Bioethics Blogs

Top of the Heap: Alexander I. Stingl by Hannah Gibson

For this installment of the Top of the Heap series, I spoke with Alexander I. Stingl, who is a sociologist and a research consultant for Medical Humanities and Social Sciences with the Institute for General Medicine (IAM) of the University Clinic of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.

Alexander I. Stingl

On dancing with the smarts: Cleanse and repeat!

My current and fairly substantial reading list is partially determined by the courses I am teaching during this winter semester at a German university; however, not only do I get to teach mostly courses in English instead of German, but also, and more importantly, courses that I am fairly free to design as I please in terms of the subject matter. As a consequence, I get to roam a vast landscape of scholarship, queering and cutting-together-apart disciplinary knowledges and literatures in the process.

The invitation to write for the Top of the Heap series is, therefore and for many other more superficial reasons and intellectual vanities, riddled with the difficulty of having to make decisions: does one focus on old and new favorites in teaching, books and papers that have ultimately shaped one’s own intellectual development, (mis)use the opportunity to feature the works of deserving friends, or take literally the idea of the title and feature the books one is about to read, that have piqued one’s interest, that are on top of the heap. I will take the literal route and pick a few from the very top of my heap, a.k.a. my current reading list that is both looming and daunting, most of which is sitting materially on my temporary desk in a comfortably warm and cushy apartment in a cold and wet, and presently quite misty, Northern German city, where I have rented a small bedroom with a small, attached office-space—a serenest of atmospheres, disturbed only on occasion by the impossibly long freight trains, a-shaking the house when passing through the nearby train station.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.