Visiting Researchers


2011, February 14th - 27th

In spring 2011 the Oxford Kafka Research Centre welcomed Professor Roland Reuß as a visiting Fellow. Roland Reuß is professor of modern German literature at the University of Heidelberg, an honorary professor of editorial scholarship at the Free University of Berlin, and a founding member of the Institut für Textkritik e.V. at Heidelberg. He has worked extensively on philological problems in the texts of Hölderlin, Kleist, Kafka and Celan, among others, and is editor, with Peter Staengle, of the recently completed Brandenburger Ausgabe of Kleist and of the ongoing Historisch-kritische Ausgabe of Kafka. His c.v. and bibliography can be found at

Professor Reuß stayed in Oxford from 14 to 27 February, working on the Kafka manuscripts in the Bodleian. On Wednesday 16 February, in Room 2 of the Taylorian Institution, he gave a lecture to a large audience, mainly of undergraduates, on "Kafkas sogenannte Zürauer Aphorismen: Edition und Deutung", and on Wednesday 23 February, in the Memorial Room at Queen’s College, he gave a presentation to staff and graduate students on "Philologie als Edition und Deutung: Zu Hölderlin, Kleist, Kafka". His visit was inspiring and invigorating for all concerned.



2009, February 24th - March 23rd

Our first visting fellow was Prof. Gerhard Neumann

Born 1934; chairs at the universities of Bonn, Erlangen, Freiburg im Breisgau; finally Professor of Modern German Literature at Munich University; since 2002 emeritus professor; since 2005 honorary professor at the Free University, Berlin. Trustee of the Foundation for Research into Romanticism; member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences; co-editor of the Kafka Critical Edition and the Hofmannsthal Yearbook.

Chief research interests: literature of the 18th to 20th centuries, comparative literature, poetics of genre, editorial studies, cultural studies.

Publications on Goethe, Kleist, Kafka, Canetti, German Romanticism, literary methodology; theory and history of the aphorism, epigram, novella, novel, and poetry.


Gerhard Neumann came to Oxford to work on his new book: Geste und Wort: Franz Kafkas Poetologie.

Central to the book will be the question of what poetic value Kafka's texts, written on the borderline between physical movement and silence, gain from the friction between gesture and language,


Prof. Neumann also gave a public lecture and taught a seminar for students and interested colleagues:



"Chinesische Mauer und Schacht von Babel: Franz Kafkas Architekturen"

4.3.09, 4 pm, Taylor Institution, Lecture Room 2



"Ein Bericht für eine Akademie: Kafkas poetische Anthropologie"

11.3.09, 4 pm Taylor Institution, Lecture Room 2