General Information

Dr. Birgit Capelle  

Birgit Capelle is a postdoc researcher and (graduate and undergraduate) lecturer at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf who also taught at Bonn University and whose primary research interest is exploring convergences and intersections between North American, European, and Asian thought. She earned her PhD with a ‘summa cum laude’ for her transcultural dissertation on ‘TIME and Temporality in American and East Asian Thinking,’ in which she analyzes structural parallels between American Transcendentalist, Pragmatist, and (Zen) Buddhist ways of conceptualizing temporality and existence. Her thesis was awarded the prize as The “Best Dissertation in The Faculty of Arts and Humanities 2009” and published by Winter-Verlag in 2011. Capelle is currently working on her habilitation project, which is a global study of ‘Spiritual Crises in Autobiographical Writing’ (America, Europe, Asia - 17th through 20th Centuries).

Research Interests

American Transcendentalism and Pragmatism

Theories of Modernity and Time

Transpacific Studies – Comparative Philosophy/Literature (East/West) 

Asian Philosophy and Religion 

Auto/Biographical Studies – Life Writing 

Theories of Religious Experience and Conversion

Beat Generation/Counterculture Movements

Nature Poetry and Writing 

Arts and Aesthetics

The American Road Mythology (literature and film)


Current Projects

Postdoc/Habilitation: “Spiritual Crises in Autobiographical Texts: A Study of Global Parallels and Convergences in 17th through 20th Century Life Writings from America, Europe, and Asia” (working title)

Lecture Series “Literarische Philosophie – Philosophische Literatur,” together with Dr. Dennis Sölch, HHU Düsseldorf (SS 2019)

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