Dr Helen Finch

Dr Helen Finch


I am currently working on a book project entitled 'Holocaust Literature in German: Canon, Witness, Remediation'. My monograph on queer masculine identities in the works of W. G. Sebald, Sebald's Bachelors: Queer Resistance and the Unconforming Life, appeared with Legenda in 2013.

I am a member of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Transnational Holocaust Memory cluster, and a member of the Centre for Jewish Studies.

I was educated at the Universities of Dublin and Glasgow, and taught at the Universities of Ulster and Liverpool. I have been teaching at the University of Leeds since 2009, where I have held various teaching, leadership and research roles including Academic Fellow (2010-2014)  and Director of Student Education for the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies (2014-2017).



  • Research Leader for German, Russian and Slavonic Studies
  • UCU Rep for German
  • co-director of the Centre for World Literatures

Research interests

I am currently working  on  a  major  second  monograph,  entitled  'Holocaust  Literature  in  German:  Canon,  Witness,  Remediation'.  This  monograph focusses on the literary aftermath of witnessing in the wake of the Holocaust. It  examines  the  transnational  literary  careers  of  five German-Jewish  literary  witnesses  to  the  Holocaust,  looking  at  the  way  that  canonisation,  exclusion  from  the  canon,  and  a  lifetime  of  witnessing  are  reflected  in  their later literary  work. I am  also  currently  completing  an  article  about  the  comparative  politics  of  memory  and  the  postcolonial  city  in  German  and  South  African  novels.  My next  research  project  will  examine  contemporary  cultural  responses  to  the  German  colonial  past  in  Germany,  America  and  Namibia, exploring particularly queer and feminist responses.

Recent postgraduate projects supervised include:

Alexandru Bar: "The double identity of Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco - the archives of an identity issue" ( Performing the Jewish Archive Project PhD Student 2015-2018)

John March: "German Exile Photographers in Britain 1933-45" (MAR 2014-2017)

Dr Finch welcomes approaches from students interested in researching the following areas:

  • Comparative literature that includes a German element
  • The representation of the Holocaust in culture
  • Queer identities and poetics in German culture
  • Gender and politics in German literature
  • The works of W. G. Sebald and H. G. Adler

Book reviews include:

<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>


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2014)
  • PhD in German literature (Trinity College Dublin)
  • M. Phil in Modern German Thought (University of Glasgow)
  • B. A. in German and Russian (Trinity College Dublin)

Professional memberships

  • Women in German Studies
  • Association of German Studies in Britain and Ireland

Student education

I teach German cultural studies at all levels, and contribute to cross-School and cross-Faculty modules on world literature, the representation of the Shoah, translation, and visual culture.

Research groups and institutes

  • German
  • Conflict
  • Centre for World Literatures

Current postgraduate research students

<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="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>