Dr Helen Finch
- Position: Associate Professor in German
- Areas of expertise: Literature and the Holocaust; W. G. Sebald; H. G. Adler; Fred Wander; archives; cultural trauma; gender in German culture; queer studies in German culture; postcolonial German studies; cultural memory
- Email: H.C.Finch@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 3510
- Website: Twitter | ORCID
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 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
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:
- Nikolas Jan Preuschoff, Mit Walter Benjamin. Melancholie, Geschichte und Erzählen bei W G Sebald (Heidelberg: Winter-Verlag, 2015), Germanistik in Ireland (forthcoming)
- Espen Ingebrigtsen, Bisse ins Sacktuch. Zur mehrfachkodierten Intertextualität bei W.G. Sebald (Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2016), Monatshefte 110:2 (2018)
- Thomas Krämer, Die Poetik des Gedenkens. Zu den autobiographischen Romanen H. G. Adlers (Würzburg: Königshausen and Neumann, 2012), Modern Language Review Vol. 109, No. 1 (January 2014), 295-296
- Emily Jeremiah,Nomadic Ethics in Contemporary Women's Writing in German. Strange Subjects (Rochester: Camden House, 2012), Journal of Contemporary European Studies 21:3 (2013): 467-469
- Stephan Seitz, Geschichte als bricolage -- W.G. Sebald und die Poetik des Bastelns (Göttingen: V & R Unipress, 2011), Gegenwartsliteratur 12 (2013), 358
- John R.W. Speller, Bourdieu and Literature (OpenBook Publishers, 2012), Journal of Contemporary European Studies 20:4 (2012): 555-556.
- Gert Hofmann, Rachel MacShamhráin, Marko Pajevic & Michael Shields (eds), German and European Poetics after the Holocaust: Crisis and Creativity (Camden House, 2011), Forum for Modern Language Studies 48:4 (2012), 489.
- Markus Zisselsberger (ed.) The Undiscover'd Country. W.G. Sebald and the Poetics of Travel (Camden House, 2010), Journal of Contemporary European Studies 20:3 (2012), 410-412.
- J. J. Long, W. G. Sebald: Image, Archive, Modernity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), Studies in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature
- Monika Shafi, ed., Approaches to Teaching Grass's The Tin Drum (New York: MLA, 2008), Journal of European Studies 2009 39, pp. 256 - 258
- Günter Grass, Beim Häuten der Zwiebel, in Focus on German Literature 16
- Bruce Duncan, Goethe's Werther and the Critics (Camden House, 2005), in Goethe Yearbook 14, pp. 224-226
- Gisela Febel; Cerstin Bauer-Funke, eds. Menschen-Konstruktionen - Künstliche Menschen in Literatur, Film, Theater und Kunst des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts(Göttingen: Wallstein, 2004), in: Focus on German Literature, Summer 2005, pp. 164-167
- 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)
- Women in German Studies
- Association of German Studies in Britain and Ireland
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
- Centre for World Literatures