Chair of English Studies: Literature (Prof. Freiburg)

Introduction to English Studies: Literature

At Erlangen, we take an expansive view of English literature. As a consequence, we contextualize English and Anglophone novels, plays, poems, short stories, essays, and other forms not just through the detailed study of both national and transnational literary traditions but also via an engagement with other scholarly disciplines such as philosophy, the natural sciences, history, architecture, and media studies. Our research and teaching accordingly situates the literary text in its larger context. While our seminars present canonical and not so canonical examples of English literatures from the Renaissance to the present day, our research activities tend to focus on the following topics:

  • Early Modern Prose Fiction
  • Renaissance and Restoration Theatrical Forms
  • Eighteenth-Century Literary Culture
  • (Neo-)Victorian and Fin-De-Siècle Literature
  • Modernism, Postmodernism, and Contemporary Writing
  • Postcolonial Studies

In terms of their thematic contexts, scholarly projects have looked at the connections between literature and the natural sciences and have studied a variety of liminal experiences such as aging, trauma, death, and religious crises. The investigation of these and other topics takes place both through single-author studies and with the support of larger research clusters at Erlangen, such as ELINAS or the ‘Interdisciplinary Centre on Contemporary Literature and Culture’ (IZ). Members of the English literature team are also actively involved in national and international research activities, for instance the ‘Ehrenpreis-Centre for Swift Studies’ (Münster) or journals such as Neo-Victorian Studies and The Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Recent doctoral theses have covered topics as diverse as contemporary poetry, postmodern drama, feminist literature, autobiographical writing, environmental literature, and Irish urban novels.