Dr Axel Stähler
Reader in Comparative Literature
- +44(0)1227 827288
Office: Cornwallis West G30
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-2pm
Before joining Comparative Literature at Kent in September 2007, I studied English and American culture and literature, German literature, and art history at the University of Bonn in Germany, where I completed my PhD in 1999 and my post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) in 2007. I taught at the Universities of Bonn and Bamberg, for Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and was co-ordinator of the international research project ‘Fundamentalism and Literature’ at the University of Münster. At the University of Bonn, I worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in a collaborative research project on Jewish-Christian interrelations.
Always looking to transcend the narrow boundaries of individual disciplines, the two most prominent and frequently interconnecting general threads informing my research are my particular interest in intermediality and the formation of identities, especially with respect to Jewish culture and literature. I have published widely on Jewish writers from the Anglophone and German-speaking diasporas and from Israel as well as on fundamentalism and literature, the eighteenth-century novel and early modern festival culture.
Among my most recent publications are The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction (2015; co-edited with David Brauner) which was awarded the ‘Association of Jewish Libraries’ Judaica Reference Award’ (2016); Writing Jews and Jewishness in Contemporary Britain (2015; co-edited with Sue Vice); Orientalism, Gender, and the Jews (2015; co-edited with Ulrike Brunotte and Anna-Dorothea Ludewig); and edited collections of articles on Jewish Magic Realism (2013) and on Anglophone Jewish Literature (2007) as well as a monograph on literary constructions of Jewish postcoloniality in fiction on the British Mandate for Palestine, Literarische Konstruktionen jüdischer Postkolonialität (2009). My most recent book, Zionism, the German Empire, and Africa, is forthcoming (2018).
I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, of the ICLA (International Comparative Literature Association) Research Committee on Religion, Ethics, and Literature, and of the international research networks British Jewish Contemporary Cultures and Gender in Antisemitism, Orientalism and Occidentalism (RENGOO; 2013–15).
Funded by a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, I am currently embarking on a new book project on ‘Jerusalem Destroyed: Literature, Art, and Music in Nineteenth-Century Europe’. The project proposes to interrogate representations of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70CE in relation to negotiations of Jewishness in nineteenth-century European cultural production. It encompasses primary material as diverse as drama and historical fiction, paintings, oratorios, operas, and libretti from Germany, Britain, and Italy. Each country produced a specific response to the subject which became manifest in distinctive narrative emphases and in preferences for different media and genres. Situating these developments in their respective cultural-historical, social, and political contexts, the project investigates the individual trajectories of the engagement with the destruction of Jerusalem against cross-cultural and transnational influences and similarities.back to top
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
I teach modules on the Shoah, on Jewish writing, on medieval literature, and on the Renaissance.back to top