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Research portal

Dr Ben Schofield

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sheffield

    2009
  • Master of Arts, University of Sheffield

    2003
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

    2002

Research interests

Ben’s research interests cross the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries and are situated at the intersection of Transnational Studies,Comparative Cultural Studies, German Studies, and American/English Studies. His has published on a wide range of subjects, including: German-language culture and identity in transnational contexts (with a particular focus on contemporary German-American and Austrian-American relations);  19th C. German culture (the novel, the bestseller, literature and nationhood, Franco-German/Anglo-German cultural relations).; Anglo-German theatrical relations (contemporary directors; Shakespeare and Germany); European authorship (art, activism, and European cultural policy), as well as Dutch-language culture. With his two co-edited volumes Transnational German Studies (with Rebecca Braun, 2020) and German in the World (with James Hodkinson, 2020), his research has contributed to the development of the field of Transnational German Studies, seeking new ways forward for the discipline of German Studies through novel interdisciplinary research directly exploring the mobility of knowledge. Throughout his workhe argues for an understanding of the transnational as an interdisciplinary and transperiod methodology, which demands that we look again at how nations such as Germany conceptualised of themselves before the creation of the nation state, across a range of historical contexts, but also beyond the nation state, in the contemporary era. In his work, he thus aims to broaden understanding of what German Studies, American Studies, and Cultural Studies can be thematically and methodologically, taking that work to new audiences, beyond within and beyond the academy.

In 2020 he was awarded the Mount Vernon Fellowship of the Georgian Papers programme, to pursue research on late 18th and early 19th C. German-American relations at the Washington Library at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate.

Ben has worked extensively with partners including Shakespeare’s Globe (Cultural Olympiad, 2012); Southbank Centre (lectures/podcasts, 2013-14); National Theatre (programme notes, 2014); and Granta (Europe issue launch, 2019). In 2016 worked with Professor Elisabeth Dutton and Dr Emily Oliver on a multilingual Shakespeare performance as part of the official Shakespeare400 season, and in 2019 with Dr Catherine Smale and the British Council on the #SaveWildWords campaign. 

He has also worked extensively on the European level, with the civil-society initiative A Soul for Europe, including on flagship European Institution events such as the 2014 ‘State of Europe’ speech with European Parliament President Martin Schulz; the 2015 ‘New Narrative for Europe’ with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso; and the 2016 re-launch of the ‘New Narrative’. 

Ben welcomes all enquiries from PhD students, and has supervised projects across a wide range of fields from the 19th C. to the present, including: literary studies (German and Austrian literature, comparative literature, literature and historiography, fairy tales, life writing research, Realism and the novel, exile literature, Classical Reception Studies, Memory Studies); Theatre and Performance Studies (Shakespeare and fascism, contemporary German and Swiss theatre, theatre and memory, theatre and mourning, opera and operetta), and film (contemporary German cinema). In 2018 he was awarded the King’s Award for Supervisory Excellence and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Supervisory Excellence Award. 

Biographical details

Benedict Schofield is Reader in German and Director of the Centre for Modern Literature & Culture, and served as Head of German from 2014-2019. He joined King’s in 2008, having previously held positions at the University of Cambridge and the Institute of Modern Languages Research, London. 

Ben’s research focuses on Transnational Studies and Comparative Cultural Studies, with core concerns in German and American Studies/German-American Relations, Shakespeare Studies/Anglo-German Relations, and European cultural practice. His publications include the co-edited volumes Transnational German StudiesGerman in the World, and The German Bestseller in the Late Nineteenth Century, and the monograph Private Lives and Collective Destinies. Class, Nation and the Folk in the Works of Gustav Freytag.   

He is Series Editor for Transnational Modern Languages and Studies in Modern German & Austrian Literature, and German Editor for Modern Languages Open. From 2010-16 he served on the Executive Committee of the Association for German Studies.

Ben teaches at all levels in the Department of German, with modules covering the culture and history of the German-speaking countries from 1750-present, as well as advanced translation. His teaching also includes introductory modules for first year students of the Modern Languages, involving multilingual materials from the French, Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, and interdisciplinary modules open to students from across King’s, including on European cultural policy. Ben has also taught extensively in the Department of Comparative Literature at both BA and MA level, and collaboratively with Liberal Arts on Global Cultures. He is currently leading co-curricular work at King’s on a new College-wide Cultural Competency programme, and sits on the College’s Curriculum 2029 Programme Board, and has particular interests in Decolonisation and Interdisciplinarity. 

Editorial activity

De Gruyter (Publisher)

Ben Schofield (Editor)

Apr 2021 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

University of Liverpool Press (Publisher)

Benedict Schofield (Editor)

2020 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Peter Lang (Publisher)

Benedict Schofield (Editor)

2018 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Modern Languages Open (Journal)

Ben Schofield (Editor)

2014 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Journal of Genocide Research (Journal)

Ben Schofield (Associate Editor)

20062010

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Participation in conference

World Authors and Translators in the Global Circulation of Capital

Ben Schofield (Keynote/plenary speaker)

3 Jul 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

“Literature, History and the Archive: Cultural-Historical Processes in Gustav Freytag’s Fiction”, (German Studies Association San Francisco Conference)

Ben Schofield (Keynote/plenary speaker)

Oct 2010 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

“The Novel, History, and Liberal Politics: The Case of Gustav Freytag”, (German Studies Association San Francisco Conference)

Ben Schofield (Chair)

Oct 2010 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

“‘Ohne Tendenz? Ohne Idee!’ Radicalism, Revolution and Realism in the Literary Exchange between Karl Gutzkow and Gustav Freytag”, (Exeter Gutzkow Conference)

Ben Schofield (Keynote/plenary speaker)

Sep 2010 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

“Eine Frage der Kanonizität. Theodor Fontane, Gustav Freytag und der Begriff Realismus, 1840-1890”, (Fontane Gesellschaft Conference)

Ben Schofield (Keynote/plenary speaker)

Apr 2010 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

At Cambridge: The Bestseller in the 19th Century Conference, University of Cambridge

Ben Schofield (Organiser)

Apr 2009 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

At the IGRS: “The ‘Good German’ in Literature and Culture”

Ben Schofield (Organiser)

Apr 2008 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

At Sheffield:“Crossing the Boundaries. Writing by German-speaking Women, 1870-1918”

Ben Schofield (Organiser)

Sep 2007 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

At the IGRS: “Containment and Subversion: The Work and Person of Heinrich von Kleist”

Ben Schofield (Organiser)

2007 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

At Sheffield: “War, Genocide and Memory. German Colonialism and National Identity”

Ben Schofield (Organiser)

Sep 2006 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

“Evolution or Revolution? The Revolution of 1848 and the Works of Heinrich Heine”, (National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies)

Ben Schofield (Invited speaker)

2006 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

At Sheffield: “The National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies”

Ben Schofield (Organiser)

May 2005 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

"Hegel", “The National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies”

Ben Schofield (Chair)

May 2005 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

“‘Liebe’ - The Apotheosis of German Identity? Gustav Freytag’s Die Ahnen”, (National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies, IGRS)

Ben Schofield (Invited speaker)

May 2004 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Types of External academic engagement - Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

Strategy Group and Content Coordinator, A Soul for Europe

Ben Schofield (Member)

2006 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

Publication peer-review

SCOPE: A Journal of Film and Television Studies (Journal)

Ben Schofield (Editor)

2011 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Humboldt University Berlin (Journal)

Ben Schofield (Editor)

20102011

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Maney Publishing (Publisher)

Ben Schofield (Editor)

20102011

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

New Books in German (Goethe Institut) (Journal)

Ben Schofield (Editor)

2009 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Publications of the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies (Journal)

Ben Schofield (Editor)

2007 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Types of Business and Community - Work on advisory panel to industry or government or non-government organisation

Strategy Group member and Content Coordinator for the civil society initiative A Soul for Europe, including regular work with the EU Commission

Ben Schofield (Member)

2006 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of Business and Community - Work on advisory panel to industry or government or non-government organisation

Types of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

Executive Committee, The Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland

Ben Schofield (Member)

2011 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

Stipendiary Corresponding Fellowship, Fontane Gesellschaft

Ben Schofield (Fellow)

2010 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

Assessor, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Servicce)

Ben Schofield (Member)

2008 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

The Association for Low Countries Studies

Ben Schofield (Member)

2001 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

The Modern Humanities Research Association

Ben Schofield (Member)

2001 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

The Gustav Freytag Gesellschaft

Ben Schofield (Member)

2001 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

The International Comparative Literature Association

Ben Schofield (Member)

2001 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

The British Comparative Literature Association

Ben Schofield (Member)

2001 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

The German Studies Association of America

Ben Schofield (Member)

2001 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

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