Born in London, Anna read German at Exeter College, Oxford, graduating in 1997. After a research year at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, she returned to Oxford to study first for a Master of Studies and then for a DPhil on early modern consolation poetry at Exeter, Jesus and St. John’s Colleges. From 2002-2004 Anna held a position as a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford, and in 2004 she returned to London to take up a post as Lecturer in German at King’s. Between 2005 and 2008 she was on the steering committee for the AHRC-funded project ‘Representations of Women and Death in German Literature, Art and Media after 1500’. Anna is currently the Co-Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies.
Anna’s research focuses primarily on the early modern period, spanning the sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, although her work has also taken in other periods. She has often worked across disciplinary boundaries, with projects which also have a historical and/or theological focus.
Anna’s 2008 monograph, Poetry and Parental Bereavement in Early Modern Lutheran Germany, examines poetry written to console bereaved parents in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It engages with a number of debates in early modern studies on the sociology of death, Lutheran teachings on bereavement and mourning, literary presentations of mortality and loss, and the depiction of children and parent-child relationships in literature.
The use of two particular examples in the consolation literature on the loss of a child, the sacrifices of Iphigenia and Jephthah’s daughter (Judges 11), provided her next research topic, which charted their parallel reception in German literature and culture over a period of five centuries, shedding light on intellectual trends and changing preoccupations in German cultural history.
Anna has also published recently on the sixteenth-century poet and Meistersinger, Hans Sachs, on a stage adaptation of John Barclay’s novel Argenis by the playwright Christian Weise, and on the manuscript correspondence of Georg Rodolf Weckherlin with his daughter.
Anna’s current research is concerned with the writings of German poets and authors in Stuart Britain. This project moves from the life and work of the German poet, Georg Rodolf Weckherlin, who lived out the greater part of his life in England, served as Secretary for Foreign Tongues under Charles I and as Licenser to the Press, and was employed by the Committee of Both Kingdoms during the Civil War, through the role of German speakers in Britain's intellectual networks, particularly the circle around Samuel Hartlib, John Dury and Theodor Haak, to the Silesian millenarian poet and self-styled ‘son of the Son of God’, Quirinus Kuhlmann, who spent a considerable amount of time in London in the 1670s and early 1680s. In 2017 Anna was awarded an AHRC Mid-Career Fellowship to work on this project.
For more details, please see her full research profile.
Anna's teaching covers both German language and literature from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. Modules include translation from and into German, as well as introductory modules on modern German literature, and second- and final-year modules on the Lutheran Reformation; Religion, sex and politics in the literature and culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; early modern women: representations and responses; nineteenth-century German Realist fiction; Heinrich Heine; and Thomas Mann's early fiction.