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Ian Ellison is the post-doctoral researcher on the AHRC-funded "Kafka's Transformative Communities" project at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Fellow at Wadham College. His work investigates forms of cultural afterlife in European literature, with a particular focus on posterity in the work of European modernist writers, on their archives, and on their public commemoration. He was previously a DAAD PRIME fellow at the University of Kent's Centre for Modern European Literature and Culture and the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Ian has also several times been a stipendiary researcher at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach am Neckar funded by the ZEIT-Stiftung and the Deutsche Schillergesellschaft.

Ian received his PhD in German and Comparative Literature from the University of Leeds in the autumn of 2019. He holds an MPhil in European Literature from the University of Bristol and a BA in Modern European Languages with distinction in French, German, and Spanish from the University of Liverpool. Ian has also been an international fellow of the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform since his time there as a DAAD-funded Visiting Researcher from 2017 to 2018. 

As part of a wider commitment to public engagement in the humanities, Ian is a contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the European Review of Books. He is also active as a literary translator and in 2023 was shortlisted for the Peirene-Stevns Translation Prize.  




Late Europeans and Melancholy Fiction at the Turn of the Millennium (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022)


Book Chapters

‘Fraudulent Kafkas? Forging Authorship in W. G. Sebald’s Vertigo and Antonio Muñoz Molina’s Sefarad’, in Gefälschte Provenienzen in der Literatur und ihren Wissenschaften, ed. Madeleine Brook and Stefanie Hundehege (Göttingen: Wallstein, Kulturen des Sammelns, work-in-progress, in preparation for 2024)

‘Medien und Presse’, Provenienz: Materialgeschichte(n) der Literatur, ed. Sarah Gaber, Stefan Höppner and Stefanie Hundehege (Göttingen: Wallstein, Kulturen des Sammelns, in press, forthcoming 2024)

‘Auf der Suche nach Übersetzung: Der “deutsche Proust” im Nachlass von Eva Rechel-Mertens’, Übersetzungen im Archiv: Potenziale und Perspektiven, ed. Franziska Humphreys, Anna Kinder, Douglas Pompeu, and Lydia Schmuck (Göttingen: Wallstein, Marbacher Schriften, in press, forthcoming 2024)

‘The Cult of Sebald’, W. G. Sebald in Context, ed. Uwe Schütte (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023), pp. 340–348


Journal Articles

‘“Un hilo tenue de azares triviales”: Adaptive Imitation and Quixotic echoes in Antonio Muñoz Molina’s Sefarad’, in Romance Studies, 42:3 (2024), pp. 211–223

‘The late arrival of “der deutsche Proust”: Translating A la recherche du temps perdu into German’, in German Life and Letters, 76:4 (2023), pp. 525–546

‘La dominance de la mélancolie dans l’espace littéraire en Europe’, in Revue de littérature générale et comparée, 27 (2022). Available online:

‘World Literature and Literary Afterlife’, in The German Quarterly, 94:3 (2021), pp. 380-382

‘Melancholy Cosmopolitanism: Reflections on a genre of European literary fiction’, in History of European Ideas, 47:6 (2021), pp. 1022–1037

‘“Un homme marche dans la rue”: Parisian flânerie and Jewish cosmopolitanism in Patrick Modiano’s Dora Bruder’, in Modern Language Review, 116:2 (2021), pp. 264–280

‘“Eine Märchenerzählung, die […] älter geworden ist mit der verflossenen Zeit”: W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz as a melancholy Kunstmärchen’, in Oxford German Studies, 49:1 (2020), pp. 86–101 


Cultural Commentary

'A Transatlantic Metamorphosis: On Brian K. Goodman’s The Nonconformists: American and Czech Writers across the Iron Curtain’, in Los Angeles Review of Books (forthcoming 27 April 2024)

‘Last Resort On Dora Kellner, Walter Benjamin and the biography of a hotel’, in European Review of Books, 5 (9 April 2024). Available online: 

'Alert Respect Before the Other Soul: On Katja Haustein’s Alone with Others', in Los Angeles Review of Books (20 March 2024). Available online: 

‘Ironic Detachment Will No Longer Do: On Sarah Watling’s Tomorrow Perhaps the Future: Writers, Outsiders, and the Spanish Civil War’, in Los Angeles Review of Books (26 December 2023). Available online:

‘Storytelling, in short: Exploring modern literary forms beyond the novel’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6296 (1 December 2023) Available online:

‘The Quixotic Inkblot: A bold reassessment of the European novel’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6295 (24 November 2023). Available online:

‘Through laughter and tears: The lighter side of the proud Castilian’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6275 (7 July 2023). Available online:

‘Free agent: The many faces of Franz Beckenbauer’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6274 (30 June 2023). Available online:

‘Into the riptide: The modernists’ surprising affinity with the seaside’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6272 (16 June 2023). Available online:

‘Tragic Revolutionary Comic Figures: On Joseph Harris’s Misanthropy in the Age of Reason’, in Los Angeles Review of Books (26 May 2023). Available online:

‘Unboxing Rilke’s Nachlass’, in Los Angeles Review of Books (6 April 2023). Available online:     

‘In the mountain’s shadow: The impact of Thomas Mann’s magnum opus’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6254 (10 February 2023). Available online:

‘Heaven and Earth: the spiritual and the material in Golden Age’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6249 (6 January 2023), p. 25. Available online:

‘Hotels du Lac: Marcel Proust’s holidays to Lake Geneva’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6234 (23 September 2022), p.24 . Available online:

‘To write good things: Brigitte Reimann’s many fresh starts’, in Times Literary Supplement, 6132 (9 October 2020), p. 10. Available online: 


Academic Book Reviews

‘Nora C. Benedict, Borges and the Literary Marketplace: How Editorial Practices Shaped Cosmopolitan Reading’, in Modern Language Review, 119.1 (2024), pp. 166–167

‘Antoine Compagnon, La vie derrière soi: Fins de la littérature’, in Modern Language Review, 118:2 (2023), pp. 238–239

‘Uwe Schütte, W. G. Sebald: Leben und Literarisches Werk and Carole Angier, Speak, Silence: In Search of W. G. Sebald’, in Gegenwartsliteratur, 21 (2022), pp. 376–379

‘Giulia Agostini, Nach der Literature: Studien zu einer Theorie der Literatur’, in Modern Language Review, 117:4 (2022), pp. 692–693

‘Emma Gee, Mapping the Afterlife: From Homer to Dante and Bart D. Ehrman, Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife’, in Journal of European Literature, Arts and Society, 2:4 (2022), pp. 233–236

‘Andrew Ginger, Instead of modernity: The Western canon and the incorporation of the Hispanic’, in Modern Language Review, 117:3 (2022), pp. 511–512

‘Victoria Kahn, The Trouble with Literature’, in Comparative Critical Studies, 19:1 (2022), pp. 104–108

‘David Damrosch, Comparing the Literatures: Literary Studies in a Global Age’, in Modern Language Review, 117:1 (2022), pp. 109–111

‘Gabriel Josipovici, Forgetting’, in Journal of European Studies, 51:3 (2021), pp. 356–357

‘T. J. Reed, Genesis: The Making of Literary Works from Homer to Christa Wolf’, in Modern Language Review, 116:4 (2021), pp. 644–645

‘Saul Friedländer, Proustian Uncertainties: On Reading and Rereading In Search of Lost Time’, in Journal of European Studies, 51:2 (2021), pp. 165–166

‘Peter Mack, Reading Old Books: Writing with Traditions’, in Modern Language Review, 116:2 (2021), pp. 354–355

‘Sandra Richter, Eine Weltgeschichte der deutschsprachigen Literatur’, in Comparative Critical Studies, 18:1 (2021), pp. 102–107

‘Jesse Matz, Modernist Time Ecology and Christina Lupton, Reading and the Making of Time in the Eighteenth Century’, in Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 29:2 (2021), pp. 298–300

‘Aleida Assmann, Is Time out of Joint? On the Rise and Fall of the Modern Time Regime’, in Journal of European Studies, 51:1 (2021), pp. 17–18

‘Hannah Freed-Thall, Spoiled Distinctions: Aesthetics and the Ordinary in French Modernism’, in Modern Language Review, 116:1 (2021), pp. 186–187

‘Anne Fuchs, Precarious Times: Temporality and History in Modern German Culture’, in Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 29:1 (2021), pp. 150–151

‘Eric Griffiths, If Not Critical’, in Textual Practice (online 2020, DOI 10.1080/0950236X.2020.1854526)

‘Colin Burrow, Imitating Authors: Plato to Futurity’, in Journal of European Studies, 50:4 (2020), pp. 389–390

‘Thomas Baldwin, Roland Barthes: The Proust Variations’, in Modern Language Review, 115:4 (2020), pp. 925–926

‘Walter Cohen, A History of European Literature: The West and the World from Antiquity to the Present’, in Modern Language Review, 114: 4 (2019), pp. 848–849

‘B. Venkat Mani, Recoding World Literature: Libraries, Print Culture, and Germany’s Pact with Books’, in Comparative Critical Studies, 16:1 (2019), pp. 132–136

‘Samuel O’Donoghue, Rewriting Franco’s Spain: Marcel Proust and the Dissident Writers of Memory’, in Modern Language Review, 114:1 (2019), pp. 104–106