Andrew Barker

Emeritus Professor of Austrian Studies


After completing his first degree and doctorate at Edinburgh, he became Lecturer in German there in 1973. In 1988 he was Invited Visting  Professor of German at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and was appointed Professor of Austrian Studies at Edinburgh in 1997. Upon retirement in 2010 he became Emeritus Professor. Since 2003 he has been part of the School of Advanced Studies at the University of London, first as Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Austrian Literature and Culture at the Institute of Germanic Studies, and thereafter as Associate Fellow of the Institute of Modern Languages Research. Since its inception he has been on the advisory board of the journal Austrian  Studies (Edinburgh University Press), 1989-1999, and its successor Austrian Studies, New Series (MHRA), 2001-.

In 2016 he was invited to become Honorary Professor of German at Bangor University.




Research summary

Andrew's research centres on late 19th- and 20th-century Austrian literature/culture and often involves the work of Jewish artists and thinkers. His books on the Viennese writer Peter Altenberg (1859-1919), frequently written in collaboration with Leo A. Lensing (Wesleyan University), reassemble and redefine a civilization fractured by the collapse of the Habsburgs and the devastation wrought by anti-Semitism and National Socialism. This involves looking beyond a single figure to explore the interface of literature and society, literature and philosophy, the visual arts and photography, architecture and music. The socio-political aspects of Austrian culture during the First Republic are at the heart of the monograph Fictions from an Orphan State. Literary Reflections of Austria between Habsburg and Hitler (2012). In January 2014 this book was selected as an "Outstanding Academic Title" by CHOICE, the journal of the American Library Association.

Peter Altenberg

  • Peter Altenberg, ‘Semmering 1912 /Semmering 1912: Ein altbekanntes Buch und ein neuentdecktes Photoalbum (Vienna: Eichbauer 2002), (edited with Leo A. Lensing): 360pp
  • Telegrammstil der Seele. Peter Altenberg - Eine Biographie  (Vienna: Böhlau, 1998): 415pp.
  • Telegrams from the Soul. Peter Altenberg and the Culture of the Viennese fin-de-siècle, (Columbia SC: Camden House, 1996): 280pp.
  • (With Leo A. Lensing), Peter Altenberg: "Rezept die Welt zu sehen". Kritische Essays, Briefe an Karl Kraus, Dokumente zur Rezeption, Titelregister der Bücher, (Vienna: Braumüller, 1995): 437pp.

Musical, Cultural and Comparative Studies

  • ‘Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Conservative Legacy of Johann Nepomuk Nestroy’, in Wittgenstein Reading, eds. Sascha Bru, Wolfgang Huemer, Daniel Steuer (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013), 137-152.
  • ‘Setting the tone: Austria’s national anthems from Haydn to Haider”, Austrian Studies, 17, Words and Music. (2009): 12-28.
  • 'Interior Monologue, Monodrama and the Palais Stoclet: Marie Pappenheim's libretto for Schoenberg'sErwartung, in: From Perinet to Jelinek. Viennese Theatre in its Political & Intellectual Context, eds. W.E. Yates, Allyson Fiddler & John Warren (Bern:Peter Lang, 2001), 143-153.
  • ‘Battles of the mind: Alban Berg and cultural politics of “Vienna 1900”', The Cambridge Companion to Berg, ed. Anthony Pople, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 24-37. Translated as: 'Geistige Gefechte: Berg und die kulturpolitischen Anschauungen in “Wien um 1900”’, in: Alban Berg und seine Zeit, ed. Anthony Pople, (Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2000), 53-69.
  • 'Gustav Mahler's folksong texts: ethnicity and authenticity', Publications of the English Goethe Society, New Series, LXIII (1994): 49-63.

Austrian Identity & Culture

  • Fictions from an Orphan State. Literary Reflections of Austria between Habsburg and Hitler (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2012): 205pp. (Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013)
  • ‘Austria: Nationality and the borders of identity’ in: The Frontiers of Europe, ed. Malcolm Anderson & Eberhard Bort (London & Washington: Pinter, 1998),  68-74.
  • 'Doderer's Habsburg Myth: the novel, history and national identity', Austria 1945-1955. Studies in political and cultural re-emergence, ed. Anthony Bushell, (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1996): 37-54. Translated as: ‘Tiefe der Zeit, Untiefen der Jahre. Heimito von Doderers ‘österreichische Idee’ und die ‘Athener Rede’’ in: Exzentrische Einsätze. Studien und Essays zum Werk Heimito von Doderers, ed. Kai Luehrs (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1998), 263-272.

Literary History

  • ‘The Politics of Austrian Literature, 1927-1956’ in: A History of Austrian Literature 1918-2000, eds. Katrina Kohl & Ritchie Robertson (Rochester NY:  Camden House, 2006), 107-126.

Jewish Studies

  • ‘Franz Kafka’s Transformations’, Northern Studies, 42 (2011), 68-75.
  • ‘”Bloss aus Lemberg gebürtig”: Detlev Spinell, the Austrian Jewish aesthete in Thomas Mann’s Tristan’ in: The Modern Language Review, 102, 2 (2007): 440-450.
  • ‘Marie Frischauf’s Der graue Mann: National Socialism and the Austrian Novel’ in: Austrian Studies, 11, 2003, pp. 33-44.
  • ‘Sex, race and character in Schnitzler’s Fräulein Else’, German Life and Letters, 54, 1, 2001,  1-9.

War and Literature

  • ‘Literatur im Kielwasser der österreichischen Kriegspropaganda. Ernst Weiss’ Erzählung Franta Zlin’, in: Krieg und Literatur/ War and Literature, 12 (2006): 199-206.
  • ‘Anna Seghers, Friedrich Wolf and the Austrian Civil War of 1934’, The Modern Language Review,January 2000, Vol. 95, 1, 144-153.
  • 'The First World War fiction of Andreas Latzko', Austrian Studies, 7 (1996): 100-117.

Conferences organised

  • 2003: "Continuities & Discontinuities in 20th Century Austrian Culture”
  • 2000: “Cultural Politics/Culture & Politics in the ‘New’ Austria”
  • 1996: "Heimito von Doderer 1866-1966. A Symposium."
  • 1994: "Language Teaching and learning in Higher Education: Issues and Perspectives"
  • 1989: "Neue Ansichten: The reception of  Romanticism in the literature of the German Democratic Republic"

Conference papers since 2002

  • 2013: Austrian Cultural Forum, London: ‘Rehabilitating the First Austrian Republic’
  • 2011: University of Oxford: ‘Peter Altenberg – Apocalyptic Aesthete?’
  • 2006: University of Edinburgh: Cultural Exchange in German Literature: ‘Cultural memory in Franz Werfel’s Der Tod des Kleinbürgers’
  • 2005: University of Oxford:  Vienna between the wars: ‘Prefiguring Freud: Ernst Weiss’s war-storyFranta Zlin’
  • 2005: University of Lodz, Poland: “Literatur im Kielwasser der Kriegspropaganda: zu Ernst Weiss’ Kriegsgeschichte Franta Zlin”
  • 2005: Trinity College, Dublin: Austria since the Staatsvertrag, 1955-2005: ‘Coming to terms with 1934?: Alois Vogel’s novel Schlagschatten’
  • 2005: University of Edinburgh: Saintsbury Colloquium: ‘What’s in a name? Or, how “Gerrman” has bedevilled Austrian literary history’
  • 2003: Institute of Germanic Studies, London, Lecture Series, The Image of Words: ‘From Word to Image: Peter Altenberg's dual oeuvre’
  • 2003:  University of Edinburgh: Continuities and Discontinuities in the 'Austrian'  20th Century: ‘Gustav's Mahler's decadence’
  • 2003: University of Bristol: The idea of Decadence, ancient and modern: ‘Gustav Mahler's discourse of death’
  • 2003: Literaturhaus, Vienna: Altenberg Symposium: ‘Wie ich es sehe/ Wie ich ihn sehe’
  • 2002: 25th Anniversary Conference, Scottish Conference of University Teachers of German, Pitlochry: ‘British responses to Austria, 1928-1938’
  • 2002:  Symposium, Austrian Writers confront the Past, 1945-2000, University of Pennsylvania:  ‘Echoes from Red Vienna: Marie Frischauf's novel Der graue Mann’

Research grants from external bodies

  • Jüdisches Museum, Vienna (2003)
  • Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Vienna (1995, 2001)
  • Carnegie Trust (1995)
  • Fulbright Commission (1988)