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Department of German

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PhD in German

The department has a thriving community of international research students (some 12 in a given year) and provides a structured programme of 'Oberseminare' and specialist Research Training Seminars over and above those offered by the School, the College and the University of London. It is thus able to offer an unusually rich, supportive, stimulating and friendly framework for advanced research.  

The Department is interested in receiving applications from prospective MPhil and PhD students across a wide range of areas. The Department's expertise covers virtually the whole field of Germanic studies, including Austrian and Swiss literature and linguistics. Particular research strengths include:

  • Anglo-German Cultural Relations, including comparative literature and cultural studies, the comparative history of ideas, the history of British 'Germanistik', cultural transfer, linguistic relations, translation theory and travel writing

  • Jewishness and German culture, including German-Jewish writing, exile and holocaust studies, and the rhetoric of anti-semitism

  • German, Austrian and Swiss Literature in its social contexts, including Sociability, Spas and Salons; women's writing; gay and lesbian studies

  • German Thought from Lichtenberg to the Present, including Goethe, hermeneutics, Nietzsche, the Frankfurt School and queer theory

  • Poetry, Poetics and Poetologies, including Droste-Hülshoff, Rilke, and Celan

  • German Literature between 1945 and 1989, especially GDR literature before and after the 'Wende', Hubert Fichte and Uwe Johnson

  • German Linguistics, centred on historical linguistics, syntax, morphology and sociolinguistics

 

More information on how to apply is available here.

 

Some of the PhDs currently supervised include research on:

  • Urban 'aurality' as a literary motif in German modernism

  • The psychoaesthetics of mourning in post-war West German prose

  • Winckelmann's Aesthetics

  • Playing and playfulness in German thought and literature from Schiller to Hesse

  • Critique of the Purely Poetic Being in the poetry of Hölderlin, Rilke and Charents

  • The Poetics of H.C. Artmann and the Austrian Avant-garde

  • Heine's Poetic Images of Cities

  • Music and its narrative function in Wolfgang Hildesheimer and Gert Jonke

  • German Exiles in London and Police records in 19th century

  • Creating the Passive Reader: Houston Stewart Chamberlain's Nationalist German Discourse

Research students in the Department have recently read papers at graduate colloquia and at research seminars in the UK, Germany and Austria. Where appropriate, they are encouraged to undertake archival research abroad, and grants have been awarded to enable work in Berlin, Wolfenbüttel, Marbach, Munich, Vienna and Zurich. Five theses from the Department have appeared in book form in recent years.

 

 

The department has a thriving community of international research students (some 12 in a given year) and provides a structured programme of 'Oberseminare' and specialist Research Training Seminars over and above those offered by the School, the College and the University of London. It is thus able to offer an unusually rich, supportive, stimulating and friendly framework for advanced research.  

The Department is interested in receiving applications from prospective MPhil and PhD students across a wide range of areas. The Department's expertise covers virtually the whole field of Germanic studies, including Austrian and Swiss literature and linguistics. Particular research strengths include:

  • Anglo-German Cultural Relations, including comparative literature and cultural studies, the comparative history of ideas, the history of British 'Germanistik', cultural transfer, linguistic relations, translation theory and travel writing

  • Jewishness and German culture, including German-Jewish writing, exile and holocaust studies, and the rhetoric of anti-semitism

  • German, Austrian and Swiss Literature in its social contexts, including Sociability, Spas and Salons; women's writing; gay and lesbian studies

  • German Thought from Lichtenberg to the Present, including Goethe, hermeneutics, Nietzsche, the Frankfurt School and queer theory

  • Poetry, Poetics and Poetologies, including Droste-Hülshoff, Rilke, and Celan

  • German Literature between 1945 and 1989, especially GDR literature before and after the 'Wende', Hubert Fichte and Uwe Johnson

  • German Linguistics, centred on historical linguistics, syntax, morphology and sociolinguistics

 

More information on how to apply is available here.

 

Some of the PhDs currently supervised include research on:

  • Urban 'aurality' as a literary motif in German modernism

  • The psychoaesthetics of mourning in post-war West German prose

  • Winckelmann's Aesthetics

  • Playing and playfulness in German thought and literature from Schiller to Hesse

  • Critique of the Purely Poetic Being in the poetry of Hölderlin, Rilke and Charents

  • The Poetics of H.C. Artmann and the Austrian Avant-garde

  • Heine's Poetic Images of Cities

  • Music and its narrative function in Wolfgang Hildesheimer and Gert Jonke

  • German Exiles in London and Police records in 19th century

  • Creating the Passive Reader: Houston Stewart Chamberlain's Nationalist German Discourse

Research students in the Department have recently read papers at graduate colloquia and at research seminars in the UK, Germany and Austria. Where appropriate, they are encouraged to undertake archival research abroad, and grants have been awarded to enable work in Berlin, Wolfenbüttel, Marbach, Munich, Vienna and Zurich. Five theses from the Department have appeared in book form in recent years.

 

 

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