Uwe Steiner

  • Steiner
Professor
Habilitation, Freie Universität Berlin
PhD, Freie Universität Berlin
713-348-3243
Rayzor Hall 331
Research and Teaching: 

Philosophy and poetics; German and European Enlightenment; theories of modernity                      

The relationship between philosophical thought and poetic representation is the central theme of Uwe Steiner’s research, from his first book on Walter Benjamin’s reconstruction of the Romantic concept of criticism to his more recent work on the genre of eighteenth-century didactic poetry. Despised today, didactic poetry was held in high esteem by Leibniz and Voltaire in their argument on the doctrine of metaphysical optimism.

Apart from his continuing interest in eighteenth-century thought, Steiner is also one of the world’s leading Benjamin scholar’s. He is currently working on a book-length study on Benjamin’s concept of the political and its origin in contemporary academic and non-academic philosophy, such as neo-Kantianism, phenomenology, Lebensphilosophie, and philosophical anthropology.

Before he joined Rice in 2001, he held senior visiting appointments in Switzerland and in the United States, among them two Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professorships. 

Selected Publications: 
  • Walter Benjamin (Stuttgart-Weimar: J.B. Metzler, 2004). English translation 2010.
  • Poetische Theodizee: Philosophie und Poesie in der lehrhaften Dichtung im achtzehnten Jahrhundert (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2000).
  • “Die Geburt der Kritik aus dem Geiste der Kunst”: Untersuchungen zum Begriff der Kritik in den frühen Schriften Walter Benjamins (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1989).
  • Walter Benjamin, Der Begriff der Kunstkritik in der deutschen Romantik, ed. Uwe Steiner, in Werke und Nachlaß, ed. Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz, vol. III (Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 2008). French translation 2009.
  • Ed. with Günther Lottes, Immanuel Kant: German Professor and World-Philosopher / Deutscher Professor und Weltphilosoph (Hannover: Wehrhahn, 2007).
  • “Ästhetische Theodizee: Überlegungen zum Problem der Darstellung in der Theodizee,” in Wenchao Li and Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann (eds.), 300 Jahre "Essais de Théodicée": Rezeption und Transformation (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2013), 189-230.
  • “Walter Benjamins Husserl-Lektüre im Kontext,” Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik 9 (2010), 189-258.
  • “Die Grenzen des Kapitalismus: Kapitalismus, Religion und Politik in Benjamins Fragment ‘Kapitalismus als Religion’,” in Dirk Baecker (ed.), Kapitalismus als Religion (Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2003), 35-59.
  • “‘The True Politician’: Walter Benjamin’s Concept of the Political,” New German Critique 83 (2001), 43-88. 
Images