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Photo of Professor Ulrike Zitzlsperger

Professor Ulrike Zitzlsperger

Associate Professor


01392 724346

I joined the University of Exeter (German/Modern Languages) after working for the local government and a publishing house in 1990s Berlin/Germany. Berlin, its culture and its history, in particular during the interwar years, remains one of my main research interests. Other topics include the role of hotels, railway stations and department stores in the 19th and 20th centuries, metropolitan tourism and souvenirs (for example of the Berlin Wall).

Much of my teaching reflects these interests; I teach in all years of undergraduate studies, teach on a variety of MAs and have supervised PhD students.

I have a wide portfolio of administrative experience on University and Departmental level, most recently as Admissions Officer and Schools- and Widening Participation Coordinator for Modern Languages and Cultures.

Research interests


My research interests include the culture and literature of twentieth-century Berlin with a particular focus on the interwar period and the 1990s. Aspects include the role of city myths, literary and autobiographical perceptions of the city, film and photography reflecting public spaces in periods of transition, topographical shifts within the cityscape and the interface between architecture, town-planning and literature. Publications also consider a variety of individual authors such as Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Tucholsky, Georg Hermann, Heinrich Mann, Joseph Roth, Mynona, Georg Hermann, and Peter Schneider, and particular themes, such as hotels, department stores, railway stations (so-called semi-public spaces) or the role of 'Heimat' in European literature. 

More recent research interests include the cultural role of souvenirs - for example how the Berlin Wall has been turned into a consumer phenomena since 1989, how museum shops develop their own historical narratives or how nostalgia and souvenirs are closely linked together. Current projects consider the role of metropolitan tourism and, together with Chloe Paver, the touristic and commemorative pathways that dominate the modern city-scape. 


Research supervision

Postgraduate Supervision: Sole supervisor of numerous MA, MPhil and MRes theses, also including dissertations in translation studies.

Four succesful PhD candidates (two AHRC funded, two funded by Modern Languages bursaries).

Currently one co-supervision in Creative Writing.

Research students

Graduated research students:

Dr Marjorie Gehrhardt

Dr Frances Mossop

Dr Esme Nicholson

Dr Isaure Triby

Current research students:

Suzanne Baronin von Engelhardt (co-supervision; Creative Writing)

Other information

Conferences Organised (since 2001)

  • December 2001 Co-organisation with John Warren (Oxford) of conference on ‘Vienna-Berlin-London. Culture in the Metropolis between the Wars', Germanic Institute London.
    This international conference formed part of ‘Vienna-Berlin-London: Trails of Creativity 1918-1938', a cultural season under the umbrella of the Austrian Cultural Forum, London. Further contributions included an exhibition of 1920s and 1930s paintings in the Atelier Gallery (Exeter University) and a one-day conference in co-operation with the WEA Exeter.
  • July 2004 Co-organisation with Godela Weiss-Sussex of conference on ‘Aufbrüche zur Metropole: Berliner Kultur in den zwanziger Jahren und heute.' (Berlin Culture in the 1920s and Today) at Exeter University.

Conference Papers (since 2001)

  • ‘Kurt Tucholsky: Die entzauberte Stadt'
    December 2001 at the Germanic Institute London, conference on ‘Vienna-Berlin-London. Culture in the Metropolis between the Wars'
  • ‘Berlin als soziales Umfeld im Werk Georg Hermanns'
    September 2001, Germanic Insitute, London, conference on ‘Georg Hermann'
  • ‘Aussenseiter in der Metropole: Die alternative Erschließung Berlins seit 1989'
    July 2002, Nottingham Trent University, conference on ‘Difference in Contemporary Germany'
  • ‘Gender, Force and Society in the Early Modern Period'
    July 2003, University of St Andrews, conference on ‘Representations of Violence'
  • ‘Georg Kaisers Der Silbersee'
    December 2003, Germanic Institute, London, conference on ‘Georg Kaiser'
  • ‘Remake Berlin'
    July 2004 at Exeter University, conference on ‘Aufbrüche zur Metropole: Berliner Kultur in den zwanziger Jahren und heute' (Berlin Culture in the 1920s and Today)
  • ‘Brecht und Berlin'
    February 2006, Germanic Institute, London, conference on ‘Bertolt Brecht. A Re-assessment'
  • ‘Fools and Court-Culture: Counter Performances'
    July 2006, Leeds University, ‘International Medieval Conference'
  • ‘The Fool and Political Culture, 1515-1995'
    July 2007, Goldsmiths University London, ‘International Folly Conference'
  • ‘A Day at the Museum: Literary Reflections on Museums'
    June 2008, Leiden/Holland, international conference on ‘The Inclusive Museum'
  • ‘"Warum soll nicht das Wort vom Leben Zeugnis geben?" Georg Hermann's Biedermeier-World in Jettchen Gebert (1906) and Henriette Jacoby (1908)'
    September 2008, Exeter, Symposium on ‘Patterns of Knowledge in the 19th Century'
  • ‘Die (Ohn)Macht der Frauen'. Heinrich Manns Der Untertan', London, international conference on Expressionism and Gender
  • ‘Cafehäuser, Bahnhöfe und Hotels. Zur Bedeutung der halböffentlichen Räume im Werk Joseph Roths', Ljubljana, international conference on Joseph Roth
  • ‘Die zwanziger Jahre; Geschichte und Marketing', London (Cumberland Lodge/DAAD)



All my modules are inspired by my research. This informs the lectures and the discussions in our seminars. MLG2018 (Berlin) and MLG3037 (Coping with Catastrophe), for example, reflect my long-term work on the German metropolis and the Interwar Years in particular. Other topics, such as the role of hotels, department stores and tourism, feed into the majority of the modules. SML3041 (Green Matters in Modern Languages and Cultures) is a team-taught module that focusses, based on expertise across Modern Languages, on topical environmental concerns and the Humanities' responses to such challenges.

My language teaching is informed by a combination of linguistic and intercultural skills.

Modules taught

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