Forthcoming Events

3 March 2017

"The Reception of Blake in Germany and Austria: On the Afterlife of his Art".

The Centre will welcome guest speaker Dr Sibylle Erle, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, to Queen Mary University of London to give a talk on "The Reception of Blake in Germany and Austria: On the Afterlife of his Art".

Date & time: Friday, 3 March 2017, 4-6pm
Venue: Room: TBC, Mile End campus, Queen Mary University of London

By the 1900s William Blake featured in articles and chapters on English Painting, and often in connection with book-illustration or the Pre-Raphaelites. According to Richard Muther, Blake’s artistic practice was the result of spontaneous and uncontrollable bursts of creative energy. Julius Meier-Graefe, by comparison, was disparaging of Blake’s visions and affinities with mysticism (Swedenborg and Böhme) altogether. The critical modelling of Blake was further propelled in the more nuanced and distinctly more positive writing of Rudolf Kassner and Helene Richter: Kassner’s Die Mystik, Die Künstler und das Leben (1900) and Richter’s William Blake (1906). Touching on the main trends in the artistic and critical responses to Blake, this paper will focus on the German-Jewish artist Ludwig Meidner (1884-1966), who belonged to the mystical wing of Expressionism.
Meidner identified with Blake. Such is the agreement in the existing literature. Thomas Grochowiak, for example, writes that, when in London in the 1940s, ‘Meidner’s most important and exciting encounter was with the works of the painter-poet-mystic William Blake’ (1966, 200). Meidner, however, claimed (repeatedly) that he had known of Blake while living in Germany. In its case study, this paper will map and re-evaluate Meidner’s responses to Blake.

Sibylle Erle, FRSA, is Senior Lecturer in English at Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln, author of Blake, Lavater and Physiognomy (Legenda, 2010), co-editor of Science, Technology and the Senses (Special Issue for RaVoN, 2008) and volume editor of Panoramas, 1787-1900: Texts and Contexts (5 vols., Pickering & Chatto, 2012). With Morton D. Paley she is now co-editing The Reception of William Blake in Europe (Bloomsbury). She has co-curated the display “Blake and Physiognomy” (2010-11) at Tate Britain and devised an online exhibition of Tennyson’s copy of Blake’s Job for the Tennyson Research Centre (2013). Apart from reception, she is working on ‘character’ in the Romantic period.


13 March 2017

READING WITH OUR WRITER IN RESIDENCE BARBARA HONIGMANN

Date & time: Friday, 13 March 2017, 6.30pm
Venue: The Graduate Centre, Room 101, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Campus, (327 Mile End Road, London E1 4NS)

(The reading will be in German and English)

All are welcome! Please feel free to bring along other interested parties. For free tickets, please click here.

Barbara Honigmann is unquestionably one of the most interesting and important authors writing in German today. And one of the reasons why her work matters so much has to do with its very marked autobiographical dimension. This pertains not only to her extraordinary life as the only daughter of two influential Jewish intellectuals in the GDR, who for the last 30 years has made a life for herself as a practising Jew, a German writer, a mother and a helpful neighbour in the French border city of Strasbourg, but also and above all to the exceptional way in which she invests her work with her personality.

A reading by Barbara Honigmann is therefore something very special – particularly since she was trained in the theatre. And the reading she will be giving on the 13th of March as part of Queen Mary’s Writer in Residence programme, supported by the Deutscher Literaturfonds, will have the added attraction of featuring texts translated specially for the occasion by final year students working in close collaboration with the author.


Research Colloquia 2016/17
In 2016/17 the Director’s Friday Research Seminar on AGCR will focus on The Psychology of Anglo-German Wagnerianism.

Time & Venue: 4-6 pm at Lockkeeper’s Cottage, QMUL/Mile End Campus (please note that some dates have a different venue - for full details please check the programme)

Dates: 7th October 2016; 28th October 2016; 9th December 2016; 27th January 2017; 17th February 2017; 24th March 2017; 19th May 2017.

Please download the full programme here.


31 March 2017

Ecce homo intellectualis – Oscar Levy’s Nietzschean Mission

One-day conference at the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations, Queen Mary University of London
In cooperation with the Swiss Embassy London, the Goethe Institute London, Leo Baeck Institute at QMUL, and Mrs Julia Rosenthal (London/Oxford)
Convenor: Professor Rüdiger Görner (CAGCR/QMUL)
Conference Assistant: Ms Richelle Whitehead, B.A. (QMUL)

Venue: University Women's Club, 2 Audley Square, Mayfair, London W1K 1DB

Attendance free of charge. Attendees should register with: Ms Richelle Whitehead: r.whitehead@hss12.qmul.ac.uk

The date of 28 March 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Oscar Levy, the editor of the first authorised English translation of Friedrich Nietzsche’s works. (1909-1913, 18 vols.). Levy was also the translator of Heine, Gissing and Disraeli, as well as being a poet, essayist and critic in his own right. Together with his essays on Nietzsche, including fascinating studies into the history of the philosopher’s early reception in Britain, this unique body of work is nowadays largely forgotten.

The anniversary provides an ideal occasion for a re-appraisal of his engagement with Nietzsche’s works in the context of his wider European concerns. Together with the Leo Baeck Institute, the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations at Queen Mary University of London will hold a one-day conference on Levy’s intellectual legacy with major emphasis on his Nietzsche studies. Contributors will include Professors Christian Benne (Copenhagen), Duncan Large (UEA) and Dan Stone (RHUL). A new edition of Levy’s letters during the gestation of the Nietzsche translation and its subsequent worldwide diffusion, as well as a facsimile edition of his last, most controversial polemic work, ‘The Idiocy of Idealism’ (William Hodge: 1940) – the blurb for this book written by George Bernard Shaw characterises Levy as a “thoroughly tactless Nietzchean [sic] Jew” – are planned to be available at the conference.

This conference is sponsored by The Swiss Embassy, London


14-16 June 2017

International Conference on
Biography in Britain and Germany
Comparing Theories and Practices

Venue: London Notre Dame – The London Global Gateway University of Notre Dame, 1-4 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG
and the Goethe Institut, London, 50 Princes Gate Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PH

In collaboration with:
QMUL, Centre of Anglo-German Cultural Relations
Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, University of Cologne
Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Biographie, Wien
Goethe Institut, London
(host institution) University of Notre Dame – The London Global Gateway

This conference, the first in a series organized by The Centre for Anglo-German Cultural relations at Queen Mary University of London, The Morphomata Institute for Advanced Study in the University of Cologne and the Ludwig Boltzmann Centre for Biographical research in Vienna, will focus predominantly on 19th and 20th century examples of biographical writing with reflections on practices in, and resonances of, this genre. Some of the questions that will need to be addressed on a comparative basis refer to the cult of biography, the pitfalls of “hero and hero-worship” (Carlyle) and its ambiguous impact on the culture of biography, individualism and biography, practices of writing biographies in Britain and Germany and their cultural status.

(programme to be announced)


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