Charlton Payne

Visiting Assistant Professor Fellow
Payne Image

Visiting Assistant Professor of German Charlton Payne’s book project, “On the Trail of Refugees: Documentality and Narrative in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century German-Language Literature and Culture,” examines how the telling of refugee stories has emerged as an engine of cultural knowledge with political, epistemological, and ethical components. While techniques of documentation since the First World War strive to (re)construct reference to fixed national identities as well as homogeneous refugee pathways, alternative story worlds have also emerged. The genre of the novel, in particular, offers different modes of deixis to help readers make sense of a world that consists of imponderable blind spots and uncanny repetitions, as well as inhuman conditions and expedient fictions. Payne’s previously published work includes The Epic Imaginary. Political Power and Its Legitimations in Eighteenth-Century German Literature (De Gruyter, 2012) and a coedited volume Kant and The Concept of Community  (University of Rochester Press, 2011).