BA, MSt, DPhil
Departmental Lecturer in German

Academic background

Kirstin Gwyer studied at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, for a BA in French and German, an MSt in European Literature, and a DPhil in German. Since then, she has held Lectureships at St John’s and St Catherine’s and St Edmund Hall, a JRF at Merton, and Lectureships at St Hugh’s and St Anne’s and at New College, before joining Jesus as Departmental Lecturer in 2016.

Undergraduate teaching areas

German language, German literature from the eighteenth century to the present, with a special interest in twentieth- and twenty-first-century prose fiction. Prescribed authors offered include Thomas Mann, Kafka, Grass and Sebald.

Graduate teaching areas

German-language literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, especially responses to the Holocaust and the long aftermath of National Socialism, trauma theory and fiction, and literature since the Wende.

Research interests

The first-generation Holocaust novel; contemporary German-Jewish and American-Jewish literature; contemporary responses to the Holocaust; the German family novel since the Wende; ghosts and the ‘spectral turn’; postmodernism and post-postmodernism.


Encrypting the Past: The German-Jewish Holocaust Novel of the First Generation (Oxford: OUP, 2014)

‘“Schmerzensspuren der Geschichte(n)”: Memory and Intertextuality in H.G. Adler and W.G. Sebald’, in Memory, Witnessing, Poetics: H.G. Adler and W.G. Sebald, ed. by Helen Finch and Lynn L. Wolff (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2014), 112-36

‘Beyond Lateness? “Postmemory” and the Late(st) German-Language Family Novel’, in Figuring Lateness: Lateness, Belatedness and Late Style in Modern German Culture, ed. by Karen Leeder (= New German Critique 125 (2015)), 137-53

Giving up the Ghost: The Haunting of Modern Culture, ed. with Karen Leeder (in prep. for Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

A Modernist in Exile: The International Reception of H.G. Adler, ed. with Lynn L. Wolff (in prep. for Legenda, 2018)


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:

See also Dr Gwyer's profile on the departmental website