TELOSscope: The Telos Press Blog

In Memoriam: Joshua Robert Gold

Joshua Robert Gold, Assistant Professor of German and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut, died on June 3, 2009, at the age of 38.

He was guest editor of Telos 140, “Peter Szondi and Critical Hermeneutics,” to which he contributed an article on Peter Szondi’s “Hölderlin-Studien.” Gold’s research touches on literature, philosophy, film, and political theory. His article entitled “Apocalypse From Below,” published in Telos 134, offers an account of the work of German-Jewish philosopher Jacob Taubes that explores the theological underpinnings of modern political thought. This concern with political theology runs through his study on Hölderlin, which examines the complex and often fraught relationship between revolutionary political thought and its mediation through poetic language. Gold’s work attends closely to the act of writing, particularly to the tensions and affinities between literary and philosophical language. His essays on poems by Rainer Maria Rilke and his publications on Walter Benjamin’s writings, “The Dwarf in the Machine: A Theological Figure and Its Sources” and “‘Another Nature Which Speaks to the Camera’: Film and Translation in the Writings of Walter Benjamin,” attest to this particular concern.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Gold was educated in the public school system and held a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 2004. As a graduate student, he also studied in Germany at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Tübingen. Before joining the faculty of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Connecticut, he taught at Washington College and Johns Hopkins University.

His engaging passion for literature and thought, his sense of intellectual urgency, critical precision, and his bright sense of humor will be sorely missed.

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