Nils F. Schott currently works as the James M. Motley Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities in the Johns Hopkins University Humanities Center and as Lecturer in Literature for the Paris program of Trinity College (Hartford, CT). He studied comparative literature and philosophy at Johns Hopkins and at The American University of Paris. His primary research interests are eighteenth-century literature and philosophy, their legacies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and their relevance today. His particular focus is on the role the theories, beliefs, and practices grouped under the heading “religion” play in the elaboration of a self-styled rational view of the world. In another major aspect of this work, he draws on the philosophy of time to investigate concepts such as “conversion” and “revolution.”
These concerns figure prominently in his dissertation, The Conversion of Knowledge—Enlightenment and Religion in Eighteenth-Century Catechisms, which he completed in 2010. This study is currently being revised for publication as a monograph, and portions of the thesis have been published in Paul and the Philosophers and in Words: Religious Language Matters.
Work is underway on a companion text, The Political Theology of Secular Catechesis. Its readings of texts from the last two centuries (including Kleist, Comte, Engels, Joyce, Enzensberger, Ratzinger and al-Sistani) aim to show how catechisms in question-and-answer form articulate quintessentially modern approaches to the problems of human agency.
2015 saw the publication of two books co-edited by Nils: a translation, co-edited with Alexandre Lefebvre, of Vladimir Jankélévitch’s Henri Bergson (published by Duke UP) and a volume co-edited with Hent de Vries entitled Love and Forgiveness for a More Just World (published by Columbia UP).
Nils is also a widely published translator of academic literature. Following the publication of Lambert Wiesing’s Artificial Presence (Stanford UP, 2009) and François Delaporte’s Figures of Medicine (published by Fordham), Henri Atlan’s Fraud was published by Stanford in 2013. Experimente im Individuum: Kurt Goldstein und die Fragen des Organismus by Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers, Speculative Drawing by Armen Avanessian and Andreas Töpfer, and The Helmholtz Curves by Henning Schmidgen came out in 2014. Three more books by Avanessian followed: Irony and the Logic of Modernity (de Gruyter, 2015), his Present Tense: A Poetics (Bloomsbury, 2015), which he co-wrote with Anke Hennig, and, most recently, Overwrite (Sternberg, 2017).
Other projects are underway, including Interpreting Bergson, a collection of essays on Henri Bergson co-edited with Alexandre Lefebvre under contract at Cambridge UP, the translation of Helmuth Plessner’s Macht und menschliche Natur (commissioned by the Helmuth Plessner Gesellschaft), as well as translations of Henning Schmidgen’s Hirn und Zeit, Ingolf Dalferth’s Malum (for Indiana UP), Erich Hörl’s Heilige Kanäle (for Amsterdam UP), Emmanuel Alloa’s Das durchscheinende Bild (for Columbia UP), and selected essays by André Leroi-Gourhan (for Chicago UP).
The recipient of numerous research as well as teaching fellowships, Nils has taught courses across the humanities disciplines, from philosophy and literary studies via Jewish studies and gender studies to expository writing.
A detailed CV is available here.
This site also features a concordance of the Alcan and PUF editions (as well as translations into English) of the books Henri Bergson published during his lifetime.