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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Nicola Thomas


Lecturer in Comparative Literarure

Room Number: ArtsOne 1.01


I specialise in European poetry of the post-war period, with a particular interest in comparing British and German writing about nature, space, science and landscape.

I joined the QMUL in 2019 after three years at the University of Oxford, and I have previously studied at the Universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham and the Freie Universität, Berlin. 

Alongside my research and teaching, I co-organise the Expanding German Studies interactive bibliography, an online resource for teachers of German in higher education which aims to expand and diversify the German studies curriculum.

My current research project examines representations of extra-terrestrial space in twentieth century poetry, and previously I have worked on landscape, (terrestrial) space and place in the work of various post-war poets including Paul Celan, Ernst Jandl, Derek Mahon, J. H. Prynne and Sarah Kirsch, and on the contemporary German poet Ulrike Almut Sandig.

I am a qualified Mental Health First Aider.


I convene the second-year modules ‘The Scene of Reading’ and ‘Facts and Fictions of Climate Change’, and am a seminar tutor on other modules including ‘The Scene of Learning’.


Research Interests:

My general research interests encompass twentieth and twenty-first century poetry; landscape, space and place in literature; literary geography; and comparative literature.


‘The new German nature poem’ in Aspects of Contemporary German Literature ed. by Helmut Schmitz, Humanities (2020) (abstract accepted; in preparation)

Ulrike Almut Sandig: Prose, Poetry and Performance, ed by. Nicola Thomas and Heike Bartel, Oxford German Studies vol. 48.3 (2018).

 ‘Situating Ulrike Almut Sandig’s Poetry’, in Ulrike Almut Sandig: Prose, Poetry and Performance, ed by. Nicola Thomas and Heike Bartel, Oxford German Studies, vol. 48.3 (2018).

Space, Place and Poetry in English and German 1960-1975 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

‘“Stark, necessary and not permanent”’: Huts in the work of J. H. Prynne and Paul Celan’, German Life and Letters 69 (3), pp. 350-364 (2016). 

‘Meridians: the poem as a place of encounter in J. H. Prynne and Paul Celan’, Tropos 2 (1), pp. 68-79 (2015).