German Literature and Culture

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.

Reasons to choose German Literature and Culture at Leiden University:

  • Be inspired by internationally renowned experts in the field of German literature and culture and their research on gender and intextuality, migration and transnationalism, cultural memory and German cultural identities.
  • Benefit from the largest number of MA-courses provided in the German language in the Netherlands.
  • Discover literature and other textual representations from a broader discipline of Cultural Studies.
  • Take advantage of a broad range of specialist courses, and benefit from specific teaching and research methods at Leiden University, but also at other universities in the Netherlands.
  • Opt for a focus on literature of the 20th and 21st centuries, or concentrate on courses related to medieval studies.
  • Hone your linguistics skills or prepare for the Educational Master by following an elective in German Language and Linguistics.

Check out the programme in German Literature and Culture.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: Literary Studies
  • Degree Master of Arts in Literary Studies
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 1 year
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction German
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60813

A word from prof.dr. Anthonya Visser

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.

Diverse perspectives
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.

Find your master's at Leiden University