Staff in German Studies 

Dr Hilary Brown

Lecturer in Translation Studies

I joined the Department of Modern Languages in 2011 and teach in Translation Studies and German. I am currently Translation Studies Section Lead and Convenor of the MA in Translation Studies (campus).

Professor Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei

Professor Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei

Professor of German and Comparative Literature

As Professor of German and Comparative Literature, I specialize in literary modernism, theory and philosophy of literature, and aesthetics. I have taught and written on a wide range of topics, often drawing on the intersections among modern literature, Continental philosophy, and visual art.

Dr Elystan Griffiths

Dr Elystan Griffiths

Senior Lecturer in German

My main research interests are in German literature of the period 1750-1815, with a particular interest in literary responses to political and social change. I am currently working on a monograph on the German idyll during this period. I have also published on the development of German literature in the context of the unification of Germany in 1871. I teach widely across the German ...

Dr Nigel Harris

Reader in German

I see myself as a medievalist with an extension into the sixteenth century, and as someone with a particular passion for teaching these still deeply relevant periods to modern undergraduates.

Adelheid Heuwieser

Adelheid Heuwieser


My role at the University of Birmingham is to support students of German, and anybody who is interested in German language and culture, in their endeavour to improve their language skills and also to engage with important aspects of German culture.

Dr Sara Jones

Dr Sara Jones

Senior Birmingham Fellow

Sara Jones is a Senior Birmingham Fellow working across the Colleges of Social Science and Arts and Law. Her current research analyses the political, social and cultural processes of remembering state socialist dictatorship.

Professor John Klapper

Professor John Klapper

Professor in Modern Languages

My main research interests are writing under National Socialism, particularly the non-conformist writers of inner exile. I teach courses on German language, literature and history. I am also interested in all aspects of foreign language learning and teaching, instructed second language acquisition and pedagogical grammar. I am currently School Head of Research.

Dr Nicholas Martin

Dr Nicholas Martin

Director of the Institute for German Studies
Reader in European Intellectual History

Nicholas Martin is Reader in European Intellectual History in the Department of Modern Languages (German Studies), and Director of the University’s Institute for German Studies. He is currently on research leave - until 27 March 2017.

He is Editor-in-chief of the academic journal Forum for Modern Language Studies.

Dr Martin’s research interests are in modern German intellectual ...

Dr Joanne Sayner

Dr Joanne Sayner

Senior Lecturer in Cultural Theory and German Studies

I am based in the Department of Modern Languages. I teach courses on media, cultural and German studies. I have been at the University of Birmingham since 2004.

Dr Ruth Whittle

Senior Lecturer in German Studies
Distinguished Fellow (TA)

As a student you are most likely to know me in my role as the School’s Senior Tutor. I teach courses on 19th- and 20th-century German literature as well as Translation in Practice and language classes, particularly business German.

I have widely researched and published in the areas of language study and internationalisation, and women in German literature and literary history.

In my ...

Emeritus and Honorary Academic Staff

Professor William John Dodd

Emeritus Professor of Modern German Studies

My main research interests are in German language, literature and culture of the twentieth century. I have published extensively on Franz Kafka and on the literature and culture of dissent in the “Third Reich” (the so-called “inner emigration”). I am also interested in linguistic and sociological approaches to discourse, and in language description. I teach a variety of ...

Professor David Hill

Emeritus Professor of German Studies

My main research interests lie in the literature, culture and society of Germany around the end of the eighteenth century.

Professor Ronald Speirs

Emeritus Professor of German Studies

My research is on German literary and intellectual topics since the later nineteenth century, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht.

Professor Wilfried van der Will

Honorary Professor of Modern German Studies

Wide ranging research interests in 19th and 20th century German culture, philosophy and politics, especially from the end of the First World War to the present. Has published books and essays on German literature and society post-1945, on the worker-culture movement of the Weimar Republic, on culture in the Third Reich, on protest and democracy from the 1960s to the 1980s and on the reception of ...