Frauke Matthes

Senior Lecturer, LLC Postgraduate Research Director

  • German Section
  • Department of European Languages and Cultures
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



Room 3.33
50 George Square

Post code


  • Office hour semester 1 (in person): Tuesdays, 14-15:30. (There is no need to email me beforehand, you can just 'drop in' any time during my office hour.)


After studying for an M.A. (Magistra Artium) in German and English at the University of Leipzig, Dr Matthes completed an MSc in Comparative and General Literature and a PhD in Comparative Literature at Edinburgh. She then taught as a temporary teaching fellow and held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in German at Edinburgh before taking up her post as Lecturer in September 2010. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in August 2016.

In August 2018 she held a Visiting Professorship (via the Erasmus+ staff mobility programme) at the University of São Paulo and was Visiting Scholar at the IRTG 'Diversity - Mediating Difference in Trasncultural Spaces' at the Univeristy of Trier in August 2019.


M.A. (Leipzig), MSc (Edinburgh), PhD (Edinburgh)

PgCAP (Edinburgh), FHEA

Responsibilities & affiliations

Dr Matthes was the Conference Officer of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (2013-19) and was a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2017-2020).

She is the Subject Editor (for Comparative Literature) at the journal Forum for Modern Language Studies and on the editorial board for the book series European Connections: Studies in Comparative Literature, Intermediality and Aesthetics (Peter Lang). She was the general editor of the Edinburgh German Yearbook (2017-2022).

Dr Matthes is member of the following professional bodies: Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (AGS), Women in German Studies (WIGS), British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA), Modern Language Association (MLA), German Studies Association (GSA), and American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA).

Undergraduate teaching

  • Dr Matthes teaches German language and literature to undergraduates at all levels. For her teaching and supervision she was nominated for several EUSA Teaching Awards.
  • Her specialisms include an Honours Option on 'Deutscher Buchpreis: Trends in Contemporary German Literature' (and an Honours Option on 'Germany and Islam' until 2017), a second-year literature option on 'The Contemporary Short Story in German', plus German-Turkish literature and film (first year), and gender and masculinity studies (second year).
  • Dr Matthes has also initiated and organised several workshops and study afternoons such as the German 4 Dissertation Conference in 2016 and 'Islam at the Edge of Words' (with Lizzie Stewart), which involved undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as early career researchers, in 2012.

Postgraduate teaching

  • Dr Matthes was the Programme Director of the MSc in Comparative and General Literature (2011-15 and 2021-Jan 2023) and coordinated the Comparative and General Literature core course 'Theories and Methods of Literary Study'.

  • She teaches the MSc option 'World Literature' and taught several topics on the Comparative Literature core course (What is Comparative Litertaure?, World Literature and Postcolonial Criticism, Cultural Translation and Exchange, and feminist/gender theories).

  • Dr Matthes has supervised MSc dissertations on a number of topics related to comparative literature and theatre studies such as ecofeminist criticism, German-Turkish theatre, North African life-writing, Orientalism/Occidentalism, travel writing, gender and myth, literature and the subaltern, the Arab Spring, and masculinity in sports fiction.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Dr Matthes is happy to discuss supervision of topics in 20th and 21st-centrury German literature, gender and masculinity studies, transcultural literature and culture, postcolonial studies, travel and migration writing, and comparative literature with German.

Current PhD students supervised

Bogdan Nita (PhD Comparative Literature, 2018-), 'On Memory and Trauma in selected works of Norman Manea and Herta Müller' (co-supervisor)

Beth Blakemore (PhD Hispanic Studies, 2020-), 'Heretical Tropes: The Influence of Spanish Golden Age Literature on the Changing Attitudes towards the morisco Population prior to and following their Expulsion between 1609 and 1614' (second supervisor)

Past PhD students supervised

Lizzie Stewart (PhD German, 2015), ‘Turkish-German Scripts of Postmigration: Mimesis and Mimeticism in the Plays of Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Feridun Zaimoglu/Günter Senkel’ (co-supervisor)

Peter Cherry (PhD Comparative Literature, 2017), ‘Masculinity and Islam in British Transcultural Literature and Film’ (principal supervisor)

Jana Dušek Prazákova (visiting PhD student from Charles University, Prague, 2017-18), '"Fremdsein als Heimat"? Hybride Biographien im exophonen Schreiben Schweizer Autorinnen ostmitteleuropäischer Herkunft' (mentor)

Julia Wurr (PhD Anglistische Literaturwissenschaft [English Literature], 2019, University of Trier, IRTG 'Diversity - Mediating Difference in Transcultural Spaces', 2016-19), 'From Tahrir to Terror: (Neo-)Orientalism in European and North American Fiction since the "Arab Spring" (2011-2015)' (second supervisor)

Anja Tröger (PhD Scandinavian Studies, 2019), ‘Affective Spaces: Trajectories of Migration in Scandinavian and German Transnational Narratives (2011-2017)’ (second supervisor)

Erik Vlaeminck (PhD Russian, 2019), ‘The Representation of Masculinity in Contemporary Russian Literature’ (second supervisor)

Research summary

Dr Matthes' research interests include gender and masculinity studies, transcultural/national literature and culture, world literature, postcolonial studies, travel/migration writing, ethics and literature, and comparative literature.

Knowledge exchange

On 5 and 6 May 2015, together with Lizzie Stewart, Dr Matthes hosted the German theatre and film director Neco Çelik:

The events that revolved around Neco Çelik’s visit included: a theatre workshop with students; the screening of Çelik’s film Schweinemilch (Summerhall); the symposium ‘Postmigrant Theatre from/in Germany’, involving colleagues from Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow, as well as Neco Çelik and the playwright Annie George (UoE); and the Open Discussion ‘Theatre and Interculturalism in Germany and Scotland’, led by the organisers and involving Neco Çelik and Annie George (Summerhall).

Supported by the CHSS Knowledge Exchange and Impact Fund and the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (University of Edinburgh)

In March 2012, Dr Matthes organised the visit of the writer Clemens Meyer (DAAD Writers in Residence programme), which included a translation workshop with undergraduate and postgraduate students and professional translators and a bilingual reading of his work.

Project activity

Dr Matthes' doctoral research investigated representations of Islam in contemporary German and English transcultural literature. She explored how German -and English-language authors, both Muslim and non-Muslim, approach migration and travel, how they ‘translate’ between cultures, and the significance for them of Islam, of ideas of home, and of gender constructions. This study was published as Writing and Muslim Identity: Representations of Islam in German and English Transcultural Literature, 1990-2006 (London: Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, 2011).

Dr Matthes then worked on ‘new masculinities’ in contemporary German literature and culture. This monograph project, which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust in 2008-10, examined the complex nexus between masculinity and national identity and was published as New Masculinities in Contemporary German Literature: From 'Native' to Transnational (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan 2023). This book examines the social and political impact of transnationalism with reference to current discourses of masculinity in novels by five contemporary male German-language authors. Specifically, it analyses how conceptions of the masculine interact with those of nationality, ethnicity, and otherness in the selected texts and assesses the new masculinities that result from those interactions.

 - On 31 October 2009 she hosted the colloquium ‘The German Masculine and “the Other”’.

Dr Matthes also has an interest in questions of ethics and literature. She co-edited (with Emily Jeremiah) volume 7 of the Edinburgh German Yearbook on Ethical Approaches in Contemporary German Literature and Culture (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2013).

Dr Matthes also co-edited (with Lizzie Stewart) a special issue of Oxford German Studies on 'Emine Sevgi Özdamar at 70' (45.3, September 2016) and has published several articles and presented papers on writers such as Ferdiun Zaimoğlu, Navid Kermani, Clemens Meyer, Maxim Biller, Fatih Akin, Ilija Trojanow, Saša Stanisić, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Leila Aboulela, and V. S. Naipaul.

In April 2019, Dr Matthes co-organised (with Dr Dora Osborne, University of St Andrews, and Dr Katya Krylova, University of Aberdeen) the conference 'The Politics of Contemporary German Culture'. The conference was supported by Cross Language Dynamics, a research project of the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and The Moray Endowment Fund, University of Edinburgh. Selected papers were published as Politics and Culture in Germany and Austria Today (Edinburgh German Yearbook 14; Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2021).

Past project grants

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (2008-2010)
Sylvia Naish Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London (2008)
Carnegie Trust Research Grants (2008, 2011, 2014)
AHRC studentship (2004-2007)
DAAD scholarship (1999-2000)