Forschergruppe Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft

The Research Group German Literature has a strong and continuous record in promoting doctoral dissertations and attracting research funding: it is host to a considerable amount of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. The German Department as a whole is the largest of its kind in the Benelux and provides courses and tutoring for over 250 students of German.

The Research Group German Literature at Ghent University specializes in an approach that focuses on the internal dynamics of the literary text as well as on its cultural-historical functioning. The central domains of research include, among others,

  • the encyclopedic and documentary literature in (early) modern and contemporary German literature,
  • the combinatorics of affects and the production of knowledge in 18th and 19th century literature
  • narrativity in Nietzsche's work,
  • virtual spaces in contemporary prose on Berlin,
  • travel literature,
  • Nietzsche and Girard,
  • the function of the tragic in Paul Ernst's work,
  • an edition project on Gottfried Benn,
  • an analysis of the refusal to act in Wilhelm Genazino, Robert Walser, Georges Perec,
  • the narrative function of rhetorical tropes,
  • the function of humor and intertextualiteit in Thomas Brussig, 
  • the development of supranational cultural identities in German literature between 1870 and 1933.

Previous projects were devoted to the usage of literary style, figurativity and narrativity by Nietzsche, to authors of literary (post)modernism, contemporary German and Austrian literature, and the interaction between literature and philosophy. In terms of research methodology, priority is given to a close (hermeneutic) reading of texts in combination with the theoretical reflection of the preconditions of such a reading (rhetoric, narratology, reception theory). Collaborative research projects are currently devoted to the impact of literary theory on children's literature and young adult fiction; negativity; etc. 

The Department provides access to an excellent Library (with approximately 1000 new books added every year) and to a large academic network, including international student and staff exchanges. We also conduct interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with classical studies, English studies, philosophy, history, theology, etc. The Research Group regularly hosts visiting Fellows and scholars from abroad and is involved in international research collaborations with researchers abroad (Hamburg, Basel, Zürich, London, Oulu, Leiden, Nijmegen).

Duitse Letterkunde UGent

(hintere Reihe): Marcus Hahn, Nico Theisen, Thorsten Ries, Thijs Festjens, Tobias Hermans, Christine Kanz, Benjamin Biebuyck, Gunther Martens

(mittlere Reihe): Daniela Dora, Maaike Van Liefde, Saartje Gobyn, Helena Elshout

(vordere Reihe): Deborah Van den Brande, Wendy Lelièvre, Carolin Benzing, Leen Bruijneel, Zoë Ghyselinck

New Publications

Past and future conferences


Individual research projects are documented online: