Elys Griffiths


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PhD projects

My main research interests are in German literature of the period 1750-1850, with a particular interest in how social and political tensions manifest themselves in German culture. I have also supervised doctoral work on German-language cinema and have a particular interest in contemporary German and Austrian film. I am currently supervising a number of PhD projects, on German-language writing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. If you have a project in mind, please do get in touch.


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Personal profile


MA (Cantab) in Modern and Medieval Languages
PhD in German Studies
PG Cert HE, University of Birmingham
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research interests

My research is focused on German culture and society from 1750 to 1850. I am the author of books on Heinrich von Kleist's politics (2005), and on German-language pastoral from 1750 to 1850 (2020). Along with David Hill, I edited the first edition of J.M.R. Lenz's writings on social and military reform (the so-called 'Berkaer Projekt') (2007). I am currently working on a project dealing with conceptualisations of obedience in the 18th and 19th centuries and a second project on Heinrich von Kleist.


I grew up in Cardiff and attended a comprehensive school. I went on to study Modern Languages (German and French) at Robinson College, Cambridge and completed my doctorate on Heinrich von Kleist's thought on politics, law and military matters under the supervision of Professor Michael Perraudin. Following two postdoctoral projects I joined the University of Birmingham in 2005. Alongside my work of teaching and research in German Studies, I am also Deputy Director of Education for Quality Assurance and Enhancement in the College of Arts and Law.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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