German PhD

Major code: GEPR


German research interests in MLC focus in depth on the twentieth century and contemporary period from a broad range of cultural, historical and linguistic perspectives. Colleagues in German are actively involved in cross-departmental research groups and contribute to supervision across a wide range of interdisciplinary or multilingual topics. 

Subject Overview

We would particularly welcome proposals for postgraduate study in German in the following areas in which we have substantial expertise:

  • Cultural history of the 20th Century: Memory practice and especially musealisation of National Socialism and the GDR; Cultural politics and artistic practice in the German dictatorships; Images and memories of 1968; Periodical culture, especially literary and political magazines
  • Contemporary late 20th and 21st-century literature and film, including writing by women and non-native speakers of German; Berlin literature in German and English; Representations of the military in film and literature; Literature of the fantastic and unreal; Autobiography/life-writing 
  • German sociolinguistics and pedagogy, in particular allochthonous and autochthonous minority languages; Emerging German varieties – multi-ethnic, urban and youth varieties; Language policies and language change; Trends in German language teaching
  • Translation studies, especially sociological approaches and literary translation. Please see also our PhD in Translation for further details

German Studies within the department of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLC) at the University of Liverpool invites applications for postgraduate study through the AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP). For more information on how to apply, see:

Subject Outline

Current and recently awarded PhDs supervised by members of staff in German include:

  • Form and Function of the Eighteenth-Century Austrian Manuscript Recipe Book in a European Context.
  • Remembering 17 June 1953: Memories and Awareness of the Uprising of 17 June 1953 amongst Ordinary Citizens of Magdeburg
  • German-speaking emigre atomic scientists and British nuclear culture, 1939-1958 - the cases of Klaus Fuchs and Rudolf Peierls
  • Urban governmentality in post-dictatorship Berlin
  • Narratives of resistance in museums of National Socialism and the GDR
  • Alternative art galleries in Poland and the GDR in the 1970s
  • The history of the Johannes R Becher Literaturinstitut, Leipzig
  • The Anglophone Author-Function of Christa Wolf
  • Berlin in English-language Fiction, 1989-2009: Spatial Representation and the Dynamics of Memory


Key Facts

REF 2014
72% of our publications were rated 4* and 3* (world leading and internationally excellent), which ranks Liverpool Modern Languages and Cultures as 14/57 in the sector. 90% of environment was also rated 4* and 3*.

Why Department of Modern Languages and Cultures?

Close-knit community

We are a small but growing department and have developed very distinctive areas of strength in research. As a result we are uniquely placed to offer taught programmes which are tailored to the individual in a friendly, supportive atmosphere and, for research students, close contact with your supervisors from the outset.

Interdisciplinary activity

The department of Modern Languages and Cultures comprises academic staff working across a wide range of language-based studies covering literature, new media, film, history, politics, culture and sociolinguistics. The Department is an active participant in the School’s inter-disciplinary research centres, including the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Eighteenth-Century Worlds research centre. Since 2010, we have been part of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, one of four Schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.