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Prof. Dr. Joachim Harst

Juniorprofessur Comparative Literature


Mailing Address:
50923 Köln

Innere Kanalstraße 15 (Triforum)
1. Floor, Room 1.17
50823 Köln

Tel.: 0221-470-76728
E-Mail: jharst(at)

office hours:

by appointment via Scheduler (PhilFak > Komparatistik > Harst, Joachim) or E-Mail 



The assistant professor for Comparative Literature and his team heads the master’s program for Comparative Literature at the University of Cologne, involving nine different fields of study within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Furthermore he represents Comparative Literature in the Faculty’s  wide array of disciplines.



Since October 2018 Joachim Harst is Assistant Professor for Comparative Literature at the University of Cologne. After his studies of German Literature, Philosophy and History in Tübingen and Aix-en-Provence (which he finished with his master’s thesis Textspalten. Fetischismus als literarische Strategie in 2006), he worked at Yale University with Prof. Rüdiger Campe while writing his dissertation Heilstheater, which deals with the problematic relationship between Theater and Theology in the works of Kleist and Gryphius (finished in 2010). From 2010 to 2018 he worked as a Research Assistant at the Chair of Prof. Christian Moser (University of Bonn, German Department, Comparative Literature). Meanwhile he was member of the editorial staff of the Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (ZÄK, 2008-2017) and the yearbook of the German Association for Comparative Literature, Komparatistik (2011-2017). Since 2011 Joachim Harst is a board member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft.


Recent Publications

  • »Universalgeschichte des Ehebruchs.« Verbindlichkeit zwischen Recht, Religion und Literatur. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2021.
  • Wortgebunden. Verbindlichkeit von Versprechen in Recht und Literatur. Hg. zus. mit Gregor Albers und Katharina Kaesling. Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann, 2021. (Leseprobe)
  • »Höfische Verbindlichkeit: Ehe, Liebe und Versprechen«, in: Wortgebunden. Verbindlichkeit von Versprechen in Recht und Literatur, hrsg. von Gregor Albers, Joachim Harst, und Katharina Kaesling, Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann, 2021, 213-236.
  • »›Shipwreck in the Heart of the City.‹ Robinson Crusoe in Auster’s Early Prose«, in: Komparatistik Online 2020, 47-69. (online)


Research Areas

  • Law and Literature, esp. the notion of obligation and commitment in binding speech acts (oaths, curses, promises)
  • Notions and Practices of Philology
  • Poetics and Rhetorics of the Tragedy (from the ancient Greek andLatin tragedy to the baroque mourning play as well as the classicistic tragedy of Early Modernity)


Current Classes 

  • Introduction to Comparative Literature I
  • Chinese-German Comparisons of Transcultural Media Practices


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