Doktorand (Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies)


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Visiting address

Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Nordhäuser Str. 63
99089 Erfurt

Mailing address

Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Steffen Andrae

Personal Information

Steffen Andrae studied philosophy, sociology, and political theory in Darmstadt, Frankfurt am Main, and New York after completing his training as a state-certified educator. Since 2019, he has been a doctoral student at the Max Weber Centre of the University of Erfurt. In 2022, he completed a one-year visiting fellowship at Columbia University. His dissertation focuses on the relationship between realism and experience in Siegfried Kracauer and Alexander Kluge.

Research Project


The goal of my research project is to reconstruct thoroughly the œuvre of Kracauer and Kluge as a nonconformist strand of a theoretical and artistic realism. In order to reinterpret systematically these authors I understand their realism as a specifc confguration of poetics and social critique. Due to its intertwinement of aesthetic and conceptual elements, the work of Kracauer and Kluge seems to hold an exceptional position within both Critical Theory and literary realism. The gravitational center of their genuinely original form of dealing with historical, social and political conditions is, I argue, the concept of experience, which is situated at the intersection of social philosophy, epistemology, and aesthetic theory. Like the protagonists of the frst and second generation of Critical Theory, Kracauer and Kluge assume that the modern way of existence is based on fundamentally defcient modes of experience and relationships, theoretically as well as practically.

However, in contrast to Adorno and his peers, Kluge and Kracauer react to the disastrous history of modernity with a variety of realism whose obstinate arrangement of theoretical and aesthetic procedures facilitates innovative forms of critique. These forms can be located between a poetically enriched branch of science and a kind of art that focuses particularly on social reality. I want to trace the specifcs of Kracauer's and Kluge's methods of production and writing in their mediation of documentary and lifeworld oriented elements with those of (historical) philosophical cartography, in the narrative trait of their realism, in their sensually enriched concept of rationality, and their specifc methods of depicting and representing reality. I will thus analyze the poetical and theoretical models induced by Kluge and Kracauer regarding both their critical and alternative meaning for human forms of experience and relationship. Furthermore, I want to refect on the practical interweaving of their works with social reality. I consider Kracauer's and Kluge's critical practice of realism as an intervening mode of production that addresses forms of human experience and relationship while it is also, paradoxically, always part of the concrete social, historical and political context that it aims to scrutinize.


  • “‘Stumme Verhältnisse zum Sprechen bringen’. Zur Videoinstallation ‘Romeo vs. Julia’ von Mailand / Innenhof’”, in: Kunstchronik, Heft 4, April 2024, p. 268-271.
  • The Dialectics of Subjectivity and Objectivity. Realism in Kracauer’s Novel Ginster”, in: Monatshefte, vol. 115 no. 4, 2023, p. 507-528.
  • “Une brève sociologie du conte“ [A Short Sociology of Fairy-Tales], in: Siggi, le magazine de sociologie, printemps 2023.
  • “Erfahrung | Fahren | Gefahr. The Role of Precarious Subjectivity in Kracauer’s World Encounter”, in: Leonie Hunter/Felix Trautmann (ed.), Im Sinne der Materialität. Film und Gesellschaft nach Siegfried Kracauer, IfS - Aus der Reihe Bd. 1, 2022, p. 170-184.
  • “‘Mich wird die Spitze meines Bleistifts überlisten. Steffen Andrae im Gespräch mit Alexander Kluge’”, Multi Media Edition of the already published interview in cooperation with and dctp, 2021. | online here
  • “Der Hofregisseur der Frankfurter Schule? Alexander Kluge, Adorno und der Film”, in: Mittelweg 36, Heft 3/2021: Metamorphosen der Kritischen Theorie, Hamburger Editionen HIS, Hamburg 2021 (co-authored with Jörg Später), p. 65-87.
  • “Mikrophysik des Widerstands. Alexander Kluges politische Philosophie der Gefühle”, in: diskurs, Ausgabe 6: Gefühle des Widerstands, 2021, p. 1-22 |online here
    republished in: Rainer Stollmann et al. (Hg), Trauerarbeit / Maulwurf Krieg. Alexander Kluge Jahrbuch, Bd. 8, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2022, p. 165-187.
  • “‘Und so kommen lauter Lebendigkeiten zusammen’ - Ein Interview mit Alexander Kluge über Realismus und Realität”, in: Josef Früchtl/Philipp Theisohn (ed.), Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, Heft 65/2, Felix Meiner Verlag, Hamburg 2020, p. 127-134.
  • “Durchs Material der Welt hindurchgetrieben. Ein Interview mit Jörg Später über Siegfried Kracauers wunderlichen Marxismus”, in: Platypus Review #12, 2020.
  • “Gegenstand, Darstellung, Kritik. Versuch über einige Berührungspunkte zwischen den Realismus-Konzeptionen von Siegfried Kracauer und Alexander Kluge”, in: Richard Langston et al. (ed.), Alexander Kluge Jahrbuch, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2019, p. 387-404.
  • “Kracauer trifft Kluge. Über Adorno als Lehrer und als Schüler und über das Verhältnis von Erfahrung, Realismus, Poetik und Kritik”, in: Dennis Göttel/Christina Wessely (ed.), Im Vorraum. Lebenswelten Kritischer Theorie um 1969, Kulturverlag Kadmos, Berlin 2019 (co-authored with Jörg Später), p. 13-32.


  • “Interruptions of Realism. Subjectivity and Objectivity in Kracauer’s Novel Ginster”, Presentation @Annual Conference of the Association of Germanic Studies in Britain and Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 8/29/2023.
  • “‘Neues Sehen’. Realismus als Politik des Ästhetischen”, Presentation @Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International, Frankfurt am Main, 4/19/2023.
  • “Erfahrung, Fahren, Gefahr. Aesthetic World Encounter and Precarious Subjectivity in Siegfried Kracauer“, Presentation @Annual Conference of the American Society for Aesthetics, Portland, Oregon, 11/18/2022.
  • “‘The fairy tales are not miracle stories‘. Siegfried Kracauer and the Reason of Fairy Tales“, Presentation @Centre canadien d’études allemandes et européennes, Université de Montréal, 11/10/2022.
  • Booklaunch “Vielheit. Jüdische Geschichte und die Ambivalenzen des Universalismus“, Panel Discussion with Till van Rahden and Barbara Thériault @Goethe Institut Montréal, 11/8/2022.
  • “Between Fact and Fiction. Alexander Kluge’s Thought on History, Subjectivity, and Literature“, Presentation @Grad Workshop Columbia University Department of Philosophy, New York City, 10/7/2022.