Prof. Susanne Zepp

Buber Fellow: 
2017
Curriculum Vitae: 

Susanne Zepp is a tenured Full Professor of Spanish, Portuguese and French literatures at the Freie Universitaet Berlin (FUB). At FUB, she is also the Director of the Gulbenkian Doctoral Program for Portuguese Literature and Culture and a Principal Investigator at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies. From 2003-2015, Prof. Zepp served as the Deputy Director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University. At Freie Universität, Prof. Zepp serves as the Academic Coordinator of Freie Universität’s Strategic Partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and also as Special Envoy of Freie Universitaet Berlin for the Cooperation with Israeli Universities.
In 1997, Susanne Zepp completed her M.A. in Romance Philology, Comparative Literature and German Studies at the University of Wuppertal, where she served as a Research Associate until 2000. Until 2003, she was teaching as Assistant Professor at the Institute for General and Comparative Literature and the Institute for Romance Philology at Freie Universität Berlin where she received her PhD with a book on Jorge Luis Borges and skepticism in 2002. From 2003 until 2015, Susanne Zepp served as the Deputy Director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University. In 2009, she completed her Habilitation at the University of Cologne (Venia Legendi: Romance literatures and cultures). In 2011, she was offered a full professorship with tenure from University of Bamberg and from Freie Universität Berlin.
She teaches literary and historical texts in Spanish, Portuguese and French that range from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. She has written on Borges, Montaigne, Eça de Queiroz, Lispector, Cohen and Early Modern Jewish Literatures, among others. Her books explore the reception of Skeptic thought in Modern Literatures and different aspects of Jewish belonging, theories of authorship and autobiography, both literary and historical, and their relation to issues of language and knowledge. More recently she has written on representation and time and on the writings of Peter Szondi. Her most recent books are an Introduction to Portuguese and Brazilian Literary Studies and the first critical essay collection on Claude Lanzmann, a monograph on Early Modern Jewish literary creativity (Stanford University Press) and an edited volume on German as a Jewish language (Leipzig University Press).
For her book on Early Modern Jewish Literatures, Professor Zepp has been awarded the Geisteswissenschaften International Prize. She has also been awarded an Alexander-von-Humboldt fellowship for a Research stay at Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University in 2015 and 2016, and has been invited as a 2018 Guest professor at L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Professor Zepp has also won the funding for a Gentner Symposium to be held in 2018. The aim of the Minerva Gentner Symposia is to initiate new collaborative efforts in fields that are not yet in the focus of German-Israeli cooperations. Prof Zepp’s Symposium focuses specifically on issues of research and teaching related to further promoting the integration of Modern Jewish literary studies into the different philologies and therefore addresses a major lacuna in the field of Literary Studies and Philology with regard to teaching and research in comparative Jewish literary studies.

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