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Current research projects in German Studies

The Experience of Time in Modernity: Acceleration and Immediacy, 'Aesthetische Eigenzeit' and Critical Time.

Colleagues in German Studies at Warwick are invovled in an ongoing project that draws together international researchers from Warwick University, Universität Konstanz, University of Nottingham and the University of Durham, and beyond, in a major, cutting-edge, collaborative project. It deals with cultural and intellectual responses to time, or more specfically to changes in the human experience and consciousness of time within modernity, from ca. 1800 to the globalized and digitalized present. Thus far there have been three international conferences in Warwick (March 2013), Konstanz (spring 2014) and Nottingham (summer 2014), dealing with cultural responses to the immedicay and acceleration of contemporary culture; the longing for time, slowness or 'aestetische Eigenzeit' in modern German culture; and critical responses to shifts in time consciousness in modern German thought and literature respectively. For more information click here.


Kleist, education and violence: The transformation of ethics and aesthetics

Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) is one of the most important German writers of the early nineteenth century, and his works have had a profound influence on subsequent writers both in Germany and beyond. Our three-year project – funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and carried out by Dr Seán Allan and researchers from the University of Exeter – explores one aspect of his work (education) that has been almost totally ignored, and links it to another (the representation of violence) in a way that will shed new light on constructive and destructive functions of violence in his work. For more information, go to the Kleist, Education and Violence website.


Constellations of alterity: Conceptions of femininity and Jewishness in modern German and Austrian culture

Dr Christine Achinger's 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.

This project aims to move beyond an exclusive focus on the parallels and intersections of ideas of Jewishness and femininity – for example, 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, Dr Achinger hopes to contribute to a more three-dimensional picture of the social developments to which they respond.


'Sisters in arms?' – Female participation in leftist political violence in Germany since 1970

MHRA Research Scholarship in Modern Languages for Dr Katharina Karcher

Katharina's dissertation provides a qualitative analysis of female participation in the armed struggle in Germany since 1970. The focus of the research project is on women's active involvement in four different groups:

  • Red Army Faction
  • Movement of June 2
  • Revolutionary Cells
  • Red Zora

While there were significant ideological, organisational and strategic differences between these groups, all evince a remarkably high proportion of female members. Drawing on a variety of sources such as press coverage, court files, statements by former group members and interviews, the thesis offers a gender sensitive analysis of women's roles in these organisations and in concrete manifestations of political violence.