Professor B Morgan

Ben Morgan, M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon)
Associate Professor in German, Fellow of Worcester College, Modern Languages Coordinator for Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation


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.


German language and literature. Special interests in German intellectual history; German film; the cross-over between the cognitive sciences and phenomenology

I supervise graduate work on the cultural history of the German speaking world from the late 19th century to the present: literature, philosophy, film and other cultural institutions in a cultural context.

D.Phil topics supervised to date: German film 1930-1950; Heidegger and French poststructuralism; Heidegger and Nietzsche; the ‘Neues Museum’ as a new paradigm of cultural memory; the everyday in Berlin and Vienna circa 1900; Journal Culture in the Weimar Republic; Agency in the films of Petzold, Akın, Tykwer; Genre in contemporary German narrative film.


Monograph: On becoming God: late medieval mysticism and the modern Western self (New York: Fordham UP, 2013)

Edited book: Carolin Duttlinger, Ben Morgan, Anthony Phelan, eds., Walter Benjamins anthropologisches Denken (Freiburg iB: Rombach, 2012)

Edited Special Issue: Matthew Reynolds, Mohamed-Salah Omri, Ben Morgan and Céline Sabiron, eds., Comparative Criticism: Histories and Methods, Comparative Critical Studies, Vol. 12.2 (2015).


“Rhetorical Transformations: The Meaning of Scribal Errors in Munich Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Cgm 133”, in: Coral Dietl and Dietmar Mieth, eds., Sprachbilder und Bildersprache bei Meister Eckhart und in seiner Zeit, Meister Eckhart Jahrbuch vol. 9 (2015), pp. 179-194.

The Limits of Political Hope in 1988: Jelinek’s ‘Wolken.Heim.’ in context”, Austrian Studies, vol. 22 (2014), pp. 166-182.

The pleasure of the text: what two manuscripts can tell us about becoming God”, Medieval Mystical Theology, vol. 23., no. 1 (June 2014), pp. 52-64,

“Kierkegaard in the German-speaking world during the early 20th century,” in Manfred Engel and Ritchie Robertson, eds., Kafka und die Religion in der Moderne (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2014), pp. 71-92.

“How to read a mystical text: Eckhart Sermons 5a and 5b,” in Louise Nelstrop and Simon Podmore, eds., Christian Mysticism and Incarnational Theology — Between Transcendence and Immanence (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), pp. 93-106.

“Two Models of Spiritual Life and Narrative Sovereignty: Trojanow and Religion”, in Julian Preece, ed., Ilija Trojanow (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013), pp. 152-170.

Georg Trakl (1887-1914) in Context: Poetry and Experience in the Cultural Debates of the Brenner Circle,” Oxford German Studies, vol. 41.3 (2012), pp. 327-347

“Heidegger and the Anthropology of Everyday Life,” in Carolin Duttlinger, Ben Morgan and Anthony Phelan, eds., Walter Benjamins anthropologisches Denken (Freiburg iB: Rombach, 2012), pp. 95-124.

Relating to Ourselves without a Self: Eckhart and Neuroscience,” Medieval Mystical Theology, vol. 20 (2011), pp. 66-84.

Some problems with the very idea of otherness,” Literature and Theology, vol. 25, no. 4 (2011), pp. 436-55.

“The Cultural Impact of Popular Film,” in Rebecca Braun and Lyn Marven, eds., Cultural Impact in the German Context: Studies in Transmission, Reception and Influence (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2010), pp. 58-77.

“The Limits of Human Togetherness,” Limbus: Australisches Jahrbuch für germanistische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft Vol. 3 (2010), pp. 159-76.

“The Unfolding of Our Lives Together: Heidegger and Medieval Mysticism,” in Pamela Sue Anderson, ed., New Topics in Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Resistance and Spiritual Practices (Dordrecht: Springer, 2010), pp. 235-48.

“Abandoning Selfhood with Medieval Mystics,” in Anna Holland and Richard Scholar, eds., Pre-Histories and Afterlives: Studies in Critical Method (London: Legenda, 2009), pp. 29-43.

“Technology and Ordinary Life in Thea von Harbou’s and Fritz Lang’s Die Frau im Mond,” Literatur für Leser Vol. 30 No. 4 (2007), pp. 195-211.

“Elfriede Jelinek,” in Hilary Brown, ed., Landmarks in German Women’s Writing (Bern: Peter Lang, 2007), pp. 193-210.

Music in Nazi Film: How different is ‘Triumph of the Will’”, Studies in European Cinema, 3 (2006), 37-53

Eckhart and the Incarnation: Some Practical Details”, Eckhart Review, 13 (2004), 37-50

“Fear and Self Control in The Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Prussian Past”, in: Nietzsche and the German Tradition, ed. Nicholas Martin (Bern: Peter Lang, 2003), 139-53

“Masculinity in the Films of Leni Riefenstahl”, in Richie Robertson and Katrin Kohl, eds. Words, Texts, Images: Selected Papers from the CUTG (Bern: Peter Lang, 2002), pp. 175-97.

“Jelinek, ‘Krankheit oder moderne Frauen’ ”, in: Landmarks in German drama (Bern: Lang, 2002), 225-242

The project of the Frankfurt School”, Telos, Nr. 119 (2001), 75-98

“ ‘Metropolis’ — The archetypal version: sentimentality and self-control in the reception of the film”, in: Fritz lang’s ‘Metropolis’: Cinematic Visions of Technology and Fear (Camden House, 2000), 288-309

Developing the Modern Concept of the Self: The Trial of Meister Eckhart,” Telos, No. 116 (Summer 1999), 56-80.

“At One Remove: The Paradoxes of Jelinek’s Narrative Voice,” in Christa Bürger, ed., Literatur und Leben: Stationen weiblichen Schreibens im 20. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: M&P, 1996), pp. 132-51.



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