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). 



  • Programme Manager for JH programmes inĀ Languages and Cultures & Arts.
  • 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.

Recent postgraduate projects supervised include:

Dominic O'Key: "Creaturely Forms: Encounters with Animality in W. G. Sebald, J. M. Coetzee, and Mahasweta Devi" (PhD 2016-2019)

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
  • Centre for World Literatures
  • Centre for Jewish Studies
  • Gender
  • Literary studies
  • Memory, Trauma and Violence

Current postgraduate researchers

<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>