Ritchie Robertson is interested in a wide range of authors and topics in the period from 1750 onwards, notably Kafka; Heine; Schiller; Austrian literature; and the Enlightenment as an international movement. He is convenor of the monograph series Germanic Literatures, published by Legenda.He is currently completing a general study of the Enlightenment for Penguin Books, and is planning a study of Machiavelli’s reception in Germany from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century.
Carolin Duttlinger’s research interests are in modern German literature, thought, and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on modernist and contemporary literature. She has worked on such areas as Weimar photography, on the history and theory of perception, on literature, memory and trauma, and on literature and anthropology. She has published widely on authors such as Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Robert Musil, Alfred Döblin, Elias Canetti, Ruth Klüger, Thomas Kling and W.G. Sebald. Her current principal research project explores the dialectical interplay between attention and distraction in twentieth-century German culture.
Kerstin Hoge’s research interests are in the field of German and Yiddish linguistics, with particular focus on syntactic theory and the study of wh-movement and small-clause constructions. Further ongoing research interests are Yiddish children’s writing and the question as to how language is used in the construction of social and personal identity. She is the review editor of the Journal of Linguistics.
As the Senior Instructor for German, Claudia Kaiser coordinates German language teaching across the colleges. She teaches a variety of undergraduate language courses such as grammar, essay writing and translation. She also coordinates and teaches the German beginners’ programme.
Faculty Lecturer in German, Fellow of Jesus College
Katrin Kohl’s research focuses on literature and cultural politics in the eighteenth and twentieth/twenty-first century. She is currently working on an edition of the poetic correspondence between Rainer Maria Rilke and Erika Mitterer, investigating dialogic processes in the period of modernism. Other research interests include the Prussian king Frederick the Great; the work of the eighteenth-century poet F.G. Klopstock; the work of holocaust-survivor H.G. Adler; and the theory and practice of metaphor.
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 leading the ‘Writing Brecht’ project. Outputs 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.
Karen Leeder has published widely on modern German culture, especially of the post-1945 and contemporary periods; her interests range from poetry and the poetic tradition to modernity, GDR literature; contemporary German culture, lateness, women’s writing, angels, spectres, translation, Rilke and Brecht. She has been awarded grants by HEFCE, the British Academy and the AHRC for projects, most recently an AHRC Fellowship to work on her Spectres of the GDR: The Haunting of the Berlin Republic.
She is a prize-winning translator of contemporary German literature: including Evelyn Schlag, Raoul Schrott, Michael Krüger, Durs Grünbein, Volker Braun and Ulrike Almut Sandig and and has been awarded residences in UK and Berlin. She is co-editor of the Companions to Contemporary German Culture series with de Gruyter, is on the board of a number of journals including International Brecht Society Yearbook, OGS, German Monitor and The German Quarterly and has published reviews in a variety of newspapers and journals as well as appearing regularly on radio and television. She was Knowledge Exchange Fellow with the Southbank Centre, London 2014-2015 and continues to work on her project Mediating Modern Poetry: http://email@example.com/. She was elected to the Academia Europaea in 2020.
Charlie Louth’s main research interests include poetry from the 18th century onwards, especially Goethe, Hölderlin, Mörike, Rilke and Celan; romanticism; translation; and comparative literature. He has translated Hölderlin’s letters, and done a new translation of Rilke’s Briefe an einen jungen Dichter and Brief des jungen Arbeiters. He has recently published Rilke: The Life of the Work (OUP, 2020).
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.
My main areas of research are the literature and culture of the ‘threshold period’ between 1780 and 1830, modernism, and contemporary drama. Increasingly I have been working in the field of Medical Humanities and the Enlightenment Studies.
My research focuses on German literature and culture of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and its later reception. Particular interests include German Romanticism, the writing of E.T.A. Hoffmann, myth, orientalism, and cultural transfer.
I was awarded my Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh in 2013, for my thesis ‘The Image of the Orient in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Writing’. My first book, derived from this thesis, is entitled E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, and was published in Legenda’s ‘Germanic Literatures’ series in 2016.
I am now working on a new project about the influence of German Romanticism on contemporary German and world literature.
Georgina Paul works principally in the field of contemporary German literature. She specialises in the literature of the GDR (East Germany) and literature post-unification, and has published some important essays on Christa Wolf in particular. She also has a lively interest in gender issues — how gender is theorised, what it means to be a gendered subject, and how this is represented and reflected upon in literary texts. She is a published translator, both of scholarship and of contemporary poetry.
Faculty Chair; Associate Professor in German, Fellow of Somerville
Research interests focus on the dialogue between vernacular and Latin culture, and on dialogue as a literary form. Recent publications include studies on the use of song in mystical writing, and collaborations with colleagues from musicology on the interplay between music and text in the ‘Jenaer Liederhandschrift’ (conference May 2014) and the ‘Carmina Burana’ manuscript.
Annette Volfing is a medievalist with particular interest in later medieval religious, mysical, philosophical or allegorical writing. She has written monographs on Heinrich von Mügeln, on medieval uses of the figure of John the Evangelist, on literacy and textuality in Albrecht’s ‘Jüngerer Titurel’, and on bridal mysticism in the medieval Daughter Zion allegory. She has co-edited volumes of essays on medieval notions of inner space, on the concept of friendship in medieval culture and on the figure of Dorothea von Montau. She has written articles on the “classic” narrative texts by Heinrich von Veldeke, Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Straßburg, and on orientalism in Middle High German literature, and on medieval German religious writing. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was appointed to the Council from September 2019.
I am a medievalist, particularly interested in the interplay between history and literature. This includes historiography, the history of Christianity (especially mysticism), cultural history as well as palaeography, but also reception studies and the question of how history is told in the present, i.e. books, movies and popular culture.
Kirstin Gwyer’s research interests are in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature, with a particular focus on Holocaust literature and contemporary Jewish writing, postmodernism and post-postmodernism, literature since the Wende, and comparative contemporary aftermath writing.
I’ve worked mostly on German literature of the late nineteenth century to the present, particularly poetry and writing on art. I’m interested in the idea of aesthetic expertise, and most of my work has looked at how people have understood the skills and knowledge required for an engagement with works of art, literature or architecture. My first book dealt with how to ‘read colour’ in Modernist poetry. I’m currently interested in the problem religious belief in art and literature poses to the secular imagination.
Dr Alex Lloyd teaches German language and literature from the mid-eighteenth to the twenty-first century, translation between German and English, and film studies. Her main research interests lie in twentieth-century literature and visual culture and cultural memory studies. She currently leads the WhiteRoseProject, a research and outreach initiative bringing the story of the White Rose resistance circle to English-speaking audiences.
Robert Vilain specializes in German, Austrian, French and Comparative Literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a special interest in lyric poetry. He has published widely on authors such as Hofmannsthal, George, Rilke, Yvan and Claire Goll, Thomas Mann, on Franco-German literary relations, detective fiction and the relationship of literature to music and the visual arts.
Between 2014 and 2017 Professor Vilain was one of three investigators (with Professor Andrew Webber, Cambridge, and Dr Judith Beniston, UCL) on a major AHRC-funded project supporting a Digital Critical Edition of the Middle-Period Works of Arthur Schnitzler, to be hosted on the Cambridge University Library website. This project and a further collaboration with the British Library on the Stefan Zweig archive have fully funded two PhD studentships.
I am a “DAAD-Lektorin” (lecturer in German), which means that I am part of the German Academic Exchange Service (i.e. “DAAD”) and teach UG courses for Exeter, Wadham, Brasenose, Trinity, Balliol, Merton and Pembroke.
I recently completed a PhD on supermodern spaces in contemporary British and Canadian women’s writing (University of Innsbruck) as part of a reconsideration of Marc Augé’s (2007) concept of supermodernity through a feminist intersectional lens. I am particularly interested in contemporary women’s
Mary Boyle is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College, working on cross-cultural Anglo-German medievalism in the long nineteenth century. Mary also works on medieval German and English comparative literature more broadly, and particularly on medieval religious writing.
Research Associate, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH)
My current medical humanities project builds on my research background in cognitive literary studies to investigate the connections between fiction-reading and disordered eating. Together with the eating disorders charity Beat, I am starting to develop a metholodogy for empirically investigating both how reading might have an impact on mental health, and how differences in mental health affect the processes of literary reading and interpretation.
This work has developed naturally out of my longer-standing interests in how readers respond to fiction and what makes text seem realistic. My doctorate and my first monograph, Kafka’s Cognitive Realism, explored Kafka’s works in terms of their ‘cognitive realism’ in the realms of perception and emotion, applying cognitive-scientific findings and theories directly to the analysis of textual features and readers’ potential interactions with them. In this context I became especially interested in ‘second-generation’ cognitive science, which takes seriously the embodied, enactive, embedded, and extended nature of the mind — factors which are particularly crucial to understanding eating disorders as well as literary responses.
I strongly believe that the future of literary studies lies in constructive collaboration with other disciplines, and especially the cognitive sciences, and that both the sciences and the humanities have a lot to learn from each other through the cooperative investigation of how minds and texts interact.
Contribute to my current research by completing this online survey on reading and mental health. It’s open to anyone aged 18 and over.
Emeritus Professor of German, University of Oxford
Professor Hilda Meldrum Brown has published widely on German literary topics from Goethe to Christa Wolf and is internationally known for her work on Heinrich von Kleist. Her research has for some years had a strong interdisciplinary bias and involves studying connections between literature, drama, music, the visual arts, especially in the field of German Romanticism and Richard Wagner. Her new book on the Gesamtkunstwerk and Richard Wagner combines a number of these areas of research and has been supported by The Leverhulme Trust (Emeritus Research Fellowship) and a Hawthornden Fellowship at The International Retreat for Writers.
Francis Lamport has published books on Lessing, Goethe and German classical drama, and articles mostly on the literature (especially the drama) of the classical period. He has also published translations, including Schiller’s ‘The Robbers’ and ‘Wallenstein’ (Penguin Classics)
Emeritus Professor of German Medieval and Linguistic Studies, Fellow of St Edmund Hall
Nigel Palmer’s research interests are in Medieval German language and literature. He is engaged in a collaborative research project, together with a group of colleagues in Germany, Switzerland and the US, on the ‘Literary topography of SW Germany in the later Middle Ages’, which is an attempt to establish a literary history of this region on the basis of the manuscript sources and library history (Latin and German). The project concentrates on Baden-Württemberg, Switzerland and the Alsace. One area of particular interest is the manuscripts from the Cistercian abbeys and nunneries in the region. His principal research project for the moment is an edition and commentary on an illustrated prayer book, the ‘Begerin-Gebetbuch’ from Strasbourg (now in Berne). Other areas of special interest are blockbooks and their place in early printing history, the interface between Latin literature and German literature in the Middle Ages, and palaeography and codicology of the period 1100-1550. He is editor of Oxford German Studies (together with Jim Reed) and of Medium Aevum (together with Corinne Saunders and Sylvia Huot). He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a corresponding fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. In 2007 he was awarded the Research Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2013 he was awarded a honorary doctorate by the University of Bern.
Tony Phelan is currently working on the literary and philosophical effect of the friendship between Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin, during their years of exile, including their conceptions of history and their investigation of gesture/Gestus. 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.
Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly’s main research interests are in German literature and culture from the late 15th to the early 18th centuries within their European context, in women’s writing in all periods and in the representation of women in German literature and culture. She has made a special study of early modern court festivals of all kinds throughout Europe and of court culture. Her most recent book is Beauty or Beast? The Woman Warrior in the German Imagination from the Renaissance to the Present (OUP 2010). She is the Project Leader of ‘Marrying Cultures: Queens Consort and European Identities, 1500-1800’, one of the 18 projects funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) as part of its ‘Cultural Encounters’ programme. The project involves collaboration with colleagues in Germany, Poland and Sweden. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.