Professor Henrike Laehnemann
Professor of German Studies


Welcome - Herzlich Willkommen! German Studies at Newcastle has existed for more than 50 years and is going strong - have a look at our current teaching range and research programme at
If you are interested to learn more about studying and researching German literature and culture at Newcastle, send me an email or come along to the 6th floor of the Old Library Building, room 23.
My office hours are Tuesday, 4-6pm, or by email appointment.

Update: I am going to leave Newcastle University at the end of the year to take up the Professorship for Medieval German at the University of Oxford from 1 January 2015. My teaching will therefore all take place in semester 1. My email address will cease to work in March 2015. Please direct all future enquiries to


Academic Education:
92-95 Graduate Studies at the University of Göttingen
87-92 UG Studies at the Universities of Bamberg, Edinburgh and Berlin
82-87 Humanistisches Gymnasium/Grammar School in Lüneburg and Nürnberg

Roles and Responsibilities

Head of German Studies
Web-Master for the School of Modern Languages
Convener of the SML Research Seminar Series


09.92: MA in German, Hist. of Art & Theology [First Class degree], University of Bamberg
09.95: PhD in German Literature [summa cum laude], University of Bamberg
28. Mai 2003: Venia legendi for German [Deutsche Philologie], University of Tübingen

Employment History

04.91–09.91 Faculty of Philosophy (Prof. Ingrid Kasten) Berlin student tutor
10.91–09.92 Faculty of Education (Prof. Horst Weigelt) Bamberg Junior Research Fellow (Project)
10.92–03.95 Theological College (Prof. Rudolf Smend) Göttingen Junior Research Fellow (Project)
04.95–09.95 Faculty of Languages and Literature Bamberg Lecturer
10.95–09.97 German Institute (Prof. Christoph Huber) Tübingen Lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Angestellte)
10.97–08.01 German Institute (Prof. Huber) Tübingen Senior Lecturer (Wiss. Assistentin)
09.02–08.02 Faculty of Med. & Mod. Lang. (Prof. Palmer) Oxford Senior Research Scholar (Feodor-von-Lynen-Scholarship)
09.02–09.04 German Institute (Prof. Huber) Tübingen Senior Lecturer (Wiss. Assistentin)
03.05–07.05 German Institute Zürich Guest Professor
08.05-08.06 German Institute Tübingen Senior Research Scholar (Heisenberg-Scholarship)
09.06-12.14 School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University
01.15- Professor of German Medieval and Linguistic Studies, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford


Chair of Women in German Studies (WiGS), Co-Organiser of the 'Anglo German Colloquium', Member of the Association for German Studies (AGS), Arbeitsgemeinschaft für germanistische Edition (ag-edition), German History Society (GHS), ICLS, Wolfram-Gesellschaft, Arthurian Society, Nachwuchsforum Tübingen, Historisch-Archäologischer Freundeskreis

Honours and Awards

30.07.1990 Henrietta-Leslie-Prize New College, Edinburgh
10.87–05.92 Scholarship for intellectually outstanding students of the Bavarian State
10.87–09.92 Undergraduate Student-Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation
04.93–09.95 PhD-Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation
12.11.1999 PhD-Prize Universität Bamberg
09.01–08.02 Feodor-Lynen-Scholarship of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation
03.05–07.05 Visiting Professor University of Zürich
08.05-08.06 Heisenberg-Scholarship of the German Research Foundation
07.07 Visiting Scholarship St. John's College, Oxford
2010 Nominated by the DFG for the 'Exzellenz-Portal' of the Robert-Bosch-Stiftung
08.14-09.14 Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut


German (native), English (fluent), French (good), Italian (basic), Latin (Latinum), Greek (Graecum), Hebrew (Hebraicum)-- and teaching knowledge of Gothic, Old High German, Middle High German, Middle Low German

Informal Interests

Music (French Horn, Singing, Piano), Historical Crafts (Book-binding, Calligraphy), Computing (Web, Databases), Photography

Research Interests

Medieval to early modern German literature, especially manuscript transmission and visual culture; comparative medieval literature

Other Expertise

Palaeography, History of Language (Gothic, Old-Saxon, Old High German, Middle High German)

Current Work

Preparing a database for the Medingen Manuscripts
Developing further projects based on the companion to 'Mysticism and Devotion in Northern Germany' together with Elizabeth Andersen
Collaborating on the e-codices project with a project on a 12th century miscellany (Zurich Ms C 58 and related fragments)

Future Research

Religious communities and devotional writing in Northern Europe (with Elizabeth Andersen)
Secular and Sacred Songs in Northern Germany (with Franz-Josef Holznagel, Rostock University)
Schwitters@Newcastle (with the Kurt Schwitters Archive at the Sprengel Museum, Hannover)

Research Roles

Co-operation with the University of Rostock on Middle Low German and with the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften on Manuscript Cataloguing

Postgraduate Supervision

Medieval to early modern German literature, especially manuscript transmission and visual culture; comparative medieval literature, medievalism and translation from studies in the 18th and 19th century.

Esteem Indicators

2005 Visiting Professor at the University of Zürich
2007 Visiting Scholar at St. John's College, Oxford
2010 Nominated for
Peer Reviewer for the AHRC, the Schweizerische Nationalfonds, the Czech Research Foundation, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Austrian Research Foundation. President of Women in German Studies (WIGS).


2001/2002 Feodor-Lynen-Scholarship
2005/2006 Heisenberg-Scholarship
2008 Sword of Judith Research Funding (Kevin Brine Charitable Trust)
2009 (with Christoph Huber & Sandra Linden) DFG funding for the conference 'Instruction in and through literature'
2010 (with Elizabeth Andersen) BA Small Research Grant funding for 'Northern German Mysticism'
2010 Funding by the Mellon-Foundation for manuscript studies in Switzerland
2010/11 BA Neil Ker Fund for manuscript studies in English and Danish libraries

Undergraduate Teaching

SML1018 Texts and Contexts (genre: poetry)
GER2038 Introduction to Medieval Studies
GER4010 Poetry and Translation
GER4061 German Language (translation: English into German)

Postgraduate Teaching

SML8005 History of Translation

Interest to supervise in medieval to early modern German literature, especially manuscript transmission and visual culture; comparative medieval literature; currently supervision of PhDs on a Middle High German treatise by the Carthusian monk Erhard Groß from late medieval Nürnberg and on bilingual writing in the Medingen Prayerbooks.