Staff in the Department of German
Dr Simon Ward, MA, DPhil (Oxon)
I came to Durham in January 2014 from Aberdeen, where I was Senior Lecturer in German and Film & Visual Culture, coordinating both undergraduate programmes during my time there. At Aberdeen, I taught on the German and Film undergraduate programmes, as well as on Aberdeen’s unique comparative literature programme, Literature in a World Context. I also taught on the Masters programmes in Visual Culture and Comparative literature. My teaching interests lie in European film, with particular focus on German cinema of the past 40 years, and German literature of the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka and WG Sebald, as well as strategies of ‘fictionalization’ in the post-1945 period.
My research interests have shifted over the years. I wrote my D Phil at Oxford on the modernist writing of Wolfgang Koeppen (published as a monograph in 2002). Koeppen’s engagement with ruins led me to work on the visual culture of ruins in the urban environment of Berlin over the past 50 years. Having published numerous articles in this area, my monograph on this topic, Asynchronous City: Visual Culture and the Past in Berlin 1957-2013 appeared with Amsterdam University Press in 2016. The book has been positively reviewed in Journal of European Studies, Literaturkritik and German Politics and Society.
A further research interest, developing out of Koeppen's travel writing, is with cultures of travel in Germany from the arrival of the railways onwards, and how questions of modernity, acceleration and experience have been taken up in travel writing / writing about travel. This is crystallizing in my next project which will investigate the utopian desire inherent in the untranslatable German concept of Fernweh, and how it manifests itself from the era of Romantic wandering, to the apparently 'postmodern' condition of transit.
I have supervised PhDs on Austrian memory politics, surveillance and cinema, photography and environmental theory, and European film production around 1990. I would welcome the opportunity to supervise PhDs on topics of urbanism, film and visual culture as well as twentieth century German literature.
My extra-curricular activities are listed on my personal page: http://www.dur.ac.uk/simon.ward2
- 2016 Urban Memory and Visual Culture in Berlin: Framing the Asynchronous City 1957-2012, Amsterdam University Press, 212 pp.
- 2001 Negotiating Positions: Literature, Identity and Social Critique in the Works of Wolfgang Koeppen, Rodopi, 157 pp.
Chapter in book
- 2018 'Reconfiguring the Spaces of the “Creative Class” in Contemporary Berlin', in Bauer, Karin & Hosek, Jennifer Ruth (eds.), Cultural Topographies of the New Berlin, Berghahn, pp. 113-129
- 2016 ''Of Time and the City': Contemporary Visual Culture and the Times of Berlin', in Göttsche, D. (ed.), Critical Time in Modern German Literature and Culture, Peter Lang, pp. 183-206
- 2015 'Film, The City and the Museal Gaze', in McIsaac, P (ed.), Exhibiting the German Past: Museums, Film and Musealization, University of Toronto Press, pp. 21-41
- 2009 'Berlin as Space and Place in Wolfgang Koeppen’s Later Texts', in Clarke, David & Rechtien, Renate (eds.), The Politics of Place in Post-War Germany: Essays in Literary Criticism, Edwin Mellen Press, pp. 67-84
- 2009 'Globalization and the Remembrance of Violence: Visual Culture, Space and Time in Berlin', in Lindner, Christoph (ed.), Globalization, Violence and the Visual Culture of Cities, Routledge, pp. 87-106
- 2007 'Ästhetischer Radikalismus in der Posthistoire. Zum literarischen Bild der Geschichte in Reinhard Jirgls Hundsnächte', in Clarke, David & De Winde, Arne (eds.), Reinhard Jirgl. Perspektiven, Lesarten, Kontexte, Rodopi, pp. 151-177
- 2007 'The limits and possibilities of dialogue between poetry and music: The collaborative work of Clemens Gadenstätter and Lisa Spalt', in Preece, Julian, Finlay, Frank & Owen, Ruth (eds.), New German Literature: Life-Writing and Dialogue with the Arts, Peter Lang, pp. 183-204
- 2005 'Material, Image, Sign: on the Value of Memory Traces in Public Space', in Arnold-de Simine, Silke (ed.), Memory Traces: 1989 and the Question of German Cultural Identity, Peter Lang, pp. 281-308
- 2004 ''Neues, altes Tor zur Welt': The New Central Station in the 'New' Berlin', in Costabile-Heming, Carol Anne, Halverson, Rachel J. & Foell, Kristie A. (eds.), Berlin: the Symphony Continues. Orchestrating Architectural, Social, and Artistic Change in Germany's New Capital, De Gruyter, pp. 77-92
- 2004 'Connecting Music and Literature. On the Collaborative Work of Clemens Gadenstätter and Lisa Spalt, and its Interpretation', in Stewart, Janet C. & Ward, Simon (eds.), Blueprints for No-Man's Land: Connections in Contemporary Austrian Culture, Peter Lang.
- 2004 'Ruins and Poetics in the Works of W. G. Sebald', in Long, Jonathan & Whitehead, Anne. (eds.), W.G. Sebald: A Critical Companion, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 58-74
- 2004 'Ruins and the Imagination of Cultural Tradition after 1945', in Midgley, David & Emden, Christian (eds.), German Literature, History, and the Nation, Peter Lang, pp. 329-354
- 2004 'Wolfgang Koeppen: 'Unmasking' the 'Author' of a Holocaust Testimony', in Long, Jonathan & Knight, Peter (eds.), Fakes and Forgeries, Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 92-106
- 2002 ''Zugzwang' or 'Stillstand'? - Trains in the Post-1989 Fiction of Brigitte Struyzk, Reinhard Jirgl and Wolfgang Hilbig', in Taberner, Stuart, & Finlay, Frank (eds.), Recasting German Identity: Culture, Politics and Literature in the Berlin Republic, Camden House.
- 2001 'Werner Bergengruen's Am Himmel wie auf Erden: the historical novel and 'inner emigration'', in Durrani, Osman & Preece, Julian (eds.), Travellers in Time and Space: the German historical novel, Rodopi.
- 2005 (co-edited with Stewart, Janet C.) Blueprints for No-Man's Land: Connections in Contemporary Austrian Culture, Peter Lang, 228 pp.
- 2015 'Encountering Lateness in Postunification Berlin', New German Critique 42, pp. 115-135
- 2015 'Janos Frecot, Photographic Archives, and the Zero Hours of Berlin', Edinburgh German Yearbook 9, pp. 45-64
- 2014 'Translating Testimony: Jakob Littner's Typescript and the Versions of Wolfgang Koeppen and Kurt Nathan Grübler', Edinburgh German Yearbook 8, pp. 235-250
- 2010 'Obsolescence and the Cityscape of the former GDR', German Life and Letters 63, pp. 375-397
- 2006 'Responsible Ruins: W. G. Sebald and the Responsibility of the German Writer', Forum for Modern Language Studies 42, pp. 183-199
- 2005 'The Passenger as Flâneur?: Railway Networks in German-language fiction since 1945', Modern Language Review 100, pp. 412-428
- 2003 'Station to Station: Circulation in the 'New' Berlin', German as a Foreign Language 1, pp. 93-105
- 2009: AHRC Research Leave Scheme (September 2009 - January 2010)
- 2009: Carnegie Research Grant - travel to Berlin
- 2008: British Academy Overseas Conference Grant