Dr Ellen Pilsworth
German Programme Director
German Co-ordinator, Degree Programme
Building locationMiller building
Areas of interest
My current research explores contemporary British responses to Nazism and the Holocaust. In my work I try to understand what information about Nazism was available to ‘ordinary people’ in Britain at the time, as well as news about the escalating persecution of Jews across Nazi-occupied Europe.
I am working on a monograph, provisionally entitled 'Atrocity Stories: Anti-Nazi Refugee Autobiographies for British Readers in the Years of Appeasement and War'. In this study I explore the texts that were published by anti-Nazi refugees from Germany and Austria in Britain, for British readers. I consult archival material to show how these works were received by publishers, institutions such as the Ministry of Information and BBC, and readers at the time. This project has been generously funded by the British Academy and Wolfson Foundation (2020-24), and by a Martin Miller and Hannah Norbert-Miller Fellowship at the institute of Languages and Cultures, London (September-December 2023).
My previous research has mainly focused on German literature from ca. 1750-1815, and I welcome applications for doctoral research projects related to any of the following themes:
- German and Austrian Exile Studies
- German Romanticism
- Cultural memory, and literary confrontations with past violence (war, the Holocaust, colonialism)
- Political and protest literature
I welcome enquiries concerning research supervision in any of my areas of research interest.
- Analiese van den Dikkenberg (Department of History): Flipping the Script: Dutch Resistance to the Third Reich’s Chamber of Culture
- Amel Ghenam (Department of English Literature): Aesthetics of Afrofuturism and dynamics of Subversion/Reconstruction in Contemporary Black Feminist Speculative Fiction.
I currently teach German for beginners (ab initio), courses on German literature and culture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, and translation from German to English. I also contribute sessions to ML1CompLit and ML1Trans.
Research centres and groups
- Management board member, Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing (University of Reading)
- Membership Secretary, The English Goethe Society.
- 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)
- Pilsworth, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7379-0996 (2023) Goethe’s politics and political uses: nazi and anti-nazi readings of Des Epimenides Erwachen. Oxford German Studies , 52 (1). pp. 15-27. ISSN: 1745-9214 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00787191.2023.2170956
- Pilsworth, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7379-0996 (2022) ‘I could have slapped myself’: the ethics of the bystander perspective in sebastian haffner’s memoir. Journal of Perpetrator Research ISSN: 2514-7897
- Pilsworth, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7379-0996 (2022) Teaching eighteenth-century German literature in the era of #MeToo: gender and the Enlightenment canon. Publications of the English Goethe Society , 91 (2). pp. 124-139. ISSN: 0959-3683 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593683.2022.2074286
- Pilsworth, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7379-0996 (2021) Romantic nationalism or romantic retreat? Re-evaluating the politics of Arnim and Brentano's Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1805/1808). German Life and Letters , 74 (2). pp. 166-182. ISSN: 1468-0483 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/glal.12297
- Pilsworth, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7379-0996 (2021) Four responses to Nazism. Journal of the British Academy , 9 pp. 59-72. ISSN: 2052-7217 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.5871/jba/009.059
- Karcher, K. and Pilsworth, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7379-0996 (2021) Germany’s ‘1968’: new questions and directions. In: Whittle, R. , (eds.) Handbook of German Teaching. Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
- Pilsworth, E. (2020) Enlightenment dilemmas: nationalism and war in Rudolph Zacharias Becker’s Mildheimisches Liederbuch (1799/1815). Nationalism before the nation. Inclusion, exclusion, and self-definition. Brill , Leiden. ISBN: 9789004366831
- Paulus, D. and Pilsworth, E. , eds. (2020) Nationalism before the nation state: literary constructions of inclusion, exclusion, and self-definition (1756–1871). Brill , Leiden. | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004426108
- Pilsworth, E. (2018) “Nicht unsrer Lesewelt, und nicht der Ewigkeit”: late style in Gleim’s 'Zeit-' and 'Sinngedichte' (1792–1803). In: Wood, M. and Birgfeld, J. , (eds.) Repopulating the Eighteenth Century: Second-Tier Writing in the German Enlightenment. Edinburgh German Yearbook Edinburgh German Yearbook (12). pp. 52-68. ISBN: 9781640140196
- Pilsworth, E. (2016) “Also mein allerliebster redette ihre Sapho mit dem Kriege”: literary role-play in the war poetry of Anna Louisa Karsch. German Life and Letters , 69 (3). pp. 302-320. ISSN: 1468-0483 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/glal.12121
- Pilsworth, E. (2016) Infanticide in 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' and 'Faust I': romantic variations on a 'Sturm und Drang' theme. Oxford German Studies , 45 (4). pp. 405-420. ISSN: 0078-7191 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00787191.2016.1243326