Department of German

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The Department of German at Queen Mary, University of London has a particularly vibrant research culture. It is host to the Centre for Anglo German Cultural Relations (CAGCR). It pursues active research collaborations with at least a dozen universities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and beyond. Its members host between 2 and 5 conferences a year (including, recently, that of the Association for German Studies), and contribute to very many more. There is a large and thriving community of doctoral students from across Europe, for whom the department offers a whole range of special research training events. The library boasts large and growing special collections in the fields of Swiss literature, Anglo-German Cultural Relations, Music and Philosophy. And not least through its unique MA, the Department has substantive links with all the major representatives of German-language culture in London such as the German Exchange Services (DAAD)Goethe Institute or the cultural departments of the German, Swiss and Austrian Embassies.

The research interests of the department cover the whole gamut of German Studies from the Middle Ages to the Present day, including language teaching, linguistics and literature, film, thought, theory, media and culture from Austria, Switzerland and the former GDR as well as the Federal Republic. A particular area of expertise is Anglo-German Cultural Relations, including the history of German Studies in the United Kingdom. Several members of the department also do interdisciplinary work in fields such as the history of thought, translation and translation theory, medieval studies and gender and queer studies.


The research staff and their areas of expertise in more detail: 

Robert Gillett
German and Austrian literature, gay and queer literature and film, Johann Peter Hebel, Jochen Hick, Uwe Johnson, Hubert Fichte

Rüdiger Görner
Goethe, Hölderlin, Nietzsche, Rilke, Thomas Mann, Thomas Bernhard, Ilse Aichinger, Heimat , literature of the absurd, literature of the threshold, the diary, twentieth century elegy, music and literature.
Director of the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations

Astrid Köhler
Cultural history of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Germany, including courtly and bourgeois sociability, public rituals and festivities, literary journals, and prose fiction; current East German literature works by East German authors written before and after German unification in 1990

Angus Nicholls
The comparative study of English and German Romanticisms; Goethe and his philosophical contemporaries (especially Hamann, Herder, Kant and Schelling); German Critical Theory and Philosophical Hermeneutics (especially Walter Benjamin, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Hans Blumenberg); philosophical and literary influences upon Sigmund Freud; the influence of European philosophical ideas upon twentieth century Australian poetry and prose.

Leonard Olschner
German and comparative literature, literature and society, cultural studies from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, Goethe, Lichtenberg, literature of the twentieth century, lyric poetry, literature of the Shoah, Paul Celan, Adorno, translation studies

Falco Pfalzgraf
Linguistic purism, the influence of English on German (Fremdwörter / Anglizismen / ‘Denglisch’), discourses of foreignness in school books, the relationships between politics language and culture

Felicity Rash

Katerina Somers
The historical Germanic dialects: Old High German, Old Saxon, Old English, Middle High German, Middle Dutch, Historical linguistics—syntactic, morphosyntactic and phonological change, theories of language change, sociohistorical linguistics, the syntax of Modern German, Philology—the interaction of metre and syntax

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