German@Leeds Research Mission Statement

Our German@Leeds research approach is to challenge and move beyond the traditional canon of German Studies. We collaborate with partners at local, national and international level, inside and outside of academia. We believe it is important to make critical interventions in academia and beyond. This approach is at the heart of our research as well as our teaching. 

We concentrate our research in three distinct but interlinked areas:

German pasts and futures / Vergangenheits- und Zukunftsbewältigung

German@Leeds has a real strength in researching the multifaceted ways in which Germans have imagined, remembered and come to terms with their pasts. We have a particular interest in memory of the two world wars, the Holocaust, 1968, RAF terrorism and other traumatic pasts in a variety of genres and practices (film, literature, art, historiography). Leeds has become a centre for transnational Holocaust memory studies. This focus on German and transnational Vergangenheitsbewältigung is complemented by an interest in the varied imaginations of German futures and utopian thinking (Zukunftsbewältigung).

Violence and Resistance / Peace and Reconciliation

We are leading interdisciplinary and transnational research projects into the repercussions of violence in German and global history. These include research on German prisoners of war in Britain during World War I; women’s peace movements in, and female revolutionaries after World War I; German protest movements from ‘1968’ to the Greens; work on the representation of German terrorism in film; research and knowledge exchange projects on trauma and reconciliation in Germany and South Africa; film production work in the former GDR.

German-speaking Cultures in the World / Borders and Cultural Exchange

We are concerned with the ways in which people, ideas and cultural products cross borders into and out of the German-speaking world.  Our specific interests and projects include: studies of literature, film and theatre representing experiences of migration to and settlement in Germany, Austria and Switzerland; explorations of ‘transnational’ writing and filmmaking that might be considered part of ‘world literature’ or ‘world cinema’; the translation of German-language literature and historical texts into other languages and for other cultural contexts. 

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