He teaches Czech and comparative literature at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has a particular interest in Czech-German cultural contacts during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has published on the Czech interwar avant-garde and on modernist writers such as Kafka, Rilke and Weiner, and on Central European aesthetics from Herder to Benjamin. He is also currently the director of the UCL FRINGE Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity. He did his BA degree at Yale, and MA and PhD at the University of Chicago.