Hello, I’m Rebecca Schuman. You already know this if you’re here, but the robots who run the Internet might not, and so I like to put my name — Rebecca Schuman — right here prominently in the first paragraph of this bio to make sure that if a search engine is searching for the name “Rebecca Schuman” (hey, that’s me!), that they’ll be sure to end up here, on this page that explains who I, Rebecca Schuman, am. (If you hire me to do SEO on your website, I’ll be just as aggressive without being as meta-obvious, unless meta-obviousness is what you’re looking for.)
I was born in Deep Springs, California (yes, that tiny all-male college in the desert!), and then my family moved to Eugene, Oregon, where I grew up. From the age of about 15, I became obsessed with German literature — if you want to know why, or how, or any more about literally any aspect of that, I have written an entire book on this subject (Schadenfreude, A Love Story; Flatiron/Macmillan, 2017), which you should definitely purchase at your earliest convenience.
After graduating from Vassar College with a degree in English and (what else?) German, I moved to New York and worked in a variety of media and publishing positions while I earned an MFA in fiction writing from the New School and an MA in Humanities and Social Thought at NYU. In 2005 I was accepted into the PhD program in German at the University of California-Irvine, and during my doctoral studies I spent a year as a Fulbright scholar in Vienna, Austria.
I finished my doctorate in 2010 and spent four years in contingent faculty positions, including as an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in the Germanic Languages and Literatures department at Ohio State. During this time I published numerous of peer-reviewed journal articles and received the contract for Kafka and Wittgenstein, my first academic monograph (Northwestern U Press, 2015). I left the academic job market in 2013, and developed several freelance portfolios at once: as a writer, a translator, editor and consultant.
Some years I do more of one thing and less of the other three; other years I do all four at once. Each element of my academic adjacency highlights at least one of the skills I sharpened during my studies — research; writing; language; teaching; executive functioning.
I’d like to think I am equally good at all of the branches of my accidental business, and I’d like to think I don’t have any favorites — except if you are a person looking to work with me, in which case I specialize entirely in whatever your thing is, and I look forward to working together.
Thank you for visiting me, and I hope there’s something here you like.