German Literature and Culture is a specialisation of the Leiden University Master’s programme in Literary Studies. German Literature and Culture in Leiden offers a broad curriculum in the fields of literary and cultural studies and covers the period from the Middle Ages to the present. The programmes employs renowned experts on the culture (literature, film and politics) of modern Germany and pays attention to the differences between East and West. Other fields of interest of the German department’s members are cultural memory, gender and intertextuality, literature and migration and religious literature.
Check out the programme in German Literature and Culture.
Literary Studies at Leiden University is unique because of its interdisciplinary programme. Students are invited to choose their own specialisation, such as an approach to a specific issue or a particular topic.
Literature in society
The purpose of this master’s programme is to enable our students to assess the function of literature in society independently, and to analyse it in its relation to other arts as well as to relevant topics such as politics, religion, science & technology, or law & justice, etc.
A focus on identity
Literature and film are part of a broader public disourse. What is there about their aesthetics that makes them special?
For example, research in German Literary Studies in recent years has had a clear focus on memory and identity. We look at ‘exile memories’ in German-speaking religious communities in early modern Europe, and at cultural memory strategies in post-unification Germany.
Other central topics in Literary Studies are the interaction of literature with the other arts; theatricality and dramatisation in literature and art as well as in law courts; literature and art of the Middle Ages; interculturality.
My personal motivation is a fascination for the human capacity and the necessity to construct narratives, combined with a passion for German culture. I spent one year of research in the GDR (that is, before the fall of the Wall), and have worked 6 years in the Federal Republic, as well as in China and the US. This makes me familiar with diverse perspectives on my object of study: German literature and film.