Dr Nicholas Martin MA, DPhil

Photograph of Dr Nick Martin

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

Contact details

Department of Modern Languages
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Nicholas Martin is Reader in European Intellectual History in the Department of Modern Languages, and Director of the University’s Institute for German Studies.

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

Dr Martin’s research interests are in modern German intellectual history and in the cultural history of war and political violence in twentieth-century Germany.

Academic CV


  • D.Phil., University of Oxford 
  • M.A., University of Oxford 
  • B.A., University of Oxford, in Philosophy and Modern Languages (First Class Honours) 


I completed a B.A. at New College, Oxford, and a D.Phil. at Jesus College, Oxford. 

I was a Junior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford (1990-94) and a Humboldt Research Fellow in Germany (1994-95). I was Lecturer in Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews for ten years before coming to Birmingham in 2005. 

I have held visiting professorships at California State University, Long Beach (2004) and Loyola University Maryland (2011-12).


I teach the following undergraduate courses in the Department of Modern Languages: 

  • German language (at all levels) 
  • Nietzsche (final-year option) 
  • German First World War Writing (final-year option) 
  • Fascism in Western Europe (final-year option) 
  • Thomas Mann (second-year option) 
  • Cultures of Protest and Terror in West Germany, 1967-1977 (second-year option)  

I also teach on a variety of Modern Languages and European Studies programmes at postgraduate level.

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised six PhD theses and eleven Master's dissertations to successful completion.

PhD topics I have recently supervised to successful completion include: Shakespeare and German Unification; Dionysian creativity in works by D’Annunzio and Thomas Mann; Nietzsche, Goethe and the idea of “Bildung”; literary uses of biblical imagery in works by Hartmann von Aue, Kafka and Thomas Mann.

I am currently supervising two PhD projects:

  • Patrick Harsch: ‘Metaphors, Memories and the Great War: Remembering World War One in Fiction Written after the Reunification of Germany.’
  • Rosie Young (AHRC Doctoral Award): ‘A Comparative Study of Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.’

I welcome applications from prospective postgraduate students keen to research modern German intellectual history and/or the cultural history of war and political violence in twentieth-century Germany.

Doctoral research


I research aspects of modern German intellectual history and the cultural history of war and political violence in twentieth-century Germany.

My research specialisms are: 

  • The reception of Weimar classicism 
  • The roots and reception of Nietzsche's thought 
  • The First World War in German culture and memory 
  • The writings of Thomas Mann 
  • Nazi cultural practices and their legacies

Academic CV

Other activities


Click here to view my academic CV with details of my research publications.