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Dr James Hodkinson

Reader in German

Tel: +44 (0)24 7615 0387/ Internal: 50387
Email: j dot r dot hodkinson at warwick dot ac dot uk

Room: FAB 4.55 (Faculty of Arts Building)
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL


Dr James Hodkinson is Reader in German in Warwick's SMLC, where he has worked since 2006. He has taught German language, literature, intellectual history, and culture at a range of universities in the UK and Ireland since 1996, and has been a visiting scholar at Monash University in Melbourne, Stockholms Universitet, Sweden, and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

James is a specialist in German culture from eighteenth century to the present, with particular interests in Islam, religion and (post)secular modernity, and in the growing field of sound studies. He has also been working on different forms of public engagement, engagement-led research methodologies, and 'impact' projects since 2016. He teaches a wide range of undergraduate courses, supervises research at MA, PhD and post-doctoral levels, and holds a number of key administrative roles in German Studies and across the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. Between 2017-19 he was Head of German Studies.

Research interests

James has published widely in the following fields:

  • cultural representations of Islam in Germanophone thought, scholarship, literature and visual culture, from the Enlightenment to the present;
  • religion in contemporary societies and the 'postsecular' turn; religion in modern, German-speaking Europe;
  • the role and representation of sound and music across modern German Culture from 1800 to the present; German Popular music; sound studies and the 'sonic turn' in the arts and humanities;
  • 18th-19th century German culture; German Romanticism, its historical context, modern and postmodern receptions; constructions of gender in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century thought and literature.

Between 2010-14 James founded and managed an international research network dedicated to engaging in ongoing debates surrounding nineteenth-century cultural representations of East-West encounters: read more about the international Occident-Orient Research Network here.

In 2016 he co-founded the German Pop Music Studies network together with Dr Uwe Schütte (Aston), which is dedicated to bringing this field into the heart of teaching and research agendas in UK German Studies.

Public Engagement

James is a practitioner, innovator, and leader in the university's culture of public engagement. He continues to work on projects that not only deliver demonstrable impact, but also seek to re-think the relationship between academia, artistic practice, and community: find out more about his research and innovation projects here.

James was made a Foundation Fellow of Warwick's Institute of Engagement in 2020, and currently chairs the Co-Producing Research and Collaborating with Communities Learning Circle, which has set up and runs the Collaboration and Co-Production funding stream within the university: in 2022 he won and WAPCE award for his work.

James was awarded funding by the competitive Warwick Impact Fund three times since 2015, and once by Warwick's Public Engagement Fund, to investigate, design, and deliver a major public engagement programme based on his research into Islam in German and Austrian Culture, and leading to an impact case study rated 3.5-4* in the REF 2020. The project was entitled Re-imagining Islam: From Alterity to Empathy.

Since 2020, James has sat on the board of the Birmingham arts collective Soul City Arts. This role, especially his working relationship with creative director Mohammed Ali MBE, has helped him to deliver a range of projects reaching and benefitting diverse communities in the Midlands, nationally, and in Australia. Recently he led a successful bid to the UKRI Enhancing Research Culture Fund to work on the Waswasa project attached to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022: James's programme looks beyond impact to explore how research itself can be co-produced with community stakeholders.

James played in leading role in setting up the DeutschZusammen network, which is a non-hierarchical, collaborative and creative project designed to broker new relationships, new ways of working, and mutual enrichment between school teachers of German and colleagues teaching and researching German at Warwick.

Research Supervision:

  • James mentored Dr Julia Hartley, Leverhulme Early Research Career Fellow, on her project on Francophone literary representations of Persia during the long nineteenth-century.
  • James is co-supervisor of Hannah Roberts' PhD on Clara Schumann's performance and music pedagogy, together with Professors Chris Dingle and Sian Derry (BCU)
  • James has co-supervised two PhD theses on the "Image of the Female Singer in French and German Literature around 1800" and the "Synergy of Music and Death in German Romantic Literature," and supervised Dr Brian Haman's PhD on "Literary Representations of the Journey in German Romantic Prose", successfully to completion.
  • James welcomes interest from potential researchers seeking to work with him, either collaboratively or in a supervisory capacity. He has examined PhDs, both nationally and internationally.

Administrative roles

  • Director of Recruitment and Admissions, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and in German.
  • External examiner in the fields of German Studies, Translation Studies (Masters level) and Comparative Literature at three UK universities to date.
  • Head of German (2017-19).
  • Director of Widening Participation, School of Modern Languages and Cultures (2018-19).
  • Director of Academic Communications, SMLC.
  • Examinations Secretary, Admissions Officer and Director of Graduate Studies in German Studies.

Recent publications

Full list of publications here.

Professional associations

  • Soul City Arts, Birmingham
  • Internationale Novalis Gesellschaft
  • German Studies Association of America
  • Association of German Studies, GB.
  • German Studies Association of Ireland


  • BA (Dunelm)
  • PhD (Trinity College Dublin)
  • PGCE (Liverpool)

Advice and Feedback Times

During term 1 of 2022-23 (Autumn Term) I am able to see students for face-to-face appointments in my office between 11 and 12 noon on a Tuesday. I can also see students via Teams at other times: please email to confirm appointments.


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