Assistant Professor of German Eric Klaus recently gave a presentation in Memmingen, Germany, at the annual meeting of the Europaische Totentanz-Vereinigung (The European Danse Macabre Society). The conference’s theme was Games of Life and Death and included papers that examined the extent to which artists and authors represent death as a participant in games and competitions. Presentations covered an array of topics: from a recently discovered 15th century text, to music videos that reinterpret the age-old motif. Klaus discussed Stefan Zweig’s final text “Schachnovelle” (1942, translated as “The Royal Game”) as a work that thematizes death and chess in ways that reflect the realities and horrors of the Nazi era.
Klaus joined the HWS faculty in 2001 after gaining previous teaching experience at Deutsche Sommerschule am Atlantik, Brown University, University of Rhode Island and University of Maryland-College Park. He earned a B.A. in German from Dickinson College, his M.A. in Germanic Studies from University of Maryland-College Park, and his Ph.D. in German Studies from Brown University.
He has participated in previous conferences in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Ottawa, Canada; Berlin, Germany; at Yale University, and at HWS. Klaus has also published various articles on Gustav Meyrink and other analyses of German literature. Currently, he is working on publications surrounding his scholarly interests of the uncanny and bildungsroman (coming-of-age novel).