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Carolin Duttlinger, M.A. (M.Phil., Ph.D. Cambridge )

Professor of German Literature and Culture

Ockenden Fellow in German, Wadham College Oxford



New research network funded by the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership: Walter Benjamin's Journalistic Networks.


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, the history and theory of perception, literature, memory and trauma, and on literature and anthropology. She has published widely on authors including Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Robert Musil, Alfred Döblin, Elias Canetti, Ruth Klüger, Thomas Kling and W.G. Sebald. Her current research  project explores the dialectical interplay between attention and distraction in twentieth-century German culture.

Carolin Duttlinger is Co-Director of the Oxford Kafka Research Centre and a member of the Executive Board of the International Walter Benjamin Society. She writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement.


In Our Time on Walter Benjamin (BBC Radio 4) 

Kafka's The Metamorphosis (The Forum; BBC World Service)  

Walter Benjamin's Journalism  

Rescue in the Face of Danger: Benjamin, Goethe, Sebald

Undergraduate teaching and graduate supervision

Carolin Duttlinger is a Fellow and Tutor in German at Wadham College Oxford and teaches the Modern German Literature Papers for the Undergraduate Degree in German.

She is also available to supervise Masters and Doctoral students working on German literature, thought or visual culture, and is happy to be contacted by prospective applicants.



Attention and Distraction Modern German Literature, Thought, and Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022)   

Editor, with Kevin Hilliard and Charlie Louth, From the Enlightenment to Modernism: Three Centuries of German Literature. Essays for Ritchie Robertson (Oxford: Legenda, 2022)  

Editor, Franz Kafka in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Editor, with Silke Horstkotte, Weimar Photography in Context, special issue of Monatshefte, 109:2 (July 2017)

Editor, with Dora Osborne, Franz Kafkas "Betrachtung": Neue Lektüren, Rombach Litterae (Freiburg i. Br.: Rombach, 2014)

The Cambridge Introduction to Franz Kafka (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Editor, with Ben Morgan and Anthony Phelan, Walter Benjamins anthopologisches Denken, Rombach Litterae (Freiburg i. Br.: Rombach, 2012)

Editor, with Johannes Birgfeld, Curiosity in German Literature and Culture from 1700 to the Present, Oxford German Studies, 38 (2009)

Kafka and Photography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) Interview with the author (film)

Editor, with Lucia Ruprecht, Andrew Webber, Performance and Performativity in German Cultural Studies (Oxford, Lang, 2003)



Verantwortung: Paradoxes of Responsibility in Kafka’s Landarzt Collection and Beyond’, in: From the Enlightenment to Modernism: Three Centuries of German Literature. Essays for Ritchie Robertson, ed. by Carolin Duttlinger, Charlie Louth and Kevin Hilliard (Oxford: Legenda, 2022), pp. 214-28  

'Kafka in Oxford', Oxford German Studies, 50 (2021), 416-27 

‘Rescue Narratives: Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften and Benjamin’s “Das Taschentuch”’, Publications of the English Goethe Society, 89.1 (2020), 94-110

‘Religion in German Modernism’, in: Religion and Literature in the German-Speaking World, ed. by Ian Cooper and John Walker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 204-243 

‘Walter Benjamin: Fragments, Salvage and Detours’, Footnotes to Plato, Times Literary Supplement online, 23 August 2019;

'Introduction', in: Kafka in Context, ed. Carolin Duttlinger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 1-6

'Psychology and Psychoanalysis’, in: Kafka in Context, ed. Carolin Duttlinger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 216-24 


‘Modernist Writing and Visual Culture’, in: The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Berlin, ed. Andrew J. Webber (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 89-110.

‘Walter Benjamin’, in Sebald-Handbuch: Leben – Werk – Wirkung, ed. by Claudia Öhlschläger and Michael Niehaus (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2017), 285-9


With Silke Horstkotte, 'Weimar Photography Context: Typology, Sequentiality, Narrativity', in: Weimar Photography in Context, ed. Carolin Duttlinger and Silke Horstkotte,  Monatshefte, 109:2 (July 2017), 181-6. 

'From Photograohy to Film and Back Again: Helmar Lerksi's Dramaturgy of the Human Face', in: Weimar Photography in Context, ed. Carolin Duttlinger and Silke Horstkotte,  Monatshefte, 109:2 (July 2017), 229.42. 

‘Network – Figure – Labyrinth: New Routes into Walter Benjamin’, in: The Future of Benjamin, ed. by Nitzan Lebovic with commentary by Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings, MLA Commons (2015),


‘Syncope, Pause, Caesura: Robert Musil and the Psychotechnics of Acceleration’, in: Time in German Literature and Culture, 1900 – 2015: Between Acceleration and Slowness, ed. Anne Fuchs and J. J. Long (Palgrave, 2016), 154-69

'Die ersten und die letzten Dinge: Kafkas Betrachtung im Kontext des Gesamtwerks', in: Carolin Duttlinger with Dora Osborne (eds), Franz Kafkas "Betrachtung": Neue Lektüren, Rombach Litterae (Freiburg i. Br.: Rombach, 2014)

'Schlaflosigkeit: Kafkas Schloss zwischen Müdigkeit und Wachen', in: 'Schloss'-Topographien: Lektüren zu Kafkas Romanfragment, ed. Malte Kleinwort and Joseph Vogl (Bielefeld: transcript, 2013), 219-43

'Traumatic Photographs: Remembrance and the Technical Media in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz', in: W. G. Sebald: Neue Wege der Forschung, ed. Yahye Elsage, Oliver Lubrich, Lucia Liechti (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2012)

'Sebald, Austerlitz', in Landmarks in the German Novel, vol.2, ed. Peter Hutchinson and Michael Minden (Berne: Lang, 2010), 111-27

'Studium, Aufmerksamkeit, Gebet: Walter Benjamin und die Kontemplation', in: Profanes Leben: Walter Benjamins Poetik der Säkularisierung, ed. Daniel Weidner (Framkfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp Wissenschaft, 2010), 95-119

'Kafkas Poetik der Aufmerksamkeit von Betrachtung bis Der Bau', in: Kafka und die kleine Prosa der Modern/Kafka and Short Modernist Prose, ed. Manfred Engel and Ritchie Robertson (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2010),  

' "A Wrong Turn of the Wheel": Sebald's Travel of (In)Attention, in: 'The Undiscover'd Country: W. G. Sebald and the Poetics of Travel, ed. Markus Zisselberger (Rochester: Camden House, 2010), 92-120

'W. G. Sebald: The Pleasure and Pain of Beauty', German Life and Letters, 62 (2009), 327-42

'The Ethics of Curiosity: Ruth Klüger, weiter leben', in: Curiosity in German Literature and Culture from 1700 to the Present, ed. Carolin Duttlinger and Johannes Birgfeld, Oxford German Studies, 38 (2009), 218-32

'Benjamin's Literary History of Attention: Between Reception and Production', Paragraph, special issue on Walter Benjamin, ed. Andrew Webber, 32:3 (2009), 273-91

'Muttersprache - Vatersprache: Elias Canettis Familiengeschichte(n) im Zeitalter Freuds', in: Familie und Identität in der deutschen Literatur, ed. Thomas Martinec and Claudia Nitschke, Regensburger Beiträge zur deutschen Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft (Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 2009), 197-217

'Film und Photographie', in Kafka-Handbuch. Leben - Werk - Wirkung, ed. Manfred Engel and Bernd Auerochs (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2010), 72-9

'"Den visionären Blick habe ich nur bei Blitzlicht": Franz Kafka und die Fotografie',, 7 (2008), Article Weblink

'Walter Benjamin: The Aura of Photography', Poetics Today, 29:1 (2008), 79-101

'Franz Kafka, Der Proceß', in Landmarks in the German Novel, ed. ed. Peter Hutchinson (Oxford: Lang, 2007), 135-50

'New Perspectives on Walter Benjamin', Paragraph, 30:2 (2007), 98-108

'A lineage of destruction? Rethinking photography in Luftkrieg und Literatur', in W.G. Sebald and the Writing of History, ed. J. J. Long, Anne Fuchs (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2007), 163-77

'Between Contemplation and Distraction: Configurations of Attention in Walter Benjamin', German Studies Review, 30 (2007), 33-54

'Snapshots from the Hereafter: Benjamin, Adorno and the Critic as Photographer', in In(ter)discipline: New Languages for Criticism, ed. ed. Gillian Beer, Malcolm Bowie, Beate Perrey (Oxford: Legenda, 2007), 162-73

'Mörike’s Fossils: The Poetics of Palaeontology', Oxford German Studies, 36 (2007), 60-75,  Article Weblink

'Snapshots of History: Franz Kafka’s “Blumfeld ein älterer Junggeselle” and the First World War', Modern Austrian Literature, 39 (2006), 29-43

'‘Modernismus’, ‘Realismus’, ‘Symbolismus’, ‘Moderne/Modern’', in Lexikon Ästhetik, ed. Achim Trebeß (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2006)

'Visions of the New World: Photography in Kafka’s Der Verschollene', German Life and Letters, 59 (2006), 423-45,  Article Weblink

'Madness and Method: Freud, Paranoia and the Performativity of the Cure', in Field Studies: German Language, Media and Culture, ed. Holger Briel, Carol Fehringer, CUTG Proceedings 5 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2005), 157-75

'“Grobkörnige Mnemosyne”: Picturing the First World War in the Poetry of Thomas Kling', Oxford German Studies, 34 (2005), 103-19,  Article Weblink

'Traumatic Photographs: Remembrance and the Technical Media in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz', in W.G. Sebald: A Critical Companion, ed. J.J. Long and Anne Whitehead (Edinburgh/Edinburgh University Press, 2004), 155-71

'“Die Ruhe des Blickes”: Kafka, Brod, Benjamin and the Kaiserpanorama', in Science, Technology and the German Cultural Imagination, ed. Christian Emden, David Midgley (Oxford: Lang, 2004), 231-55

With Lucia Ruprecht, 'Introduction', in Performance and Performativity in German Cultural Studies, ed. Carolin Duttlinger, Lucia Ruprecht, Andrew Webber (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2003), 9-19

'Traumatic Metamorphoses: The Concept of the Animal in Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialektik der Aufklärung', Focus on German Studies, 10 (2003), 66-83