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Professor Robert Vilain

Professor Robert Vilain

Professor Robert Vilain
MA, DPhil (Oxon)

Professor of German and Comparative Literature

Office Warden's Office, Wills Hall, BS9 1AE
21 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TE
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8794
+44 (0) 117 42 82165

Summary

Robert Vilain specializes in German, Austrian, French and Comparative Literature in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with a special interest in lyric poetry. He has published widely on authors such as Hofmannsthal, George, Rilke, Yvan and Claire Goll, Thomas Mann, on Franco-German literary relations, detective fiction and the relationship of literature and music. Since September 2013 he has been Germanic Editor of Modern Language Review, having formerly acted as joint editor of the journal Austrian Studies from 2003 to 2011. He is also Series Editor for "Studies in Modern German and Austrian Literature" published by Peter Lang. He regularly reviews for the TLS as well as for academic journals.

From 2014 to 2019 Professor Vilain will be co-investigator with Prof Andrew Webber (Cambridge, PI) and Dr Judith Beniston (UCL, Co-I) on a major AHRC-funded project to complete a section of a digital critical edition of the middle-period works of the Austrian dramatist and novelist Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931). The project website is here: www.arthur-schnitzler.org. The edition will be publicly available, at no cost to users, on a site hosted by the Cambridge University Library. 

Professor Vilain's other current and recent projects include a monograph on the works of Yvan Goll (forthcoming with Legenda, Oxford) and a lengthy study of the first French translation of Goethe's Faust by Albert Stapfer, published in 1823 and, in a revised version with a magnificent set of lithographs by Delacroix, in 1828. He is also working on a translation of Rilke's novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge for OUP and a study of Rilke's relationship with the culture, history, geography and topography of Italy.

Biography

Robert Vilain studied German and French at the Universities of Oxford and Bonn and completed a DPhil in comparative literature in Oxford in 1994. After a year lecturing at the University of Manchester, and 18 years at Royal Holloway, University of London, he joined the University of Bristol in 2010. He was Head of the School of Modern Languages from August 2012 to July 2015.

From October 2003 to September 2006, Professor Vilain was the holder of a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship. In 2004 he also held a Fellowship at the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall in Paris, and in 2011 a Fellowship to study at Princeton University Library in the Rare Books and Graphic Arts Divisions. Professor Vilain is also Lecturer in German at Christ Church, Oxford, where he is responsible for the College's undergraduate German teaching.

From 2014 to 2019 Professor Vilain will be co-investigator with Prof Andrew Webber (Cambridge, PI) and Dr Judith Beniston (UCL, Co-I) on a major AHRC-funded project to complete a section of a digital critical edition of the middle-period works of the Austrian dramatist and novelist Arthur Schnitzler. 

From 1 August 2015 Professor Vilain has been Warden of Wills Hall at the University of Bristol.

Teaching

Robert Vilain teaches German language (translation) and literary and cultural topics from the 18th century to the present day. Current and recent second- and final-year courses include "Die Wiener Moderne", "The German Sonnet", "German Expressionist Drama", "From Caligari to Hitler: German Film 1918-1945", "Reimagining Odysseus" (MODL course taught with materials in English). 

Students with queries about seminars, presentations or written work should email me and I will suggest an appointment, usually within 48 hours or immediately after a weekend during the teaching term.

Memberships

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Department of German

Organisational groups

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Selected publications

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Recent publications

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