I am a member of the research team working on the research project “Inner and outer exile in fascist Germany and Spain: a comparative study”, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
I would describe myself as a discourse historian with a particular focus on the period from the late nineteenth century to the present. My research ranges across German language and literature and seeks to build a bridge between linguistics and the study of culture.
Major focuses of my research are the writings of Franz Kafka, the literature of ‘inner exile’ in/from the National Socialist dictatorship, and the legacies of discourse traditions. Research awards include a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2000-2002) to work on the papers of Dolf Sternberger, a significant figure in the history of anti-fascist language criticism; and a Senior Research Fellowship at the Alfried Krupp Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) Greifswald in 2010-11, to research oppositional discourses of inner exiles during the Nazi period. This Fellowship has led to work on three book projects, two of which are now completed:
- "Der Mensch hat das Wort": Der Sprachdiskurs in der Frankfurter Zeitung 1933-1943. (de Gruyter 2013, available as an E-Book: 978-3-11-031513-4.) This is an edited volume of language-critical pieces in the Frankfurter Zeitung between 1933 and its closure in 1943 (with critical apparatus and an 18,000-word Introduction):
- National Socialism and German Discourse: Unquiet Voices (Palgrave Macmillan, publication due in 2018). This is a study of the discourse tradition in which Nazism stands, its main features, and notably the “unquiet voices” who critiqued the “language of Nazism” before, during, and after the Nazi dictatorship.
- Benjamin/ Sternberger: A Case Study in the Fractured Discourse of German Exile 1933-1945 (in progress).This study provides the first detailed reading of Dolf Sternberger's book PANORAMA ODER ANSICHTEN VOM 19. JAHRHUNDERT (Hamburg, 1938), largely rejecting Walter Benjamin’s attack on it as a document of conformity, and arguing instead for a morphology of exile which views the discourses of inner and territorial exile as related ‘dialects' (as set out in my article “Sternberger’s Panorama: Approaches to a work of (inner) exile in the National Socialist period’, Modern Language Review 108/1, 180-201.