Prof. Dr. Philipp Ekardt


Prior to taking up his visiting professorship, Philipp Ekardt held teaching and research positions at the Peter Szondi-Institute for Comparative Literature and at the research cluster ‘Languages of Emotion’, both at Freie Universität Berlin, as a member of the Bilderfahrzeuge project at the University of London’s Warburg Institute, as well as serving as editor-in-chief of the journal Texte zur Kunst. He is currently on leave from a NOMIS Research Fellowship at EIKONES – Center for the Theory and History of the Image at Universität Basel.

His first monograph Toward Fewer Images. The Work of Alexander Kluge, partly based on his PhD dissertation at Yale University, has been published as an OCTOBER Book with MIT Press ( His second book Fashion Forward Benjamin emerges from a longstanding interest in the aesthetics, practice, and literature of fashion, as well as a from a scholarly investment in the work of Walter Benjamin, dating back to Ekardt’s student days in Berlin, Paris, and at Yale. This study investigates the systematic aspects and historical contexts of Benjamin’s fashion theory, and will be published in the series Walter Benjamin Studies with Bloomsbury Academic. At EIKONES Ekardt pursues a research project that seeks to reassess the conceptualization of gestures around 1800 as put forward in Goethe’s novel Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities) and in the attitudes of Lady Hamilton according to a principle of composition and an overall activity of material assemblies and assemblages.

In recent years Ekardt has also served as an outside thesis advisor at the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies (NYC), at University College London’s Department of Classics, as well as teaching in smaller capacities at UCL and at EIKONES. In 2018 he was a co-convenor (with Cornelia Zumbusch and Frank Fehrenbach) of the Warburg-Kolleg on Political Emotions in the Arts at the Warburg-Haus in Hamburg; he is an invited participant in the Entangled Histories. Archeology, Interior, and Design-seminars directed by Caroline van Eck, based at Cambridge University, the École nationale des chartes (Paris), and Leiden University.



  • Fashion Forward Benjamin. London, New York, Oxford (Bloomsbury Academic / Walter Benjamin Studies) 2019 (forthcoming).
  • Toward Fewer Images. The Work of Alexander Kluge. Cambridge, Mass. and London (OCTOBER Books / MIT Press) 2018.


  • Certain Wonderful Gestures. Warburg, Lessing, and the Transitory in Images. In: Culture, Theory, and Critique. No. 2. Vol 54 (2016).
  • Fiorucci Made Me Normcore. Five Observations on Art, Style and Scenes Today. In: Texte zur Kunst 96 (March 2015).
  • Form der Paraphrase. Umgearbeitete Romantik bei Alexander Kluge. In: Alexander Kluge-Jahrbuch 2 (2015).
  • In Defense of Styling. Fashion, Art, and Image in the Work of Bernadette Corporation. In: Texte zur Kunst 95 (September 2014).
  • Starry Skies and Frozen Lakes. Alexander Kluge’s Digital Constellations. In: OCTOBER 138 (Fall 2011).
  • Returns of the Archaic, Reserves for the Future. A Conversation with Alexander Kluge. In: OCTOBER 138 (Fall 2011).
  • Die Bestimmung der Aufnahme. Licht und Graphie bei Walter Benjamin. In: Benjamin-Studien 2. Eds. Daniel Weidner, Sigrid Weigel. München (Fink) 2011.
  • Sensing – Feeling – Imitating. Psycho-Mimeses in Aby Warburg. In: Ilinx. Berliner Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft. No. 2. Mimesen. Hamburg (Philo Fine Arts) 2011.
  • Passage als Modell. Zu Walter Benjamins Architekturtheorie. In: Poetica 37. No 3/4 (2005).


  • Figurations of the Digital, Constellations of Production: Tykwer, Vertov, Kluge. (The New Alphabet. Opening Days. House of World Cultures / Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Berlin, 2019.)
  • Digital Casual. Mark Leckey’s Style and Image Work. (CUNY Graduate Center. New York, 2018)
  • Assemblages and Compositions. Remodeling the Tableaux Vivants in Goethe’s ‘Wahlverwandtschaften’ (Elective Affinities) and Lady Hamilton’s Attitudes. (The Warburg Institute, London, 2018; EIKONES – Center for the Theory and History of The Image, University of Basel, NOMIS Lecture, 2018; Ecole des Chartes / Paris Sciences Lettres, Université de Paris / Cambridge University – Entangled Histories Seminar, 2018; Birkbeck Program in Comparative Literature, University of London, 2016)
  • Belle Epoque Reruns. Fashion and the Dialectical Image in the Work of Walter Benjamin. (Oxford University, Biannual Conference of the International Walter Benjamin Society, 2017)
  • Gestaltenfolge. Form Beyond Morphology in the Works of Goethe and Lady Hamilton.(Cambridge University, 2017; Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte/Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris, Bilderfahrzeuge Workshop: Genealogy and Morphology. Perspectives on the Origin and Becoming of Images, 2017)
  • Tender Gestures. Styles of Contact and Communality in Art and Fashion Today.
    (Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London, 2017; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2016)
  • Sexuation of the Silhouette and the Tiger’s Leap into Fashion History. Benjaminian Morphology with Grund and Schiaparelli.
    (The Courtauld Institute, 2017; EIKONES – Center for the Theory and History of the Image, Basel University, 2016, Oxford University, 2013)
  • Gesture and Discernment. The Power of Feelings according to Alexander Kluge.
    (Alexander Kluge: A Narration. Conference. Department of German, Princeton University. 2016.; On Gesture: A Workshop. Walter Benjamin Research Network (Goldsmiths University, Kingston University), Bilderfahrzeuge Research Network (The Warburg Institute) 2016.)


  • Pro QM, Berlin - with Prof. Gertrud Koch (Freie Universität Berlin / Brown University), December 2018.
  • NYU/Steinhardt School – Contemporary Art Research Collective; discussant Prof. Michael Jennings (Princeton), convenor Prof. Andrew Weiner (NYU/Steinhardt), November 2018.