Alex Sorenson received his B.A. from the Honors College of Portland State University. During his undergraduate study, he spent a DAAD-supported semester at the University of Heidelberg, and completed an internship in the European Reading Room of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He received his M.A. from the University of Chicago in Spring 2013. His dissertation investigates the topos of drowning in key texts of Poetic Realism as a motivic repository for contemporary philosophical and literary conceptualizations of law, sacrifice and subjective perception. He has most recently published an article on visual narration in Rilke’s Neue Gedichte (The German Quarterly), and is currently conducting research for a future project on the spatial and lyric concept of sanctuary in modern German poetry. Additional interests include the German Ghost Story from 1800 to the present, ekphrasis and the Bildgedicht, and nineteenth-century forms of philosophical narrativity (as found in the work of thinkers such as Schelling, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche).