stephenson appeared in the Neue Zürcher Zeitungtoday – the online version is here.

Sunday, October 2, 2016: I reviewed the first season of HBO's new show Westworldfor ZEIT Online check it out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016: I wrote an essay about body language and the first Presidential Debate for ZEIT Online– it was their most-clicked article in the culture-section, and I'm getting hate mail from Trump supporters, so I'm doing something right.

Sunday, September 25, 2016: The horror-aficionados over at Kill Screen recommend my piece on Stephen King – very proud!

Friday, September 23, 2016: My essay on Stephen King's It(slightly different from the LARB one) is now up at ZEIT online check it out!

Sunday, September 11, 2016: My essay on the thirtieth anniversary of Stephen King's classic horror novel Itis up at the LA Review of Books!

Friday, September 9, 2016: Sarah Mauksch reviewed my book Tristan's Shadowfor IASL Online! You can find the review here(in German).

Friday, September 2, 2016: My article “Apokalyptisch Schön” (about contemporary US fiction and the politics of hope) just appeared at Zeit Online – check it out.

Thursday, September 1, 2016: An article I co-wrote with Samuel Huneke just appeared in the new issue of Merkur: “Die Unsichtbare Tradition: Wo war die schwule Literatur Nachkriegsdeutschlands?” Check out a preview.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016: I'm quoted in a bunch of articles about Stanford's new alcohol policy – for instance here, here and here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016: My article on a Donald Trump event is out in the NZZ today, and is also available online.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016: I will be on KQED News this evening speaking about Stanford's new hard liquor ban. Preview: I'm not for it.

Monday, August 22, 2016: Deutschlandradio Kultur reported on my recent FAZ-article, though I can't tell if they're criticizing me when they call my judgment “uncharming” – judge for yourself.

Monday, August 22, 2016: An article of mine about Pokémon Go, App-narcissism and German Idealism (yes, it's true!) is out in today's FAZ – check it out here!

Friday, August 5, 2016: I was interviewed about German emigration on BR Kulturradio 2. Check it out here!

Monday, August 1, 2016: My contribution to a German Quarterly-forum on the Study of Romanticism is up now: check it out.

Thursday, July 28, 2016: The Companion to Walter Benjaminedited by Rolf Goebel, in which I have an article, just came out in paperback!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016: Another re-run of “The Mystery of Music” on KALW at 12 noon!

Monday, July 25, 2016: My article on falling asleep in Bayreuth is now out in Die Zeit check it out.

Sunday, July 24, 2016: I'm back on the radio, did you miss me? I'll be on a full hour of Philosophy Talk on KALW and various other NPR affiliates – check your local listings! The topic: “ The Mystery of Music.” Will post link once it's online.

Friday, July 22, 2016: The one and only Greil Marcus reviewed The James Bond Songsin his weekly column – and he loved it!

Monday, July 11, 2016: A version of my Podium talk is out in today's NZZ check it out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016: A video of last night's NZZ Podium is up on the NZZ's Facebook page, check it out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016: … and Joachim Riecker's very nice write-up of the even is also online– with some exclusive video of yours truly.

Monday, July 4, 2016: I will be presenting at the NZZ Podium Berlin(in the gorgeous courtyard of the German History Museum (DHM)!) on emigration from Germany and its invisibility in German discourses about migration.

Monday, July 4, 2016: My essay on “Verklemmtes Silicon Valley” on homosexuality in the tech industry just appeared in the NZZ and is also online (just don't read the FB comments – I did.)

Friday, July 1, 2016: I am excited to announce that I will become Director of Stanford's Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies starting in September!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016: My reflections on the mass shooting in Orlando and reactions in the LGBT community are up at the Merkur .

Wednesday, June 15, 2016: Volume 23 of the Goethe Yearbook, coedited by Elisabeth Krimmer and myself, is now available on amazon. It has great articles on Goethe and visual culture, and is also available on Project Muse.

Sunday, June 12, 2016: I weigh in on l'affaire Gawker (with guest appearances by Hulk Hogan, Peter Thiel, Ayn Rand and René Girard) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung .

Sunday, June 5, 2016: I will be appearing on Philosophy Talkat StageWerx in San Francisco – tickets here. The conversation with hosts John Perry and Ken Taylor will be broadcast at a later date on various NPR affiliates.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016: My article “ Unbehagen im Writer's Room” on the new model of American télé d'auteurjust appeared in the June-issue of Schweizer Monat– check it out (behind a paywall, natch)! As a foretaste, here's the fantastic art(by Michael Raatlauf) that accompanies the article.

Thursday, May 26, 2016: There is now an audiobook version of Pop-Up Nation! Download it (at a very reasonable price) at the website for Heyra Verlag.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016: I tripped wearing an Oculus Rift and all I got was this article: “Was die Visionäre nicht sehen” just appeared in the Neue Züricher Zeitung check it out here.

Friday, April 29: My article “Metaphysik der Nerds” on René Girard's thought and its curious career in Silicon Valley just appeared in the Neue Züricher Zeitung check it out.

Saturday, April 16, 2016: I will be presenting on The James Bond Songsat the Stanford Company of Authors – Charlie meanwhile is taking our spiel to Los Angeles. California, we've got you covered!

Saturday, April 16, 2016: My article on Bernie-Bros, Pixar-films and Politics in Silicon Valley just appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung check it out.

Thursday, April 7, 2016: Check out Arman Schwarz's review of Tristan's Shadow(and other recent work on Wagner) in Cambridge Opera Journal !

Monday, April 4, 2016: My article “The Ob-Scene of the Total Work of Art: Frank Wedekind, Richard Strauss and the Spectacle of the Dance” just appeared in Nineteenth Century Music .

Tuesday, March 15, 2016: My essay “'Ein Blitz, für Uns' – Stefan George's Queer Dynasty” just came out with the Deutsche Vierteljahresschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte.

Monday, March 14, 2016: My e-book of essays on Silicon Valley has just appeared with Hanser Verlag: it's called Pop Up Nation: Innenansichten aus dem Silicon Valley .

Saturday, March 12, 2016: I will be doing a pre-performance interview on Schubert's Winterreiseat the new performance space of the SF Opera(it's the Atrium located in the War Memorial Veterans Building, right next to the SF Opera House) – I'll be talking both about Schubert's cycle and William Kentridge's provocative staging!

Tuesday, February 25, 2016: Check out Heather Hadlock's review of Tristan's Shadowin Opera Quarterly !

Wednesday, February 17, 2016: I will be giving a lecture entitled “The Mendelssohns, The Piano, and the Making of the Domestic Sphere” at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the University of California at Berkeley!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016: Charlie Kronengold and I are doing a James Bond Songsevent at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, CA!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016: An online-only article about the language game around “political correctness” is up (in German) at Merkur check it out!


Thursday, December 17, 2015: I'll be giving a talk (in English!) at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) entitled: “Names is for Tombstones: James Bond's Vocal Soundscapes”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015: I'll be giving a talk (in German) entitled “Programmusik und Literaturtheorie: Der bürgerliche Realismus und die Neudeutsche Schule” at the University of Basel in Basel, Switzerland.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015: Anthony Steinhoff reviewed Tristan's Shadowfor the Journal of Modern History .

Tuesday, December 1, 2015: Check out my long-form article “The Next Big Thing?”(about the power of narrative in Silicon Valley) in the Swiss periodical Schweizer Monat!

Monday, November 30, 2015: The James Bond Songshas its official launch party at the Stanford Humanities Center! Come and have a martini on us!

Friday, November 20, 2015: An interview with me has appeared in the Boston Globe– check it out here!

Sunday, November 8, 2015: Charlie Kronengold and I did an interview with Andrew Ford for “The Music Show” on ABC Radio – check it out here!

Thursday, November 5, 2015: A piece about Sam Smith's “The Writing's On the Wall” has just appeared over at The Conversation!

Thursday, November 5, 2015: Los Angelinos, catch Charlie and me on Take Two on KPCC talking (what else?) Bond-songs!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015: Do you live in New Zealand? Well, you can hear Charlie and me talk Bond-songs with Jesse Mulligan on Radio New Zealand! You can find the audio in the “public appearances”-tab on this site.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015: Wherever you live in Germany, I've got you covered today – catch me talking Bond on FluxFM, AlsterRadio or Bayerischer Rundfunk!

Thursday, October 29, 2015: Charlie Kronengold and I wrote a long-form article for Longreads on “The Broken Pop of the James Bond Song”

Thursday, October 29, 2015: I'll be giving a talk at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Saturday, October 24, 2015: Charlie Kronengold and I are on NPR's Weekend Edition – check us out in conversation with Scott Simon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015: My (German-language) article on James Bond and the black voice is in today's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Wednesday, October 21, 2015: A very in-depth interview about The James Bond Songshas just appeared in FilmScore Monthly! Unfortunately it's behind a paywall!

Saturday, October 17, 2015: Come hear me talk about “Wagner à quatre mains: Four-Hand Piano and the Wagner-Phenomenon” for the Wagner Society of Northern California (at the JCC San Francisco).

Sunday, October 4, 2015: I'll be talking about the ballad and the family at the German Studies Association's annual conference in Washington, DC.

Saturday, September 26, 2015: Check out my article on Sam Smith's “Writing's On the Wall” at ZEIT online !

Friday, September 25, 2015: I'll be on BBC 5's “Up All Night” (shortly after 1 a.m. GMT) discussing Sam Smith's Bond-song

Friday, September 25, 2015: I'm giving a talk about the ballad on and off the piano at the “Auditory History of Knowledge”-conference at Georgetown University

Wednesday, September 23, 2015: “So You're Writing the New Bond Song...,” which I co-wrote with Charlie Kronengold at Paste Magazine

Saturday, September 19, 2015: Check out an interview CBC Radio's Brent Bambury did with me and my co-author at Day 6!

Thursday, September 17, 2015: Check out my take on the pick of Sam Smith for the new Bond-song on The Huffington Post!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015: It's here! It's here! It's here! My book The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism(co-authored with Charlie Kronengold) is now on sale!

Saturday, August 29, 2015: Book launch event for Hermann Nitsch – Das Gesamtkunstwerkat the Hermann Nitsch Museum in Mistelbach, Austria – two essays of mine appear in this 968 page tome!

Thursday, August 20, 2015: Check out my article “The Gorgeous Meaninglessness of the Bond Song” over at The Huffington Post

Thursday, August 6, 2015: “Four-Hand Piano Playing and Nineteenth Century Culture” at the Forte/Pianomusic festival, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Saturday, August 1, 2015: My essay on Robert Pippin's recent book After the Beautiful(with a companion piece by Fred Rush and a reply by Pippin himself) just appeared in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

Thursday, July 30, 2015: Check out the blog post handicapping the song for the new Bond-song together with my Bond-book co-author Charlie Kronengold over at OUPblog!

Thursday, July 2, 2015: Check out my article (co-written with Elisabeth Bronfen) “Broomhilda Unchained: Tarantino's Wagner” in the new issue of the Wagner Journal!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015: Volume 22 of the Goethe Yearbook, co-edited by me, is now available on amazon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015: Check out my article on Zola and Wagner in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung!

Friday, June 19, 2015: Presentation at conference on “Music & Realism” at the University of Birmingham: “What is a Musical Narrative? The Case of the Balld”

Monday, June 15, 2015: A Special Issue of The Opera Quarterlyon “Opera After Freud” edited by me and including articles by Lawrence Kramer, Richard Leppert, Sigrid Weigel and many others (including a piece co-authored by Tom Grey and myself), is now available.

Thursday, April 30, 2015: Come hear me discuss Robert Harrison's recent book Juvenescencewith Robert himself and Michael Krasny of KQED (6 pm, Terrace Room, 4th Floor of Margaret Jacks Hall).

Saturday, April 25, 2015: Come hear me present my book Four-Handed Monstersat Stanford's “A Company of Authors” event (1-5 pm, Stanford Humanities Center, 424 Santa Teresa Street; my talk is scheduled for 2:20 pm).

Friday, April 24, 2015: Come hear me give a talk on “Program Music and Literary Imagination in 19th Century Germany: The Case of the Ballad,” at the Music Studies Colloquium at UC Berkeley (4:30 pm in 128 Morrison Hall).

Wednesday, April 20, 2015: Check out Robert A. Nye's review of Tristan's Shadowin the May-issue of the Journal of the History of Sexuality.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015: The exhibition catalogue for the exhibition “ ExistenzFest: Hermann Nitsch und das Theater ” at the Theater Museum Vienna, which contains an article of mine (in both German and English), has just appeared with Hatje Canz publishers!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015: Check out my new article on gender politics on American college campuses in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Thursday, March 12, 2015: Come hear me give a talk at UC Berkeley's German Colloquium, entitled “Wagner Kittler Tristan: Notes on the Romance of Media” (4:15 in Dwinelle Hall 282).