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Dr Christine Achinger

Christine AchingerAssociate Professor of German Studies

Head of Department
Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50388
Email: C dot E dot Achinger at warwick dot ac dot uk

H2.19, Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL


About

Christine Achinger studied Philosophy, Literature and Physics in Paris and Hamburg, where she was also involved in the non-commercial radio station FSK and in running the independent political library ‘Hamburger Studienbibliothek’, and worked at the concentration camp memorial site Hamburg-Neuengamme and in the ‘Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden’. An MA in ‘Gender and Ethnic Studies’ brought her to London. During that time, she investigated conceptions of the bourgeois subject and the modern state as reflected in Enlightenment debates on Jewish and female emancipation. She moved on to Nottingham to write a PhD on the intersection of constructions of race, class, gender, and nation in 19th century Germany as reflected in Gustav Freytag’s novel Soll und Haben (1855), and stayed at the University of Nottingham for another year as a Teaching Fellow. She joined the Department of German Studies at Warwick in September 2006. During the academic year 2013-14, she held a Research Fellowship at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and spent the winter terms 2009, 2012 and 2015 as a Visiting Scholar / Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago.

Research interests

My research interests are in the areas of

  • critical social theory and aesthetic theory
  • constructions of gender, nation and race as part of capitalist modernity
  • history and theories of antisemitism
  • Holocaust memory in Germany

My current research investigates constellations of images of femininity and Jewishness at important junctures in modern German and Austrian history between the Enlightenment and the Fin de Siècle. The constructions of different kinds of 'others' can serve as a key to understanding changing concerns regarding modernity, identity and the boundaries of the national community. The project aims to move beyond an exclusive focus on the parallels and intersections of ideas of Jewishness and femininity, e.g. in the figure of the ‘beautiful Jewess’ or the stereotype of the ‘effeminate Jew’. By also investigating the often quite different or even complementary discursive roles played by these notions of alterity and their interrelations, I hope to contribute to a more three-dimensional picture of the social developments to which they respond.

I am also preparing an edited volume on The Dialectic of Enlightenment revisited with Helmut Schmitz (Warwick).

Teaching and supervision

Undergraduate:

Postgraduate:

Research Supervision:
  • Sisters in Arms? Female Participation in Leftist Political Violence in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1970 (PhD, completed)
  • Israelkritik und Antisemitismus in der Bundesrepublik (1949 bis 2005) [Critique of Israel and antisemitism in the Federal Republic of Germany (1949 to 2005)] (PhD, in progress)


Administrative roles 2017-18

  • Head of German Studies
  • Dept. Director of Research (term 1)
  • Personal Tutor

Selected publications

(for a more complete list click here.)

Books

  • Gespaltene Moderne. Gustav Freytags Soll und Haben - Nation, Geschlecht und Judenbild [Split modernity: Gustav Freytag's Debit and Credit - nation, gender and the image of the Jew], Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2007.
  • Antisemitism, Racism and Islamophobia: Distorted Faces of Modernity, edited with Robert Fine, New York: Routledge, 2015.

Articles and chapters

Professional associations

I am a member of the US German Studies Association, the UK Associations for German Studies and Women in German Studies, the US Association for Jewish Studies and the Britih Association for Jewish Studies.

Furthermore, I am a board member of the Research Network 31: Racism and Antisemitism of the European Sociological Association and a member of the Research Network Gender in Antisemitism, Orientalism and Occidentalism, the Villigster Forschungsforum zu Nationalsozialismus, Rassismus und Antisemitismus and the critical theories of antisemitism network. I am also centrally involved in an international collaboration for graduate education in transnational German Studies between universities and institutions in the USA, Germany, UK, Austria and Israel (for more information see here).

Qualifications

  • BSc equiv. Physics (Hamburg)
  • BA equiv. Philosophy (Hamburg)
  • MA Gender and Ethnic Studies (London)
  • PhD German Studies (Nottingham)