Dr Nicola Thomas

Departmental Lecturer in German, Queen's College

Email | Personal website (with teaching handouts) | Twitter | Expanding German Studies project 

I am a qualified Mental Health First Aider


I specialise in poetry of the post-war period, with a particular interest in comparing British and German literature. My current research project examines representations of extra-terrestrial space in twentieth century poetry, and previously I have worked on landscape, (terrestrial) space and place in the work of various post-war poets including Paul Celan,  Ernst Jandl, Derek Mahon, J.H.Prynne and Sarah Kirsch, and on the contemporary German poet Ulrike Almut Sandig.

I joined the University of Oxford in 2016, as Stipendiary Lecturer in German at St Hilda’s College, having previously studied at the Universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham and the Freie Universität, Berlin. 

Alongside my research, I co-organise the Expanding German Studies interactive bibliography, an online resource for teachers of German in higher education which aims to expand and diversify the German studies curriculum. I am a member of the Oxford German Network and regularly run outreach sessions for Y10-13. 

My general research interests encompass twentieth and twenty-first century poetry; landscape, space and place in literature; literary geography; and comparative literature.


I teach German language and literature to undergraduates, including Papers III and IV for the Preliminary Examination, Paper VIII (The Modern Period) and Paper XII (German poetry since 1945). I also teach the works of Herta Müller and Günter Grass for Paper X (Special Authors). 


Ulrike Almut Sandig: Prose, Poetry and Performance, ed by. Nicola Thomas and Heike Bartel, Oxford German Studies vol. 48.3 (2018).

 ‘Situating Ulrike Almut Sandig’s Poetry’, in Ulrike Almut Sandig: Prose, Poetry and Performance, ed by. Nicola Thomas and Heike Bartel, Oxford German Studies, vol. 48.3 (2018).

Space, Place and Poetry in English and German 1960-1975 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

‘“Stark, necessary and not permanent”’: Huts in the work of J. H. Prynne and Paul Celan’, German Life and Letters 69 (3), pp. 350-364 (2016). 

‘Meridians: the poem as a place of encounter in J. H. Prynne and Paul Celan’, Tropos 2 (1), pp. 68-79 (2015).



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