Academics in the Department of German are focused on fostering research in the language, literature and culture of Germany and German-speaking regions and countries, and in contemporary German history and society.
The department is a proud host to externally-funded post-doctoral researchers (Marie-Curie fellowship, Humboldt-Fellowship, Leverhulme EC Fellow) and postgraduates (with AHRC and Alumni Foundation funding). Together they create a lively intellectual atmosphere which takes the shape of regular workshops, conferences, and weekly reading groups in literature and in linguistics.
Within the department there are particular specialisms in:
- comparative literature;
- German literature since the Goethezeit;
- memory studies;
- historical sociolinguistics;
- German exile literature;
- the history and memory of the GDR;
- translation studies.
- 'The invisibilisation of non-standard and regional languages in the 19th century' Prof. Langer, with the University of Flensburg, funded by the Humboldt-foundation (2011-13) and the British Academy (2011).
- 'A Digital Edition of the works by Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931)' Prof. Vilain, with Andrew Webber (Cambridge) and Judith Beniston (UCL), funded by the AHRC.
- 'The Stefan Zweig Collection Literary Manuscripts: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with the British Library' Dr Davies, Prof. Vilain.
- 'Children in German War (Con)Texts 1945-1949' Dr Pinfold with Ute Wölfel (Reading) and Beate Müller (Newcastle), funded by the British Academy (2014-15).
- 'Memories of Germany - Don’t (Just) Mention the War' Dr Pinfold with Sara Jones (Birmingham) and Anna Saunders (Bangor).
- 'Political and Cultural History of 1977 in the GDR' Dr Allinson.
- 'Transitory Monuments: The Literary Aesthetics of the Railway Station' Dr Margit Dirscherl, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
- 'Language Variation in 19th century letters' Dr Markus Schiegg, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt-foundation.
Collaborations and activities
Bristol’s Germanists are regularly involved national and international research projects in the areas of comparative literature, historical sociolinguistics, and social and cultural history. The department has hosted AHRC funded networks on the interdisciplinarity of linguistics and history and on the memory of the GDR. In addition, the international Historical Sociolinguistics Network (HiSoN) founded in 2005, has a permanent base in Bristol.
Bristol colleagues are actively involved in national and international scholarly societies, with representation on the committees of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland, the Internationale Alfred-Döblin-Gesellschaft, and the English Goethe Society. Professor Langer is editor-in-chief of the book series Historical Sociolinguistics (Oxford: Lang) and Professor Vilain is principal editor of Studies in Modern German and Austrian Literature (Oxford: Lang). Margit Discherl and Steffan Davies are co-editors of Angermion.
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Research in the Faculty
Our research forms part of the overall research activities and strategies of the Faculty of Arts.