Dr Brenda Hollweg

Dr Brenda Hollweg


I worked as lecturer and researcher at German and British universities, including Humboldt University Berlin, University of Leipzig and University of Technology Chemnitz. I also taught art, design, art theory, cultural theory and history at Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Arts University. Before I embarked on an academic career, I was formally trained in industrial management, gaining insights into all aspects of running a large corporation. I also received on-the-job training in print and broadcast journalism. I previously held positions as a newspaper journalist and assistant project manager for exhibitions.


  • Academic Lead Fine Art Pathway, IFY Programme

Research interests

My research interests cut across the visual arts, popular literature and exhibition cultures and, over the last 15 years, have increasingly focused on performative and self-reflective documentary practices such as the essay film. The varied screen works I explore often sit in-between genres, exhibition modes and research disciplines and necessitate a diversity of conceptual and theoretical approaches and perspectives, including those of cultural studies, ethnography, affect, memory, trauma studies, psychoanalysis, feminist film theory and film philosophy, queer and post/decolonial critique. I am currently developing a monograph on the essay as extended cultural form and counter-practice. The manifold ways contemporary women writers, artists and filmmakers engage with the malleable mode of the essayistic to resist systemic forms of violence in affective, aesthetic, ethical and political ways are of particular interest to me. My study is concerned with questions of subjectivity, voice, memory and migration, human and non-human interaction, the interrelations of geographies, politics and aesthetics and the role experience and affect play in the production of knowledge. 

As researcher I also contributed to the DFG-funded ‘Gender, Genre and the Essay’ (2000–2003, Humboldt University Berlin) and the AHRC-funded, collaborative and interdisciplinary project ‘The Road to Voting: On the Affective and Aesthetic Dimensions of Voting’ (2009–2011, University of Leeds). In 2010, I realized a 45 minute video essay on the affective ecologies of voting.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD University of Technology Chemnitz (2000)
  • MA Free University of Berlin (1994)
  • BA Augustana College, Ill. (1990)
  • HND Interactive Media, Leeds Arts University (2007)

Student education

I currently teach art and cultural history on the International Foundation Year Programme (Fine Art Pathway). I also teach an undergraduate module on utopianism at FAHACS.