Dr Brigid Haines
Modern Languages
Telephone: (01792) 604028
Room: Office - 435
Fourth Floor
Keir Hardie Building
Singleton Campus

I am Chair of Women in German Studies: https://womeningermanstudies.wordpress.com. I have published widely on women's writing in German, including the monograph (with Margaret Littler) Contemporary Women's Writing in German: Changing the Subject.

Since my 1991 monograph on the works of Adalbert Stifter, I have published extensively on the ‘Eastern Turn’ in contemporary German literature. This has included the AHRC-supported projects, 'Maritime Bohemias: Representations of "Bohemia" in Libuše Moníková and other Contemporary German Writers', and 'Enduring Empires: History, Trauma and Identity in Recent German Writing from Central and Eastern Europe'. I have worked extensively on Herta Müller, the 2009 Romanian-German Nobel laureate in Literature. My latest book (with Lyn Marven) Herta Müller (OUP) appeared in 2013, and I am co-organiser of the conference Herta Müller and the Currents of European History in London in September 2017: https://networks.h-net.org/node/79435/discussions/165865/cfp-herta-müller-and-currents-european-history-london-15032017.

A new research interest is the themes of Illness, death and dying in literature and film. My essay on Andreas Dresent and Michael Haneke has recently appeared in this volume: https://peterlangoxford.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/andreas-dresen-published/, and I am currently working on Parkinson’s Disease narratives, including Richard Wagner’s Herr Parkinson

Areas of Expertise

  • The eastern turn in recent German-language literature
  • Herta Müller
  • gender and German culture
  • German film
  • illness and literature


  1. (Eds.). Herta Müller and the Currents of European History. Wiley.
  2. Connecting with the Real: Death, Dying and Displacement in Andreas Dresen's Halt auf freier Strecke (2011) and Michael Haneke's Amour (2012). In Nick Hodgin; Julian Preece (Ed.), Andreas Dressen. (pp. 169-192). Oxford: Peter Lang.
  3. Begegnung mit einer Krankheit: Richard Wagners Herr Parkinson im internationalen Vergleich. In Spiegelungen: Zeitschrift für deutsche Kultur und Geschichte Südosteuropas. (pp. 1-240).
  5. & (Eds.). Herta Müller. Brigid Haines, Lyn Marven (Ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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  • ML-102 Modern European Film: Themes and Perspectives

    This module explores themes of metamorphoses and adaptation in six contemporary European films. Each film depicts transformative human experiences, significant events that can be seen as rites of passage in various stages of people's lives. The module also introduces methods by which such experiences are represented through the medium of film. The films selected for this module are in French, German, Italian, and Spanish, and are all subtitled.

  • ML-320 Modern Languages Dissertation Preparation

    This module introduces you to the practice of research and dissertation writing in the field of Modern Languages and will guide you in the first part of your dissertation preparation. Areas covered include: selecting a relevant topic, asking relevant research questions, preparing and writing up a literature review, preparing and writing up a research proposal, research methods and library research tools, making use of foreign-language sources, structuring your dissertation, analysis and argumentation, compiling a bibliography. In addition to lectures and seminars, you will have three meetings with your supervisor. By the end of the module you will have developed your dissertation topic, know what methodology you will use and have acquired knowledge of how to organise and lay out your dissertation. Assessment for the module consists of a literature review, a research proposal and a presentation.

  • ML-321 Modern Languages Dissertation

    This module provides students with the opportunity to research one aspect of French, German, Italian or Hispanic culture in detail, and to present the findings of their research in a dissertation of 8000 words. The module will be taught by means of four practical seminars on research and writing skills, and through three formal supervision sessions with a dissertation supervisor. Your supervisor will help you to find a topic, suggest research strategies, agree a suitable title, discuss the structure of your dissertation, and will read closely and comment on one draft chapter. The topic may relate to a module you are doing at Level 3, provided that this does not involve a duplication of material and is agreed with the module coordinator in advance. The dissertations may be written in English, in your target language, or in Welsh (where Welsh-medium provision is available).

  • MLG244 German Cinema of the New Millennium

    Since the turn of the millenium, German film has been enjoying a renaissance. Films such as Goodbye, Lenin (dir. Wolfgang Becker, 2003), Downfall (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004), and The Lives of Others (dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck , 2006) have attracted worldwide audiences. Viewers have been drawn to the sometimes sensitive, sometimes sensationalist depictions of Germans attempting to come to terms with the double calamities of fascism and communism. The new movement in German film production is explored in this module through other key films by both young and established filmmakers. The chosen films examine the lasting effects of traumatic moments in twentieth-century German history: pre-First World War, the Third Reich, 1968 protest, the GDR and its disappearance. But they also contribute to debates in the twenty-first century, post-unification Berlin Republic on transnationalism, city life versus 'Heimat', the 'normalisation' of Germany as a nation, and the troubling persistence of neo-Nazism; furthermore, they offer new perspectives on universal themes such as conflict, violence and friendship, youth, age and gender. You will examine the cultural, political and economic contexts of contemporary German film production and analyse in detail the aesthetic strategies employed in the selected films.

  • MSS106 Hollywood: A History of American Film

    Hollywood: A History of American Cinema is a contextual and chronological study of the history of Hollywood, its effect on American society and its attempts to reflect the changes of that society. Key films are studied in depth and in relation to each other and to social and political developments in the USA.

  • MSS311 Contemporary Film and Television

    Contemporary Film and Television provides a contextual, theoretical, geo-political and socio-historical analysis of film and television since 1995. The module examines prevailing trends, emerging film-makers, new technologies, dominant themes, key figures and stars against a background of the evolution of the EU and its relationship with member countries and those beyond its borders. The module incorporates contextual analysis of the film industry that includes analyses of festivals, marketing, distribution and reception. The module therefore brings together many of the strands of investigation that were followed by the single and joint honours media/film students throughout their degree studies. This module is structured to apportion sufficient emphasis on the various strands of film theory and criticism, with special emphasis on concepts of European cinema and representative works and figures but also extends it to World Cinema. Subjects studied will include such themes as displacement, migration, globalization as well as an emphasis on film form that includes analysis of fractal narratives, aesthetics, subversion of genre and technological innovation. The module assumes that students will be prepared to watch a substantial number of films.


  • Representations of the Humane in Selected Works of Fiction by Heinrich Boll. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece
  • Artistic Anatomy of Suffering: The Influence of Culture and Contemplative Practices on the Perception of Pain (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Jim Milton
    Other supervisor: Dr Federico Lopez-Terra
  • Remembering the “Queens of Hearts:” A Comparative Study of the Cultural Afterlives of Queen Luise of Prussia and Empress Elisabeth of Austria (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece
  • Fetishism and Fluidity: Jeanette Winterson's Narratives of Diverse Pleasure and Desire (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine
  • 'Affective Affinities: Memory, Empathy and the Weight of History in the work of Herta Mueller' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Katharina Hall

Research Groups

  • Centre for Contemporary German Culture

    The Centre for Contemporary German Culture (CCGC) produces world-class research on the literature and culture of twentieth- and twenty-first century Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Centre is unique to Wales and makes an important contribution to German Studies in Britain, Europe and North America. It aims to promote and stimulate further research on the work of contemporary German-language authors and film-makers in the English-speaking world.

  • GENCAS (Centre for Research into Gender and Culture in Society)

    Interdisciplinary Gender Research Centre, Swansea University.