Professor Leeder elected to the Schwarz-Taylor Chair of German

Professor Karen Leeder

Professor Karen Leeder (credit: John Cairns)

Professor Karen Leeder has been elected to become the next Schwarz-Taylor Chair of the German Language and Literature in the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages.

Professor Leeder is a world expert in German contemporary poetry and her publications include volumes on East German poetry, as well as on Rainer Maria Rilke, Brecht, the culture of the GDR, and Durs Grünbein.

She is also a renowned translator and has been awarded many prizes including the Schlegel-Tieck prize of the Society of Authors (UK), The John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize (USA) and an Austrian National Prize for translation and services to Austrian literature.

Professor Leeder will take up the position in October, succeeding Professor Ritchie Robertson. The future of the Taylor Chair of the German Language and Literature was secured earlier this year thanks to a generous donation from the Dieter Schwarz Foundation, one of Germany’s largest charitable foundations. The post was renamed in recognition of this commitment, which has been match-funded by Oxford.

Professor Almut Suerbaum, Chair of the Faculty Board, said: “This is an exciting appointment, strengthening the faculty’s expertise in performance and translation. Karen Leeder’s work as an academic and translator and her collaborations with poets Ulrike Draesner, Durs Grünbein, and Almut Ulrike Sandig have introduced new audiences to contemporary German poetry and German culture. We are enormously grateful to the Dieter Schwarz Foundation, whose generosity has secured the chair and the future of German Studies at Oxford.”

Professor Leeder said: “I am so delighted to be elected to the Schwarz-Taylor Chair. The Chair has a hugely distinguished tradition and to be elected as the first woman to join that tradition is a great honour. It is a privilege to continue working with such dynamic and talented colleagues in Oxford German and Modern Languages in this new role and to join the Queen’s College. I look forward to reaching new audiences for German culture and promoting the place of German in a national and international context.”

You can read more about Professor Leeder’s research and teaching here.