Dr Maria Roca Lizarazu

Dr Maria Roca Lizarazu

Department of Modern Languages
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Maria Roca Lizarazu is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Modern Languages within LCAHM, specialising in contemporary German-language literatures of (post-)migration, German Jewish literature and culture, Holocaust literatures, and Memory studies.

Maria was Academic Director for the Graduate Centre for Europe from 2018-2020


  • PhD in German Studies, University of Warwick (2017)
  • MA in Comparative Literature, Ruhr-University Bochum (2012)
  • BA in German Literature and History, Humboldt University Berlin (2008)


Maria received her BA in German literature and History from the Humboldt University in Berlin in 2008. She then went on to complete an MA in Comparative Literature at the Ruhr-University Bochum during which she spent an internship semester at the Leo Baeck Institute London, working as a research assistant.

After completing her PhD in German Studies at the University of Warwick in 2017, Maria held an Institute of Advanced Study Early Career Fellowship at the University of Warwick (April 2017-March 2018), followed by the Sylvia Naish Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, London (March-August 2018). She also worked as a research assistant for the Global Research Priorities ‘Connecting Cultures’ at Warwick (June 2016-August 2019).

Maria joined Birmingham in September 2018 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow.


  • LC German Core I – Advanced: Democracy, Diversity, and Dynamism (term 1)
  • LC German Core II – Advanced: Nation, Populism, and Conflict (term 2)
  • With Dr Katharina Karcher convenor of the final year module ‘Back to the Future – Hidden Histories and Utopian Possibilities, 1800-present’ (2/21)


Maria’s research interests include German Jewish culture and memory on the one hand and contemporary German-language literatures and cultures of (post-)migration on the other. She is also developing an interest in questions of (non-)citizenship.

She published Renegotiating Postmemory. The Holocaust in Contemporary German-Language Jewish Literature in 2020 (Camden House). The book analyses transgenerational, transnational and transmedial approaches to Holocaust memory in a range of important present-day German Jewish authors. It also explores how these authors’ works allow us to revaluate and enhance the hugely popular concept of postmemory in a manner that takes into account the shifting memoryscapes of the 21st century.

Maria’s Leverhulme-project explores the ways in which contemporary German-language literature engages with social and cultural diversity in the face of migration and postmigration. This includes the question of whether and how the medium of literature can help us develop new frameworks for negotiating difference and diversity that go beyond implicitly or explicitly assimilationist and integrationist frameworks. Engaging with a wide range of texts on the so-called refugee crisis as well as on other migrations movements in German post-war history alongside recent theoretical work on cosmopolitanism, community and conviviality, she argues for fiction as a space for counter-hegemonic challenged to belonging and for everyday relationalities.

Other activities

Maria is Honorary Associate Professor with the Department of History at the University of Warwick where she co-organises the Warwick Memory Group together with Professor Mark Philp (History).

Maria is a member of the Association for German Studies in the UK and Ireland (AGS), the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) and the German Studies Association (GSA).

Conference presentations and talks  - by invitation

  • ‘Von postmemory zu implication: Figuren und Figurationen des Nachbarschaftlichen in Katja Petrowskajas Vielleicht Esther’, Postmemoriale Erkundungen: Formen, Herausforderungen, Perspektiven. Internationales Kolloquium, Amiens, Logis du Roy, 13.-15. Mai 2020 [postponed to 2021].
  • ‘Beyond the Family (Novel)? Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s Politics and Poetics of Non-Belonging’, Transnational Families, Transnational Novels, Institute of Modern Languages Research, London, 12-13. July 2019.
  • ‘The Confrontational Jew – Negotiations of a Trope in Contemporary German-Jewish Discourse’, 50th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Boston, 16.-18. December 2018.
  • ‘Whither Memory Studies? An Overview of Recent and Future Trends’, Cultural Memory Studies Research Group, University of St Andrews, 31. October 2018.
  • ‘Beyond Postmemory? The Holocaust in Contemporary German-language Jewish Fiction’, Guest lecture at the Department of German, Durham University, 13. December 2017.
  • ‘Thomas Mann in Furs. Remediations of Sadomasochism in Maxim Biller’s Im Kopf von Bruno Schulz’, Guest lecture at the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, 22. November 2016.

Conference presentations and talks

  • Displacement, Disintegration and (Non-)Belonging  in Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s novel Ausser Sich [Beside Myself] (2017), Meeting of the Association of German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland, University of Bristol, 4.-6. September 2019.
  • ‘What (the Future) Could Have Been. Holocaust Memory in Robert Menasse’s Die Hauptstadt [The Capital] (2017)’, Memories of the Future, Institute for Modern Languages Research, London, 29.-30. March 2019.
  • ‘Unredeemed Pasts, Precarious Futures – Holocaust Memory in Crisis in Robert Menasse’s Die Hauptstadt [The Capital] (2017)’, GSAI Conference: Conflict, Crisis and Culture, University College Dublin, 16.-17. November 2018.
  • ‘The City as a Transnational “Memory-Trace” in Robert Menasse’s Die Hauptstadt (2017)’, Writing in Cities Across Languages and Nations, Institute for Modern Languages Research, London, 25. June 2018.
  • ‘“...there are no somebody else’s victims” – Towards a Cosmopolitan Ethics of Holocaust Memory in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther’, Archives of Resistance: Cosmopolitanism, Memory and World Literature, University of Leeds, 20-22. June 2018.
  • ‘Between Minority and the Mainstream – Constructions of Jewishness in the Contemporary German Mediascape’, Contemporary Jewish Women’s Writing in Germany and Austria – A ‘Minor’ Literature? Institute of Modern Languages Research, London, 27 April 2018.  
  • ‘“Jeder hat jemanden hier” – Renegotiating the Victim-Perpetrator-Binary in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther (2014)’, Victim Narratives in Transnational Contexts, Universität Innsbruck, 25-27. January 2018.
  • ‘Beyond Unspeakability – Figurations of “Travelling Trauma” in Contemporary German-language Literature about the Holocaust’, Testimony, Memory and Reading Trauma in Representations of the Holocaust, University of East Anglia, 15. July 2017
  • ‘Beyond Speech? Renegotiating a Trope in Contemporary German- and Austrian-Jewish Literature About the Holocaust’, Seventy-Ninth Meeting of the Association of German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland, Newcastle University, 31. August-2. September 2016.
  • ‘“Alles in Scherben, ohne Bezug”? Towards a Quasicrystalline Poetics in Holocaust Remembrance in Eva Menasse’s Fiction’, DAAD Postgraduate Summer School in German Studies, University of Leeds, 4.-7. May 2016.
  • ‘Das besondere Gedächtnis der osteuropäisch-jüdischen Literatur: Reframing the Holocaust in the Texts of Vladimir Vertlib and Katja Petrowskaja’, Seventy-Eighth Meeting of the Association of German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 2.-4. September 2015.
  • ‘Erinnerungskreuzungen - Transnational Holocaust Memories in Vladimir Vertlib’s Das besondere Gedächtnis der Rosa Masur’, DAAD Postgraduate Summer School in German Studies, University of Oxford, 7.-10. July 2015.
  • ‘From Unspeakability to “Hyperspeakabiliy”. Representing the Holocaust in Contemporary German-Jewish Literature’, Beyond Speech: Silence and the Unspeakable Across Cultures, University of Manchester, 8. May 2015.
  • ‘“Erinnerung an die Erinnerung”. Holocaust Memory and the Problem of Authenticity in Benjamin Stein’s Die Leinwand (2010)’, After Downfall: 10 Years of the Nazi Past in German Culture, University of St. Andrew’s, 27.-28. February 2015.
  • ‘Vom Familienroman zum “Erinnerungsmosaik”. Remembering the Holocaust in Eva Menasse’s Fiction’, “Es geht uns gut”. Recent Trends in (Re)writing the Past in Austrian Literature since 2000, Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature, London, 27. November 2014.
  • ‘Making Things Talk. Object, Narrative and (Post-)Memory in Nicole Krauss’s Great House and Gila Lustiger’s So sind Wir’, Things to Remember. Materializing Memories in Art and Popular Culture, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 4.-6. June 2014.
  • ‘Trauma Time’, Joint International PhD and Postdoctoral Workshop: Living in a Culture of Immediacy. The Longing for Time in Contemporary Culture, Universität Konstanz, 14. May 2014.



  • Renegotiating Postmemory. The Holocaust in Contemporary German-language Jewish Literature (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2020).

Book chapters

  • ‘“We will be ephemeral” – Virtual Transnationalism and Fleeting Cosmopolitanism in Senthuran Varatharaja’s Vor der Zunahme der Zeichen [Before the Signs Increase] (2016)’, in: Exploring the Transnational Neighbourhood, ed. Stephan Ehrig, Britta Jung and Gad Schaffer (Leiden: Leiden UP) (in preparation).
  •  “Liaisons Dangereuses – Nachbarn, (Mit-)Täter und ‘implicated subjects’ in Katja Petrowskajas Vielleicht Esther“ [Liaisons Dangereuses – Neighbours, Perpetrators and ‘implicated subjects’ in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther“], in: Opfernarrative in transnationalen Kontexten/Victim Narratives in Transnational Contexts, ed. Eva Binder et al. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2020), pp. 259-280.
  • “Why Don't You Talk To Me? Transmissional Objects in the Works of Gila Lustiger and Nicole Krauss”, in: Hoffmann, Bettina and Ursula Reuter (Eds.), Translated Memories. Transgenerational Perspectives in Literature on the Holocaust, Lanham, MD (Lexington Books) (forthcoming).

Edited special issues


  • ‘Irreconcilable Differences. The Politics of Bad Feelings in Contemporary German Jewish Culture’, Edinburgh German Yearbook 14 (2020) (accepted for publication).
  • ‘Moments of Possibility. Holocaust Postmemory, Subjunctivity, and Futurity in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther (2014) und Robert Menasse’s Die Hauptstadt (2017)’, Forum for Modern Language Studies (forthcoming, 2021).
  • With Joseph Twist, ‘Introduction: Rethinking Community and Subjectivity in Contemporary German Culture and Thought’, Special Issue of Oxford German Studies (forthcoming, 2020).
  • ‘“Integration ist definitiv nicht unser Anliegen, eher schon Desintegration” - Postmigrant Renegotiations of Identity and Belonging in Contemporary Germany’, Special Issue of Humanities on ‘Aspects of Contemporary German Fiction’ (2020).
  • Introduction: Rethinking ‘Minor Literatures’ – Contemporary Jewish Womens’ Writing in Germany and Austria’, Special Collection of Modern Languages Open (2020).
  •  ‘Ec-static Existences: The Poetics and Politics of (Non-)Belonging in Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s Außer Sich (2017)’, Special Collection of Modern Languages Open (2020).
  •  ‘Beyond Unspeakability – Configurations of ‘Travelling Trauma’ in Contemporary German-Language Literature About the Holocaust’, German Life and Letters 72.4 (2019), pp. 499-521.
  • ‘The Family Tree, the Web, and the Palimpsest: Figures of Postmemory in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther’, Modern Language Review 113.1 (2018), pp. 169-189.
  • ‘Thomas Mann in Furs: Remediations of Sadomasochism in Maxim Biller’s Im Kopf von Bruno Schulz and Harlem Holocaust’, Edinburgh German Yearbook 11 (2017), pp. 113-131.


  • With Rebekah Vince, “Memory Studies Goes Planetary: An Interview with Stef Craps”, Exchanges 5.2 (2018), pp. 1-15.

Conference reports

  • With Stephan Ehrig and Britta Jung, ‘Conference Report: Exploring the Transnational Neighbourhood: Integration, Community, and Co-Habitation’, Journal of Romance Studies 20.1 (2020), pp. 179-181.
  • Workshop report: ‘Translingual and Transnational Urban Writing’, OWRI: Cross-languages Dynamics Blog, 6. August 2018.
  • Objects and Emotions – Loss and Acquisition of Jewish Property’, in: Annual Report of Activities, ed. Leo Baeck Institute London, pp. 61-69.


  • Review of Dora Osborne, What Remains: The Post-Holocaust Archive in German Memory Culture, The German Quarterly (forthcoming).
  • Review of Daphne Seemann, Generation, Gender and Identity in German-Jewish Literature after 1989, Austrian Studies (forthcoming).
  • Review of Garloff, Katja and Agnes Mueller (Eds.), German-Jewish Literature after 1990Modern Languages ReviewModern Language Review 115.1 (2020), pp. 212-215.
  • Review of Kim, David, Cosmopolitan Parables. Trauma and Responsibility in Contemporary GermanyComparative Literature Studies 56.3 (2019), pp. 635-639.
  • Review of Garloff, Katja, Mixed Feelings. Tropes of Love in Contemporary German Jewish CultureModern Language Review 113. 4 (2018), pp. 894-896.
  • Review of Jilovsky, Esther, Jordana Silverstein and David Slucki (Eds.), In the Shadows of Memory. The Holocaust and the Third GenerationJournal of Modern Jewish Studies 16.3 (2017), pp. 522-523.
  • Review of Aarons, Victoria (Ed.), Third-Generation Holocaust Narratives: Memory in Memoir and FictionHolocaust Studies 24.1 (2018), pp. 124-128.
  • Review of Jilovsky, Esther, Remembering the Holocaust: Generations, Witnessing and PlaceHolocaust Studies 24.1 (2018), pp. 128-130.
  • Review of Weiss-Sussex, Godela, Jüdin und Moderne. Literarisierungen der Lebenswelt deutsch-jüdischer Autorinnen in Berlin (1900–1918)Modern Language Review 112.3 (2017), pp. 742-744.
  • “Für Tories nicht geeignet. Ken Loachs neuer Film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ rechnet ab mit Austeritätspolitik und dem Zerfall des britischen Sozialsystems”, literaturkritik.de, 10.01.17.
  • Review of Jilovsky, Esther, Jordana Silverstein and David Slucki (Eds.), In the Shadows of Memory. The Holocaust and the Third GenerationHolocaust Studies 22.4 (2016), pp. 468-472.
  • Review of Welzer, Harald, Sabine Moller and Karoline Tschuggnall, “Opa war kein Nazi”. Nationalsozialismus und Holocaust im FamiliengedächtnisJahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung 3 (2007), p. 191.

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