Welcome to the Section of British Literature and Culture

Chair of British Literature and Culture

Prof. Dr. Christoph Heyl

FRHistS, FSA Scot


Room:       R12 R05 A26
Tel.:          +49 201 183-4711
Fax:          +49 201 183-4713
e-mail:      christoph.heyl@uni-due.de

Office hours:

Semester:                       Semester break:
Tuesday 4 to 5 pm.        by appointment

Curriculum Vitae

2015

July 2015: Received the 2015 Lehrpreis der Universität Duisburg-Essen (the university´s award for excellence in academic teaching).

2012-2014

October 2012 - September 2014: Head of Department

2011 – present

Full professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen
(Chair of British Literature and Culture).

2006 – 2011

Temporary appointments at several German universities: stand-in for Ratsstellen at Otto Friedrich-Universität, Bamberg and Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz; visiting professor at the University of Regensburg and Humboldt-Universität, Berlin (twice).

2006

Habilitation: Worlds of Wonders: Sammelndes Schreiben und schreibendes Sammeln im England des 17. Jahrhunderts (Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main). Post-doctoral thesis about connections between the culture of collecting (cabinets of curiosities), literature and the visual arts in the seventeenth century.

From 2001

Lecturer (C1) at Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main.

2000

Ph. D.: A Passion for Privacy: Untersuchungen zur Genese der bürgerlichen Privatsphäre in London, ca. 1660-1800 (Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main). Thesis on the rise of the private sphere in eighteenth-century London and the impact of emerging concepts of privacy on literature and art of the period.

Teaching post (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the University of Frankfurt. Extended stays in London on a regular basis to do research for Ph. D. and Habilitation (all in all several years), attached to the German Historical Institute and the School of Advanced Study, University College London. Research grants awarded by German Historical Institute, German Academic Exchange Service and other funding bodies.

1993

Staatsexamen in English and History (Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main).

From 1986

Studied English and History at Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main and the University of Reading

1985-86

Non-military national service

Membership in Learned Societies and Other Associations

Royal Historical Society, London: Fellow

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh: Fellow

Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main e.V.: Member of the Board

Dagmar Westberg-Universitätsfonds der Deutsch-Britischen Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main e.V. (a funding body supporting British Studies at the University of Frankfurt): Member of the Board

Georg Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Associate Member

Deutscher Anglistenverband

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

ADEF / German Association for the Study of British History and Politics

Research Interests

(NB: I would be happy to supervise theses related to topics listed below.)

British Literature and Culture, mostly from the Early Modern period to the present. Major research projects – both completed and active – in 17th, 18th and 19th/20th literature and culture. More specifically:

Earliest Beginnings to Middle Ages

  • London’s cultural and literary history.

The 16th and 17th Century

  • The culture of collecting (cabinets of curiosities) and related phenomena in English literature. Texts as collections, collections as texts. Interactions between collecting, early global exploration and early scientific research. Transformations of obsolete knowledge. (Specific collectors: the Tradescants, Sir Thomas Browne, the Royal Society).
  • London in the seventeenth century. The Great Plague and the Great Fire; pre- and post-Fire architecture.
  • Literary and early scientific prose (Robert Burton, Sir Thomas Browne).
  • Diaries (Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, Celia Fiennes etc.) .
  • Early journalism (John Dunton).
  • Poetry (the Elizabethan sonnet; the Metaphysical poets, especially John Donne and Andrew Marvell; Rochester); epic poetry (John Milton).
  • Drama (Shakespeare; Congreve, Vanbrugh, Wycherley).
  • The visual arts (especially: Wenceslas Hollar).
  • Travel literature about India, encounters with Indian culture (Thomas Coryate).

The 18th Century

  • The rise of the private sphere in eighteenth-century London: material culture and middle-class mentalities. The private sphere and literature: the novel (Defoe, Fielding, Richardson, Cleland), the diary (Boswell), journalism (Addison and Steele; The Gentleman’s Magazine, The London Magazine), conduct books. The private sphere and the visual arts: conversation pieces; Hogarth’s Modern Moral Subjects.
  • Gender roles, writing and publishing in eighteenth-century England (Montagu, Seward, Leapor / Pope, Gay, Swift, Smart).
  • Eighteenth-century Edinburgh, its literary and cultural history. Robert Fergusson, Robert Burns, John Kay. Edinburgh as the Athens of the North. Scotland after 1746.
  • Neo-classicism.
  • Taste and the senses in the eighteenth century.
  • The pre-history of English crime fiction: textual and visual narratives of crime
  • Eighteenth-century music and musical aesthetics. Intermediality: text and music. George Frederic Handel’s oratorios. Ballad operas and cantatas. Exoticism, primitivism and the perception of Scottish music.
  • Intermediality: text and image. Hogarth and Lichtenberg.

The 19th Century

  • Romanticism, tourism and travel literature.
  • Romantic poetry: Byron, Heine, Pushkin.
  • Anglo-German literary and cultural relations.
  • History and literature: the historical novel. Scott.
  • Crime fiction; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • Science and literature: Charles Darwin and Lewis Carroll.
  • Journalism and social criticism: Mayhew.
  • Intermediality: authors and illustrators in the nineteenth century (Dickens / Cruickshank)
  • Intermediality: text and music. Gilbert & Sullivan. Music hall and pantomime.

The 19th and the 20th Century

  • German- and Yiddish-speaking emigrants and refugees in London, 1848-1945. Literatures of migration and exile. (Mayhew, Fontane, Zangwill, Kerr etc.) Identity and perceptions / depictions of urban space. Mental mapping and social topographies. Assimilation and cultural memory. Orientalism / urban exoticism: London as an oriental city.
  • James Joyce. Modernism.
  • Scottish crime fiction (Ian Rankin and others).
  • Literature, culture and identity in post-devolution Scotland. The construction of a Scottish diaspora.

Publications and Work in Progress

a) Books:
 


 
Mieg, Harald A. and Heyl, Christoph (eds.), Stadt. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch (Stuttgart: Verlag J. B. Metzler), ISBN: 978-3-476-02385-8
For further details, see: Metzler Verlag

Habilitationsschrift: Worlds of Wonders: Schreibendes Sammeln und sammelndes Schreiben in England, ca. 1600-1700. Veröffentlichungen des Deutschen Historischen Instituts London, 589 pp. (Munich: Oldenbourg, forthcoming).

 

 

A Passion For Privacy 

 

Ph.D. thesis: A Passion for Privacy. Untersuchungen zur Genese der bürgerlichen Privatsphäre in London, 1660-1800. Veröffentlichungen des Deutschen Historischen Instituts London, Bd. 56 (München: Oldenbourg, 2004)
574 pp. Large sections of this book are available on Google Books.

http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/218367

 

Books: Work in Progress:

Monograph: Eine kleine Geschichte der Englischen Literatur (Metzler Verlag, to be published in 2017)

Edition: Das Lagertagebuch des Isy Aronowitz, 1940-1943 (Metropol Verlag)

Monograph: German- and Yiddish-speaking emigrants and refugees in London, 1848-1945.

 

 

 

 

b) Articles:

“Oriental Objects in 17th Century English Cabinets of Curiosities: The Tradescant Collection” in: Ibata, Hélène et al. (ed.), Geographies of Contact. Britain, the Middle East and the Circulation of Knowledge (Strasbourg: Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, forthcoming), pp. 109-123.

“Handel’s Oratorios and the Taste of Eighteenth-Century London Audiences: Solomon as a Box Office Disaster” in: Ogée, Frédéric (ed.), Sensing the World. Taste and the Senses in the Eighteenth Century (II) (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2017), pp. 59-72.

“Translating Memory: The Lagertagebuch kept by Isy Aronowitz (1940-43) and Five Amber Beads by Richard Aronowitz (2006)” in: Hofmann, Bettina, and reuter, Ursula (edd.), Translated Memories. Transgenerational Perspectives in Literature on the Holocaust (forthcoming).

“Der Ort, wo Betteley und Ueberfluß in einer Secunde die Stelle wechseln: Glücksspiel in Hogarths London / Hogarths London als Glücksspiel“ in: Lichtenberg-Jahrbuch 2016 (Heidelberg: Winter, 2017), 11 pp (forthcoming).

“Private Narratives Beyond the Core Canon: William Hogarth’s Conversation Pieces” in: Krysmanski, Bernd W. (ed.), 250 Years On: New Light on William Hogarth (forthcoming), 16 pp.

„Between Closet and Tea-Table: Domesticity, Leisure and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century London“ in: Sprang, Felix (ed.), Leisure and the Making of Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Europe (Ashgate, forthcoming), 25 pp.

“Digitalisierung. Wie werden wir morgen lesen?” in: Kaube, Jürgen and Laakmann, Jörn (eds.), Das Lexikon der offenen Fragen (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2015), pp. 54-55.

“A Miserable Sight: The Great Fire of London, 1666” in: Brakensiek, Stefan and Claridge, Claudia (eds.), Fiasko. Scheitern in der Frühen Neuzeit. Beiträge zu einer Kulturgeschichte des Misserfolgs (Bielefeld,: Transcript Verlag, 2015) pp. 111-133.

“Barometz, Dodo, Jubjub, Heffalump: Vom Heimischwerden bizarrer Tiere in der englischen Literatur“ in: M. Ulrich und D. de Rentiis (edd.), Animalia in Fabula (Bamberg, 2014), pp. 29-49.

„Privatsphäre, Öffentlichkeit und urbane Modernität. London als historischer Präzedenzfall“ in: ” in: Mieg, Harald and Heyl, Christoph (eds.), Stadt. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2013), pp. 271-282.

„Stadt und Literatur“ in: Mieg, Harald and Heyl, Christoph (eds.), Stadt. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2013), pp. 222-243.

"Die Stadt als kultureller Raum" in: Mieg, Harald and Heyl, Christoph (eds.), Stadt. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2013), pp. 199-201.

„William Hogarth, Science and Human Nature” in: Haekel, Ralf and Blackmore, Sabine (Ed.), Discovering the Human: Life Sciences and the Arts in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century (Göttingen: V&R, 2013), pp. 29-52.

“Wenn die Menschen plötzlich tugendhaft wären, so müßten viele Tausende verhungern: Kriminalität in London zur Zeit Lichtenbergs” in: Joost, Ulrich (Ed.), Lichtenberg-Jahrbuch 2011 (Heidelberg: Winter, 2012), pp. 101-116.

„Staging Scottishness: The Homecoming Scotland 2009 Initiative and Post-Devolution Perceptions of Scottish Culture, Literature and Identity” in: Frenk, Joachim and Steveker, Lena (Edd.), Anglistentag 2010 Saarbrücken: Proceedings (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2011), pp. 39-56. www.wvttrier.de/top/proceedings_2010_wvt.pdf

„Horticultural, Panoramic and Peripatetic Modes of Identity Construction in Eighteenth-Century England” in: Müller, Anja and Karremann, Isabel (Eds.), Mediating Identities in Eighteenth-Century England, 20 S. (Ashgate, 2011), pp. 205-209.

„Ungrateful Odours, Sullying Toch: Excursions into the Dubious Realms of Trivia and Cloacina” in: Wagner, Peter and Ogée, Frédéric (Eds.), Taste and the Senses in the Eighteenth Century (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2011), pp. 269-282.

„Horrid Howling or Sublime Sensation? Reactions to the Scottish Bagpipes and Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic Theory” in: Wagner, Peter and Ogée, Frédéric (Eds.), Taste and the Senses in the Eighteenth Century (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2011), pp. 145-163.

„God’s terrible Voice in the City: Anmerkungen zur Rezeption des Great Fire of London (1666) in: Rößler, Hole and Koppenleitner, Vera (Eds.), Urbs Incensa – Ästhetische Transformationen der brennenden Stadt. Schriftenreihe des kunsthistorischen Max Planck-Instituts in Florenz, Bd. 10 (München: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2011), pp. 23-44.

"London as a Latter-Day Rome? From Neo-Classicist to Post-Colonial Urban Imagination and Beyond, 1666-1941" in: Kinzel, Ulrich (Hrsg.), London. Urban Space and Cultural Experience. Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, Special Issue, XLII, 2/3, 2010, pp. 103-126.

„Dame Nature’s Imagination: Creation, Creativity and Gender” in: Zwierlein, Anne-Julia (Ed.), Gender and Creation. Surveying Gendered Myths of Creativity, Authority and Authorship (Heidelberg: Winter, 2010), pp. 65-84.

„Gentleman“ in: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit, Vol.. 4: FriedeGutsherrschaft (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2006), 2 pp, q.v.

Lusus Naturae und Lusus Scientiae im ältesten öffentlich zugänglichen  Kuriositäten­kabinett Englands“ in: Cardanus. Jahrbuch für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Nr. 6, 2006, pp. 25-44.

Meyney, Maummenark, Billingbing, Banana: Textualität, exotische Klangmagie und Imagination im Kuriositätenkabinett der Tradescants” in: Lozar, A. and Felfe, R. (Eds.),  Frühneuzeitliche Sammelpraxis und Literatur (Berlin: Lukas, 2006), pp. 194-215.

Whodunnit und who are we? Das Thema der schottischen Identität in Ian Rankins neuem Roman Fleshmarket Close“ in: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, LIII, Jahrgang 2005, Heft 4, pp. 369-383.

„Einhorn und Indianermantel” in: Spektrum der Wissenschaft 4/2004, Sonderheft Forschung und Technik der Renaissance, pp. 12-15.

Deformity’s Filthy Fingers: Cosmetics and the Plague in: (Anon.), Artificiall Embellishments, or Art’s best Directions how to preserve Beauty, or procure it (Oxford, 1665)” in: Glaisyer, N., Pennell, S. (Hrsg.), Didactic Literature in England 1500-1800: Experience Constructed (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), pp. 137-151.

We are not at Home: Protecting Middle-Class Domestic Privacy in Post-Fire London” in: The London Journal, Vol. 27, No. 2 (2002), pp. 12-33.

When they are veyl’d to be seene” erschien gleichfalls in: Entwistle, J., Wilson, E. (Hrsg.), Body Dressing. Dress, Body, Culture (Oxford: Berg, 2001), pp. 121-143.

When they are veyl’d to be seene: The Metamorphosis of the Mask in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century London” in: Tseelon, E. (Hrsg.), Masquerade and Identities (London: Routledge, 2001), pp. 114-134.

„עונש בכפר – אופנה בעיר ” („Punishment in the Country – Fashion in the City”). In: משקפײמ (Mishkafayim Art Quarterly), No. 33, 3/1998 (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem), pp. 28-31.

 

 

 

c) Reviews: 

Cowen Orlin, Lena, Locating Privacy in Tudor London (Oxford, 2007) in: Journal for the Study of British Cultures, Vol. 16/1 (2009), pp. 98-99.

Chalcraft, Anna und Viscardi, Judith, Strawberry Hill: Horace Walpole’s Gothic Castle (London, 2007) in: Journal for the Study of British Cultures, Vol. 15/2 (2008), pp. 192-194.

Manz, Stefan, Schulte-Beerbühl, Margrit und Davis, John R., Migration and Transfer from Germany to Britain, 1660-1914 (München, 2007) in: Angermion, Vol. I (2008), pp. 183-187.

Schwalm, Helga, Das Eigene und das Fremde. Biographische Identitätsentwürfe in der englischen Literatur des 18. Jahrhunderts (Würzburg, 2007) in: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, LVI, 2008, Heft 4, pp. 403-404.

Sutherland, Gill, Faith, Duty and the Power of Mind. The Cloughs and their Circle, 1820-1960 (Cambridge, 2006) in: Historische Zeitschrift Nr. 286 (2008), pp. 522-524.

Prein, Philipp, Bürgerliches Reisen im 19. Jahrhundert (Münster, 2005) in: Historische Zeitschrift No. 286 (2008), pp. 221-222.

Edwards, Clive, Turning Homes into Houses. A History of the Retailing and Consumption of Domestic Furnishings (Aldershot, 2005) in: Sehepunkte 7 (2007, Nr. 10) (ISSN 1618-6168), URL: http://www.sehepunkte.de/2007/10/pdf/12085.pdf

Snook, Edith, Women, Reading and the Cultural Politics of Early Modern England (Aldershot, 2005) in: Sehepunkte 7 (2007, Nr. 10) (ISSN 1618-6168), URL: http://www.sehepunkte.de/2007/10/pdf/12084.pdf

Biagoli, Mario, Galileo’s Instruments of Credit. Telescopes, Instruments, Secrecy (Chicago, 2006) in: Sehepunkte 7 (2007, Nr. 10) (ISSN 1618-6168), URL: http://www.sehepunkte.de/2007/10/pdf/9938.pdf

 

d) Miscellaneous
 

„Die Playfords und ihre Zeit”. Essay on amateur music-making in early modern London, sleeve notes, CD Oranges and Lemons. John Playford’s English Dancing Master (Coviello Classics COV20709, 2007), pp. 3-5 and 29-31.

Theodora und das Londoner Publikum: Versuch einer Rekonstruktion“ Sleeve notes, CD Georg Friedrich Händel, Theodora. An Oratorio. HWV 68. Junge Kantorei / Frankfurter Barockorchester (Naxos MB 10024, 2010), pp. 11-15.

Keynotes, Invited Papers, Papers

June 2017, Essen, Universität Duisburg-Essen:“A Walk on the Wild Side: John Gays Trivia, or the Art of Walking the Streets of London (1716).” (“Abwege – Fünf Dialoge”, with Prof. Jens Gurr).

June 2017, Essen, Universität Duisburg-Essen: “Zu Fuß nach Indien (1612-1617): Thomas Coryates abwegiges Abenteuer.“ (“Abwege – Fünf Dialoge”, with PD. Dr. Simone Loleit).

January 2017: Essen, Stadtbibliothek: “Gespräch über Bücher: Ian McEwans Saturday“.

February 2017, Essen, Deutsch-Englische Gesellschaft Ruhr e.V., „Almost unsufferable to our Ears? Romanticism and the Perception of the Highland Bagpipes, c. 1760-1830".

January 2017, Oxford, Annual Conference, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies: “The Skeleton in the Phone Box: Gothic Imagination, Private Narrative and the Soane Family Monument.”

November 2016, Bamberg Graduate School of Literary, Culture and Media Studies, Georg-Friedrich-Universität, Bamberg: Master Class Workshop for Ph.D. Candidates: “The Great Fire of London (1666): A Case Study.”

November 2016, Bamberg Graduate School of Literary, Culture and Media Studies, Georg-Friedrich-Universität, Bamberg, invited paper: “Terrorist Attack or Divine Intervention? Making Sense of the Great Fire of London (1666)” (This paper was given in Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Bamberg to mark the tercentenary of the Great Fire of London.)

November 2016, Heidelberg, Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft, invited paper: “Terrorist Attack or Divine Intervention? Making Sense of the Great Fire of London (1666)”

October 2016, Frankfurt am Main, Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft/Britisches Honorarkonsulat, invited paper: “Terrorist Attack or Divine Intervention? Making Sense of the Great Fire of London (1666)”

July 2016, Ober-Ramstadt, Jahrestagung der Lichtenberg-Gesellschaft, invited paper: “Der Ort, wo Betteley und Ueberfluß in einer Secunde die Stelle wechseln: Glücksspiel in Hogarths London / Hogarths London als Glücksspiel“

June 2016, Essen, Mittwochsgesellschaft: “Horror oder Harmonie? Der schottische Dudelsack und die Musikästhetik der Romantik, ca. 1760-1830.“

February 2016, Munich, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Junges Kolleg), workshop Present Pasts: Historical Consciousness and the Experience of Modernity. Invited paper: "Decline and Fall: Rome, London, Babylon".

January 2016, Essen, Stipendienfeier der Universität Duisburg-Essen, “Die Genese der modernen großstädtischen Identität: Architektur und Privatsphäre in London, ca. 1660-1800.“

January 2016, Oxford, Annual Conference, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies: “The music of rude passion: Scottish Bagpipe Music and Eighteenth-Century Musical Aesthetics (with practical demonstrations).

July 2015: Essen, international conference Translated Memories: Trans­generational Perspectives in Literature on the Holocaust (Steinheim-Institut für Deutsch-Jüdische Geschichte): invited paper (with Richard Aronowitz, Oxford/London): “Translating Memory: Where Parallel Lines of Fact and Fiction Meet”.

March 2015: New Delhi (Jawaharlal Nehru University, School of Media Studies), invited paper: “A New Rome? The Ruins of London as a Tourist Attraction of the Future”.

March 2015: New Delhi (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre of English Studies), invited paper: “Bizarre Animals and British Literature”.

January 2015: Essen, Lebenslanges Lernen e.V. (Universität Duisburg-Essen). Invited paper: „Was heißt hier ‚gebildet‘?“

November 2014: Essen (Universität Duisburg-Essen). Series of lectures on Understanding and Mastering the Complex City (Ringvorlesung, Profilschwerpunkts „Urbane Systeme“): “From Pre-Modern to Modern Urban Complexity: The Case of London”.

October 2014: Sopot/Gdańsk, international conference on Place and Space in Scottish Literature and Culture. Keynote: "Between us and our Hame: Mock-Antiquarian Narratives of Space and Place in Tam o´Shanter." 

July 2014: London, „Literary London 2014: Ages of London“ (Literary London Society/Institute of English Studies, University of London): “Finer as a Ruin than in its Present State? Exploring the Future Ruins of London”

June 2014: Bremen (Universität Bremen). Invited paper (Konrektorin für Lehre und Studium / Konrektorin für Interkulturalität und Internationalität): „Was heißt hier ‚gebildet‘?“

June 2014: Strasbourg, interdisciplinary conference “Géographies des contacts. Contextes des rencontres entre les îles Britanniques et le Moyen-Orient“ (Université de Strasbourg). Invited paper: „Oriental Artefacts in English 17th Century Cabinets of Curiosities: The Tradescant Collection.”

June 2014: Geneva, Conference on „The Senses of Modernity“ (Université de Genève). Keynote: „The Arts and Urban Modernity in the 18th Century: The Case of William Hogarth.”

May 2014: Sopot/Gdańsk, Literary festival “Between/Pomiędzy“ and conference „New Beginnings in Scottish Literature“ (Uniwersytet Gdański). Keynote: „O’er Scotia’s parches lands the Naiads flew: Beginnings in Robert Fergusson’s The Rivers of Scotland (1773)” plus musical entertainment: Scottish music of the eighteenth century.

March 2014: Essen, „Universität im Spannungsfeld zwischen Wissen­schaftsfreiheit, religiöser Vielfalt und medialer Darstellung“ (Universität Duisburg-Essen): „Die Gegenstände der Geisteswissenschaften als Provokation. Konzept der Ringvorlesung Was heißt hier „gebildet“?

June 2013: Jena (Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität). Invited paper: „Scottish Literature in the Romantic Era.“

April 2013: Essen, interdisciplinary series of lectures on Pleiten, Pech und Pannen: Zur Logik des Scheiterns in der Frühen Neuzeit. „A Miserable Sight: Der Großbrand von London (1666).“

April 2013: Essen (Mittwochsgesellschaft Ruhr). Invited paper: „London als Ruinenstadt der Zukunft.“

December 2012: Essen (Deutsch-Englische Gesellschaft Ruhr). Invited paper: „Barometz, Dodo, Jubjub, Heffalump! Bizarre Animals and British Literature: A Special Relationship.“

October 2012: Warsaw/Kasimierz Dolny, interdisciplinary conference Scotland in Europe (Uniwersytet Warszawski): „Scotland in Europe?“

June 2012: Frankfurt (Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft and Presse-Club Frankfurt). Invited paper: „Barometz, Dodo, Jubjub, Heffalump! Bizarre Animals and British Literature: A Special Relationship.”

April 2012: Los Angeles, interdisciplinary conference on Taste and the Senses in the Eighteenth Century (Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies, University of California at Los Angeles). Invited paper: „Handel’s Oratorios and the Taste of Eighteenth-Century London Audiences: Solomon as a Box Office Disaster.”

November 2011: Bamberg, interdisciplinary series of lectures: Animalia in Fabula (Universität Bamberg). Invited paper: „Tatu Arepa, Barometz, Jubjub, Heffalump: Vom Heimischwerden bizarrer Tiere in der Englischen Literatur.“

May 2011: Vancouver, interdisciplinary conference on The Elements: Air. (Humboldt Association of Canada, University of British Columbia.)  Keynote: “Grappling with the Intangible: A (Very) Short Cultural History of the Air.”

September 2010: Burg Schönburg, Celebrating Scot(t)s Voices (Universität Mainz), “The Decline and Fall of the Border Pipes: Material Culture, Cultural Practice and Notions of National Identity”.

September 2010: Saarbrücken, Anglistentag 2010, keynote: “The changes that have come over me: The Scottish Government Initiative Homecoming Scotland and Post-Devolution Perceptions of Scottish Literature, Culture and Identity.”

July 2010: Ober-Ramstadt, Jahrestagung der Lichtenberg-Gesellschaft: „Wenn die Menschen plötzlich tugendhaft würden, so müßten viele Tausende verhungern. Kriminaltiät in Hogarths London.“

January 2010: Berlin, Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft, Landesgruppe Berlin. Invited paper: “Almost insufferable to our Ears: Primitivism, Early Romanticism and the Perception of the Highland Bagpipes.

December 2009: Regensburg. Gender and Creation in Early Modern England (Universität Regensburg). Invited paper: „Dame Nature’s Imagination. Creation, Creativity and Gender.“

November 2009: Göttingen, interdisciplinary conference: Darwin among the Disciplines (Georg August-Universität). Invited paper: “The Posthumous Evolution of the Dodo: From Charles Darwin to Lewis Carroll and Beyond.” This paper also requested as an invited paper at the following conference:

November 2009: Siegen, interdisciplinary conference: Darwin our Contemporary: Re-Imaginations and Medializations of Darwin and Cultures of Neo-Darwinian Ideas (Universität Siegen). Invited paper: “The Posthumous Evolution of the Dodo: From Charles Darwin to Lewis Carroll and Beyond.”

October 2009: Landau, 7th LAPASEC Symposium on the Eighteenth Century (Universität Landau / Université Paris VI-Diderot): “Excursions into the Dubious Realms of Trivia and Cloacina.”

September 2009: Berlin, interdisciplinary conference: Discovering the Human: Life Sciences and the Arts in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). Invited paper: “Willia Hogarth and Science”.

May 2009: Ottawa, interdisciplinary conference: The Elements: Fire (Humboldt Association of Canada / University of Ottawa). Keynote: “Perceptions of the Great Fire of London, 1666: Religious and Secular Constructions of a Disaster.”

May 2009: Geneva, Université de Genève. Invited paper: “Exotism, Primitivism and Eighteenth-Century Perceptions of Scottish Music.”

March 2009: London, Centre for Metropolitan History (School of Advanced Study, University of London). Invited paper: “German- and Yiddish-Speaking Immigrants in London: Experience and Literary Transformation.”

January 2009: Jena, Friedrich Schiller-Universität. Invited paper: „Romanticism, Post-Romanticism and English Travel Writing“.

November 2008: Darmstadt, Technische Universität Darmstadt. Invited paper: „Sherlock’s Home: London und die Entstehung des englischen Kriminalromans.“

October 2008: Paris, 6th LAPASEC Symposium on the Eighteenth Century (Université Paris-Diderot), “Horrid Howling or Sublime Sensation? Reactions to the Scottish Bagpipes and Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic Theory”.

October 2008: Edinburgh, workshop on Transnational Histories of the Book (British Academy and Centre for the History of the Book, University of Edinburgh): “Early Nineteenth-Century Travel Literature and its Impact on Early Tourism: A Case Study.”

September 2008: Berlin, interdisciplinary conference Urbs Incensa – ästhetische Transformationen der brennende Stadt (Max Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Florenz, and Historisches Seminar der Universität Luzern). Invited paper: „God´s Terrible Voice in the City: Anmerkungen zur literarischen Rezeption des Great Fire of London, 1666.“

September 2008: Berlin, International Summer School on Metropolitan Studies (Georg Simmel-Zentrum für Metropolenforschung, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). Invited contribution: one-day workshop on „London as the Prototype of the Western Metropolis.“

September 2008: Frankfurt, Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft Rhein-Main and Presse-Club Frankfurt. Invited paper: „London’s Tourist Attractions of the Future“.

August 2008: Bamberg, conference: Mediating Identities in Eighteenth-Century England (Otto-Friedrich-Universität), invited paper (response): “Space and Identity in Eighteenth-Century England”.

July 2008: Berlin, August Boekh Antike-Zentrum and Georg Simmel-Zentrum für Metropolenforschung (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). Invited paper: „London – die Stadt und ihr antikes Erbe.“

Current Lectures and Seminars

Summer Semester 2017 

 

Seminar

Elizabethans in Elsinore:

Shakespeare, Hamlet

Tuesday 10-12.00

 

To be or not to be in this seminar – that is not the question if you are interested in drama and if you like Shakespeare. Murder and madness, passion and poison, an ex-widow and ex-Students from Wittenberg: Hamlet has it all. This course will give you an opportunity to engage in a close reading of this play. We shall consider historical and cultural contexts as well as questions relating to the staging of the play, both in Shakespeare’s time and today. We shall also look at cinematic adaptations and works of art (mainly paintings) inspired by Macbeth.

            Please buy the current critical edition of Hamlet in the Arden Shakespeare series (edited by Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor) and read the play before the beginning of the semester. Do not waste your money on texts without substantial annotations as these would be useless for the purposes of this course.

            Requirements: thorough preparation for each session, active participation, and, if applicable, written work according to your particular Studienordnung. You should have read the whole of the play by the beginning of the semester. As always: think, enjoy (!), annotate, and look things up if necessary.

 

 

Seminar:

Beer and Witches:

Robert Burns

Tuesday 14-16.00

 

Robert Burns was a farm labourer who became an instant literary celebrity when he published his poems in 1786. He was regarded as the perfect embodiment of a Romantic genius. His works were read (both in the original version and in translations) throughout Europe where a romanticised idea of Scotland as a pre-modern land of noble savages became more and more popular. Today, Burns is regarded as Scotland´s national poet, and some of his poems have become part of annual rituals such as the Burns supper.

Burns wrote with humour and enthusiasm about love and his love affairs, about beer and whisky, about freedom and equality, about ghosts and witches – and many other things besides. He also collected traditional Scottish songs and wrote new ones. There are arrangements of his songs by Haydn and Beethoven, but they can also be heard in pub sessions today.

We are going to work on some his most important poems and songs and their cultural contexts, so this seminar will also serve as an introduction to some key aspects of Scottish literature and culture. We will also listen to various musical settings of his songs, and quite possibly to some live music. Please buy: Robert Burns (ed.: Carol McGuirk), Selected Poems (Penguin Classics).

This seminar will be accompanied by a study tour to Edinburgh which will take place in autumn, before the beginning of the winter semester. A limited number of places will be available, these come with a subsidy of € 200 per person.

Requirements: thorough preparation for each session, active participation, and, if applicable, written work according to your particular Studienordnung. As always: think, enjoy (!), annotate, and look things up if necessary.

 

 

Seminar:

Decline and Fall:

The Ancient World and the British Imagination

Wednesday 10-12.00

 

For a long time, the ancient world – Greece, the Roman Empire, but also Babylon – loomed large in the British imagination. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that London was founded by a descendant of the Trojan hero Aeneas. From the Renaissance on, English literature was profoundly influenced by the works ancient writers. As the British Empire developed, it came to be seen as a modern equivalent of the Roman Empire. This led to the idea that London was the new Rome, a notion that gained currency in the early eighteenth century and remained very influential throughout the nineteenth century and beyond.

The ancient world as a cultural model affected many spheres of life – from literature to architecture, art and fashion. While London was thought of as the new Rome, Edinburgh re-invented itself as the Athens of the North, with an impressive neo-classical New Town and a bizarre attempt at creating a Scottish copy of the Parthenon temple. Authors, artists and architects speculated about how, one day, the British Empire would be a thing of the past, and how it would be studied by archaeologists of the future. There are historical novels set in ancient Rome, or, even better, in Roman Britain, and there are interesting movies (such as I, Claudius) based on such novels.

In this seminar, we are going to study a wide and fascinating range of phenomena – texts, images, architecture, movies - from the Middle Ages to the present day, and from epic poetry to The Life of Brian. A reader will be available from the usual place in Reckhammerweg.

This seminar will be accompanied by a study tour to Edinburgh which will take place in autumn, before the beginning of the winter semester. A limited number of places will be available, these come with a subsidy of € 200 per person.

Requirements: thorough preparation for each session, active participation, and, if applicable, written work according to your particular Studienordnung. As always: think, enjoy (!), annotate, and look things up if necessary.

 

 

Seminar

Mess up the Mess:

John Betjeman’s England

Wednesday 14-16.00

 

John Betjeman (1906-1984) was a poet who deserves to be much better known than he is today. His poetry is an in intriguing mix of humour, sharp satire and underlying melancholy. In his lifetime, he was very much a public personality who, among other things, campaigned for the preservation of historic buildings, especially of the Victorian period (he was the man who saved the glorious St. Pancras Station in London). We will study not only his most important poems, but also some of his prose and television appearances. We are particularly going to look at his view of English society and his notions of Englishness and English culture. Please buy: John Betjeman (ed.: Andrew Motion), Collected Poems (Hodder & Stoughton).

This seminar is not only for poetry buffs. As Betjeman´s language is very accessible, this seminar would also be ideal for those who think they could do with more practice when it comes to reading and discussing poetry.

Requirements: thorough preparation for each session, active participation, and, if applicable, written work according to your particular Studienordnung. As always: think, enjoy (!), annotate, and look things up if necessary.

 

 

Kolloquium:

The Extra Slot

Monday 18-20.00 (once every two weeks)

 

This informal colloquium is for all those whose interests, enthusiasms and ambitions go well beyond a compulsory syllabus of lectures and seminars. It also goes beyond the acquisition of Leistungsnachweise and credit points (of which there will be none whatsoever). Instead, it provides a space for discussing texts and images (and perhaps also music) as well as questions and issues you find particularly interesting / fascinating / baffling. It is also a forum for discussing projects – yours as well as mine (ranging from seminar papers to BA/MA theses, or perhaps your first conference paper or plans for a Ph.D. thesis, to all sorts of publications etc.).

If any interesting opportunities come up, we may go and watch an English play, see an exhibition or attend other events connected with British literature and culture.

The Extra Slot is primarily aimed at students below Ph.D. level who have taken (or who are taking) one or several of my seminars and lectures.