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Ashley BuildingUniversity of Birmingham
My main research interests lie in the literature, culture and society of Germany around the end of the eighteenth century.
My work on German culture of the late eighteenth century has focused on texts and authors who have in different ways reflected the transitions between Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, Classicism and Romanticism. It has been based on the close reading of texts but has attempted to uncover in them the tensions and pressures of a broader shifting social and cultural world. My special interests include text-editing, and I have produced (with Elystan Griffiths) the first edition of the reform project of J. M. R. Lenz, and my interest in music has led (in collaboration with Robert Meikle) to the first edition of an opera by Reichart based a text by Goethe. I am also concerned with the analysis of contemporary Germany and am one of the founding editors of Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe.
My current research revolves round ideas of the ‘open text’ or fragment in European literature, including such diverse authors as Lessing, Goethe and Coleridge. I am also preparing contributions to handbooks dealing variously with Lessing, Lenz and the Sturm und Drang.
German literature and culture (including music, opera), especially of the period 1750-1820: Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, Romanticism
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