Dr Ellen Pilsworth
Building locationMiller building
Areas of interest
Broadly speaking, I am interested in literature of politics and protest from the eighteenth century to the present. My research has mainly focussed on German literature from ca. 1750-1815, and Anglo-German publishing in interwar period and during the Second World War, but I am also interested in the protest literature of the German ‘1968’. My work has covered or touched on the following themes:
- Literary responses to war (1750-1815, and twentieth century)
- Constructions of identity, especially national identity
- Cultural memory and confronting violent pasts (war, the Holocaust, colonialism)
- Political poetry, protest literature
- 18th-century ideologies of gender, and women’s writing
- German Romanticism
- German and Austrian Exile publishing in the 1930s and 40s
- Histories and legacies of Fascism and anti-fascism
- Autobiographical writing (poetry and memoirs) and theories of authorship
Since April 2020 I have led the project ‘Knowing the Nazis, Inside and Out: Anti-Fascist Publishing in Austria, Germany and Britain, 1927-40’, generously funded by the British Academy and Wolfson Foundations. The project investigates the reception of English-language publications and broadcasts by Germans and Austrians who fled to Britain and opposed National Socialism from their position of exile.
I welcome enquiries concerning research supervision in any of my areas of research interest.
- Amel Ghenam (Department of English Literature): Aesthetics of Afrofuturism and dynamics of Subversion/Reconstruction in Contemporary Black Feminist Speculative Fiction.
- Analiese van den Dikkenberg (Department of History): Flipping the Script: Dutch Resistance to the Third Reich’s Chamber of Culture
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 sessions to ML1CompLit and ML1Trans.
Research centres and groupsI am a member of Reading’s Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing.
- 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 (2022) Hitler’s unwilling bystanders: Sebastian Haffner’s memoir as illustration of the ‘Bystander Society'. Journal of Perpetrator Research ISSN: 2514-7897
- Pilsworth, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7379-0996 (2022) Goethe’s politics and political uses: Nazi and Anti-Nazi readings of Des Epimenides Erwachen. Oxford German Studies ISSN: 1745-9214
- 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