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Research

My research is mainly in the field of post-war and contemporary German literature. Over the last years my focus has been on post-war German memory cultures, particularly on the way contemporary literature and culture represents the Nazi period and the Holocaust. This has resulted in a monograph on Representations of National Socialism in post-1990 German fiction (2004) and two edited volumes on representations of German wartime suffering (2006 and 2011). I am particularly interested in the way literature and film configure victim and perpetrator positions and represent issues of responsibility, perpetration and suffering. I have contributed to two AHRC-funded research projects, on ‘Discourses of Normalisation in Post-Unification Germany’ (2001-04) and ‘Constructions and Representations of “German Wartime Suffering”' (2005-08). A further interest is family narratives and auto/hetero-biographies with respect to collective memory in Germany. I was part of the interdisciplinary research project ‘Intergenerationale Beziehungsgestaltung in Autobiographien im politischen Kontext des 20. Jahrhunderts’ (2004-06, headed by Profs Ortrun Niethammer, Ilse Bürmann and Hans-Rüdiger Müller, Osnabrück). Together with German Studies colleagues at the universities of Bremen (D), Ferrara (It), Leiden (H) and Duisburg-Essen (D) I have been co-ordinating the Arbeitskreis für Literatur und Politik which has organised a series of annual conferences on a theme in contemporary German literature.