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Professor of German and Visual Culture, Durham University

Since being appointed to Durham in 1997, I have worked extensively on twentieth-century German and Austrian literature, publishing on Thomas Bernhard, Wolfgang Hildesheimer, Monika Maron, Gerhard Fritsch, Hans Lebert, Dieter Kühn, and others. Latterly, I have also worked extensively on photography and visual culture.

My research is in three main areas. The first is the photographic book in the Weimar Republic, which provides uniquely illuminating insights into the culture and politics of inter-war Germany. The second is German literature and photography from Peter Altenberg to the present. Looking at writers who have not merely thematised photography but have incorporated it physically into their work, the project seeks to read a series of works by writers such as Tucholsky, Jünger, Brecht, Kluge, and Maron as responses to the changing social function of photography over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

The third is an ongoing engagement with W. G. Sebald and questions of modernity and photography in his work.


  • –present
    Professor of German and Visual Culture, Durham University