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Dr Ellen Pilsworth

Dr Ellen Pilsworth profile picture
Lecturer in German and Translation Studies


Miller 106

Building location

Miller 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.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries concerning research supervision in any of my areas of research interest.

Current supervisions:

  • 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 groups

I am a member of Reading’s Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing.

Academic qualifications

  • 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)