Professor William John Dodd

Department of Modern Languages
Emeritus Professor of Modern German Studies

Contact details

I joined the University of Birmingham as a lecturer in German in 1980 and retired as Professor of Modern German Studies in 2014. I am a member of the research project  “Inner and outer exile in fascist Germany and Spain: a comparative study”, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Biography

My first degree was in German and Russian from the University of Leeds, where I also wrote my doctoral thesis on Kafka’s reading of Dostoyevsky. I worked as a Lektor in the Anglistisches Seminar at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster for two years and taught German and Russian part-time in Leeds, and took an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Manchester, before taking up a lectureship in German at Birmingham. In 2005 I became Professor of Modern German Studies. I was Head of Department in 2004/5 and from 2006 to 2010.

Teaching

I taught German language at all levels and a variety of courses on literature, linguistics, and society. I also developed Reading German for Researchers, a course based on Coles/ Dodd Reading German (OUP, 1997).

Postgraduate supervision

I no longer supervise postgraduates but am available to offer advice in areas of my research expertise.

Research

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 by William Dodd

  • "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.

Other activities

I have acted as external examiner for German at a number of UK universities (currently at the University of Sheffield). I am a member of the International Advisory Board (wissenschaftlicher Beirat) of Aptum. Zeitschrift für Sprachkritik und Sprachpflege.

Publications

Single-authored books

  • 2018 (forthcoming): National Socialism and German Discourse: Unquiet Voices. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 2013: "Der Mensch hat das Wort": Der Sprachdiskurs in der Frankfurter Zeitung 1933-1943. Mit einem Geleitwort von Günther Gillessen. Walter de Gruyter, xvi + 277 pp. Berlin/ Boston 2013. ISBN 978-3-11-031486-1. (E-Book: 978-3-11-031513-4.)
  • 2007: Jedes Wort wandelt die Welt. Dolf Sternbergers politische Sprachkritik. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen. Eine Veröffentlichung der Deutschen Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. 358pp. ISBN 978-3-8353-0230-3.
  • 2003: Kafka. Das Schloss, Grant & Cutler Critical Guides to German Texts No. 18, London, 100pp. ISBN 0-7293-0414-0.
  • 1992: Kafka and Dostoyevsky: The Shaping of Influence, Macmillan, London, xii + 237pp. ISBN 031206795X, 9780312067953.
  • 1991: Kafka. Der Prozess, Glasgow (Glasgow Introductory Guides to German Literature No. 8), ii + 58pp. ISBN 0-85261-323-7.

Co-authored books

  • 2003: Modern German Grammar: A Practical Guide, Second (Revised) Edition, Routledge, London, xviii + 454pp. (with Christine Eckhard-Black, John Klapper and Ruth Whittle) ISBN 0-415-27300-5 (Chinese language edition 2007. ISBN 978-7-5611-3845-8).
  • 1997: Reading German: A Course Book and Reference Grammar, Oxford University Press, xi + 377pp. (with Waltraud Coles). ISBN 0198700040, 9780198700043.
  • 1996: Modern German Grammar: A Practical Guide, Routledge, London, ix + 492pp. (with Christine Eckhard-Black, John Klapper and Ruth Whittle). ISBN 0-415-09848-3

Journal articles and book chapters (since 2000)

  • 2017: ‘Darwin’s Imperialist Canvas: Dolf Sternberger’s Panorama or Views of/from the Nineteenth Century (1938) as cultural history in the shadow of National Socialism’, in: Robert Craig and Ina Linge (eds.), Biological Discourses. The Language of Science and Literature around 1900. Peter Lang, Oxford (Cultural History and Literary Imagination, vol. 27), pp. 135-58.
  • 2016: ‘Sprachkritik und Sprachwissenschaft. Der „Streit“ in den 1960er Jahren und seine Folgen’. In: Jürgen Schiewe (ed.), Angemessenheit. Einsichten in Sprachgebräuche. Göttingen: Wallstein. (Valerio, Band 18). Publication of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. Wallstein, Göttingen, pp. 38-51.
  • 2015: ‘Sprache des Nationalsozialismus’, in Torben Fischer and Matthias N. Lorenz (eds.), Lexikon der Vergangenheitsbewältigung” in Deutschland (3rd edition). Section I.B1. Transcript, Bielefeld, pp. 32-34.
  • 2015: ‘Under Pressure? The Anglicisms Debate in Contemporary Germany as a Barometer of German National Identity Today’, German Politics and Society 33/ 1&2, 58-68.
  • 2015: ‘“Die deutsche Sprache wird die Welt beherrschen“: Randbemerkungen zu einem deutschen Sprachdiskurs vor hundert Jahren’, Aptum. Zeitschrift für Sprachkritik  und Sprachkultur, 10/01, 226-39.
  • 2015: ‘Die “verdeckte Schreibweise” ein offenes Geheimnis?: Dolf Sternbergers Panorama oder Ansichten vom 19. Jahrhundert (1938) im Spiegel der zeitgenössischen Rezensionen’, in: Roth, Kersten Sven /Jürgen Spitzmüller/ Birte Arendt/ Jana Kiesendahl (eds.), Sprache, Universität, Öffentlichkeit: Sprachwissenschaft-liche Beobachtungen und sprachkritische Anmerkungen.Festschrift für Jürgen Schiewe zum 60. Geburtstag. Hempen, Bremen, pp. 65-78.
  • 2013: 'Gegen „volkhafte“ Sprachauffassungen resistent: Der Sprachkritiker Gerhard Storz'. In: Hanns-Werner Heister/ Bernhard Spies (eds.), Mimesis, Mimikry, Simulatio. Festschrift für Erwin Rotermund zum 80. Geburtstag. Weidler Buchverlag, Berlin (ISBN 978-3-89693-598-4,) pp. 47-59.
  • 2013: 'Dolf Sternberger’s Panorama: Approaces to a work of (inner) exile in the National Socialist period’, Modern Language Review 108/1, 180-201.
  • 2011: 'Gedanken zu (musik)sprachlichen Verhaltensmustern in der “Sprachlosigkeit” der Gewaltherrschaft‘. In: Thomas Phleps/ Wieland Reich (eds.), Musik-Kontexte. Festschrift für Hanns-Werner Heister, Monsenstein & Vannerdat, Münster, pp. 165-77. ISBN 978-3-86991-320-9.
  • 2011: ‘Kafka’s Russia and Images of War in 1912 and 1914’. In: M. Engel/ R. Robertson (eds.), Kafka, Prague, and the First World War. Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann. Oxford Kafka Studies Vol. 2, 201-220.
  • 2009: 'Die antifaschistische Sprachkritik der ersten Nachkriegszeit, aus heutiger Sicht gesehen', in: Aptum. Zeitschrift für Sprachkritik und Sprachkultur 03/2008, 257-71. ISSN 1664-905X.
  • 2008: ‘“... dem Kaiser gegeben was des Kaisers ist“: Walter Benjamin’s Reading of Dolf Sternberger’s “Tempel der Kunst“ (1937)’, in: Nigel Harris and Joanne Sayner (eds.), The Text and its Context. Studies in Modern German Literature and Society Presented to Ronald Speirs on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, Oxford: Lang, 2008, pp. 63-77. ISBN 978-303910-928-9.
  • 2007  ‘Dolf Sternberger und die Sprache’, in: Michael Borchard (ed.), Dolf Sternberger: Zum 100. Geburtstag. Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung, Sankt-Augustin/ Berlin 2007, pp. 35-48. ISBN 978-3-939826-51-4.
  • 2007 '„Zwischen den Zeilen“ gelesen: Dolf Sternberger: „Über die Nachahmung“ (1942). Eine Probe aufs Exempel’, in: G. Guntermann (ed.) Gerettet und von Scham verschlungen. Neue Annäherungen an die Literatur der „inneren Emigration“, Peter Lang, Frankfurt/M, pp. 59-71. ISBN 978-3-631-56740-1.
  • 2005 ‘Kafka, “Der Prozess/ The Trial”’, in the on-line Literary Encyclopedia
  • 2005 ‘Kafka, “Das Schloss/ The Castle”’, in the on-line Literary Encyclopedia
  • 2005 ‘Kafka, “In der Strafkolonie/ In the Penal Colony”’, in the on-line Literary Encyclopedia
  • 2005 ‘”Eine Art von geheimer Erleuchtung”: Dolf Sternbergers ‘Vademecum zum Gebrauch von Sprichwörtern’ (1936)“’, in literatur für leser 04/4 (2005), 200-215. ISSN 0343-1657.
  • 2004: 'Franz Kafka', , in the on-line Literary Encyclopedia
  • 2003: '"Wir müssen die Kraus'sche ‚Fackel’ von neuem anzünden". Zur Entstehung der Rubrik ‚Aus dem Wörterbuch des Unmenschen’ in der Zeitschrift Die Wandlung', Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft 47 (2003), 342-75. ISBN 3-520-90601-5.
  • 2003: 'Die Sprachglosse als Ort des oppositionellen Diskurses im "Dritten Reich"', Wirkendes Wort 53/2, 241-51. ISSN 0935-879X.
  • 2002a: 'Aus dem Nachlass Dolf Sternbergers: Ein unveröffentlichter Nachfolgebeitrag zu dem Wörterbuch der Regierung von Papen (1932): Textvarianten und Textvorlagen', Sprache und Literatur 33/2, 90-99. ISBN 0724-9713.
  • 2002b: 'The case for a political reading', in Julian Preece (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kafka, Cambridge University Press, pp. 131-49. ISBN 0-521-66391-1.
  • 2001: 'Karl Kraus's reputation as a language critic in the light of "linguistically grounded language criticism"', in Gilbert J. Carr & Edward Timms (eds.), Karl Kraus und 'Die Fackel'. Aufsätze zur Rezeptionsgeschichte / Reading Karl Kraus. Essays on the reception of 'Die Fackel', iudicium, Munich, pp.231-46. ISBN 3-89129-050-0.
  • 2000a: 'Zwischen den Zeilen? The development of Dolf Sternberger's political "Sprachkritik" from the "Wörterbuch der Regierung von Papen" (1932) to "Ein guter Ausdruck" (1937)', in Michael Butler and Robert Evans (eds.), The Challenge of German Culture. Essays Presented to Wilfried van der Will, Palgrave, Houndmills, pp. 86-98. ISBN 0-333-80090-7.
  • 2000b: 'The relevance of corpora for German Studies', in Dodd (ed.), Working with German corpora, pp. 1-39.
  • 2000c: 'When Ost meets West: a corpus-based study of binomial and other expressions before and during German unification', in Dodd (ed.), Working with German corpora, pp. 69-95.
  • 2000d: 'Ein Gottträgervolk, ein geistiger Führer: Die Dostojewski-Rezeption von der Jahrhundertwende bis zu den zwanziger Jahren als Paradigma des deutschen Rußlandbilds', in Lew Kopelew (ed.), West-östliche Spiegelungen, Reihe A: Russen und Rußland aus deutscher Sicht, Bd. 4, Das zwanzigste Jahrhundert, Herausgegeben von Mechthild Keller unter Mitarbeit von Karl-Heinz Korn, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich, pp. 853-65.
  • 2000e: 'Kafkas Rußland - Sinnbild, Mythos, Erkenntnisquelle', in Lew Kopelew (ed.), West-östliche Spiegelungen, Reihe A: Russen und Rußland aus deutscher Sicht, Bd. 4, Das zwanzigste Jahrhundert, Herausgegeben von Mechthild Keller unter Mitarbeit von Karl-Heinz Korn, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich, pp. 963-85.

Edited books

  • 2013: "Der Mensch hat das Wort": Der Sprachdiskurs in der Frankfurter Zeitung 1933-1943. Mit einem Geleitwort von Günther Gillessen. Walter de Gruyter, xvi + 277 pp. Berlin/ Boston 2013. ISBN 978-3-11-031486-1. (Available as an E-Book: 978-3-11-031513-4.)
  • 2000: Working with German corpora, University of Birmingham Press, xxvii + 299pp (reprinted by Continuum Press, 2006). ISBN 1-902459-05-9.
  • 1995: Kafka: 'The Metamorphosis', 'The Trial', 'The Castle', Longman, London (Modern Literatures in Perspective), xii + 234pp. ISBN 0-58221-68-0X, 9780582216808.

Book reviews (selected)

  • 2011: Kafka-Handbuch. Leben – Werk – Wirkung. (Manfred Engel/ Bernd Auerochs (eds.), J. B. Metzler, Stuttgart/ Weimar, 2010. In: Modern Language Review (forthcoming).
  • 2011: Public Speaking in the City. Debating and Shaping the Urban Experience. (Janet Stewart. Palgrave Macmillan. Houndmills 2009), in Modern Language Review 106/1, 210-212.
  • 2011: Humboldt, Worldview and Language. (James W. Underhill. Edinburgh University Press. Edinburgh 2009), in Modern Language Review 106/2, 502-503.
  • 2010: Public Speaking in the City. Debating and Shaping the Urban Experience. (Janet Stewart. Palgrave Macmillan. Houndmills 2009), in Modern Language Review (forthcoming).
  • 2010: Humboldt, Worldview and Language. (James W. Underhill. Edinburgh University Press. Edinburgh 2009), in Modern Language Review (forthcoming).
  • 2006: Die entnazifierte Sprache. Sprachpolitik und Sprachregelung in der Besatzungszeit, (Dirk Deissler, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2004), in Modern Language Review 101/4, 1158f..
  • 2004: A Companion to the Works of Franz Kafka, (ed. James Rolleston, Camden House, Rochester 2002), in Journal of European Studies 104.
  • 2003: Kafkas ’Urteil’ und die Literaturtheorie. Zehn Modellanalysen, (Herausgegeben von Oliver Jahraus und Stefan Niehaus, Philipp Reclam jun. Stuttgart 2002), in Wirkendes Wort 2003/3, 519-520.
  • 2003: Linguistics and the Third Reich. Mother-tongue fascism, race and the science of language, (Christopher M. Hutton, Routledge, London & New York 1999), in German Politics vol. 11, p. 203f.
  • 2001: The Language of the Third Reich. LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii (Victor Klemperer, tr. Martin Brady, Athlone Press 2000), in German Politics vol. 9, No. 3, p 215f..
  • 2001: German Studies: Old and New Challenges (ed. Peter Rolf Lutzeier; Peter Lang, Berne 1998), in German Politics vol. 9, No. 3, p 216f.
  • 2000: Kafka. Gender, Class, and Race in the Letters and the Fictions (Elizabeth Boa; Clarendon, Oxford 1996) in Modern Language Review 95, pp. 276-279.