Dr. Benjamin Kohlmann
- Currently (2011-): Assistant Professor, University of Freiburg
- 2010-2011: Lecturer at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Regensburg
- 2007-2010: PhD in English Literature, Lincoln College, University of Oxford
- 2005-2007: M.A. degree in Philosophy and English Literature, University of Freiburg
- 2004-2005: Graduate study at Yale University (Philosophy Department)
- 2001-2004: Undergraduate studies, Philosophy and English Literature, University of Freiburg
- Committed Styles: Modernism, Politics, and Left-Wing Literature in the 1930s. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Ed. (with M. Taunton) Literatures of Anti-Communism. Special issue of Literature and History (Spring 2015).
- Ed. Edward Upward and Left-Wing Literary Culture in Britain. London: Ashgate, 2013.
- Ed. (with R. Gregory) Utopian Spaces of Modernism: British Literature and Culture 1885-1945. London: Palgrave, 2012.
- Ed. (with M. Fludernik) Anglistentag 2011 - Proceedings. Trier: wvt, 2012.
Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)
- "Towards a History and Theory of the Socialist Bildungsroman", under review.
- "What Is It Like to Be a Rat? Early Cold War Glimpses of the Post-Human", Textual Practice 28/4 (2014), 655-75.
- “Awkward Moments: Melodrama, Modernism, and the Politics of Affect”, PMLA 128/2 (2013), 337-52.
- “An Honest Decade: William Empson and the Ambiguities of Writing in the 1930s”, English Literary History 80/1 (2013), 221-49
- "Edward Upward, W. H. Auden, and the Rhetorical Victories of Communism", Modernism/Modernity 20/2 (2013), 287-306.
- “‘Men of Sobriety and Buisnes’: Pepys, Privacy, and Public Duty”, Review of English Studies 61/251 (2010), 553-71
- “‘The Heritage of Symbolism’: Henry Green, Maurice Bowra, and English Modernism in the 1920s”, Modern Language Notes 124/5 (2009), 1188-1210
- “‘Stand Still, True Poet That You Are!’ Remembering the Brownings, Imagining Memorabilia”, ZAA 57/2 (2009), 125-38
- "'The End of Laissez-Faire': Literature, Economics, and the Idea of the Welfare State". Late Victorian into Modern, 1880-1920. Ed. Laura Marcus, Michèle Mendelssohn, and Kirsten Shepherd-Barr. Oxford: Oxford UP, forthcoming 2015.
- "Versions of Working-Class Idleness: Non-Productivity and the Critique of Victorian Workaholism". Leisure, Idleness and Indolence in British Literature. Ed. Monika Fludernik and Miriam Nandi. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, forthcoming 2014.
- "'A Foot in Mortmere': Christopher Isherwood and Edward Upward". The American Isherwood. Ed. Jim Berg and Christopher Freeman. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2014.
- "Introduction", Edward Upward and Left-Wing Literary Culture in Britain. London: Ashgate, 2013. [9,000 words]
- "Introduction", Utopian Spaces of Modernism: British Literature and Culture, 1885-1945. Ed. Rosalyn Gregory and Benjamin Kohlmann. London: Palgrave, 2012. [7,500 words]
Handbook and Dictionary Entries
- “Thomas Love Peacock”, “Thomas Lovell Beddoes”, “Edmund Burke” in Encyclopaedia of Literary Romanticism. Ed. Andrew Maunders. New York, 2010
- “Edward Upward”, Literary Encyclopedia, www.litencyc.com, 2010 [2500 words]
- Review of Jock Macleod, Literature, Journalism, and the Vocabularies of Liberalism. ZAA, forthcoming.
- Review of Jed Esty, Unseasonable Youth: Modernism, Colonialism, and the Fiction of Development. Modernist Cultures, forthcoming.
- Review of Ina Habermann, Myth, Memory, and the Middlebrow: Priestley, du Maurier, and the Symbolic Form of Englishness. ZAA, 61/1 (2013), 93-95.
- Review of Kristin Bluemel, ed., Intermodernism: Literary Culture in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain. Modernist Cultures, 6/1 (2011), 196-98
Review of Paul Crosthwaite, Trauma, Postmodernism, and the Aftermath of World War II, Modern Language Review, 105/2 (2010), 546-47
- Poems by Silke Scheuermann, in Inventory Journal (2014)
Scholarships and Prizes
- Research Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University (10/2012-09/2013)
- Grant to organize conference 'Cultivating the Economy: Literature, Politics, Economics, 1870-1930' at Columbia University; Thyssen Foundation, 2013 (€7000)
- Travel grant to attend "On Liberties: Victorian Liberals and Their Legacies", Gladstone's Library, Hawarden, UK; German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2013
- Travel grant to attend "Space Between Conference", McGill University, Montreal; German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2011
- Michael Foster Memorial Scholarship, awarded by the University of Oxford, 2008-2010 (waiving university and college fees)
- PhD scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2008-2010
- Various travel grants awarded by Lincoln College and the English Faculty at Oxford University, 2008-2010
- Baden-Württemberg Scholarship (to study at Yale University), 2004-2005
- Scholar of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), 2003-2010
Presentations and Panels:
"'A Romance about Capital': E.M. Forster and the Idea of the Welfare State", Modernist Communities, Paris, 2014
"'By implication, poetic': Mass-Observation's Artistic Origins in the 1930s", British Association of Modernist Studies, London, 2014
"Politics Without Footnotes", Modernist Studies Association, Brighton, 2013
"Spiral Descent: Communist Anti-Communism after World War II", Anti-Communism: Literature, Culture, Propaganda, Institute of English Studies, London, 2013
"Rethinking the 1930s: Literature, Politics, and the Communist Voice", Stanford University, 2013 (invited lecture)
"Forms of Preparedness: E.M. Forster, Risk, and Unemployment Insurance", Cultivating the Economy, Columbia University, 2013
"The Drama of Preparedness: Unemployment Insurance and E.M. Forster's (New) Liberal Aesthetic", On Liberties: Victorian Liberals and Their Legacies, Gladstone's Library, Hawarden (UK), 2013
"'Playing with Bright Images': The Making and Unmaking of Surrealist Black Humour", Space Between Conference, DePaul University, Chicago 2013
"Auden, Isherwood, and Post-Liberal Citizenship", Modernist Studies Association, Las Vegas, 2012
"'Higher Feelings' and the State: Literature, Economic Discourse, and the End of Laissez-Faire, 1870-1930", Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Centre for "History of the Emotions"), Berlin, 2012 (invited paper)
"A Lost Generation: The Literature of the 1930s and Writing after Modernism", Generation M: Resetting Modernist Time. UVA, Amsterdam, 2012
"'Brittle Ghosts': Surrealism, History, and Black Humour in the 1930s", History and Humour. Freiburg, 2012
“The Poverty of Surrealism: Social Critique in Early Mass-Observation”, The ‘Space Between’ Conference, McGill University, Montreal, 2011
“Awkward Moments: Melodrama, Modernism, and the Politics of Affect”, Intermodernism Seminar, Brunel University, London, 2011 [invited paper]
"What Is It Like To Be a Rat? Thomas Pynchon and Early Cold War Glimpses of the Post-Human", Research Seminar, Regensburg University, 2011
"A ‘Radical Aesthetic’? Social Facts and Poetic Authority in Mass-Observation”, Modernism and Utopia, University of Birmingham, 2010
“‘The Heart of Standing Is You Cannot Fly’: William Empson and Taking Sides”, Utopian Spaces of British Literature and Culture, 1890-1945, University of Oxford, 2009
“Henry Green, Maurice Bowra, and the ‘Heritage of Symbolism’”, Twentieth-Century Literature Research Seminar, University of Oxford, 2009
“The Uses of Poetry: From T. S. Eliot to William Empson”, MLA Convention, Poetry Division (chaired by Susan J. Wolfson and Alan Golding), San Francisco, 2008
“Poetical Remains: Robert Browning in the Marketplace”, Bodies and Things: Victorian Literature and the Matter of Culture Conference, University of Oxford, 2008
EUCOR PhD and MA Conference, University of Freiburg (two days; co-organized with W. Hochbruck and M. Fludernik), 2014
"Anti-Communism: Culture, Literature, Propaganda", Institute of English Studies, London, 28 August 2013 (symposium)
"Cultivating the Economy: Literature, Politics, Economics, 1870-1940", Columbia University, 23-24 May 2013 (conference)
"British Literature and the State, 1870-1940", panel at MLA 2013
"British Literature and the Interventionist State", panel at MSA 2012
“Utopian Spaces of British Literature, 1890-1945”, University of Oxford, 18 September 2009 (conference)
At Freiburg, Oxford, and Regensburg I have taught introductory classes as well as advanced courses, mainly on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature. Topics have included: "Twentieth-Century British Drama", "History and Politics in Virginia Woolf's Novels", "Contexts of Modernism", "Victorian Poetry and Prose". I have also taught a workshop for high school teachers at Regensburg University.
I have a special research interest in the culture and politics of modernism, especially in the transformations during the late-Victorian period which gave rise to 'modernism' and to the politicization of modernist writing in the late 1920s and 1930s. My doctoral thesis, Ambiguities of Political Writing: Left-Wing Literature of the 1930s, examined works by I. A. Richards, T.S. Eliot, William Empson, the English Surrealists, Mass-Observation, and Edward Upward. This project will be published as a monograph in 2014.
My second book project (Habilitation) considers the connections between literature and economics (esp. emerging concepts of 'welfare') in the long nineteenth century. I am currently working on a book chapter which explores the intersections between literature and economics in this period by tracing the shift from laissez-faire economy to state regulation and state-organized welfare. My interests in nineteenth-century literature and culture have also recently focused on the utopian imaginary of late Victorian writing and on representations of working-class idleness in Victorian fiction and poetry.