Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts

Postgraduate Research Student

Summary: The Function of Masks in the Works of Hermann Hesse


Adam's Research

Adam's research examines the use and depictions of masks as tools of identity exploration and construction in the works of Hermann Hesse. The project explores the ongoing development of Hesse's employment of masks in his work (both his fiction and his art), demonstrating how masks develop from tools of disguise in Hesse's early works to tools of expression and identity construction in his later works. Adam is particularly interested in masks and their literary portrayals throughout western history. Therefore, he also looks at where Hesse's engagement with masks and identity rests within the context of other literary and philosophical occupations with masks.

Research Interests

Comparative/world literature; Modernism; Bildungsromane; Literary and cinematic depictions of the individuation process; Sci-fi and post-apocalyptic literature and film; Utopian/dystopian literature; Constructions and representations of authorial personae

About Adam

Adam conducted his undergraduate studies at the University of Montevallo (Montevallo, Alabama), where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in English literature. He then received TEFL certification from Peking University (Beijing) and worked as an English language teacher in Shenzhen, China before commencing an MA programme in Literature and Publishing at the National University of Ireland, Galway. After receiving his MA, he taught as an English and writing instructor at a college in Nashville, Tennessee. Adam commenced his studies at the University of Leeds in 2013.


Dr Ingo Cornils (Primary supervisor)

Dr Stuart Taberner (Secondary Supervisor)

Current Teaching

MODL 1150: 'Worlds of Literature' (University of Leeds)

Previous Teaching

German 2600: 'Shock of the New' (University of Leeds)

Conference Papers

'Masks of Fiction: The Masking Function of Narratives in Hermann Hesse's Der Steppenwolf'. GSSN Postgraduate Symposium (October 2014; University of Swansea).

'Piktor's Metamorphoses: Transformation Through Jungian Archetypes'. Reading the Fantastic Research Group (November 2014; University of Leeds).

Other Engagement Activities

Project Facilitator for the German Film Learning Intitiative (GFLI)

Conducted a postgraduate teacher training session: 'Multiple Intelligences: How to Better Cater to Students in a Diverse Classroom'. (April 2014; University of Leeds).

Training Programme Assistant for PGR Research Training Programme in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Societies. (University of Leeds).