Professor Julian Preece

Professor Julian Preece

Chair in German, Modern Languages

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 602949

Email address

Welsh language proficiency

Basic Welsh Speaker

Research Links

Office - 432
Fourth Floor
Keir Hardie Building
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

About

I began learning French at primary school at the age of seven as the UK prepared to join the European Economic Community (now called the EU). I started German when I was 12 and developed my fascination with both languages through school exchanges with Hamburg and visits to France. In my teaching of German language, literature and cinema at Swansea I try to convey my enthusiasms for communication and for finding out about how people have lived and thought in Germany as well as neighbouring European countries through the tumultuous and often painful period of the twentieth century. I am a traditionalist in my approach, believing that there is no substitute for close reading and philological study, but also (I hope) innovative in my willingness to embrace new ideas and to explore unusual material.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Contemporary Germany
  • German and European Twentieth-Century Literature
  • the Canettis (Elias and Veza)
  • Günter Grass
  • Kafka
  • life-writing (especially letters)
  • German Cinema

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests

I teach the following suite of modules on a rotational basis to students of German, mixing second- and final year students:

Underground Vienna: Subterranean Views of a Twentieth-Century City

Twentieth-Century Berlin: Myth and Reality

German Song Cultures

Improving Your German Through Poetry

I also teach first-year German Culture, Translation Workshop to second years and Advanced German Translation at MA.

Research

I am interested in modern German literature, mainly prose fiction. I am preparing a new project on ‘anonymous narration’ which focuses on a selection of interconnected novels by the following group of six authors: Ingeborg Bachmann, Jurek Becker, Thomas Bernhard, Max Frisch, W.G. Sebald and Peter Weiss.

Collaborations

I am working on the following publishing projects:

on Erich Kästner with Sven Hanuschek (LMU Munich);

on Veza Canetti with Kristian Wachinger (Munich);

on Elias and Veza Canetti with Anke Detken (Göttingen) and Alexander Košenina (Hanover);

on Post-Unification German Cinema with Corina Erk and Jörn Glasenapp (Bamberg) and Matteo Galli (Ferrara).

With Richard Robinson (Swansea) I am also writing the chapter on Central Europe for a book on Europe in British Literature and Culture, edited by Petra Rau & Will Rossiter for Cambridge University Press.