The Oxford Kafka Research Centre
aims to advance and co-ordinate research on Franz Kafka, and more generally on German-language and especially German-Jewish literature and culture in the period of Modernism. The Centre aims to serve the whole spectrum of Kafka studies, ranging from biographical and historical research via literary and cultural studies to methodological and theoretical inquiries. It particularly aims to encourage interdisciplinary and intermedial approaches.
Benjamin has been influential in literary and philosophical work since his writings were published in German in the 1960s: most recently his analysis of the new media — specially film, photography, and radio drama — has been widely taken up. The collaboration between staff and graduates at Oxford and Princeton seeks to examine the cultural, intellectual, and critical contexts of his writing. From 2009 a new dimension of this work is planned with a project on ‘The Rhetorics of Religion in German Modernism’, exploring the theological turn in German literature and thought from the 1920s.
The Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment is a new and fast-expanding research centre with an annual programme of lectures, seminars and conferences on every aspect of the Enlightenment and the Eighteenth Century — from debates about tolerance and freedom of speech, questions of intelligent design and atheism, to issues of colonialism and commercial economy.