Dr Malcolm Spencer M.A., Ph.D., PGCE, RSA Dip TEFL

Teaching Fellow in German Studies

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


I teach German Language, Literature and History to First and Second Year students and am a Personal Tutor for students in all year groups. I also lecture to students of English in the Landmarks of European Literature course.


My first degree was in History & Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. I took a PhD in Modern German & Austrian Literature at the University of Birmingham from 2001-2004


I have worked as a teacher of French and German in secondary schools. I have also taught English for Academic Purposes at this university and at the University of Aberystwyth. From 2006-10, I was an Honorary Research Fellow of the Department of German Studies here.


I am currently teaching Y1 Grammar, Texts in Context and History & Images courses. In Y2, I am teaching Translation and the Thomas Mann option.


My main research interests are in 20C German and Austrian literature, particularly in the work of Robert Musil. I gave a paper at the 2007 Robert Musil Conference at the University of Lancaster. I am currently preparing a paper to be delivered at the AGS conference in April on Matthew Arnold and Nietzsche and attitudes to education in the later 19th Century.

Other activities

  • I regularly attend events at the IGRS, London, Goethe-Institut and Austrian Cultural Forum.
  • I visit secondary schools to promote languages at the University of Birmingham.
  • My main leisure interest is playing the piano.


  • Book Review: H.G. Adler 1910 -1988, Privatgelehrter und freier Schriftsteller, Franz Hocheneder, Vienna, Cologne, Weimar, Böhlau 2009, in : Modern Austrian Literature, 2010
  • ‘Berlin: Twenty Years On’: Runner-Up in Daily Telegraph Competition to celebrate the Fall of the Wall (published on Daily Telegraph website), October 2009
  • In the Shadow of Empire: Austrian Experiences of Modernity in the Writings of Musil, Roth and Bachmann: Rochester NY, Camden House, 2008 (Paperback, 2010) (Monograph)
  • ‘Approaches to Robert Musil’s Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß’, co-authored with Philip Payne, in: The Text and its Context, Studies in Modern German Literature and Society, eds. Nigel Harris, Joanne Sayner, Oxford & Frankfurt, Peter Lang, 2007, pp. 221-240.
  • ‘Wieviel Heimat braucht der Mensch?: Die Suche nach der Heimat in Ingeborg Bachmanns „Drei Wege zum See“’ in: Kontinuitäten und Brüche, Österreichs literarischer Wiederaufbau nach 1945, eds. Heide Kunzelmann, Martin Liebscher, Thomas Eicher, Oberhausen, Athena-Verlag, 2006, pp. 189-204.
  • ‘Kulturelle Differenzierung in Robert Musils Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften: Die Stadt B.’, in: Eigene und andere Fremde: ‚Postkoloniale’ Konflikte im europäischen Kontext, eds. Wolfgang Mueller-Funk & Birgit Wagner, Vienna, Turia+Kant, 2005
  • ‘Vater, Landesvater, Gottvater’: Vaterfiguren bei Robert Musil und Joseph Roth’, in: Verflechtungsfiguren, eds. Endre Hárs & Magdolna Orosz, Frankfurt, 2003, pp. 113-120. (Budapester Studien zur Literaturwissenschaft, Vol. 3) 
  • Eine Einschaltung über Kakanien: Robert Musil und Österreich-Ungarn aus britischer Sicht’: in: Kakanien Revisited , eds. Wolfgang Mueller-Funk, Peter Plener & Clemens Ruthner, Tübingen, Francke, 2002, pp. 186-192.

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