- Habilitation (German postdoctoral qualification for Chair), University of Münster (monograph: Zeit im Roman. Literarische Zeitreflexion und die Geschichte des Zeitromans im späten 18. und im 19. Jahrhundert. München: Fink 2001)
- Dr. phil. University of Münster (Germany); class: »summa cum laude« (the highest award) with distinction (monograph: Die Produktivität der Sprachkrise in der modernen Prosa. Frankfurt/M.: Athenäum 1987)
1980 MA equivalent "1. Staatsprüfung", University of Münster (with distinction)
(subjects: Germanistik, Anglistik, Philosophy, Education)
Since 2003 Professor of German, Department of German Studies, the University of Nottingham
2000-2002 Reader in German, German Department, the University of Nottingham
1981-2000 German Department of Münster University (Germany) as »wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter/Assistent« (lecturer) and »Privatdozent« (professorial research fellow)
Elected Member of the Academia Europaea (2012); Honorary President of the International Raabe Society (2013); CHLEL (literary history commission of the ICLA, 2013-).
German literature and culture from the 18th century to the present day, and comparative literature. Key areas of research and teaching include the novel of the long 19th century; literary Realism; time, temporality and memory in literature (Memory Studies, Time Studies); modernist German short prose from the 19th century to the present; Austrian modernism and its legacies; postcolonial and intercultural literary studies (incl. discourses about Africa); contemporary literature. For details and current projects see the research summary.
My undergraduate and postgraduate teaching focuses on German literature and culture from the late 18th century to the present day. In the first year German core module "Introduction to German… read more
My research focuses on German literature and culture from the 18th century to the present day, including relevant literary and cultural theory; genre theory and narratology; concepts of history,… read more
My undergraduate and postgraduate teaching focuses on German literature and culture from the late 18th century to the present day. In the first year German core module "Introduction to German Studies" I introduce students to the study of German literature, using the Austrian modernist writer Arthur Schnitzler, the Black German poet May Ayim and the contemporary German-Turkish writer Emine Sevgi Özdamar as examples. My more specialist first-year module "Reading German Literature I" provides further foundations for literary study in years 2 to 4. We read a selection of German poems (from Johann Wolfgang Goethe to Ingeborg Bachmann) as well as two shorter stories (Novellen), Annette von Droste-Hülshoff's "Die Judenbuche" (1842) and Arthur Schnitzler's "Leutnant Gustl" (1901), two of the landmarks in German and Austrian fiction..
My second and final year teaching is informed by my own research, teaching students to develop their reading skills, the ability to research key issues in German literary and cultural studies, their skills of critical analysis and independent argument, and enthusiasm to pursue research on their own. Modules in the second year explore the 19th century German Novelle (novella) and its engagement with social history and cultural memory, and modern German short prose from the 19th century to the present day, i.e. short forms of prose, prose poetry, journalism and life-writing which cut across established genre boundaries and play a crucial role in advancing modernism in German, Austrian and Swiss literature. One of my final year modules focuses on Austrian modernism and its European links by analyzing literary engagement in Drama and prose with the myths of Casanova and Don Juan as emblems of changing gender roles. The other final year module explores the engagement in German literature with German colonialism and the legacy of European colonialism. This includes sources from the nineteenth century (Heinrich von Kleist's novella "Die Verlobung in St. Domingo", Peter Altenberg's "Ashantee" sketches) as well as colonial literature (Hans Grimm) and recent novels critically remembering colonialism from a postcolonial perspective (such as Alex Capus's "Eine Frage der Zeit") or rediscovering the forgotten history of the African diaspora in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Lukas Hartmann's "Die Mohrin").
My postgraduate teaching at MA and PhD levels is closely linked to my own research. I am also teaching on the team-taught core modules of the MAs in Modern and Contemporary German Studies, Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Comparative Literature, as well as in the joint Modern Languages Research Skills module.
My research focuses on German literature and culture from the 18th century to the present day, including relevant literary and cultural theory; genre theory and narratology; concepts of history, time, temporality, and memory in German literature.
My principal research areas are:
1. German literature of the long 19th century (1789-1914); the German novel and Novelle; Zeitroman and historical narrative; history, memory and the politics of memory in German 19th century literature; remapping German Realism; Wilhelm Raabe, Karl Gutzkow.
2. Austrian Modernism (from Hugo von Hofmannsthal to Ingeborg Bachmann and beyond).
3. Modern German short prose (Kleine Prosa) from the Goethezeit to the present day.
4. Postcolonial and Cross-cultural Literary Studies; German colonial history and its legacy; (post-) colonial memory and the postcolonial rereading of 19th century literature; literary discourses about Africa; African migrants' writing in German; Black German literature.
Current research projects include Postcolonialism in contemporary German literature (the representation of Africa in contemporary German literature, African diasporic writing in German, Black German writing and the rediscovery of German colonialism in contemporary literature; "Handbuch Postkolonialismus und Literatur" due out 2017); Wilhelm Raabe (co-editor of "Raabe-Handbuch", due out June 2016), Karl Gutzkow (edition of his Novellen from the 1850s); historical experience and the politics of memory in the German 19th century literature (1789-1914); time, temporality and memory in German literature; "Landscapes of Realism: Rethinking Literary Realism(s) in Global Comparative Perspective" (I am Principal Investigator of this 3-year Leverhulme International Research Network, 2016-2018).
Research in the history of linguistic scepticism in German literature since the fin de siècle (Hofmannsthal, Rilke, Musil, Handke, Bachmann etc.) was the starting point of my career and continues to a research interest ("Die Produktivität der Sprachkrise in der modernen Prosa", 1987). Since the late 1980s I have also worked extensively on the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973), co-editing critical editions of her "Todesarten" prose (incl. parts of her literary estate, 1995) and her critical writings (2005), a series of articles, chapters, and edited volumes in Ingeborg Bachmann research ("Ingeborg Bachmann: Neue Beiträge zu ihrem Werk", 1993; "Über die Zeit schreiben" 1-3, 1998-2004; "Schreiben gegen Krieg und Gewalt", 2006), a standard reference on the author (Bachmann-Handbuch, 2002), and, for example, an annotated edition of her novel "Malina" (2004).
Further research not mentioned above includes chapters on the Casanova reception and gender history in Austrian modernism (history of gender concepts), in literature and music, in the theory and practice of scholarly editing and in Marie Luise Kaschnitz (conference volume "Für eine aufmerksame und nachdenklichere Welt", 2001). My long-term interest in 18th and 19th century narrative and particularly in the social novel (Zeitroman) is reflected in my Habilitationsschrift "Zeit im Roman: Literarische Zeitreflexion und die Geschichte des Zeitromans im späten 18. und im 19. Jahrhundert" (2001) and in my monograph on Wilhelm Raabe ("Zeitreflexion und Zeitkritik im Werk Wilhelm Raabes", 2000). My ongoing work in the area of very short prose forms culminated in my monograph "Kleine Prosa in Moderne und Gegenwart" (2006), which also provides a general introduction to the field. My ongoing postcolonial and cross-cultural research led to collaboration with African colleagues in the volume "Interkulturelle Texturen: Afrika und Deutschland im Reflexionsmedium der Literatur", 2003) and "(Post-)Colonialism across Europe: Transcultural History and National Memory" (2014). Ongoing research in Wilhelm Raabe and German realism more widely is also reflected in the volume "Wilhelm Raabe: Global Themes - International Perspectives" (co-editor) and co-editorship of the Raabe Yearbook (2008-2014).
My research in the next few years will continue to develop all strands of my current research interests and expertise, and across the full range of my expertise in German and comparative literary and cultural studies, from the 18th century to the present day:
- Reassessing and remapping literary Realism form the 19th century to the present day, and from literature across the visual arts and cinema, the Leverhulme International Networks project, supported by the Academia Europaea and the International Comparative Literature Association through its Coordinating Committee for the book series "Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages", is set to result in a co-authored and co-edited volume on "Landscapes of Realism" with John Benjamins.
- My interest in German and comparative literary postcolonial studies will continue with contributions to the forthcoming "Handbuch Postkolonialismus und Literatur" and new projects arising from this. I am currently organising a conference at Nottingham on "Memory and Postcolonial Studies: Synergies and New Directions" (10 June 2016), which opens up new avenues of interdisciplinary research in this exciting international field.
- Research on time, temporality and memory also continues with regard to 'Kleine Prosa' and other forms of German literature, beyond the volume "Critical Time in German Literature and Culture" that I just published in May 2016 with Peter Lang.