Jürgen Barkhoff

Germanic Studies, Dublin
Aufenthalt: 01.02.-31.07.2019



Zum Fellowvideo


Jürgen Barkhoff is Professor of German (1776) at Trinity College, University of Dublin. He is an expert on German literature and culture since 1750 with a strong focus on interdisciplinary research. He studied in Tübingen, Hamburg and Dublin and holds a Dr. phil. from the University of Hamburg. He joined Trinity College in 1995 after a Fellowship at the Kulturwissenschaftliche Institut in Essen. Barkhoff was Director of the Centre for European Studies 2002-2005, Registrar (Vice-Rector) of the University 2007-2011, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute 2012-2015, Head of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures 2015-2018 and Convener of Trinity College's interdisciplinary research theme 'Identities in Transformation' 2013-2018. He is Vice-Chair of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group of European Universities.


Contemporary Swiss Literature, Identity and culture in Europe, Literary Antrhopology, Literature and Medicine, Medical Humanities, Environmental Humanities


Strategies of Autofiction in Thomas Hürlimann's Writings

The Swiss author Thomas Hürlimann counts among the most important contemporary German language writers. Through his literary works he is also a distinct voice in the cultural and societal debates in his country. Like no other German language author has Hürlimann, who is the son of a well-known Swiss politician, put his family history at the centre of his literary oeuvre, which can thus be read as literature grounded in autobiography. He uses this fictionalised family history to thematize politics, society, culture and mentality of modern Switzerland in the spirit of a critical patriotism. This makes his texts central contributions to Swiss cultural memory and identity discourses. Prominent themes in Hürlimann’s work to be discussed are: the opportunism of Switzerland during the Second World War and the subsequent historical myths which repressed and aimed at making this opportunism invisible; isolationist and xenophobic tendencies;  patriarchal power structures and –rituals in the political system; issues of gender; the role of religion in a secular society; the relevance of belonging and Heimat and the rapid modernisation processes of globalisation. The project will interrogate Hürlimanns complex strategies of life writing in their intertextual interdependencies across his novels and novellas, plays, autobiographical essays, poetological reflections and interviews. It will analyse their mechanisms and functions with a thematic focus on elements of autofiction, literary biography, Schlüsselliteratur, family novel and generational novel.  

Publikationen (Auswahl)

‘Wilhelm Tell als Schweizer und als Europäer - im Kontext des Schweizer Europadiskurses’ in Peter André Alt, Marcel Lepper (eds.), Schillers Europa, Berlin, De Gruyter 2017, pp. 241-259.

"'Wie fallen die Schwalben?' 'Perfekt, Herr Bundespräsident'. Inszenierungen der Macht bei Thomas Hürlimann’ in Macht in der Schweizer Literatur, in Goncalo Vilas-Boas, Teresa Martins de Oliveira (eds.), Berlin, Franke & Timme 2012, pp319 – 334.

‘Die Katzen und die Schweiz. Zum Verhältnis von Familiengeschichte und Landesgeschichte in Thomas Hürlimanns Familientrilogie’ in Beatrice Sandberg (ed.), Familienbilder als Zeitbilder. Erzählte Zeitgeschichte(n) bei Schweizer Autoren vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart, Berlin, Franke & Timme 2010, pp181 – 195.

Jürgen Barkhoff, Valerie Heffernan (eds.), Schweiz schreiben. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Mythos Schweiz in der Gegenwartsliteratur , de Gruyter, 2010, VII+321pp. Jürgen Barkhoff, Dietrich von Engelhardt (eds.), Körperkult - Körperzwang - Körperstörung im Spiegel von Psychopathologie, Literatur und Kultur, Mattes Verlag Heidelberg, 2010, XIII + 380pp.

Jürgen Barkhoff, Helmut Eberhart (eds.), Networking Across Borders and Frontiers. Demarcation and Connectedness in European Culture and Society, Coimbra Group workshop in Graz, Austria, September 2007, Peter Lang Verlag, 2009, 264pp.

Jürgen Barkhoff, Hartmut Böhme, Jeanne Riou (eds.), Netzwerke. Eine Kulturtechnik der Moderne, Böhlau Verlag Köln, Weimar, Wien, 2004, 359pp.

Jürgen Barkhoff, Gilbert Carr, Roger Paulin (eds.), Das schwierige neunzehnte Jahrhundert. Germanistische Tagung zum 65. Geburtstag von Eda Sagarra im August 1998 , Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen, 2000, 11+587pp.

Magnetische Fiktionen. Literarisierung des Mesmerismus in der Romantik, Stuttgart, Weimar, Metzler, 1995, XIX+361pp]