MA (BA, MA, PhD London, MA CNAA)
Fellow and Tutor in German, Professor of German Literature

Academic Background

Katrin Kohl studied at Westfield College, University of London, obtaining a BA in English and German, an MA in 20th Century German Literature, and a PhD in German. She also has an MA in General Linguistics from the University of Westminster. She was a Lecturer at Westfield College, University of London (1984-88), and worked as a Researcher and then Consultant on German language courses for BBC Television (1983-1988). She became Fellow and Tutor of German at Jesus College in 1988.

Undergraduate Teaching

German language, German literature from 1730, Special Subjects in Narrative Identities since 1945, GDR Literature, Advanced Translation. I'm interested in close textual work and exploring ways in which authors engage with their society and communicate across time.

Postgraduate Teaching

German literature, especially 18th and 20th century; poetics; literary tradition; comparative Literature; theory and practice of metaphor. I am currently supervising graduates who are working on 18th-century topics, Rilke, Kafka, the reception of Shakespeare in 20th-century German drama, and metaphor.

Research Interests

German poetry and poetics; the work of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock; Rainer Maria Rilke and Franz Kafka; the theory and practice of metaphor. Current projects include a book on the correspondence in poems between Rilke and the young Austrian poet Erika Mitterer, and an English version of my book Poetologische Metaphern (2007), in which I will be examining the role of metaphor in western poetics since classical times.

Selected Publications

Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Sammlung Metzler 325, Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler 2000.

History of Austrian Literature 1918-2000, ed. with Ritchie Robertson, (Rochester/NY: Camden House, 2006).

Poetologische Metaphern. Formen und Funktionen in der deutschen Literatur (Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 2007).

Metapher, Sammlung Metzler 352 (Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler, 2007)

Wort und Schrift - Das Werk von Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, ed. with Kevin Hilliard (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2008).

'No Escape? Goethe's Strategies of Self-Projection and their Role in German Literary Historiography'. Goethe Yearbook 16 (2008), 173-191.

Articles on 18th-century culture, Nietzsche, 20th-century poetry (incl. Rilke, Bachmann, Celan, Rühmkorf, Jandl) and the use of metaphor in literary criticism.

Co-authored publications in the fields of language learning and cultural studies include Deutsch direkt (London: BBC Publications, 1985); Practising German Grammar (London: Arnold, 1993, 1996); German Means Business (London: BBC Publications, 1993); A Dictionary of Contemporary Germany (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1996); Essential German Grammar (London: Arnold, 2002).

Hobbies and Family

I like reading, walking, skiing and travelling (and would like to do more of all of them). I have three children who ensure I keep in touch with changing forms of communication and all kinds of chaos.


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:

See also Faculty of Modern Languages (German) website.