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Research in German Studies – University of Reading

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Research in German Studies

Cologne, Germany

The main strands of research in German Studies within the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies cover German film, East German Studies, Translation Studies, travel writing, Critical Discourse Analysis and German political and media discourse, including silence and absence in discourses.


German Studies is host to the Archive for East German Studies, which has acted as a centre of excellence for the study and research into the politics and culture of the former GDR and post-unification East Germany for several decades. Staff actively collaborate with the University's Special Collections as well as with the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) and with the Departments of English Language and Applied Linguistics, Film, Theatre and Television, and English Literature.


The main areas of staff research activity in German Studies are given below. These are the main areas in which we provide postgraduate research supervision, but do get in touch if you are interested in a related topic, as supervision can be arranged jointly with other departments or one of our partners


Dr Alison Martin

  • Comparative Literature (particularly Anglo-German cultural relations)
  • Translation Theory
  • Publishing History
  • Travel Writing
  • Literature and Science
  • Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Anglo-German Cultural Transfer
  • European Modernism.


Dr Melani Schroeter

  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Political Discourse
  • Media Discourse
  • Silence and Absence in Discourse and Communication
  • Counter Discourses
  • Comparative Approaches to Discourse
  • Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies.


Dr Ute Wolfel

  • German Film
  • War Cinema and East German Cinema
  • Childhood and Film
  • GDR Literature and Culture


Dr Alison E. Martin

Dr Alison E. Martin is the author of Moving Scenes: The Aesthetics of German Travel Writing on England, 1783 - 1830 (Legenda, 2008) and Nature Translated: Alexander von Humboldt's Works in Nineteenth-Century Britain (forthcoming, EUP), as well as the co-editor of Travel Narratives in Translation, 1750-1830: Nationalism, Ideology, Gender (Routledge, 2012) and Travel Writing in Dutch and German, 1790-1830: Modernity, Regionality, Mobility (Routledge, 2017). She is currently writing a monograph about the European reception of the British modernist writer Vita Sackville-West, and was awarded an Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship at the Lilly Library, Indiana University in 2017. She has co-edited a special edition (2018) of the journal Modernist Cultures entitled 'Global Modernisms', which explores how modernist writing acquired its international reach through the dedication of editors, publishers, critics and translators. Dr Alison Martin is the lead of the 'Intellectuals and Networks' research cluster.


Dr Melani Schroeter

Dr Melani Schroeter is the author of the monograph Silence and Concealment in Political Discourse (2013, John Benjamins) and co-editor, with Charlotte Taylor, of Exploring Silence and Absence in Discourse. Empirical Approaches (2017, Palgrave). She publishes about comparative approaches to keywords in public discourse, partly following her AHRC-funded project Researching and Documenting Key Words in European Migration Discourses (2012) and partly looking at the use of German Nazi vocabulary in other languages. Her publications also deal with German political discourse more widely, including a number of invited contributions to handbooks in the field, as well as counter-discourses (e.g. German punk song lyrics). A more recent research interest focuses on the German anti-political correctness discourse. Research collaborations include partnerships with colleagues from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Ghent, Sussex, Stockholm, Paris and the Institut für Deutsche Sprache in Mannheim. Dr Schroeter is a member of the steering committee of the Centre of Multilingualism and Literacy (CeLM) and also acts as postgraduate research supervisor for the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics. Dr Melani Schroeter's research contributes to the activities of the 'Corpora, Manuscripts, and Archives' research cluster as well as 'Identity, Migration, and Conflict' research cluster.


Dr Ute Wolfel

Dr Ute Wolfel has worked and published widely on East German literature and culture, and German film, particularly East German cinema and German war film. She is the author of Rede-Welten: Zur Erzählung von Geschlecht und Sozialismus in der Prosa Irmtraud Morgners (2007, Wissenschafts Verlag) and editor of Literarisches Feld DDR: Bedingungen und Formen literarischer Produktion in der DDR (Königshausen & Neumann 2005) as well as co-editor of Krieg und Nachkrieg: Konfigurationen der deutschsprachigen Literatur (1940-65) (2004, Erich Schmidt) and Remembering the German Democratic Republic: Divided Memory in a United Germany (2011, Palgrave). She has co-edited a special issue (2016) of the journal German Life and Letters entitled 'The War Child in the Occupation Period (1945-49)' and a special issue (2015) of the journal Oxford German Studies exploring the figure of the child in German post-unification cinema. Supported by a grant from the British Academy (2014-16), she has worked on the cinematic depiction of children in the context of WWII (1945-49). Besides the figure of the war child, her recent research focusses on figures of transgression such as traitors or deserters in war cinema, exploring their potential for cultural regeneration. Dr Wolfel is head of the East German Studies Archive which hosts an extensive collection of materials and publications from and about the GDR. Dr Ute Wolfel's research contributes to the activities of the 'Identity, Migration, and Conflict' research cluster.

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