National Socialism and German Discourse

Öffentliche Lesung

The lecture will discuss the challenges in researching the book, and the method of linguistically-focused discourse description underpinning it. The research falls historically into three phases: 1) the emergence of National Socialist discourse from precursor discourses on nationhood and ethnicity in the long nineteenth century; 2) the norms and contradictions of the National Socialist discourse ‚community‘ 1933-1945; 3) National Socialism as a discourse topic in German (and British) public discourse since 1945. Professor Dodd will give selected readings from the ‚unquiet voices‘ at the centre of his book.

‚Dodd has written an important book. It should be on any reading list of key works on German history and thought over the last two centuries.
(Professor Joachim Whaley, Journal of European Studies)

William Dodd is Emeritus Professor of Modern German Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. He studied German and Russian at the University of Leeds, where he also wrote his doctoral thesis on Kafka’s reading of Dostoyevsky. He worked in Leeds and Münster and took an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Manchester, before taking up a lectureship in German at Birmingham. In 2005 he became Professor of Modern German Studies and was Head of Department in 2004/5 and from 2006 to 2010. Major focuses of his research are the writings of Franz Kafka, the literature of ‘inner exile’ in/from the National Socialist dictatorship, and the legacies of discourse traditions. His research in this area has been recognized by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship and a Senior Fellowship of the Alfried Krupp Institute for Advanced Study, Germany.

Moderation: Professor Dr. Christina Gansel


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