Associate Professor of German Studies
Head of Department
Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50388
Email: C dot E dot Achinger at warwick dot ac dot uk
H2.19, Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Christine Achinger studied Philosophy, Literature and Physics in Paris and Hamburg, where she was also involved in the non-commercial radio station FSK and in running the independent political library ‘Hamburger Studienbibliothek’, and worked at the concentration camp memorial site Hamburg-Neuengamme and in the ‘Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden’. An MA in ‘Gender and Ethnic Studies’ brought her to London. During that time, she investigated conceptions of the bourgeois subject and the modern state as reflected in Enlightenment debates on Jewish and female emancipation. She moved on to Nottingham to write a PhD on the intersection of constructions of race, class, gender, and nation in 19th century Germany as reflected in Gustav Freytag’s novel Soll und Haben (1855), and stayed at the University of Nottingham for another year as a Teaching Fellow. She joined the Department of German Studies at Warwick in September 2006. During the academic year 2013-14, she held a Research Fellowship at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and spent the winter terms 2009, 2012 and 2015 as a Visiting Scholar / Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago.
My research interests are in the areas of
- critical social theory and aesthetic theory
- constructions of gender, nation and race as part of capitalist modernity
- history and theories of antisemitism
- Holocaust memory in Germany
My current research investigates constellations of images of femininity and Jewishness at important junctures in modern German and Austrian history between the Enlightenment and the Fin de Siècle. The constructions of different kinds of 'others' can serve as a key to understanding changing concerns regarding modernity, identity and the boundaries of the national community. The project aims to move beyond an exclusive focus on the parallels and intersections of ideas of Jewishness and femininity, e.g. in the figure of the ‘beautiful Jewess’ or the stereotype of the ‘effeminate Jew’. By also investigating the often quite different or even complementary discursive roles played by these notions of alterity and their interrelations, I hope to contribute to a more three-dimensional picture of the social developments to which they respond.
I am also preparing an edited volume on The Dialectic of Enlightenment revisited with Helmut Schmitz (Warwick).
Teaching and supervision
- Germany and the Holocaust: Interpretations and Debates (Final year)
- The Writer and Imperial Germany 1871-1918 (Final year)
- German Culture in the Age of Revolution, 1789-1848 (2nd year)
- Modernity and its discontents (2nd year)
- The Changing Face of Germany in Film and Text (1st year)
- Languages and Cultures beyond Boundaries (Erasmus / Visiting students)
- Language: Modern German language 1 (1st year)
- I contribute to the MA core module German Cultural Studies
- Sisters in Arms? Female Participation in Leftist Political Violence in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1970 (PhD, completed)
- Israelkritik und Antisemitismus in der Bundesrepublik (1949 bis 2005) [Critique of Israel and antisemitism in the Federal Republic of Germany (1949 to 2005)] (PhD, in progress)
Administrative roles 2017-18
- Head of German Studies
- Dept. Director of Research (term 1)
- Personal Tutor
(for a more complete list click here.)
- Gespaltene Moderne. Gustav Freytags Soll und Haben - Nation, Geschlecht und Judenbild [Split modernity: Gustav Freytag's Debit and Credit - nation, gender and the image of the Jew], Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2007.
- Antisemitism, Racism and Islamophobia: Distorted Faces of Modernity, edited with Robert Fine, New York: Routledge, 2015.
Articles and chapters
- 'Unlikely neighbours? Social form and literary form in Lukács and theories of bourgeois Realism' [in preparation for New German Critique]
- '"Deutsche Arbeit" und die Poetisierung der Moderne', in Felix Axster and Nikolas Lelle (eds.), »Deutsche Arbeit«: Kritische Perspektiven auf ein ideologisches Selbstbild, Göttingen: Wallstein, 2018, pp. 251-282.
- 'Orientalism, Occidentalism and Colonialism in Freytag's Images of Jews and Poles', in Ulrike Brunotte, Jürgen Mohn and Christina Späti (eds.), Internal Outsiders - Imagined Orientals? Antisemitism, Colonialism and Modern Constructions of Jewish Identity, Würzburg: Ergon, 2017, pp. 99-110.
- ‚„Wer immer das jüdische Wesen haßt, der haßt es zunächst in sich“ – Otto Weininger als Theoretiker und Praktiker des Antisemitismus’ [“Whoever hates the Jewish character hates it first in himself” – Otto Weininger as Theorist and Practitioner of Antisemitism], in Hans-Joachim Hahn and Olaf Kistenmacher (eds.), Beschreibungsversuche der Judenfeindschaft. Zur Geschichte der Antisemitismusforschung vor 1944, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015, pp. 209-233.
- 'German Modernity, Barbarous Slavs and Profit-seeking Jews: The Cultural Racism of Nationalist Liberals' (with Marcel Stoetzler), Nations and Nationalism 19:4, 2013: 739–760.
- 'Allegories of Destruction: 'The Woman' and 'the Jew' in Otto Weininger's Geschlecht und Charakter', Germanic Review 88:2, 2013: 121-149.
- 'Threats to modernity, threats of modernity: Racism and antisemitism through the lens of literature’, European Societies 14:2, 2012: 240-258.
- 'Antisemitismus und "Deutsche Arbeit": Zur Selbstzerstörung des Liberalismus bei Gustav Freytag' [Antisemitism and "German Labour": On the self-destruction of Liberalism in Gustav Freytag'], in Nicolas Berg (ed.), Kapitalismusdebatten um 1900 - Über antisemitisierende Semantiken des Jüdischen, Leipzig, 2011, pp.361-388.
- ‘Evoking and Revoking Auschwitz: Kosovo, Remembrance and German National Identity’, in Ronit Lentin (ed.) Re-presenting the Shoah for the 21st Century, New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2004, pp.227-52
- ‘Colouring the Invisible: The construction of the “black drug dealer”’, in Birgit Tautz (ed.) Colors 1800/1900/2000: Signs of Ethnic Difference (Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik, vol. 56), Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004, pp. 233-54.
- ‘Engendering airwaves – Zur Konstruktion von Geschlecht im Radio’ [Engendering airwaves - on gender construction in radio] (with Dagmar Brunow, Janina Jentz and Regina Mühlhäuser), in Andreas Stuhlmann (ed.) Radio-Kultur und Hör-Kunst. Zwischen Avantgarde und Popularkultur 1923-2001, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2001, pp.24-38.
I am a member of the US German Studies Association, the UK Associations for German Studies and Women in German Studies, the US Association for Jewish Studies and the Britih Association for Jewish Studies.
- BSc equiv. Physics (Hamburg)
- BA equiv. Philosophy (Hamburg)
- MA Gender and Ethnic Studies (London)
- PhD German Studies (Nottingham)
Office hourIn term 1: Thursdays 2-3pm