Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests span the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries and are situated at the intersection of German Studies and Comparative Cultural Studies, with a particular focus on:

 - Transnational Studies, especially German-language culture, identity, and history in transnational contexts, and theories of comparative and world literature

- German-American relations from the 18th C to the present, especially historical/political and cultural relations and the European/‘great American’ novel

- Theatre and Performance Studies, especially the history, translation, and performance practices of Anglo-German theatre, from Shakespeare to the present

- Political authorship and the relation of art and activism, especially with reference to democracy and the European Union/Brexit

- Cultural representations of nationhood, especially 19th C German-language culture and history; 19th C Anglo-German and Franco-German relations; Austria and the Habsburg Empire; and theories of Realism, Popular Culture, and the Bestseller

With my two co-edited volumes Transnational German Studies (with Rebecca Braun, 2020) and German in the World(with James Hodkinson, 2020), my work has sought to contribute to the development of the field of Transnational German Studies and the Transnational Modern Languages. This seeks new ways forward for the discipline through novel interdisciplinary research directly exploring the mobility of knowledge. In this work, I argue for an understanding of the transnational as an interdisciplinary and transperiod methodology, which demands that we look again at how nations, such as Germany, conceptualised of themselves before the creation of the nation-state, across a range of historical contexts, but also beyond the nation-state, in the contemporary era. With this work, I hope to help broaden understanding of what German Studies and Comparative Cultural Studies can be thematically and methodologically, taking that work to new audiences, beyond within and beyond the academy.

I am Series Co-Editor for the book series Transnational Modern Languages (Liverpool University Press); Transnational Approaches to Culture (Dr Gruyter); and Studies in Modern German & Austrian Literature (Peter Lang), and German Co-Editor for the journal Modern Languages Open. From 2010-16 I served on the Executive Committee of the Association for German Studies.

I have worked extensively with external partners including Shakespeare’s Globe, the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre, and the British Council. I have also collaborated extensively on the European level, with the civil-society initiative A Soul for Europe, the European House for Culture, and the European Commission and European Parliament.

I warmly welcome all enquiries from PhD students, and have supervised projects across a wide range of fields from the 19th Century to the present, including: Literary Studies (German and Austrian literature, Comparative Literature, literature and historiography, fairy tales, life writing research, Realism and the novel, Exile Literature, Classical Reception Studies, Memory Studies); Theatre and Performance Studies (Shakespeare and fascism, contemporary German and Swiss theatre, theatre and memory, theatre and mourning, opera and operetta), and Film Studies (contemporary German cinema). In 2018 I was awarded a University Award for Supervisory Excellence and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Supervisory Excellence Award.

External positions

Advisory Council, Institute of Modern Languages Research

2021 → …

Steering Committee, European House for Culture

2017 → …

Advisory Board, Institute for Germanic & Romance Studies


Executive Committee, Association for German Studies


Strategy Group, A Soul for Europe

2008 → …

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Decolonisation


  • German Culture
  • German History
  • Comparative Literature
  • American Culture
  • American History
  • Transnational Studies
  • Theatre & Performance Studies
  • Modern Languages
  • World Literature
  • Translation Studies
  • Multilingualism
  • Queer Studies
  • The Novel
  • Realism
  • Art & Activism
  • Authorship
  • European Union
  • Brexit
  • US-German Relations
  • Anglo-German Relations
  • Franco-German Relations
  • Austrian Studies


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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