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Anthony Phelan, M.A., (Ph.D., Cambridge)
Emeritus Professor in German, Fellow of Keble College


Tony Phelan continues to work on the literary and pholosphical traces of the friendship between Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin, during their years of exile. The current focus is Trauerspiel  and martyr drama in Brecht's dramaturgy. 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.



Graduate Teaching



‘"Im Augenblick Der Gefahr": Brecht, Benjamin And Die Geschäfte Des Herrn Julius Caesar', MLR 108 (2013), 881-897

'Rilke and his Philosophical Critics' in The Cambridge Companion to Rilke, ed. Karen Leeder and Robert Vilain (Cambridge: CUP, 2010) 174-188

'Prose Fiction of the German Romantics', in The Cambridge Companion to German Romanticism, ed. Nicholas Saul (Cambridge: CUP, 2009), 41-65

'‘Meditation and its Distractions: Mörike’s “Im Weinberg” in context’', Oxford German Studies, 36 (2007), 34-46

Reading Heinrich Heine, Cambridge Studies in German (Cambridge: CUP, 2007)

'What Wilhelm Meister did next', PEGS, LXXV (2006), 109-24

'‘The State of the Art: Heine’s Atta Troll. Ein Sommernachtstraum and “Jehuda ben Halevy”’', Oxford German Studies, 33 (2004), 177-194

'Fortgang and Zusammenhang: Walter Benjamin and the Romantic Novel', in: Walter Benjamin and Romanticism, ed Beatrice Hanssen and Andrew Benjamin (Continuum, 2003), 69-82

'Returning Generals: Brecht's "The Manifesto" and its contexts', in: Empedocles' Shoe. Re-reading the Poems of Bertolt Brecht, ed. T.Kuhn and K.Leeder (London: Methuen, 2002), 131-150

'Novalis and the Hidden Door of Dream', in: Dream Images, ed. H. Castein and R. Görner (Munich: iudicium, 2002), 64-78

'The Classical and the Medieval in Goethe's Faust II', in: A Companion to Goethe's Faust: Parts I and II, ed. Paul Bishop (Woodbridge/Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2001), 144-168

'July Days in Skovsbostrand: Brecht, Benjamin, and Antiquity', German Life and Letters, 53 (2000), 573-86

Rilke’s Neue Gedichte , Critical Guides to German Texts (London: Grant & Cutler, 1992)

Editor, The Weimar Dilemma. Intellectuals in the Weimar Republic (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1985)