Bithell Series of Dissertations

Esther Laufer
September 1, 2017
How can you fathom a bottomless abyss? How can you capture ineffable beauty in words? How do you narrate the master of all stories? These are the challenges that  seasoned poet Konrad von Würzburg set himself when at the end of the 13th century he composed his account of the Trojan War from a multitude of sources.  Konrad has long been recognized as an exceptionally self-conscious author who frequently reflects on the nature, status and function of poetry, and who at times appears more concerned with the sparkling surface of his discourse than with the events he narrates. Taking these observations as a starting point, this study presents the first comprehensive treatment of metapoetics in the Trojanerkrieg. Focusing on...
Marissa Munderloh
September 1, 2017
German hip-hop culture is best known for its rap music and rappers’ portrayal of their life in Germany’s urban centres. Not many studies have looked at German hip-hop’s other main art forms, such as graffiti art, dance and music, in conjunction with rap, or considered their joint contribution to the creation and development of German popular culture and contemporary identity. This book breaks new ground by offering a comparative analysis of rappers, DJs, dancers, graffiti artists and their practices in the German cities of Hamburg and Oldenburg. In so doing, it reveals a variety of individual narratives on what it means to be German and to understand how German identities are managed and expressed through hip-hop’s different...
Kim Richmond
August 1, 2017
One of the few major enquiries into women’s narratives of political incarceration, this volume examines first-person accounts written against a backdrop of momentous historical events in twentieth-century Germany. Rosa Luxemburg’s prison letters are the starting point for the study, which explores the ways in which writing is used as a response to incarceration: how does the writer ‘perform’ femininity within the de-feminizing context of prison? How does she negotiate a self-representation as a ‘good’ woman? Central to this investigation is an awareness of the role of language as a means of empowerment within the disempowering environment of prison. As a key female political figure in twentieth-century Germany, Luxemburg wrote letters from...
Marissa Munderloh
July 16, 2017
German hip-hop culture is best known for its rap music and rappers’ portrayal of their life in Germany’s urban centres. Not many studies have looked at German hip-hop’s other main art forms, such as graffiti art, dance and music, in conjunction with rap, or considered their joint contribution to the creation and development of German popular culture and contemporary identity. This book breaks new ground by offering a comparative analysis of rappers, DJs, dancers, graffiti artists and their practices in the German cities of Hamburg and Oldenburg. In so doing, it reveals a variety of individual narratives on what it means to be German and to understand how German identities are managed and expressed through hip-hop’s different...
Esther Laufer
November 25, 2016
How can you fathom a bottomless abyss? How can you capture ineffable beauty in words? How do you narrate the master of all stories? These are the challenges that  seasoned poet Konrad von Würzburg set himself when at the end of the 13th century he composed his account of the Trojan War from a multitude of sources.  Konrad has long been recognized as an exceptionally self-conscious author who frequently reflects on the nature, status and function of poetry, and who at times appears more concerned with the sparkling surface of his discourse than with the events he narrates. Taking these observations as a starting point, this study presents the first comprehensive treatment of metapoetics in the Trojanerkrieg. Focusing on...
Katharina Volckmer
September 2, 2016
Society and its Outsiders in the Novels of Jakob Wassermann takes a fresh look at Wassermann’s depiction of society and its mechanisms of exclusion, specifically those affecting the Jew, the woman, the child and the homosexual man. Wassermann’s extensive oeuvre has not, until now, been considered as an attempt to portray German society at different historical stages, from the Biedermeier to the end of the Weimar Republic. At the same time, this analysis shows how Wassermann’s interest in outsider figures is intertwined with an interest in narrative technique and discusses how his perception of the world affects his depiction of character.
Katharina Volckmer
July 1, 2016
Society and its Outsiders in the Novels of Jakob Wassermann takes a fresh look at Wassermann’s depiction of society and its mechanisms of exclusion, specifically those affecting the Jew, the woman, the child and the homosexual man. Wassermann’s extensive oeuvre has not, until now, been considered as an attempt to portray German society at different historical stages, from the Biedermeier to the end of the Weimar Republic. At the same time, this analysis shows how Wassermann’s interest in outsider figures is intertwined with an interest in narrative technique and discusses how his perception of the world affects his depiction of character.
Kim Richmond
February 19, 2016
One of the few major enquiries into women’s narratives of political incarceration, this volume examines first-person accounts written against a backdrop of momentous historical events in twentieth-century Germany. Rosa Luxemburg’s prison letters are the starting point for the study, which explores the ways in which writing is used as a response to incarceration: how does the writer ‘perform’ femininity within the de-feminizing context of prison? How does she negotiate a self-representation as a ‘good’ woman? Central to this investigation is an awareness of the role of language as a means of empowerment within the disempowering environment of prison. As a key female political figure in twentieth-century Germany, Luxemburg wrote letters from...
Seiriol Dafydd
April 30, 2015
This book investigates a specific aspect of travel literature – the fictional travel novel – and one practitioner of that sub-genre – the contemporary German author Michael Roes (b. 1960). The analysis focuses on two main areas of research. The first concerns Roes’s representation of intercultural encounters: how does Roes conceive and present an encounter between representatives of different cultures? And what constitutes a successful encounter, if such a thing exists? The second area of interest in this study concerns Roes’s intertextual methodology. This study identifies those intertextual references that are of greatest significance and examines how and why Roes refers to other writers and their texts as he composes his own....
Seiriol Dafydd
April 17, 2015
This book investigates a specific aspect of travel literature – the fictional travel novel – and one practitioner of that sub-genre – the contemporary German author Michael Roes (b. 1960). The analysis focuses on two main areas of research. The first concerns Roes’s representation of intercultural encounters: how does Roes conceive and present an encounter between representatives of different cultures? And what constitutes a successful encounter, if such a thing exists? The second area of interest in this study concerns Roes’s intertextual methodology. This study identifies those intertextual references that are of greatest significance and examines how and why Roes refers to other writers and their texts as he composes his own....

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