Jana Schmidt

Visiting Fellow

German Historical Institute Washington
1607 New Hampshire Ave NW | Washington DC 20009


Biographical Summary

A Visiting Fellow at the GHI, Jana Schmidt is a literary scholar with interests in German and American literatures post-1945, the aesthetics of exile and transatlantic studies, and theories of memory and relation. She earned her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University at Buffalo and has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College as well as a Visiting Professor at Bard. Publications include a monograph on Hannah Arendt and essays on Jacques Derrida, Philip Guston, H.G. Adler, Ingeborg Bachmann, Adrienne Rich and Bertolt Brecht. Her current project, "Futures Not Yet: Jewish Exile, Black Politics," follows the traces of German-Jewish exiles and their encounters with Black life, politics, and anti-Black racism in the United States between their arrival in the 1940s and the 1960s. It inquires into the fraught ways emigres use their own experience of racial persecution and terror to understand the position of Black Americans while writing their history as and with their own.