School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Dr Teresa Ludden

Senior Lecturer in German



I have been teaching at Newcastle since 2004. Before that I taught at Warwick University and Oxford Brookes University. I was an undergraduate student at Cambridge University, where I studied German and Russian, and then a postgraduate at UCL for my MA, and at Warwick University for my PhD.

Roles and Responsibilities

Personal Tutor - Consultation hour for students Thursday -12-1 in Semester One

Exams contact

Partners Programme Coordinator for SML

Assistant Chair of Board of Examiners, Chair of Stage 2 Board of Examiners

UCU rep for SML 


BA (Hons) German and Russian (Cambridge)
MA Modern German Literature (London)
Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (Warwick)
PhD German Studies (Warwick)

Previous Positions

2003-2004: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in German, Oxford Brookes University.
2001-2003: Temporary Lecturer in German, University of Warwick.
1997-2001: Graduate Teaching Assistant,University of Warwick.


Women in German Studies, AGS


My research is on post-war and contemporary German literature and film and theory. Reading literature, poetry and films in combination with philosophical/theoretical texts opens up ways to explore issues to do with subjectivity, identity, relationality, power structures, the body and difference.

I have worked extensively on the German writer, poet, essayist Anne Duden. What initially fascinated me about her writing was how difficult it was to understand and how radical the questions were that the texts seemed to be raising. Not only her abstract poetry but also her prose presented interesting interpretative dilemmas, and I linked my readings of her texts to philosophers such as Nietzsche, Adorno, Irigaray, Lacan, Deleuze and Derrida to focus on ideas about difference, trauma, cultural criticism and  aesthetics. Her texts return to the narrators’ extreme experiences of breakdown which seem to go beyond speech so I got interested in the themes of the ineffable, fragmentation and the sublime. This led me to engage with theories (primarily poststructuralist and psychoanalytic) on modes of subject formation, subject-object relations, the unconscious, nature/culture relations.

I’ve researched lots of different types of women’s writing in German, and frequently use gender theory and theories of the body from French feminist theory, Judith Butler, Moira Gatens, Liz Grosz, Claire Colebrook. These allow for theoretical insights into fictional texts, for instance in a recent project which looked at representations of eating disorders in German literature. I’m interested in films by German female directors. I have worked on the director Helma Sanders-Brahms and her film Deutschland Bleiche Mutter (1979). This was an analysis of the way the film alluded to types of ‘silence’ in post-war German culture and the traumatic repercussions of WWII. Another of Sanders-Brahms’s films, Shirins Hochzeit (1978)was one of the films included in a project looking at representations of prostitution in German cinema. The focus here was how the film represented experiences of female ‘guest workers’ Gastarbeiterinnen in West Germany in the 1970s and how the female protagonist is constructed as victim whose ‘silence’ the film attempts to speak.

Questions about how to represent the ‘unrepresentable’ and narrations of trauma fed into research on the Austrian writer, Thomas Bernhard, and the use of silence in one of his less well-known novels, Ja. I looked at the politics of narration in conjunction with Lyotard’s concept of the differend to ask questions such as who speaks and who is silenced? Lyotard’s theory can be used to think about both wide concepts like power and narration, oppression and injustice, but also the specificities of Bernhard’s text where there is a relation between a conspicuously garrulous Austrian male narrator and a predominantly silent Persian woman. It articulates a double silencing which occurs when those to whom an injustice has been done are obliged to use the frameworks (linguistic, legal etc) of the oppressors in order to express the injustice. I was interested in how Bernhard’s text highlights this double silencing and the difficulties involved when excluded or marginalised characters speak within dominant frameworks.

Writing the ineffable and questions about the limits of representation tie in with my current work on trauma narratives in contemporary German contexts. I am editing a collection of essays which deal with aspects of trauma narratives in literature, memoirs, autobiography and cultural movements. This involves re-visiting classic trauma theory and questions about the future of trauma theory. I am currently looking at fictional representations of the experiences of Flucht und Vertreibung in Ulrike Draesner’s  recent novel  Sieben Sprünge vom Rand der Welt (2015). I’m interested in how the novel uses key Freudian and post-structuralist ideas about the inaccessibility of traumatic experience to creatively manipulate the metaphor of silence.

I’m also working on Terézia Mora and the themes of hybridity, the untranslateable and the transnational through reading her novel Das Ungeheuer (2015) as part of a project on Deleuze’s notion of ‘minor literature’.

Research Roles

Member of the Literary Studies group, SML; RGFM, Faculty of Humanities.

Postgraduate Supervision

Contemporary German literature, film and theory.



Undergraduate Teaching

GER4011 German Film up to 1945

GER4007 Misfits and Miscreants in Contemporary German/Austrian Fiction.
GER4008 Cabaret, Catastrophe, Capital: A Cultural History of 20th Century Berlin.
GER2036 Die Bundesrepublik bis 1990

GER2061 grammar Level C
SML4099 Dissertation
SML1021 Introduction to European and Latin American Cinema