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Dr Ellen Pilsworth – University of Reading

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Dr Ellen Pilsworth

Dr Ellen Pilsworth
Job Title:
Lecturer in German and Translation Studies
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Lecturer in German and Translation Studies

Year Abroad Coordinator for German


Teaching (undergraduate)

I teach courses on German literature and culture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, as well as translation from German to English. I also contribute to the course ‘Unity, Nationalism, and Regionalism in Europe.


Areas of Interest

I’m interested in the intersections of literature and politics from the eighteenth century to the present.


Research groups / Centres

My current research explores anti-fascist publishing in Britain and Germany from ca. 1927 to 1945. Using publishers’ archives and material held by the BBC Written Archives in Reading, I am exploring how German refugees from National Socialism collaborated with British institutions to rally anti-Fascist support from the British reading and listening public.

My doctoral research explored how German poets between 1740 and 1815 discussed the ongoing wars and political conflicts in their poetry, circumnavigating aesthetic rules which saw war as an ‘unpoetic’ topic. The proposal for my monograph, Political Personae: Roleplay and Autobiography in German Poems of War, 1640-1808 was awarded the Camden House Early Career Book Proposal Prize, and the study is now under review for publication.

Before coming to Reading, I taught courses on the literature and art of the 1960s protest movements, as well as gender and sexuality in eighteenth-century Germany.

I am co-editor (with Dr Dagmar Paulus, UCL) of the volume Nationalism Before the Nation: Inclusion, Exclusion and Self-definition (1756-1871), which is under review for publication with Brill.

I am involved in the emerging Modern Languages Research Cluster on European Publishing.




Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy

PhD in German Studies (University College London)

MPhil in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (Cambridge)

BA (Hons) in English and German (Oxford)

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