Professor William John Dodd

 

Professor of Modern German Studies

Department of Modern Languages: German Studies

Photograph of Dr William Dodd

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

About

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 courses in German and in European Studies. 

My research in the area of culture and opposition in the “Third Reich” has been supported by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (“Sternberger Project”, 2000-2002) and a Senior Fellowship of the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald(2010-2011). My most recent book publication is a study of the language-critical discourse in the Frankfurter Zeitung between 1933 and its closure in 1943. I have given invited lectures on my research in Germany and Switzerland - most recently (November 2013) at the University of Berne as part of a series of seminars on 'The Semiotics of Resistance'. In 2014 I gave the Third Alumni Fellow Lecture at the Alfried Krupp Institute of Advanced Research in Greifswald, with the title: 'Unquiet Voices and their Legacies: Orientierungsversuch im Dickicht der Inneren Emigration (1933 - 1945)'.

Biography

My first degree was in German and Russian from the University of Leeds, where I also wrote my doctoral thesis on Kafka’s reading of Dostoyevsky. I worked as a Lektor in the Anglistisches Seminar at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster for two years and taught German and Russian part-time in Leeds, gaining an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Manchester, before taking up a lectureship in German at the University of Birmingham. In 2005 I became Professor of Modern German Studies. I was Head of Department in 2004—2005 and from 2006 to 2010, and Programme Lead for European Studies from 2006 to 2009.

Teaching

I have taught German language at all levels and teach a variety of courses on literature, linguistics, and society, including Oppositional Writing in Nazi Germany, Introduction to German Literature since 1945, German sociolinguistics, and recently on a new final-year option (with Dr Hilary Brown) on The German Language and National Identity. I also teach Reading German for Researchers, a course based on Reading German (OUP, 1997).

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries for research supervision in the following areas:

  • German-Russian comparative topics
  • Discourse studies of German (and English)
  • Corpus-based studies of German (and English)
  • Language Criticism (“Sprachkritik”)
  • Franz Kafka
  • Literature and Culture in Germany 1933-1945
  • Nazism and its Legacies

Degrees awarded to supervisees

  • 1996  Victoria Lawrence, ‘Kafka’s women, or the beauties of Kafka’ (MPhil)
  • 1999  April Mackison, ‘A corpus-based comparison of two journals in the field of business and management German’ (MLitt).
  • 2003  Catherine Spencer, ‘The discursive construction of Austrian identity 1945-1955: a discourse-analysis approach’ (PhD, co-supervised with Professor Charlie Jeffery, Institute for German Studies)
  • 2003  Julia Struck-Soboleva, ‘Linguistic and cultural aspects of the integration of Russian Germans in the Federal Republic’ (PhD)
  • 2006 Michael Hausmann, ‘Approaches to Ey: Johanna Ey in context’ (MPhil, co-supervised with Professor Shearer West)
  • 2008  Vasuki Shanmuganathan, ‘The body and pain in the works of Ingeborg Bachmann and Anne Duden’ (MPhil, co-supervised with Professor Alexandra Hughes)
  • 2008  Andrew Jones, ‘”Jugendsprache” and “Szenensprache”: An investigation into youth language and scenes in the Dortmund area’ (MPhil)
  • 2011  Michael Hausmann, ‘Johanna Ey: a critical reappraisal’ (PhD, co-supervised with Professor Shearer West 2006—2008)
  • 2012  Marjolijn Storm, ‘A corpus-informed study of translations of Agatha Christie novels into German and Dutch’ (PhD, co-supervised with Professor Wolfgang Teubert)
  • 2013  Tara Windsor, ‘German writers and German cultural diplomacy 1918—1933’ (PhD, co-supervised with Professor Corey Ross)

 

Research

I have recently published (October 2013) an edited volume of language-critical pieces in the Frankfurter Zeitung between 1933 and its closure in 1943. This is the principal output resulting from the Alfried Krupp Senior Fellowship in Greifswald, and also supported by a grant from the British Academy. The book comprises some eighty articles from the Frankfurter Zeitung, an academic apparatus, and an 18,000-word Introduction setting out the situation of the editorial team and their use of a discourse on language as a proxy discourse on National Socialism and the regime:

  • Der Mensch hat das Wort by William Dodd"Der Mensch hat das Wort": Der Sprachdiskurs in der Frankfurter Zeitung 1933-1943. Mit einem Geleitwort von Günther Gillessen. Walter de Gruyter, xvi + 277 pp. Berlin/ Boston 2013. ISBN 978-3-11-031486-1. (Available as an E-Book: 978-3-11-031513-4.)

I am currently working on two related monograph projects (in English) on oppositional public discourses in the 'Third Reich':

  • Benjamin/ Sternberger: A Case Study in the Fractured Discourse of German Exile 1933—1945.
  • The German Language and National Socialism: The Inner Exile Experience.

The first of these books, started during the Alfried Krupp Fellowship, offers the first detailed reading of Dolf Sternberger's book PANORAMA ODER ANSICHTEN VOM 19. JAHRHUNDERT (Hamburg, 1938) in the context of a morphology of exile which views the discourses of inner and territorial exile as related 'dialects'. The second researches the 'inner exile' experience of language change, from a position of powerlessness, under the impact of the hegemonic National Socialist discourse, analyzing the efficacy, limits, and influence of this oppositional perception of 'tainted language'. Other recent publications include an article on the Sternberger/ Benjamin dispute which sets out the remit and methodology of the planned monograph:

  • Dolf Sternberger’s Panorama: Approaches to a work of (inner) exile in the National Socialist period’, Modern Language Review 108/1, 180-201.

 and an appreciation of the language-critical publications of Gerhard Storz during the 'Third Reich':

  • Gegen „volkhafte“ Sprachauffassungen resistent: Der Sprachkritiker Gerhard Storz. In: Hanns-Werner Heister/ Bernhard Spies (eds.), Mimesis, Mimikry, Simulatio. Festschrift für Erwin Rotermund zum 80. Geburtstag. Weidler Buchverlag, Berlin (ISBN 978-3-89693-598-4,) pp. 47—59.

Other activities

External Examinerships 

  • 2000-2003   University College, London: BA in German Language and Literature
  • 2004-2006   University of Oxford: BA in German.
  • 2005          University of Lancaster, PhD in German Studies and Linguistics.
  • 2009          University of Warwick, PhD in German Studies.
  • 2009-2013   The Open University (German intermediate provision L203).
  • 2013          Queen Mary, University of London: PhD in German Studies.
  • 2014-         External Examiner for BA German at the University of Sheffield.

Publications

Single-authored books

  • 2007: Jedes Wort wandelt die Welt. Dolf Sternbergers politische Sprachkritik. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen. Eine Veröffentlichung der Deutschen Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. 358pp. ISBN 978-3-8353-0230-3.
  • 2003: Kafka. Das Schloss, Grant & Cutler Critical Guides to German Texts No. 18, London, 100pp. ISBN 0-7293-0414-0.
  • 1992: Kafka and Dostoyevsky: The Shaping of Influence, Macmillan, London, xii + 237pp. ISBN 031206795X, 9780312067953.
  • 1991: Kafka. Der Prozess, Glasgow (Glasgow Introductory Guides to German Literature No. 8), ii + 58pp. ISBN 0-85261-323-7.

Co-authored books

  • 2003: Modern German Grammar: A Practical Guide, Second (Revised) Edition, Routledge, London, xviii + 454pp. (with Christine Eckhard-Black, John Klapper and Ruth Whittle) ISBN 0-415-27300-5 (Chinese language edition 2007. ISBN 978-7-5611-3845-8).
  • 1997: Reading German: A Course Book and Reference Grammar, Oxford University Press, xi + 377pp. (with Waltraud Coles). ISBN 0198700040, 9780198700043.
  • 1996: Modern German Grammar: A Practical Guide, Routledge, London, ix + 492pp. (with Christine Eckhard-Black, John Klapper and Ruth Whittle). ISBN 0-415-09848-3

Edited books

  • 2013: "Der Mensch hat das Wort": Der Sprachdiskurs in der Frankfurter Zeitung 1933-1943. Mit einem Geleitwort von Günther Gillessen. Walter de Gruyter, xvi + 277 pp. Berlin/ Boston 2013. ISBN 978-3-11-031486-1. (Available as an E-Book: 978-3-11-031513-4.)
  • 2000: Working with German corpora, University of Birmingham Press, xxvii + 299pp (reprinted by Continuum Press, 2006). ISBN 1-902459-05-9.
  • 1995: Kafka: 'The Metamorphosis', 'The Trial', 'The Castle', Longman, London (Modern Literatures in Perspective), xii + 234pp. ISBN 0-58221-68-0X, 9780582216808.

Contributions to peer-reviewed journals and books (since 2000)

  • 2013: 'Gegen „volkhafte“ Sprachauffassungen resistent: Der Sprachkritiker Gerhard Storz'. In: Hanns-Werner Heister/ Bernhard Spies (eds.), Mimesis, Mimikry, Simulatio. Festschrift für Erwin Rotermund zum 80. Geburtstag. Weidler Buchverlag, Berlin (ISBN 978-3-89693-598-4,) pp. 47—59.
  • 2013: 'Dolf Sternberger’s Panorama:Approaces to a work of (inner) exile in the National Socialist period’, Modern Language Review 108/1, 180-201.
  • 2011: 'Gedanken zu (musik)sprachlichen Verhaltensmustern in der “Sprachlosigkeit” der Gewaltherrschaft‘. In: Thomas Phleps/ Wieland Reich (eds.), Musik-Kontexte. Festschrift für Hanns-Werner Heister, Monsenstein & Vannerdat, Münster, pp. 165-177. ISBN 978-3-86991-320-9.
  • 2011: ‘Kafka’s Russia and Images of War in 1912 and 1914’. In: M. Engel/R. Robertson (eds.), Kafka, Prague, and the First World War. Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann. Oxford Kafka Studies Vol. 2, 201-220.
  • 2009: 'Die antifaschistische Sprachkritik der ersten Nachkriegszeit, aus heutiger Sicht gesehen', in: Aptum. Zeitschrift für Sprachkritik und Sprachkultur 03/2008, 257-271. ISSN 1664-905X.
  • 2008: ‘“... dem Kaiser gegeben was des Kaisers ist“: Walter Benjamin’s Reading of Dolf Sternberger’s “Tempel der Kunst“ (1937)’, in: Nigel Harris and Joanne Sayner (eds.), The Text and its Context. Studies in Modern German Literature and Society Presented to Ronald Speirs on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, Oxford: Lang, 2008, pp. 63-77. ISBN 978-303910-928-9.
  • 2007  ‘Dolf Sternberger und die Sprache’, in: Michael Borchard (ed.), Dolf Sternberger: Zum 100. Geburtstag. Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung, Sankt-Augustin/ Berlin 2007, pp. 35-48. ISBN 978-3-939826-51-4.
  • 2007 '„Zwischen den Zeilen“ gelesen: Dolf Sternberger: „Über die Nachahmung“ (1942). Eine Probe aufs Exempel’, in: G. Guntermann (ed.) Gerettet und von Scham verschlungen. Neue Annäherungen an die Literatur der „inneren Emigration“, Peter Lang, Frankfurt/M, pp. 59-71. ISBN 978-3-631-56740-1.
  • 2005 ‘Kafka, “Der Prozess/ The Trial”’, in the on-line Literary Encyclopedia
  • 2005 ‘Kafka, “Das Schloss/ The Castle”’, in the on-line Literary Encyclopedia
  • 2005 ‘Kafka, “In der Strafkolonie/ In the Penal Colony”’, in the on-line Literary Encyclopedia
  • 2005 ‘”Eine Art von geheimer Erleuchtung”: Dolf Sternbergers ‘Vademecum zum Gebrauch von Sprichwörtern’ (1936)“’, in literatur für leser 04/4 (2005), 200-215. ISSN 0343-1657.
  • 2004: 'Franz Kafka', , in the on-line Literary Encyclopedia
  • 2003: '"Wir müssen die Kraus'sche ‚Fackel’ von neuem anzünden". Zur Entstehung der Rubrik ‚Aus dem Wörterbuch des Unmenschen’ in der Zeitschrift Die Wandlung', Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft 47 (2003), 342-375. ISBN 3-520-90601-5.
  • 2003: 'Die Sprachglosse als Ort des oppositionellen Diskurses im "Dritten Reich"', Wirkendes Wort 53/2, 241-251. ISSN 0935-879X.
  • 2002a: 'Aus dem Nachlass Dolf Sternbergers: Ein unveröffentlichter Nachfolgebeitrag zu dem Wörterbuch der Regierung von Papen (1932): Textvarianten und Textvorlagen', Sprache und Literatur 33/2, 90-99. ISBN 0724-9713.
  • 2002b: 'The case for a political reading', in Julian Preece (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kafka, Cambridge University Press, pp. 131-149. ISBN 0-521-66391-1.
  • 2001: 'Karl Kraus's reputation as a language critic in the light of "linguistically grounded language criticism"', in Gilbert J. Carr & Edward Timms (eds.), Karl Kraus und 'Die Fackel'. Aufsätze zur Rezeptionsgeschichte / Reading Karl Kraus. Essays on the reception of 'Die Fackel', iudicium, Munich, pp.231-246. ISBN 3-89129-050-0.
  • 2000a: 'Zwischen den Zeilen? The development of Dolf Sternberger's political "Sprachkritik" from the "Wörterbuch der Regierung von Papen" (1932) to "Ein guter Ausdruck" (1937)', in Michael Butler and Robert Evans (eds.), The Challenge of German Culture. Essays Presented to Wilfried van der Will, Palgrave, Houndmills, pp. 86-98. ISBN 0-333-80090-7.
  • 2000b: 'The relevance of corpora for German Studies', in Dodd (ed.), Working with German corpora, pp. 1-39.
  • 2000c: 'When Ost meets West: a corpus-based study of binomial and other expressions before and during German unification', in Dodd (ed.), Working with German corpora, pp. 69-95.
  • 2000d: 'Ein Gottträgervolk, ein geistiger Führer: Die Dostojewski-Rezeption von der Jahrhundertwende bis zu den zwanziger Jahren als Paradigma des deutschen Rußlandbilds', in Lew Kopelew (ed.), West-östliche Spiegelungen, Reihe A: Russen und Rußland aus deutscher Sicht, Bd. 4, Das zwanzigste Jahrhundert, Herausgegeben von Mechthild Keller unter Mitarbeit von Karl-Heinz Korn, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich, pp. 853-865.
  • 2000e: 'Kafkas Rußland - Sinnbild, Mythos, Erkenntnisquelle', in Lew Kopelew (ed.), West-östliche Spiegelungen, Reihe A: Russen und Rußland aus deutscher Sicht, Bd. 4, Das zwanzigste Jahrhundert, Herausgegeben von Mechthild Keller unter Mitarbeit von Karl-Heinz Korn, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich, pp. 963-985.

Book reviews (selected)

  • 2011: Kafka-Handbuch. Leben – Werk – Wirkung. (Manfred Engel/ Bernd Auerochs (eds.), J. B. Metzler, Stuttgart/ Weimar, 2010. In: Modern Language Review (forthcoming).
  • 2011: Public Speaking in the City. Debating and Shaping the Urban Experience. (Janet Stewart. Palgrave Macmillan. Houndmills 2009), in Modern Language Review 106/1, 210-212.
  • 2011: Humboldt, Worldview and Language. (James W. Underhill. Edinburgh University Press. Edinburgh 2009), in Modern Language Review 106/2, 502-503.
  • 2010: Public Speaking in the City. Debating and Shaping the Urban Experience. (Janet Stewart. Palgrave Macmillan. Houndmills 2009), in Modern Language Review (forthcoming).
  • 2010: Humboldt, Worldview and Language. (James W. Underhill. Edinburgh University Press. Edinburgh 2009), in Modern Language Review (forthcoming).
  • 2006: Die entnazifierte Sprache. Sprachpolitik und Sprachregelung in der Besatzungszeit, (Dirk Deissler, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2004), in Modern Language Review 101/4, 1158f..
  • 2004: A Companion to the Works of Franz Kafka, (ed. James Rolleston, Camden House, Rochester 2002), in Journal of European Studies 104.
  • 2003: Kafkas ’Urteil’ und die Literaturtheorie. Zehn Modellanalysen, (Herausgegeben von Oliver Jahraus und Stefan Niehaus, Philipp Reclam jun. Stuttgart 2002), in Wirkendes Wort 2003/3, 519-520.
  • 2003: Linguistics and the Third Reich. Mother-tongue fascism, race and the science of language, (Christopher M. Hutton, Routledge, London & New York 1999), in German Politics vol. 11, p. 203f.
  • 2001: The Language of the Third Reich. LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii (Victor Klemperer, tr. Martin Brady, Athlone Press 2000), in German Politics vol. 9, No. 3, p 215f..
  • 2001: German Studies: Old and New Challenges (ed. Peter Rolf Lutzeier; Peter Lang, Berne 1998), in German Politics vol. 9, No. 3, p 216f.
  • 2000: Kafka. Gender, Class, and Race in the Letters and the Fictions (Elizabeth Boa; Clarendon, Oxford 1996) in Modern Language Review 95, pp. 276-279.

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