We concentrate our research in three areas:
German pasts and futures / Vergangenheits- und Zukunftsbewältigung
Our strength is in researching the multifaceted ways in which Germans have imagined, remembered and come to terms with their pasts. Leeds has become a centre for transnational Holocaust memory studies.
- We have a particular interest in memory of German colonialism, the two world wars, the Holocaust, 1968, RAF terrorism and other traumatic pasts in a variety of genres and practices (film, literature, art, historiography).
- This focus on German and transnational Vergangenheitsbewältigung is complemented by an interest in the imaginations of German futures and utopian thinking (Zukunftsbewältigung).
Violence and Resistance / Peace and Reconciliation
We lead interdisciplinary and transnational research projects into the repercussions of violence in German and global history. These include
- German prisoners of war in Britain during World War I
- Women’s peace movements and female revolutionaries after World War I
- German protest movements from ‘1968’ to the Greens
- German terrorism in film; trauma and reconciliation in Germany and South Africa; film production in the former GDR.
German-speaking Cultures in the World / Borders and Cultural Exchange
We research the ways in which people, ideas and cultural products cross borders into and out of the German-speaking world. 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
- the translation of German-language literature and historical texts.
Impact and engagement
We are excited to work with and share our research with a wide range of community, arts and other partners. Recent and ongoing projects include:
- education and outreach with the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation and the Yorkshire Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association;
- projects on peace activism with Gateways to War Engagement Centre; Everyday Lives in War Engagement Centre; The Peace Museum Bradford;
- performance productions about revolutionary women and about the Holocaust with local companies including Bent Theatre Company, RJC Dance Company and Blah Blah Blah;
- a film production project in the former East German prison of Bautzen
- a travelling exhibition on 'Germany's Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context', displayed in the South African Holocaust and Genocide centres, the UK National Holocaust Centre, and many other locations in the UK, South Africa, the USA, and Ireland
- community engagement work including talks and archaeological digs surrounding the First World War prisoner of war camp in Skipton.
- Kiel Uprising: Women's activism and the German Revolution November 1918, AHRC 2017-2018 (Ingrid Sharp)
- ‘Mobilising Multidirectional Memory to Build More Resilient Communities in South Africa’, AHRC 2017-2018 (Stuart Taberner)
- Social Attitudes to Conscientious Objection with English Heritage, October 2016-2017 (Ingrid Sharp)
- Using Digital Tools to Challenge Xenophobia and Support International Development in South Africa, AHRC 2016-2018 (Paul Cooke, Stuart Taberner)
- Performing the Jewish Archive, AHRC 2014-18 (Helen Finch)
- Traumatic Pasts, Cosmopolitanism, and Nation-Building in Contemporary German and South African Literature, Leverhulme Trust 2014-2018 (Stuart Taberner)
- Cosmopolitan Memory in Literature from Germany and South Africa, British Academy, 2014-2018 (Stuart Taberner)
- AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with Imperial War Museum, AHRC 2014-2017 (Ingrid Sharp)
- Engaging Young Black Britons with the Relevance of The Holocaust, AHRC 2015-2016 (Stuart Taberner)
- ‘Kriegsgefangen in Skipton: History of a Local POW Camp’, University of Leeds Ignite 2015-2016 (Caroline Summers)
- ‘German-Language Literature and Transnationalism’, AHRC 2013-2016 (Stuart Taberner)
- Germany’s Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context, AHRC 2014-2015 (Stuart Taberner)
- Transnational Holocaust Memory: an international network (World University Network, 2014)
- ‘The politics of transmission of Holocaust testimony in the German cultural field’, AHRC 2013-14 (Helen Finch)
- Women's Organisations and Female Activists in the Aftermath of War: International Perspectives 1918-1923, AHRC 2012-2013 (Ingrid Sharp)
- Legacies of War 1914-18/2014-18, AHRC 2012-2013 (Ingrid Sharp)
- Difficult Pasts in Germany and South Africa (British Academy, 2012)
- ‘From Victims to Perpetrators - German Wartime Suffering’, AHRC 2005-2008 (Stuart Taberner)
- Centre for Translation Studies
- Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures
- Centre for World Literatures
- European Popular Musics
- Family Sagas in World Literatures and Audio-Visual Cultures
- The Eighteenth Century Studies Seminar
- Language at Leeds
- Using Digital Tools to Challenge Xenophobia and Support International Development in South Africa
- Using Film to Examine Heritage, Identity and Global Citizenship: supporting the work of the Bautzen Memorial to Engage New Audiences.