John Zilcosky

Professor of German and Comparative Literature
Affiliated Faculty, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies




Odette Hall 303 50 St. Joseph Street Toronto, ON M5S 1J4



John Zilcosky is Professor of German and Comparative Literature. He writes about modern European literature and culture, psychoanalysis, trauma, the art of travel, and the history and philosophy of sports. His books include Kafka’s Travels: Exoticism, Colonialism, and the Traffic of Writing (winner of the MLA’s Scaglione Prize, awarded biennially for the best book in German Studies), Writing Travel: The Poetics and Politics of the Modern Journey, Uncanny Encounters: Literature, Psychoanalysis, and the End of Alterity, The Allure of Sports in Western Culture, and The Language of Trauma: War and Technology in Hoffmann, Freud, and Kafka. Major publications such as the Times Literary Supplement and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung have reviewed his work. Zilcosky has won a yearlong Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship, two major Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grants, and a yearlong National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. He is honorary president of the International Comparative Literature Association’s Research Committee on Literary Theory, where he served as president from 2011 through 2014. In 2018, the German government awarded him the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Prize for outstanding lifetime achievements in research.


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