Stuart Taberner


I was educated at the University of Cambridge (BA and Ph.D.) and the University of Chicago (MA). I worked at the University of Bristol from 1996–2000. I joined the department in Leeds in August 2000. Since arriving in Leeds I have also completed an MA in Modern Jewish Studies. I was promoted to Professor in 2005.

I am currently Director of the University’s Horizons Institute, where I work across all faculties to promote and shape interdisciplinary and collaborative research to address global challenges.

I am a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Advisory Board. I am regularly asked to advise UKRI, government departments, and other bodies on issues relating to science and research policy, research and global development, and international engagement.

I have been Head of Department, Director of the Leeds Humanities Research Institute, Chair of the Modern Languages Panel for the White Rose Doctoral College, and Head of the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts, amongst other school, faculty, and university responsibilities. I have also served on the A Level Curriculum Advisory Board for Modern Languages, the Consortium of Institutes of Advanced Studies Board, and on the Institute of Modern Languages Languages Advisory Committee, as well as other national roles relating to modern languages and arts and humanities teaching and research.

In 2022, I started an AHRC Fellowship to complete a book on contemporary German Jewish literature, including Olga Grjasnowa, Vladimir Vertlib, Benjamin Stein, Maxim Biller, Adriana Altaras, Katja Petrowskaja, Sasha Salzmann, Dmitrij Kapitelman, Barbara Honigmann, and others.

In 2023, I started an AHRC Major Research Project on Rethinking Holocaust Literature: Contexts, Canons, Circulations. This project brings together an international team of more than 40 researchers to reevaluate Holocaust Literature across a range of Jewish and non-Jewish languages and geographies. 

Research Impact, Work with External Partners, and Public Engagement

In my role as Director of International and Interdisciplinary Research at UK Research and Innovation, 2016-2018, I worked with NGOs, international organisations such as UNDP, overseas agencies and governments, and UK government departments, to develop interdisciplinary research programmes with impact on global development and global challenges more broadly, including climate change, resilience, sustainable growth and employment, sustainable food production and clean water, urbanisation, energy, migration and forced displacement. From 2018-2022, I was Pincipal Investigator on PRAXIS. This was a £1m AHRC-funded project to extract learning, impact and policy relevance from around 200 Global Challenges Research Fund projects within the AHRC’s portfolio. PRAXIS worked with major international bodies such as UNESCO and UNDP, to maximise the impact of GCRF research for the SDGs, especially in relation to heritage, conflict, and global health. We also worked with government departments such as DCMS, with the British Council, and many overseas partners.

I have received 'follow-on' funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to develop impact and public and engagement activities primarily relating to my work on the transnational circulation of the memory of the Holocaust. In 2013, I developed a travelling exhibition, Germany's Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context, with the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation. The exhibition was displayed in the South African Holocaust and Genocide centres in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, the UK National Holocaust Centre, and schools, universities, museums, galleries and public libraries in the UK, South Africa, the USA, and Ireland. In 2014, I received AHRC funding to work with RJC Dance, a Dance company working with young people in North Leeds, to develop a dance performance based on aspects of the Holocaust. Between 2018-present I have receive further funding to work  extensively with Arts organisations in the UK and South Africa to work with young people to develop leadership skills and human rights awareness across the African continent.

I have also given many talks in schools, universities, galleries, museums, and so on, on aspects of German culture, history and society, and especially on the implications of the Holocaust for contemporary debates on racism and discrimination, the right to asylum, and refugees.

Along with this, I have also written for the press in the UK and South Africa, and given TV and radio interviews in both countries. With Dorothea Heiser, I edited a book of translations of poems written by inmates of the concentration camp at Dachau. This book, My Shadow in Dachau, appeared in late 2014.


Teaching Publications

  • Edition of Bernhard Schlink's Der Vorleser for Schools and Universities, with a 25 page introduction, notes, vocabulary and 'Fragen zum Text' (London: Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd 2002)
  • 'The Morality of Loving a Concentration Camp Guard. Teaching Bernhard Schlink's Der Vorleser', Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen, 25 (Spring 2002), 3–8
  • 'Alice in den Städten (Alice in the Cities)', in Jill Forbes and Sarah Street (eds.), European Cinema (London: Palgrave, 2000)
  • 'Das Versprechen (The Promise)', in Jill Forbes and Sarah Street (eds.), European Cinema (London: Palgrave, 2000)
  • 'Playing with Fire: Teaching Max Frisch's Biedermann und die Brandstifter', Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen, September 1998


Edited Volumes

Special Editions of Journals

  • 'Emerging German Writers', German Life and Letters, with Frank Finlay, 55:2 (2002)
  • 'Transnational Cultural Capital', Comparative Critical Studies, with Frauke Matthes, (2015)

Journal Articles

  • 'Worldliness, Jewish Purpose, and the Non-Jewish Jewish Narrator in Olga Grjasnowa’s Der verlorene Sohn (2020)’, Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, 58:4 (2022), 424-45.
  • 'Redemption through Sin: Benjamin Stein's Das Alphabet Des Rabbi Löw and the Heretical Dynamism of Contemporary German Jewish Literature and Identity’, The Modern Language Review, 116:3 (2021), 462–84.
  • 'Rearticulations of German Jewish Identity in Adriana Altaras's titos brille and Dmitrij Kapitelman's Das Lächeln meines unsichtbaren Vaters’, German Studies Review, 44:2 (2021), 359–77.
  • ‘Narrative and Empathy: The 2015 “Refugee Crisis” in Vladimir Veetlib’s Viktor hilft and Olga Grjasnowa’s Gott ist nicht schüchtern’, German Llife and Letters, 74 (2021), 247–62.
  • 'Towards a “Pragmatic Cosmopolitanism”: Rethinking Solidarity with Refugees in Olga Grjasnowa's Gott ist nicht schüchtern’, Modern Language Review, 114:4 (2019), 819–40.
  • 'Memories of German Wartime Suffering: Russian Migrant Nellja Veremej’s Berlin liegt im Osten in Context', Monatshefte, 110:3 (2018), 406–27.
  • 'The Possibilities and Pitfalls of a Jewish Cosmopolitanism. Reading Natan Sznaider through Russian-Jewish Writer Olga Grjasnowa’s German-language Novel Der Russe ist einer, der Birken liebt (All Russians Love Birch Trees)', European Review of History: Revue europenne d'histoire, 23:05-06 (2016), 912–30.
  • 'Some Reflections on The Passing of Gnter Grass (1927-2015)', German Studies Review, 38:3 (2015), 483–9.
  • 'The Meaning of The Nazi Past in The Post-postwar: Recent Fiction by Gnter Grass, Christa Wolf and Martin Walser', Seminar, 50:2 (2014), 161–77
  • 'Memory, Cosmopolitanism and Nation: Christa Wolf's Stadt der Engel and J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace', Comparative Critical Studies, 11:1 (2014), 49–67
  • ‘Was gesagt werden muss: Gnter Grass's ‘Israel/Iran Poem of April 2012', 65:4 (2012), 518–31
  • 'Transnationalism in Contemporary German-language Writing by Non-Minority Writers', Seminar, 47:5 (2011), 624–46
  • 'Literature and Unification. Gnter Grass's Im Krebsgang, Feridun Zaimoglu's German Amok, and Daniel Kehlmann's Die Vermessung der Welt', Literatur fr Leser, 33:2 (2010), 23–38
  • '"Kann schon sein, da in jedem Buch von ihm etwas Egomäiges rauszufinden ist": "Political" Private Biography and "Private" Private Biography in Gnter Grass's Die Box' (2008), German Quarterly, 82:4 (2009), 504–21.
  • 'From Luther to Hitler? 'Ordinary Germans', National Socialism and Germany's Cultural Heritage in F. C. Delius's Bildnis der Mutter als junge Frau', German Life and Letters, 61:3 (2008), 386–397
  • 'Private Failings and Public Virtues: Guenter Grass's Beim Haueten der Zwiebel and the Exemplary Use of Authorial Biography', Modern Language Review, 103:1 (2008), 144–154
  • 'Germans, Jews and Turks in Maxim Biller's Novel Esra', The German Quarterly, 79:2 (2006), 234–248
  • 'Philo-Semitism in Recent German Film: Aimee und Jaguar, Rosenstrasse and Das Wunder von Bern', German Life and Letters, 58:3 (2005), 357–372
  • 'German Nostalgia? Remembering German-Jewish Life in W. G. Sebald's Die Ausgewanderten and Austerlitz',The Germanic Review, 79:3 (2004), 181–202
  • 'Nichts lät man uns, nicht einmal den Schmerz, und eines Tages wird alles vergessen sein': The Novels of Arnold Stadler from Ich war einmal to Ein hinreissender Schrotthändler', Neophilologus, 87:1 (2003), 119–132
  • 'Hans-Ulrich Treichel's Der Verlorene and the Problem of German Wartime Suffering', The Modern Language Review, 97:1 (2002), 123–134
  • 'A New Modernism of "Neue Lesbarkeit"? - Hybridity in Georg Klein's Libidissi', German Life and Letters, 55:2 (2002), 137–148
  • 'Introduction' to special edition of German Life and Letters on 'Emerging German Writers', with Frank Finlay, 55:2 (2002), 131–136
  • '"Normalization" and the New Consensus on the Nazi Past: Gnter Grass's Im Krebsgang and the "Problem" of German Wartime Suffering', Oxford German Studies, 31 (2002), 161–186
  • 'The Final Taboo?: Philosemitism, the Meinungsindustrie, and the New Right in Martin Walser's Ohne Einander', Seminar, 37:2 (2001), 154–166
  • 'A Manifesto For Germany's 'New Right'? - Martin Walser, The Past, Transcendence, Aesthetics, And Ein Springender Brunnen', German Life and Letters, 53:1 (2000), 126–141
  • 'The Writer's Fascination with Power: Stefan Heym's Der Knig David Bericht', Neophilologus, 84 (2000), 271–283.
  • '"Die Uniformen kannte er nur aus Filmen": The influence of popular fiction and film on western images of the GDR in Uwe Johnson's Das Dritte Buch ber Achim', Internationales Forum fr Uwe Johnson-Studien, Band 8 (2000), 9–25.
  • '"sowas läuft nur im Dritten Programm": Winning Over the Audience for Political Engagement in Gnter Grass's Kopfgeburten oder Die Deutschen sterben aus', Monatshefte, 91:1 (1999), 84–100.
  • '"Wie schn wäre Deutschland, wenn man sich noch als Deutscher fhlen und mit Stolz als Deutscher fhlen knnte": Martin Walser's Reception of Victor Klemperer's Tagebcher 1933-1945 in Das Prinzip Genauigkeit and Die Verteidigung der Kindheit', Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift, 73:4 (1999), 710–732
  • 'Martin Walser's Halbzeit: Stylizing Private History for Public Consumption', The Modern Language Review, 92:4 (1997), 912–923
  • 'Feigning the Anaesthetization of Literary Inventiveness: Gnter Grass's rtlich betäubt and the Public Responsibility of the Politically Engaged Author', Forum for Modern Language Studies, 34:1 (1997), 69–81
  • 'Authenticity and Nostalgia: Edgar Reitz's Heimat as Tourism and Folk Museum', New German Studies (1997)
  • 'Martin Walser's Die Gallistl'sche Krankheit: Self-Reflexivity as Illness', German Life and Letters, 49:3 (1996), 358–372

Chapters in Books

  • ‘Contrite Germans?’, in Rebecca Braun and Benedict Schofield, eds, Transnational German Studies (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020), 307–21
  • '(Non-Jewish) German Constructions of (German-)Jewish Writing in The Late Work of Günter Grass, Martin Walser, and Christa Wolf’, in Katja Garloff and Agnes Mueller, eds, German Jewish Literature after 1990 (Camden House: Rochester, 2018), 38–59
  • 'Transnationalism and Cosmopolitanism: Literary World-building in the Twenty-First Century', in Taberner, Carrie Smith-Prei and Elisabeth Herrmann, eds., Transnationalism in Contemporary German-language Literature (Rochester: Camden House, 2015)
  • 'Arnold Stadler: Eine Poetik des Glaubens', in: Alo Allkemper, Norbert Otto Eke and Hartmut Steinecke, eds. Poetologische Intwerventionen, (Mnchen: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2012), 273–86
  • 'Performing Jewishness in the New Germany: Vladmir Vertlib's Das besondere Gedächtnis der Rosa Masur', in: Stuart Taberner and Lyn Marven, eds., Emerging German-language Novelists of the 21st Century (Rochester: Camden House, 2011), 32–45
  • 'Introduction', in: Stuart Taberner, ed., The Novel in German Since 1990 (Cambridge: CUP, August 2011), 1–18
  • 'Daniel Kehlmann's Die Vermessung der Welt', in: Stuart Taberner, ed., The Novel in German Since 1990 (Cambridge: CUP, August 2011), 201–220
  • 'The Art of Delay: Protest and Prose in F. C. Delius's Mein Jahr als Mrder', in: Brigid Haines, Stephen Parker, Colin Riordan (eds.), Aesthetics and Politics in Modern German Culture. Festschrift in Honour of Rhys W. Williams (Bern: Peter Lang, 2010)
  • 'Introduction', in: Stuart Taberner (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Gnter Grass (Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 2009), 1–9
  • 'Gnter Grass's Peeling the Onion', in: Stuart Taberner (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Gnter Grass (Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 2009), 139–50
  • 'Introduction', in: Stuart Taberner and Karina Berger (eds.), Germans as Victims in the Literary Fiction of the Berlin Republic (Rochester: Camden House, 2009), 1–14
  • 'Memory-Work in Recent German Novels: What (if Any) Limits Remain on Empathy with the "German Experience" of the Second World War?', in: Stuart Taberner and Karina Berger (eds.), Germans as Victims in the Literary Fiction of the Berlin Republic (Rochester: Camden House, 2009), 205–18
  • 'Introduction', in: Stuart Taberner (ed.), Contemporary German Fiction: Writing in the Berlin Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), xi–xx
  • 'West German Writing', in: Stuart Taberner (ed.), Contemporary German Fiction: Writing in the Berlin Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 72–90
  • 'Narratives of Expulsion in Contemporary German Writing', in Helmut Schmitz (ed.), Discources of 'German Wartime Suffering', German Monitor (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007), 224–46
  • 'Representations of German Wartime Suffering in Recent Fiction', in: Bill Niven (ed.), German Wartime Suffering (London: Palgrave, 2006), 164–180
  • 'Introduction', with Paul Cooke, in: Paul Cooke and Stuart Taberner (eds.), German Culture, Politics and Literature into the Twenty-First Century: Beyond Normalization (Rochester: Camden House, 2006), 1–15
  • 'German Fiction in the Age of Globalisation', in: Paul Cooke and Stuart Taberner (eds.), German Culture, Politics and Literature into the Twenty-First Century: Beyond Normalization (Rochester: Camden House, 2006), 209–21
  • 'The Triumph of Subjectivity: Martin Walser's Novels of the 1990s and his Der Lebenslauf der Liebe (2001)', in: Stuart Taberner (ed.) Stuart Parkes and Fritz Wefelmeyer (eds.), Martin Walser, German Monitor, 60:1 (2005), 429–45
  • '"sehnschtig-traurig und unerlst": Memory's Longing to Forget. Or Why Tristanakkord is Not Simply A Reprise of Martin Walser', in: David Basker, ed., Hans-Ulrich Treichel (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2004), 79–93
  • 'The German Province in the Age of Globalisation - Botho Strauss, Arnold Stadler and Hans-Ulrich Treichel', German Literature in the Age of Globalisation (Birmingham: Birmingham University Press, 2004), 89–110
  • 'Introduction', in: German Literature in the Age of Globalisation (Birmingham: Birmingham University Press, 2004), 1–24
  • '"Wie kannst du mich lieben?": "Normalising" the Relationship between Germans and Jews in the 1990s' Films Aime und Jaguar and Meschugge', in: William Niven and James Jordan (eds.), Politics and Culture in Twentieth-Century Germany ( Rochester: Camden House, 2003), 227–44
  • 'Introduction', in: Stuart Taberner and Frank Finlay (eds.), Recasting German Identity (Rochester: Camden House, 2002), 1–15
  • 'A Matter of Perspective?: Martin Walser's Fiction in the 1990s', in: East and West German Responses to Unification, Martin Kane (ed.) (Bern: Peter Lang, 2002), 149–65
  • '"ob es sich bei diesem Experiment um eine gescheiterte Utopie oder um ein Verbrechen gehandelt hat": Enlightenment, Utopia, the GDR and National Socialism in Monika Maron's Work From Flugasche to Pawels Briefe', in: Carol Costabile-Heming, Rachel Halverson, Kristie Foell (eds.), Textual Responses to German Unification (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter Verlag, 2001), 35–57
  • '"Die Deutsche Geschichte darf auch einmal gutgehen": Martin Walser, Auschwitz, and the "German Question" from Ehen in Philippsburg to Ein Springender Brunnen', in: Helmut Schmitz (ed.), The Future of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), 45–64
  • 'Preface', with Clare Flanagan, in: 1949/1989: Cultural Perspectives in East and West, German Monitor, Stuart Taberner and Clare Flanagan (eds.) (Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 2000), i–vi
  • 'Fictional Reflections on the Gruppe 47 in Martin Walser's Kristlein Trilogy', The Gruppe 47 Fifty Years on. A Reappraisal of its Literary and Political Significance, German Monitor, Stuart Parkes and J.J White (eds.) (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999), 139–57


Grants and Collaborative Work

  • AHRC Additional Funding to develop impact from the AHRC's Global Challenges Research Fund portfolio, 2019–2022. See PRAXIS.
  • AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund, 'Mobilising Multidirectional Memory to Build More Resilient Communities in South Africa', 2016–2018
  • AHRC Follow-on Funding for Impact, 'Working with RJC Dance on a Holocaust Performance', 2015–2016
  • Leverhulme Trust Major Research Grant, 'Traumatic Pasts, Cosmopolitanism, and Nation-Building in Contemporary German and South African Literature', 2015–2018
  • British Academy International Networks Award, 'Contemporary Literature from Germany and South Africa: Critiquing the Narrativization of Trauma as Nation-Building', 2015–2018
  • AHRC Follow-on Funding for Impact, 'Germany's Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context', 2013–2014
  • AHRC Fellowship, Transnationalism in Contemporary German-language Literature, 2013–2014
  • Leverhulme Trust Fellowship, Aging and Old-Age Style in The Work of Gnter Grass, Ruth Klger, Christa Wolf and Martin Walser, 2011–12
  • Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Award for Henry Tietzch-Tyler, November 2008–November 2009
  • MHRA award for The German Novel since 1990
  • British Academy Award for The Cambridge Companion to Gnter Grass, August 2007
  • October 2005-October 2008 - Principal Investigator, Major AHRC award on 'Discourses on German Wartime Suffering'
  • July 2005-August 2006 - British Academy Grant for work on Contemporary German Fiction: Writing in the Berlin Republic
  • February 2004-August 2004 - AHRB research leave award, for German Literature of the 1990s and Beyond
  • July 2002-April 2003 - British Academy grant for German Literature in the Age of Globalisation
  • May 2002-May 2005 - British Academy Networks grant, for work on Politics and Literature into the Twenty-First Century: Beyond Normalization
  • June 2000-August 2001 - British Academy Grant for work on German Literature of the 1990s and Beyond
  • February 1998-January 1999 - Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Fellowship, with subsequent awards, for German Literature of the 1990s and Beyond


Research interests

  • German writers and intellectuals after 1945
  • German literature after 1989
  • literature and ageing
  • Jewish Studies, especially German Jewish literature
  • transnationalism
  • Holocaust Studies
  • confronting traumatic pasts in Germany and South Africa, and the mobilisation of traumatic pasts for contemporary human rights discourses and discourses of cosmopolitanism
  • conflict, migration and forced displacement globally

My research focuses on the relationships between politics and writing, the role of the German intellectual in the period after 1945, and literature after 1989. I have written on the Holocaust, its impact on post-unification Germany, 'normalisation' and national identity, and relationships between Germans and Jews, as expressed in film, literature and intellectual debate.

I have also written on 'ageing' in contemporary German-language literature in the course of a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship. My book Aging and Old-Age Style in Günter Grass, Ruth Klüger, Christa Wolf, and Martin Walser appeared in late 2013, and a monograph Transnationalism and German-language Literature in the 21st Century appeared in 2017. This book examines minority and non-minority writers as engaging with current debates on terrorism, migration, refugees, mobility and cosmopolitanism.

In 2018, I completed Leverhulme Trust Major Research Project on German and South African writing after German unification in 1990 and the end of apartheid in 1994. The project title is 'Traumatic Pasts, Cosmopolitanism, and Nation-Building in Contemporary German and South African Literature', 2015-2018. I also completed a related British Academy project on 'Contemporary Literature from Germany and South Africa: Critiquing the Narrativization of Trauma as Nation-Building'. This project was done in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Cape Town.

I also have a strong interest in the relevance of Arts and Humanities Research for global development and the Sustainable Development Goal, and in science and research for the SDGs more generally.

I am currently working on new book project on German Jewish writing since 1990.


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

Student education

I would be delighted to offer postgraduate supervision in the following areas:

  • German-language literature since 1945
  • German-language literature since unification
  • German-language literature and transnationalism
  • Germany since 1990: literature, politics and society
  • writing by 'minority' authors
  • questions of German 'normalisation', globalisation, nation and identity, particularly in relation to German-language literature
  • ageing, late style and old-age style in contemporary German writing
  • transnationalism in recent German fiction

I am especially keen to supervise on contemporary German Jewish writing. I am also happy to supervise dissertations on world literatures and comparative literatures, where there is a German-language component.

Current and completed Ph.Ds

  • Maya Caspari - world literatures, memory and trauma
  • Rebecca Macklin - South African and Native American literature
  • Jade Douglas - German minority writers, memory and the anthropocene
  • Dominic O' Key - Coetzee and Sebald
  • Ian Ellison - Sebald and Maurias
  • Daniela Wegrostek - Holocaust centres in the UK and South Africa
  • Adam Roberts - Hermann Hesse 
  • Neale Cunningham - Hermann Hesse 
  • Corinne Painter - The Life and Works of Clementine Krämer 1873–1942 
  • Elizabeth Ward - Jews and the Holocaust in GDR Cinema 
  • Anja Henebury - Contemporary German Literature and Theories of Trauma 
  • Richard Boffey - Cultural Memory and German Concentration Camps 
  • Karina Berger - Literary Representations of German Wartime suffering 
  • Kirsten Harder - The Reactionary Fiction of Martin Mosebach 
  • Giles Harrington - Contemporary German Pop Literature 

Research groups and institutes

  • German
  • History
  • Literary studies
  • Centre for World Literatures
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>