Dr T Kuhn

Tom Kuhn, M.A., D.Phil.
Professor of Twentieth-Century German Literature, Fellow of St Hugh’s College


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 working on a major AHRC-funded project, ‘Writing Brecht/Brecht into English’ on the cultural transmission of Brecht. Outputs will 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.


German language and literature, especially 20th-century literature. Special interests: 20th-century drama and theatre, Brecht, Kafka, Heine, music and literature, art and literature, history and literature.

Publications (selection)


Brecht on Theatre and Brecht on Performance, both coedited with Marc Silberman and Steve Giles (London: Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama 2014)

Bertolt Brecht: Love Poems, translated and edited with David Constantine (New York: W.W. Norton 2014)

‘Brecht reads Bruegel: Verfremdung, gestic realism and the second phase of Brechtian theory’, Monatshefte vol.105, no.1 (2013)

‘Brecht als Lyriker’, in: Brecht-Handbuch: Gedichte, ed. Jan Knopf (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2002)

Publications (books, articles, translations, editions)

 ‘Brecht’s Poems in English: the old and the new’, German Life & Letters 67:1, January 2014, pp. 58-70

‘Brecht reads Bruegel: Verfremdung, gestic realism and the second phase of Brechtian theory’, Monatshefte vol.105, no.1 (2013)

‘Das Epische und das Nomadische: das Bildmaterial zum Kaukasischen Kreidekreis’, in Bild und Bildkünste bei Brecht [Brecht-Tage 2010], ed. Christian Hippe (Berlin: Matthes und Seitz 2011), pp. 99-124

Bertolt Brecht, The Good Person of Szechwan, Methuen Student Edition, edited by Tom Kuhn and Charlotte Ryland (London: A&C Black 2009)

‘Poetry and Photography: Mastering Reality in the Kriegsfibel’, in Bertolt Brecht: A Reassessment of his Work and Legacy, ed. Robert Gillett and Godela Weiss-Sussex (Amsterdam: Rodopi 2008), pp. 169-189

‘Three models of the poem–picture relationship in the work of Bertolt Brecht’, in The Text and its Context: Studies in Modern German Literature and Society presented to Ronald Speirs on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, ed. Nigel Harris and Joanne Sayner  (Oxford etc: Peter Lang 2008), pp. 133-151

‘Beyond death: Brecht’s Kriegsfibel and the uses of tradition’, The Brecht Yearbook 32, ed. Stephen Brockmann (Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press 2007), pp.66-90

””Was besagt eine Fotografie?” Early Brechtian Perspectives on Photography’, The Brecht Yearbook 31 (2006), 261-283

‘Four new Herr Keuner stories and a short reflection on the constitution’, translated and introduced, Modern Poetry in Translation, New Series No.22 (2006), pp. 33-37

‘ “Unsichere Gesellen”: Crossing borders with Heine and Brecht’, in Bejahende Erkenntnis. Festschrift für T.J. Reed, edited by Kevin F. Hilliard, Ray Ockenden and Nigel F. Palmer (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer 2004), pp.193-207

Oxford German Studies 33 (2004): Special Number for T.J. Reed, edited by Tom Kuhn (Oxford: EHRC 2004)

with Steve Giles (eds), Brecht on Art and Politics (London: Methuen, 2003)

‘Brecht and Willett: Getting the gest’, The Brecht Yearbook 28, ed. Stephen Brockmann (Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press 2003), pp.261-273

with David Constantine (eds and transl.), Bertolt Brecht: Collected Plays 8 (i.e. translations and editions of The Days of the Commune, Antigone and Turandot with full notes and introduction) (London: Methuen 2003; paperback 2005), xxv and 255pp
Turandot or The Whitewashers’ Congress, translation and critical edition of Brecht’s Turandot oder Der Kongreß der Weißwäscher, in the above, pp.127-193 and 239-255

with David Constantine, ‘Brecht at the BBC’, Modern Poetry in Translation, New Series No.22 (2003), pp.100-03

with Karen Leeder (eds and contributors), Empedocles’ Shoe: Re-reading the Poems of Bertolt Brecht (London: Methuen 2002)

with John Willett (eds and transl.), Bertolt Brecht, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich (London: Methuen 2002), xviii and 124pp

‘Brecht als Lyriker’, in: Brecht-Handbuch: Gedichte, ed. Jan Knopf (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2002), 1-21

‘“Επωφελής ακόμη και για ξέvoυς”: Η λυρική πoίηση τoυ Μπρεχτ: Μια επισκόπηση’ [‘ “Auch für Fremde vorteilhaft”: Brecht’s lyric poetry’]. In Bertolt Brecht: Critical Approaches ed. Nadia Valavani (Athens: STACHI Publications 2002; 2nd edtn: Polytropon 2004), pp.271-312

with John Willett, Bertolt Brecht: Collected Plays 4 (i.e. translations and editions of Round Heads and Pointed Heads, Dansen and How Much Is Your Iron?, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, The Rifles of Señora Carrar and The Trial of Lucullus, with full notes and introduction) (London: Methuen 2001; paperback 2003), xxix and 415pp

Round Heads and Pointed Heads, translation and critical edition of Brecht’s Die Rundköpfe und die Spitzköpfe, in the above, pp.1-114

‘Visit to a banished poet: Brecht’s Svendborg Poems and the voices of exile’, in: Brecht’s Poetry of Political Exile, ed. Ronald Speirs (Cambridge: CUP 2000), 47-65

‘Ovid and Brecht: topoi of poetic banishment’, The Brecht Yearbook, 24 (1999), 162-175

‘Notions of Collaboration’. In: Bertolt Brecht: Centenary Essays, ed. Steve Giles and Rodney Livingstone (Amsterdam: Rodopi 1998), pp.1-18

‘Politisches Exil und poetische Verbannung in einigen Gedichten Bertolt Brechts’. In: Deutschsprachige Exillyrik von 1933 bis zur Nachkriegszeit, ed. Jörg Thunecke (Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi 1998), pp.25-38

Peter Handke: Plays 1, translated by Michael Roloff, edited and introduced by Tom Kuhn (London: Methuen 1997)

‘Under the Crooked Cross: Brecht’s Furcht und Elend at the BBC’. In: ‘England? Aber wo liegt es?’ Deutsche und österreichische Emigranten in Großbritannien 1933-1945, edited by C. Brinson, R. Dove, M. Malet and J. Taylor, = Publications of the Institute of Germanic Studies (University of London) vol.64 (Munich: Iudicium 1996), pp.181-191

‘ “Ja, damals waren wir Dichter”. Hanns Otto Münsterer, Bertolt Brecht und die Dynamik literarischer Freundschaft’. In: Der junge Brecht. Aspekte seines Denkens und Schaffens, ed. Helmut Gier and Jürgen Hillesheim (Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann 1996), pp.44-64

‘ “Ja, damals waren wir Dichter”: Hanns Otto Münsterer, Bertolt Brecht and the dynamics of literary friendship’, The Brecht Yearbook 21, ed. Maarten van Dijk (Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press 1996), pp.49-66

‘German Exile Drama on the English Stage: Satire and censorship, comedy and compromise’. In: Between Two Languages: German-speaking Exiles in Great Britain, 1933-45, edited by William Abbey, Charmian Brinson, Richard Dove and others, = Stuttgarter Arbeiten zur Germanistik Nr.308, and Publications of the Institute of Germanic Studies (University of London) vol.59 (Stuttgart: Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz 1995), pp.117-134

‘Forms of Conviction: The problem of belief in anti-fascist plays by Bruckner, Toller and Wolf’. In: German Writers and Politics 1918-1939, edited by Richard Dove and Stephen Lamb (London: Macmillan 1992), pp.163-177

Hanns Otto Münsterer: The Young Brecht (memoir and other biographical source material, edited, introduced and translated, with Karen Leeder), xxviii and 195pp. (London: Libris 1992; paperback 1995)

‘ “Napoleon greift daneben”. Antifaschistische Dramen im Umgang mit der Geschichte’. In: Theater und Drama im Exil 1933-1945, edited by Edita Koch and Frithjof Trapp, = Exil-Sondernummer 2 (Maintal 1991), pp.251-267

‘The Politics of the Changeable Text: Furcht und Elend des III. Reiches and the new Brecht edition’, Oxford German Studies 18/19 (1989-90), pp.132-149

‘From a Lost Chapter of German Drama’, German Life and Letters, 41 (Oct. 1987), pp.59-71

‘Theodor Fanta: Anmerkungen zu Leben und Werk eines vergessenen Dramatikers’, Forum Mainzer Texte, 9 (Frühjahr 1985), pp.27-34


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