Dr Ruth Whittle FHEA, NTF

Photograph of Dr Ruth Whittle

Department of Modern Languages
Senior Lecturer in German Studies
HeFI Fellow

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

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 latest research project (funded by CLAD) I looked  into how to achieve transformational changes with language students as reflective learners and how this could impact positively on the relationship between staff and students as a community of learners and teachers.


  • I teach German language and literature at all levels.  My particular interests are in developing the concept of the Birmingham Languages Graduate and I like to use a range of technologies in my teaching;
  • Awarded a NTF (National Teaching Fellowship) in 2014.
  • HeFI Fellow (2018)

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising theses dealing with narratives of (personal, gendered, professional, national) identities as well as on pedagogical aspects of teaching and learning, particularly the role of mindset and reflection in deep learning.

Find out more - our PhD German Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research interests include 19th- and 20th-century literature as well the role of reflection and mindset for deep learning. In my current research I investigate students’ feelings in connection with their mindset in order to find out effective ways of individualising further personal tutoring. This research is taking place across a number of schools, and will therefore also be useful for determining whether Modern Languages students are similar or different and have different needs from students in other disciplines.

Other activities

  • LCAHM Senior Tutor
  • Senior Tutors’ Representative on SAEC
  • LCAHM Representative on the Pebble Pad Steering Group
  • Mentor for BEACON Scheme applicants and reviewer of BEACON applications


Latest books

  • with Sandra Salin: Preparing Modern Languages Students for 'Difference'. Going beyond Graduate Skills.
    (New York, London, Bern: Peter Lang 2017)
  • Monograph: Gender, Canon and Literary History; The Changing Place of Nineteenth-Century German Women Writers (1835-1918) (Berlin/Boston: 2013)
  • co-editor (with Suanne Kord) Re-Thinking the German Enlightenment, A Special Number of German Life and Letters in Honour of David Hill (Jan 2008)
  • (with Debbie Pinfold) Voices of Rebellion, Political Writing by Malwida von Meysenbug, Fanny Lewald, Johanna Kinkel and Louise Aston (Oxford: Lang, 2005)
  • Lead author of Modern German Grammar (London: Routledge, 3rd ed. 2011)

Some recent articles

  • “Von Unkraut und Palimpsesten. Transdifferentes Lesen und seine Folgen anhand von Fallbeispielen aus dem Werk von Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach und Bertha von Suttner”. In: Alexandra Millner, Katalin Teller (eds), Transdifferenz ud Transkulturalität. Migration und Alterität in den Literaturen und Kulturen österreich-Ungarns, Bielefeld: Transcript 2018 pp. 75-96.

View all publications in research portal


  • How students respond to transition (from school to university, from university to year abroad, from university to work) and how to support these experiences of transition