Chair of Medieval German Literature and Linguistics
I studied Germanistik, History of Art and Theology in Bamberg, Edinburgh, Berlin and Göttingen where I did my PhD on the late medieval literary network of Nürnberg. From 1995, I taught medieval German language and literature at Tübingen and gained my Venia Legendi in German Philology in 2004. From 2006 to 2014 I held the Chair in German Studies at Newcastle University.
I have worked on didactic literature, the Book of Judith, 11th century bilingual writing and courtly literature. A special focus has always been on medieval manuscripts, the relationship of text and images and how vernacular and Latin literature are connected. Currently, I am working on several projects situated in late medieval Northern German convents and the materiality of the texts produced there, e.g. the Gerda Henkel Stiftung funded project to edit the letters of the nuns from Lüne. A major theme is the engagement with the Reformation 500 years after the publication of the 95 Theses.
My second “Standbein” is the University of Freiburg im Breisgau where I am a Senior Research Fellow at the FRIAS. More on this and other interests can be found in the video clips on this Podcast site.
Ritchie Robertson is interested in a wide range of authors and topics in the period from 1750 onwards, notably Kafka; Heine; Schiller; Austrian literature; and the Enlightenment as an international movement. He is co-director of the Oxford Kafka Research Centre (with Carolin Duttlinger and Katrin Kohl) and of the Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment (with Nicholas Cronk), and convenor of the monograph series Germanic Literatures, published by Legenda.He is currently completing a general study of the Enlightenment for Penguin Books, and is planning a study of Machiavelli’s reception in Germany from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century.
Carolin Duttlinger’s research interests are in modern German literature, thought and visual culture, with a particular focus on modernist and contemporary literature. She has worked on such areas as Weimar photography, on the history and theory of perception, on literature, memory and trauma, and on literature and anthropology. She has published widely on authors such as Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Robert Musil, Alfred Döblin, Elias Canetti, Ruth Klüger, Thomas Kling and W.G. Sebald. Her current principal research project explores the dialectical interplay between attention and distraction in twentieth-century German culture.
Kerstin Hoge’s research interests are in the field of German and Yiddish linguistics, with particular focus on syntactic theory and the study of wh-movement and small-clause constructions. Further ongoing research interests are Yiddish children’s writing and the question as to how language is used in the construction of social and personal identity. She is the review editor of the Journal of Linguistics.
Katrin Kohl’s research focuses on literature and cultural politics in the eighteenth and twentieth/twenty-first century. She is currently working on an edition of the poetic correspondence between Rainer Maria Rilke and Erika Mitterer, investigating dialogic processes in the period of modernism. Other research interests include the Prussian king Frederick the Great; the work of the eighteenth-century poet F.G. Klopstock; the work of holocaust-survivor H.G. Adler; and the theory and practice of metaphor.
Tom Kuhn’s main research interests are in political literature in the 20th century. He has worked particularly on Bertolt Brecht, and is the series editor of the main English-language edition of Brecht’s works. In addition, he has written on exile and anti-fascist literature, and on more recent drama. He is currently leading the ‘Writing Brecht’ project. Outputs include several major new publications of Brecht’s work in English. He is also working on a book on Brecht’s use of visual art and other pictorial material.
Karen Leeder has published widely on modern German culture, especially of the post-1945 and contemporary periods; her interests range from poetry and the poetic tradition to modernity, GDR literature; contemporary German culture, lateness, women’s writing, angels, spectres, translation, Rilke and Brecht. She has been awarded grants by HEFCE, the British Academy and the AHRC for projects, most recently an AHRC Fellowship to work on her Spectres of the GDR: The Haunting of the Berlin Republic.
She is a prize-winning translator of contemporary German literature: including Evelyn Schlag, Raoul Schrott, Michael Krüger, Durs Grünbein, Volker Braun and Ulrike Almut Sandig and and has been awarded residences in UK and Berlin. She is co-editor of the Companions to Contemporary German Culture series with de Gruyter, is on the board of a number of journals including International Brecht Society Yearbook, OGS, German Monitor and The German Quarterly and has published reviews in a variety of newspapers and journals as well as appearing regularly on radio and television. She was Knowledge Exchange Fellow with the Southbank Centre, London 2014-2015 and continues to work on her project Mediating Modern Poetry: http://www.mmp.mml.ox.ac.uk/
Charlie Louth's main research interests include poetry from the 18th century onwards, especially Goethe, Hölderlin, Mörike, Rilke and Celan; romanticism; translation; and comparative literature. He has translated Hölderlin's letters, and done a new translation of Rilke's Briefe an einen jungen Dichter and Brief des jungen Arbeiters. He is working on a book on Rilke.
Ben Morgan’s main research interests are in German intellectual history (medieval mysticism, Nietzsche, early psychoanalysis, Heidegger, the Frankfurt School); German film (Fritz Lang, Leni Riefenstahl, the ‘Heimat’ film) and comparative literature. He has also worked on contemporary writing (Jelinek, Trojanow). His current projects are an account of the manuscript transmission of the late medieval mystical text ‘The Sister Catherine Treatise’ from the 1310s through to the early 17th-century; and, under the working title ‘Fiction and other minds’, an investigation in collaboration with Naomi Rokotnitz (Tel Aviv University) of the way fiction models and nurtures a complex understanding of human social interaction. Both projects are informed by a methodology which combines an analysis of historical context with phenomenology (particularly that of the early Heidegger) and recent developments in the cognitive sciences.
My main areas of research are the literature and culture of the ‘threshold period’ between 1780 and 1830, modernism, and contemporary drama. Increasingly I have been working in the field of Medical Humanities and the Enlightenment Studies.
My research focuses on German literature and culture of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and its later reception. Particular interests include German Romanticism, the writing of E.T.A. Hoffmann, myth, orientalism, and cultural transfer.
I was awarded my Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh in 2013, for my thesis ‘The Image of the Orient in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Writing’. My first book, derived from this thesis, is entitled E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, and will be published in Legenda’s ‘Germanic Literatures’ series in 2016.
I am now working on a new project about the reception of German Romanticism in contemporary German and world literature.
Georgina Paul works principally in the field of contemporary German literature. She specialises in the literature of the GDR (East Germany) and literature post-unification, and has published some important essays on Christa Wolf in particular. She also has a lively interest in gender issues — how gender is theorised, what it means to be a gendered subject, and how this is represented and reflected upon in literary texts. She is a published translator, both of scholarship and of contemporary poetry.
My reseach interests focus on the dialogue between vernacular and Latin culture, and on dialogue as a literary form. Since 2009, I have been involved in Oxford’s first Marie Curie international training network in the humanities: the project on ‘Mobility of Ideas and Tranmission of Texts’ (MITT) studies the medieval transmission of learning from the universities to the wider readership that could be reached through the vernacular. Together with partners in Antwerp, Freiburg, Lecce, and Leiden, we have built up a network of 20 graduates and post-docs and held regular interdisciplinary workshops, including the Oxford confernce on ‘Medieval Women and their Books’, held jointly at the Talyorian and at Somerville in October 2012.
Recent publications include studies on the use of song in mystical writing, and collaborations with colleagues from musicology on the interplay between music and text in the ‘Jenaer Liederhandschrift’ (conference May 2014) and the ‘Carmina Burana’ manuscript. I am interested more generally in the relationship between cultures in the middle ages – Latin and the vernacular, manuscript and voice, lay and institution, and in the role which gender plays in negotiating such cultural tensions.
Annette Volfing is a medievalist with particular interest in later medieval religious, mysical, philosophical or allegorical writing. She has written monographs on Heinrich von Mügeln, on medieval uses of the figure of John the Evangelist and on literacy and textuality in Albrecht’s ‘Jüngerer Titurel’. She has co-edited volumes of essays on medieval notions of inner space, on the concept of friendship in medieval culture and on the figure of Dorothea von Montau. She has written articles on the “classic” narrative texts by Heinrich von Veldeke, Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Straßburg, and on orientalism in Middle High German literature, and on medieval German religious writing. She is currently working on a monograph on the relationship between mysticism and allegory, focussing on the ‘Tochter Syon’ allegory. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.
Helen Fronius’s research interests are in eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century German literature and culture. She has published on the role of German women writers in the Goethe era, and is currently editing a volume of collected essays on women writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is also working on the depiction of infanticide in late eighteenth-century texts.
Kirstin Gwyer’s research interests are in twentieth- and twenty-first-century German literature, with a particular focus on Holocaust literature and contemporary German-Jewish and American-Jewish writing, postmodernism and post-postmodernism, and literature since the Wende.
My research interests lie in Medieval Literature, History and Philosophy, with a particular emphasis on female sanctity. I wrote my Doctoral thesis on the thirteenth-century Premonstratensian mystic Christina of Hane under the supervision of Dr. Almut Suerbaum. I previously studied History and German at the University of Göttingen and History of Art and Digital Humanities at the École nationale des chartes Paris, before taking up the European Commission Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Oxford.
Alex Lloyd’s main research interests are in twentieth-century literature and film, particularly memories of childhood, war, and dictatorship. Her AHRC-funded doctoral thesis (Wadham College, 2012) examined post-1989 representations of childhood and youth under Nazism. Recent mini-lectures (‘Teddy Talks’) on ‘How to spot a liar in literature’ and ‘Children’s views of World War II’ are available as University of Oxford podcasts.
She is the co-convener of a research network exploring the interaction of music and words in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century European song tradition, sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.
Alexis Radisoglou’s main research interests are in the field of twentieth-century and contemporary German literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on comparative and interdisciplinary approaches. Most of his work is concerned with the role and status of aesthetic production in the era of globalized modernity, and he is currently working on a book project titled Globe and Planet in Contemporary Aesthetics.
Charlotte Ryland’s research interests are in German literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular focus on the intersection between literature and politics, on the representation of the Holocaust, and on comparative literature and translation. Her PhD thesis, on the poetry and translations of the post-Holocaust poet Paul Celan, was published in early 2010: ‘Paul Celan’s Encounters with Surrealism: Trauma, Translation and Shared Poetic Space’ (Legenda). She is editor of the bi-annual journal New Books in German and Postdoctoral Researcher on the Writing Brecht project in the Modern Languages faculty at Oxford. Charlotte is committed to languages outreach and to widening participation at university level, and was the founding co-ordinator of the Oxford German Network.
Robert Vilain specializes in German, Austrian, French and Comparative Literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a special interest in lyric poetry. He has published widely on authors such as Hofmannsthal, George, Rilke, Yvan and Claire Goll, Thomas Mann, on Franco-German literary relations, detective fiction and the relationship of literature to music and the visual arts.
Between 2014 and 2017 Professor Vilain was one of three investigators (with Professor Andrew Webber, Cambridge, and Dr Judith Beniston, UCL) on a major AHRC-funded project supporting a Digital Critical Edition of the Middle-Period Works of Arthur Schnitzler, to be hosted on the Cambridge University Library website. This project and a further collaboration with the British Library on the Stefan Zweig archive have fully funded two PhD studentships.
My research concentrates on contemporary German literature – with a particular focus on Felicitas Hoppe, Wilhelm Genazino, and Thomas Lehr –, High Modernism and Romanticism. I am also particularly interested in literary psycho-pathography.
Tobias’ main research interests are in German literature of the Eighteenth Century, historical and contemporary genres of Life Writing, literary theory and Austrian literature and film. His current research project investigates the ways in which the epistolary culture of Late German Enlightenment resembles current practices in Social Media.
His research in language teaching focuses on the use of online resources in modular learning approaches.
Laura A. Macor’s research interests lie in eighteenth-century German literature, philosophy and intellectual history. The authors she has dealt with are Fichte, Hegel, Hölderlin, Kant, Schiller, and Spalding.
My current medical humanities project builds on my research background in cognitive literary studies to investigate the connections between fiction-reading and disordered eating. Together with the eating disorders charity Beat, I am starting to develop a metholodogy for empirically investigating both how reading might have an impact on mental health, and how differences in mental health affect the processes of literary reading and interpretation.
This work has developed naturally out of my longer-standing interests in how readers respond to fiction and what makes text seem realistic. My doctorate and my first monograph, Kafka’s Cognitive Realism, explored Kafka’s works in terms of their ‘cognitive realism’ in the realms of perception and emotion, applying cognitive-scientific findings and theories directly to the analysis of textual features and readers’ potential interactions with them. In this context I became especially interested in ‘second-generation’ cognitive science, which takes seriously the embodied, enactive, embedded, and extended nature of the mind — factors which are particularly crucial to understanding eating disorders as well as literary responses.
I strongly believe that the future of literary studies lies in constructive collaboration with other disciplines, and especially the cognitive sciences, and that both the sciences and the humanities have a lot to learn from each other through the cooperative investigation of how minds and texts interact.
Contribute to my current research by completing this online survey on reading and mental health. It’s open to anyone aged 18 and over.
Howard Jones’s main research interests are in the early Germanic languages, especially Gothic, Old English, Old High German, and Middle High German. He is currently working with Martin Jones on The Oxford Guide to Middle High German to be published by OUP.
Nigel Palmer’s research interests are in Medieval German language and literature. He is engaged in a collaborative research project, together with a group of colleagues in Germany, Switzerland and the US, on the ‘Literary topography of SW Germany in the later Middle Ages’, which is an attempt to establish a literary history of this region on the basis of the manuscript sources and library history (Latin and German). The project concentrates on Baden-Württemberg, Switzerland and the Alsace. One area of particular interest is the manuscripts from the Cistercian abbeys and nunneries in the region. His principal research project for the moment is an edition and commentary on an illustrated prayer book, the ‘Begerin-Gebetbuch’ from Strasbourg (now in Berne). Other areas of special interest are blockbooks and their place in early printing history, the interface between Latin literature and German literature in the Middle Ages, and palaeography and codicology of the period 1100-1550. He is editor of Oxford German Studies (together with Jim Reed) and of Medium Aevum (together with Corinne Saunders and Sylvia Huot). He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a corresponding fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. In 2007 he was awarded the Research Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2013 he was awarded a honorary doctorate by the University of Bern.
Tony Phelan is currently working on the literary and philosophical effect of the friendship between Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin, during their years of exile, including their conceptions of history and their investigation of gesture/Gestus. Benjamin, particularly in his study of Romantic art criticism and his work on Paris, in the Passagen-Werk, also provides a guiding critical approach to work on the philosophy and aesthetics of the Jena Romantics and their novels.
Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly’s main research interests are in German literature and culture from the late 15th to the early 18th centuries within their European context, in women’s writing in all periods and in the representation of women in German literature and culture. She has made a special study of early modern court festivals of all kinds throughout Europe and of court culture. Her most recent book is Beauty or Beast? The Woman Warrior in the German Imagination from the Renaissance to the Present (OUP 2010). She is the Project Leader of ‘Marrying Cultures: Queens Consort and European Identities, 1500-1800’, one of the 18 projects funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) as part of its ‘Cultural Encounters’ programme. The project involves collaboration with colleagues in Germany, Poland and Sweden. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.
Emeritus Professor of German, University of Oxford
Professor Hilda Meldrum Brown has published widely on German literary topics from Goethe to Christa Wolf and is internationally known for her work on Heinrich von Kleist. Her research has for some years had a strong interdisciplinary bias and involves studying connections between literature, drama, music, the visual arts, especially in the field of German Romanticism and Richard Wagner. Her new book on the Gesamtkunstwerk and Richard Wagner combines a number of these areas of research and has been supported by The Leverhulme Trust (Emeritus Research Fellowship) and a Hawthornden Fellowship at The International Retreat for Writers.
Francis Lamport has published books on Lessing, Goethe and German classical drama, and articles mostly on the literature (especially the drama) of the classical period. He has also published translations, including Schiller’s ‘The Robbers’ and ‘Wallenstein’ (Penguin Classics)