Dr Ruth Whittle FHEA, NTF

Photograph of Dr Ruth Whittle

Department of Modern Languages
Senior Lecturer in German Studies
Distinguished Fellow (TA)

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 business German and 19th-century German literature;
  • Awarded a BUTF (Birmingham University Teaching Fellowship) in 2011;
  • Awarded a NTF (National Teaching Fellowship) in 2014.
  • University of Birmingham Distinguished Fellow (TA) 2015.

Postgraduate supervision

She has supervised theses on professional women’s biographical writing and female suicide.


My research interests include 19th- and 20th-century German literature as well as foreign language acquisition, particularly e-learning. In my current research project I investigate how students respond to transition (from school to university, from university to year abroad, from university to work) and the pedagogical evidence of how to support these experiences of transition.

Other activities

  • Chair LCAHM Year Abroad Committee
  • LCAHM Senior Tutor


Latest books

  • 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

  • "Völkisch-nationale Weiblichkeitsentwürfe bei Ludwig Geiger und August Sauer", in: Steffen Hoehne et al (eds.), August Sauer (1855-1926). Ein Intellektueller in Prag zwischen Kultur- und Wissenschaftspolitik, Cologne: Böhlau 2011;
  • "Karl Gutzkow in der deutschen Literaturgeschichte. Impotenter Reflexionsschwelger oder ‚Ritter vom Geiste". Gutzkow und seine Zeitgenossen. Bielefeld: Aisthesis 2011.