Stefan Herbrechter

My research vision

In last ten years, together with Professor Ivan Callus, Head of English at the University of Malta, I have been developing a new approach to reading literary, cultural and media texts and discourses, which we have called “critical posthumanism”. Critical posthumanism is a reflection on the emerging paradigm of “posthumanism” and of the figure of the “posthuman”. It is aligned with a critique of anthropocentrism and the ongoing deconstruction of humanism, which currently find their expression in the urgency of the question: what does it mean to be human? This urgency lies mainly in the technological and global economic and ecological challenges and the accelerated erosion of traditional demarcations between the human and the nonhuman.

Stefan Herbrechter.jpg

Reader in Cultural Theory Postgraduate Programme Manager

Building: Ellen Terry

Room: ET205

Stefan Herbrechter Website 

Critical Posthumanism 


Stefan Herbrechter is Reader in Cultural Theory, Postgraduate Programme Manager (Media) and Course Director of the MA in Communication, Culture and Media at Coventry University (since 2009).

Previously he held positions at Leeds Trinity University College and Heidelberg University. He holds an MA in English and Romance Philology from Heidelberg University (1993), a PhD from the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University (1997) and a Habilitation (English literature and cultural theory) from Heidelberg University (2009).

He is the executive editor (with Ivan Callus, University of Malta) of Rodopi’s monograph series Critical Posthumanisms. He has published three monographs, more than ten edited collections and numerous articles on English and comparative literature, critical and cultural theory and cultural and media studies. His work has been translated into German, Romanian and Korean. As a translator of scholarly works from English into German and French into English he has translated texts by Bernard Stiegler, Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous. For more details please see

Selected outputs

  • Herbrechter, S. (2013) Posthumanism: A Critical Analysis. London: Bloomsbury
  • Herbrechter, S., and Callus, I. (2008) 'What is a Posthumanist Reading?'. Angelaki 13 (1), 95-111
  • Herbrechter, S., and Callus, I. (eds.) (2012) Posthumanist Shakespeares. Houndmills: Palgrave
  • Herbrechter, S. (2013) 'Posthumanism, Subjectivity, Autobiography'. Subjectivity 5 (3), 327-347
  • Herbrechter, S., and Callus, I. (2013) Critical Posthumanism – An Introduction. Amsterdam: Rodopi
  • Herbrechter, S. (2012) ''A passion so strange, outrageous, and so variable': The Invention of the Inhuman in The Merchant of Venice'. In Posthumanist Shakespeares. Ed. by Herbrechter, S., and Callus, I. London: Palgrave, 41-57
  • Herbrechter, S. (2011) 'Shakespeare Ever After: Posthumanism and Shakespeare'. In Humankinds: The Renaissance and Its Anthropologies. Ed. by Höfele, A., and Laqué, S. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 261-278
  • Herbrechter, S., and Callus, I. (2011) 'Humanity without Itself: Robert Musil, Giorgio Agamben and Posthumanism'. In Towards a New Literary Humanism. Ed. by Mousley, A. Houndmills: Palgrave, 143-160
  • Herbrechter, S., and Callus, I. (eds.) (2009) Cy-Borges: Memories of the Posthuman in the Work of Jorge Luis Borges. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press
  • Callus, I., and Herbrechter, S. (2007) 'Critical posthumanism or, the invention of a posthumanism without technology'. Subject Matters 3.2/4.1,15-30

Selected projects

  • Critical Posthumanism Network (CPN) : The CPN aims to connect academics, artists, writers and scientists who are critically and creatively engaging with the emerging new paradigm of “posthumanism” and the “posthumanities”. They share the view that posthumanism is an exciting area that can be even richer when it allies its appealing interdisciplinary profile with a capacity and readiness for powerful (self-)critique.
  • European Posthumanism : A special issue of the European Journal of English Studies (EJES) to be published in 2014. It proposes to examine the histories and geographies of posthumanism. It also looks at the genealogies, practices of appropriation, and politics of translation which have been at work in therise of posthumanism.
  • Deconstruction – Space – Ethics : Special edited issue of Parallax, scheduled for publication in 2016.
  • Posthumanist Politics: 
A monograph and conference project in cooperation with Ivan Callus, and in association with the Critical Posthumanism network. The anticipated date for the conference is 2015, depending on funding.
  • Life in Theory : A co-authored monograph, with Manuela Rossini, on the resurgence of “life” in recent theory and philosophy (from biopolitics to neovitalism).
  • Posthumanist Readings Across the Ages: 
A book series based on the initial success of our co-edited volume (with Ivan Callus) entitled Cy-Borges: Premonitions of the Posthuman in the Work of Jorge Luis Borges (Bucknell University Press, 2009). Currently planned follow-up volumes are: Joyce-Stick: Gaming with James Joyce; and Eco-System (on Umberto Eco).
  • Posthumanist Education and Cultural Studies: 
A book project and cultural and educational policy research into the question of how a truly post-humanist (i.e. an based on “post-literacy”, or “electracy” (Gregory Ulmer))  educational curriculum might look like.
  • How the Media Made Us Post/Human : A book project (maybe an innovative media textbook) on the relationship between posthumanism and the media (old and new), which investigates the idea of “originary technicity” (i.e. it is “technology that makes us human”, but also “we have always already been with “media”) as a starting point for what I would call “critical digital media studies” as an antidote against the recent hype surrounding the transformational power of “new” media.
  • Xenography – Theories of Alterity : This is a longstanding and long term project that investigates different notions of alterity, otherness and strangeness that have come to dominate various disciplines like psychoanalysis, sociology, theology, philosophy, and literary and cultural studies. The original idea dates back to my essay “Xenography – The Stranger in The Merchant of Venice”, in Realigning Renaissance Culture: Intrusion and Adjustment on the Renaissance Stage, Stephan Laqué and Enno Ruge, eds, Trier: WVT, 2004 pp. 15-31.
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