Karsten Olson, Ph.D.

Lecturer in German

Contact Information

  • kolson@unca.edu

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Thursday 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Note: Or by appointment.

Karsten Olson has previously taught at Auburn University, the European University Viadriana, as well as the University of Minnesota, where he received his Ph.D. in German Studies in 2019. His research interests include 18th-century theater and enlightenment thought, fascism studies,
social theories of crowds and masses, as well as contemporary German literature. He has worked previously as a researcher at the Zentrum für Literaturforschung in Berlin, a translator for an insurance agency and bike mechanic. His hobbies include playing the piano, building computers and running.


  • Ph.D. in German Studies, University of Minnesota. Dissertation: Beyond the Public Sphere: The Secret Agency of the Many
  • M.A. in German Studies, University of Minnesota. Thesis: “Insufficiently Real Realism: Realism and Materialism in Latour’s ‘On the Partial
    Existence of Existing and Nonexisting Objects’”
  • B.A. German Language, University of Wisconsin


  • “The Economic Gelding of Free Will in Lenz’s Der Hofmeister.” Peter Lang, forthcoming 2021,
  • “Franz L. Neumann’s Behemoth: A Materialist Voice in the Gesamtgestalt of Fascism Studies.”
    The Sage Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, vol. 1, Sage, July 2018, Washington,
  • “Historical-Sociology vs. Ontology: The Role of Economy in Otto Kirchheimer and Carl Schmitt’s
    Essays Legality and Legitimacy.” History of the Human Sciences, vol. 29, no. 2, Sage, April
    2016, Washington, D.C.