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Professor Korte | Projects

Individual Research Project

Figurations of Poverty in the Literary Field of Contemporary Britain

[DFG KO1195/16-1, 2010 – 2013]
Funded by DFG

Poverty is a topic of high social relevance and visibility. Literature is a medium through which poverty can be articulated and which adds to a social imaginary of poverty. This project will look at the specific roles of literary texts and their modes of representing contemporary attitudes and discourses on poverty. The corpus under scrutiny will consist mostly of novels and (auto)biographical texts; especially the latter have recently become an important 'poverty genre'. The specific approach of this project lies in its use of the methods of literary and cultural studies to examine a broad spectrum of the literary field: 'high' but well-circulated literature as well as popular 'lesser' genres (crime fiction, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy as well as misery memoirs). Due to the British book market's distinctly internationalised nature, the project will not only look into books by British authors but also international ones that have been present on the British book market from the mid-1990s onwards, that is, bestsellers or books which have been discussed and/or reviewed widely and thus have a high potential of affecting the social imaginary of poverty. These texts will be analysed with regard to form, content, their circulation as well as to specific strengths and limitations of depicting and negotiating poverty in various literary forms. Moreover, this project aims to formulate a theoretical model of the role of literature and literary studies within the field of poverty studies and within society today.


Collaborative Research Activities

GRK 2571:  Empires: Dynamic Change, Temporality and Post-Imperial Orders

[Freiburg, 2020 – present]
Funded by DFG


Graduate Research Group
New Travel – New Media

[Freiburg, 2018 – present]
Funded by Volkswagen Foundation

Professor Korte serves as speaker of the research group


Collaborative Research Center 948
Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms

[Freiburg, 2012 – present)
Funded by DFG

Professor Korte serves as deputy speaker of the collaborative research center

  • Project D15: “The Heroic in 21st-Century British Television Series: Discourses and Aesthetic Strategies of a Popular Medium” (2016 – 2020)
  • Project C3:  “Imagined Competition: ‘Exotic’ Heroes in English and German Heroic Drama of the Late 17th Century” (2012 – 2016)
  • Project C4: “The Heroic in British Periodicals Between 1850 and 1900: Competing Semantics and Modes of Presentation” (2012 – 2016)
  • Database: The Heroic in Victorian Periodicals
    DOI: 10.6094/SFB948/heroics-in-periodicals
  • Database: Hero Books on the Victorian and Edwardian Print Market: A Bibliography and Text Collection


Collaborative Research Centre 1015
Otium. Boundaries, Chronotopes, Practices

[Freiburg, 2013 – 2016]
Funded by DFG

Project B4: “Leisured Travel vs. Tourism: Individualism and Deceleration in British Travel Writing between 1840 and 1914” (2013 – 2016)


Graduate School 1767
Factual and Fictional Narration

[Freiburg, 2013 – 2016]
Funded by DFG

Research Group 875
History in Popular Cultures of Knowledge

[Freiburg, 2007 – 2013]
Funded by DFG

At the turn of the 21st century, the popular representation of history has reached a heyday worldwide. This project analyses current popularisation of the historical and pre-historical past on the basis of several case studies and aims to develop an interdisciplinary theory that will help to describe and interpret the phenomenon. There will be major emphasis on the socio-cultural functions of popular historical knowledge, its contents and media. It is a major assumption of this project that knowledge about history is not merely the result of intentional dissemination but rather a product of the informal distribution of popular cultural commodities. At the present time, the dissemination of historical information is characterised by a strong emphasis on an everyday-culture approach: the past is processed in a way that it makes history relevant for the context of the recipient and brings it to life. The disciplines involved in this project are history, archaeology, British and American literary and cultural studies, ethnology as well as media pedagogy.

Professor Korte served as speaker and co-speaker of the research group.

  • Project: Histories for the Many: Historical Lifeworlds in Victorian Family, Women’s and Children’s Periodicals
  • Database: Popular History in Victorian Magazines Database (PHVM)

DFG FOR 875 "Historische Lebenswelten in populären Wissenskulturen der Gegenwart"


Popular History in Victorian Magazines Database (PHVM)

Periodicals were an essential part of, and reflected all aspects of Victorian culture, including the Victorians' interest in the past. The Popular History in Victorian Magazines Database (PHVM) derives from a project on popular presentations of history in Victorian magazines:

"Histories for the Many: Historical Lifeworlds in Victorian Family, Women's and Children's Periodicals" – "Geschichte(n) für viele: Historische Lebenswelten in Familien-, Frauen- und Kinderzeitschriften des viktorianischen England" (KO 1195/15-1) in the context of the Research Group DFG FOR 875 "History in Popular Cultures of Knowledge" – "Historische Lebenswelten in populären Wissenskulturen der Gegenwart".

The database presents results from a content analysis of five Victorian magazines from different sectors of the periodicals market – All the Year RoundThe Leisure HourThe Englishwoman's Domestic MagazineThe Ladies' Treasury, and The Boy's Own Magazine – for the years 1860, 1865 and 1870. It makes visible some of their common trends and significant differences. It thus indicates that mid-Victorian popular historical culture was marked by both mainstream interests and significant internal diversification.

Korte, Barbara and Doris Lechner. Popular History in Victorian Magazines Database.
University Library at University of Freiburg, 2014.


The War Correspondent in Britain: Crimean War to the War in Iraq

The point of departure for this project is the current debate about war coverage sparked by the embedded reporting during the war in Iraq 2003. It assumes a historical perspective on both self-conception and external perception of the war correspondent as maintained in British culture from the mid-19th century until today. This culture offers a particularly rich fund of sources: not only has Britain been involved in many armed conflicts, but it also has a reputation for being a nation with a particularly large newspaper reading public and a significant tradition in war correspondence. The present project regards the war correspondent as a specifically human agent for the mediation of war experiences: reporters are seen as agents that experience, interpret and present war with their senses and their intellect, even in the age of long-distance media and weapons. They create meaning with all their faculties, i.e. they are involved with the body, the intellect, their emotions and their conscience. The research is based on fictional representations of war correspondents in novels and films. Furthermore, it takes account of texts by correspondents themselves (autobiographical texts and reports), which are distinguished by a dimension of self-reflection. The analysis adopts a (cultural-)anthropological approach and employs among others the analytical instruments of literary studies.


SFB 437 „Kriegserfahrungen, Krieg und Gesellschaft in der Neuzeit“

[Tübingen, 1999 – 2008]
Funded by DFG

  • Teilprojekt D5: „Konstruktion der Erfahrungen des Ersten Weltkriegs zwischen Moderne und Tradition“ (2002 – 2004)
  • Teilprojekt D10: „Berichten und Erleben: Amerikanische Kriegskorrespondentenberichte über den Golfkrieg (1991) und den Irakkrieg (2003)“ (2005 – 2008)


TABB – Tübingen Archive of Black British Film and Television

[1999 – 2002]
Funded by DFG

Research project on Black and Asian British film with Dr. Claudia Sternberg.


Basics of English Studies

Online course created within the scope of the programme 'Innovation der Lehre' of the State Department of Science and Education Baden-Württemberg.