Staff Research Interests

Dr Robert Gillett
Reader in German and Comparative Cultural Studies

Robert Gillett works on modern German and Austrian literature, and gay and queer literature and film. He has written on figures as varied as Johann Peter Hebel and Jochen Hick, and is co-editor of books and special issues of scholarly journals on Uwe Johnson, Bertolt Brecht and Queer in Europe/European Queer. A particular research interest is Hubert Fichte, on whom he has published extensively. His next project will be concerned with the history of Women in German Drama. Apart from Hubert Fichte, he has supervised research into Late Medieval Carnival Plays, Thomas and Klaus Mann, Detective Fiction, the German Gay Liberation Movement, and Queer Film. Areas of special interest, in which expert supervision is available, include: The History of the Theatre, The Cultural History of Travel, German Literature of the Period between 1945 and 1989, Gay and Lesbian Studies, and The Theory and Practice of Queer.


Prof Rüdiger Görner
Professor of German
Director, Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations

Research interests:
European Romanticism, Hölderlin's aftermath, Nietzsche's aesthetics, the Tower as a literary motif, the History of Anglo-German cultural relations, Life & Work of Oskar Kokoschka

Professor Rüdiger Görner (born 1957) is Professor of German with Comparative Literature and Founding Director of the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Director of the Institute of Germanic Studies where he founded the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature. Presently, his main research areas comprise literary representations of the five senses, the poetics of voice, Georg Trakl and literary Modernism, the Tower as a literary figuration. He has published studies on Hölderlin's poetics, the Goethezeit, Austrian literature from Stifter to Thomas Bernhard, on Rainer Maria Rilke and Thomas Mann and his notion of finality in culture as well as studies on literary aesthetics. Rüdiger Görner is a Visiting Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and held Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Mainz, Hanover, Heidelberg, Vienna and Salzburg. He is a member of various advisory boards of cultural institutions, publishing houses and academic journals. As a literary critic he writes for some of the leading journals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, including Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Presse and Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He is Corresponding Fellow of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung and member of the following Editorial Boards: Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik (the UK representative) / Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft (Vienna/Amsterdam) /Comparative Critical Studies/Études Germaniques/ Literaturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch. In 2012 he was awarded the Deutsche Sprachpreis of the Henning Kaufmann Foundation in Weimar. In 2012/13 he was Senior Research Fellow at the Internationale Kolleg Morphomata of Cologne University and in 2013/14 he held the Georg Trakl Visiting Professorship at the University of Salzburg. In 2015 he was awarded the Reimar Lüst Prize of the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung.


Dr Astrid Köhler
Reader in German

Astrid Köhler’s research interests are mainly concerned with the Cultural History of late 18th & early 19th Century Germany on the one hand, and the Literature written by East German Authors before and after German re-unification in 1990 on the other.
With regard to the former, she has published widely on salons and other forms of sociability in the Age of Goethe as well as on the public rituals and festivities, literary journals and prose fiction of the period (see School of Languages, Linguistics and Film website for select bibliography). Her next major project is to investigate the cultural significance of spa-places in England and the German speaking countries around that time.
As to the latter, she has published several journal articles and is currently writing a book entitled “Brückenschläge: DDR-Autoren vor und nach der deutschen Wiedervereinigung.”
Expert supervision is available in both fields – but also more generally in the history of female authorship and women’s writing in the 19th and 20th centuries and in the historical sociology of literature.


Dr Angus Nicholls
On Research Leave 2016-17
Senior Lecturer in German and Comparative Literature

Angus Nicholls’s areas of research interest include: the comparative study of German and English Romanticisms; Goethe and his philosophical contemporaries (Hamann, Herder, Kant, Schiller, Schelling); theories of myth; the prehistory of psychoanalysis; German critical theory and philosophical hermeneutics (Adorno, Benjamin, Blumenberg, Gadamer); twentieth century Australian poetry.


Dr Falco Pfalzgraf
Senior Lecturer in German Linguistics

Dr Falco Pfalzgraf's main area of research is the application of discourse analysis [not CDA], especially concerning the influence of English upon German (Anglizismen, Denglisch), and the related subject of Linguistic Purism (the latter field being understood in its widest sense and with both a synchronic and diachronic focus). He also conducts research on the relationships between politics, language, and culture. His most recent work concerns discourses of foreignness in school books 1933-45.