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PhD in German Studies (P-R2P2)

German Studies at Warwick offers a high-calibre intellectual community for postgraduate students. We are always interested to receive enquiries about PhD applications and can offer research supervision on a wide range of topics. We also welcome applications from students whose native language is not necessarily English.

Students working in relevant areas may be selected for the European doctoral network, PhDnet "Literary and Cultural Studies" (Gießen, Bergamo, Graz, Helsinki, Lisbon, Stockholm and Warwick), which offers an intense programme of jointly organised symposia, conferences and master classes and makes it possible for participants to obtain a binational (German and British) degree. Students will study for a year at one of the partner institutions.

We are renowned nationally and internationally for our ‘cultural studies’ approach to the study of literature, film and other forms of cultural production. This means that we characteristically look at cultural production in the context of historical, social, and political developments, and have an interest in theoretical models which promote understanding of the relationship between cultural artefacts and their social and historical environment.

Our long-standing interdisciplinary collaborations with the Departments of Film and Television, Philosophy, and History, as well as French, Italian, English and Comparative Literature, and the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies enable us to offer a flexible study environment and excellent opportunities for expanding your field of knowledge beyond the discipline of German Studies and into inter-disciplinary fields.

We take the training of our PhD students very seriously and run events tailored to their needs. As well as being part of CADRE (The Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence) within the Faculty of Arts at Warwick, we have also been involved in international training initiatives, such as international collaborative project for postgraduate training in German Studies, which brought Warwick staff and students to a one-week workshop at the University of Michigan in 2012, and a second international workshop took place at the University of Warwick and in Berlin in May 2013. We also offered a postgraduate seminar as part of the Critical Time project, at Konstanz in May, 2014.

  • Find out what particular areas of expertise we can offer through our staff research interests.
  • Learn more about current PhD students in German Studies and some of the funding opportunities we can offer on our postgraduate community page.

Current and recently completed theses

  • State-related metaphors in Weimar Germany.
  • Female participation in leftist political violence in Germany.
  • The performance of embodied memory and identity and the ways in which women in the GDR experienced the 'Wende'.
  • Alfred Doeblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz and its film adaptations.
  • Reflexion von Autorschaft im Erzählwerk Elfriede Jelineks.
  • The European Film Fund: emigre and exile film artists in Hollywood.
  • Literary and Philosophical Representations of the Journey in German Romantic Culture.
  • Constellations: Authorship and Authority in Franz Kafka's Short Prose.
  • Representations of childhood in post-war German Cinema in the GDR.
  • Das Undarstellbare darstellen : Kulturkritik and the representation of difference in the works of Anne Duden.
  • The Doppelgänger in Wilhelmine cinema (1895-1914): modernity, audiences and identity in turn-of-the-century Germany.
  • Anarchitektur: Lektüren zur Architektur-Kritik in Franz Kafkas Erzählungen und Fragmenten.
  • The Poetry of Ernst Toller.
  • Hanns-Josef Ortheils Suche nach der poetischen Heimat.
  • Politics and Community in the Work of Heiner Müller.

Information and application

If you have a project that you would like us to consider, please contact the School Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Ingrid De Smet ( [at] Before submitting a scholarship application, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

22 Nov. 2019, 2-4.30 pm

SMLC Postgraduate Forum

Wolfson Research Exchange (Warwick University Library): open to all who are interested in PG study in Modern Languages at Warwick

To attend, please email