Margareta Ingrid Christian

Assistant Professor, Department of Germanic Studies
michristian@uchicago.edu
Wieboldt 126

Academic Bio

Margareta Ingrid Christian joined the University of Chicago's Department of Germanic Studies in autumn 2014 after receiving her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2012, and completing her tenure as a Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University. Christian's first book manuscript, Ecstatic Objects: Artworks and their Outside in Art Writing around 1900, is a literary study of art historical texts. It draws on the history of science to examine air as the material space surrounding an artwork, its “milieu,” “surroundings,” and “environment” by looking at the linguistic efforts of Aby Warburg, Alois Riegl, Rainer Maria Rilke, and the dance theorist and choreographer Rudolf Laban. The book investigates the artwork’s external space as an aesthetic category in its own right and asks: What is the medium of the artwork’s externalism? It contends that air, the medium of continuity par excellence, is the site of aesthetic ecologies; it is where artworks enact the permeable boundaries between art and life.