… auf Deutsch

Born 1955 in Montreal / Canada

A Guest

Age knocks at my door; keeps knocking hard:
 "You're in there, chum - yo is my man."

But I don't open, play my last card: 
"Address me decently if you can!"

And so admonished this guest buggers off -
close shave my china, close enough...


(Own translation of “Ein Gast” by Robert Gernhart; check the German version of this page for the original since “poetry in translation is like taking a shower with a raincoat on.” Now from which movie did I glean that wonderful line???
– Ah, yes: Paterson by Jim Jarmusch. AHA!)

Academic Career

Since April 2020 I’m a retired Professor of University of Hamburg. Yo!

11/2017 – 03/2020: University of Hamburg

Professor of Digital Humanities with core areas Modern German Literature and Text Analysis

2006 – 2017: University of Hamburg

Professor of Modern German Literature (Theory of Literature, Methodology of Textual Analysis and Literary Computing) in the Department of Language, Literature and Media I, Faculty of the Humanities, University of Hamburg.

2006: LMU, Munich

Professor of Modern German Literature and Humanities Computing (‘Professor für Neuere deutsche Literaturwissenschaft und Computerphilologie ’) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich.

2001 – 2006: University of Hamburg

Since 4/2004 project leader for the project on ‘Story Generator Algorithms’ and for NarrNetz, an E-Learning project on Narrative Theory. 2002-2004 Chairperson of the Arbeitsstelle Computerphilologie (Working Group Literary Computing); co-author and coordinator for the E-Learning course C-Phil Online,

4/2001 – 3/2004 academic researcher in the DFG (German Research Foundation) funded Narratology Research Group (FGN) at Hamburg University, project on ‘The Temporality Effect’.

2001 Habilitation at the University of Hamburg with a study on a narrative theory of action and Humanities Computing.

Member of the ASL ( Working Group on the Social History Of Literature, Hamburg University) since 1996. DFG (German Science Foundation) Habilitation Grant 1998 – 2000.

1986 – 1995: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

1986-88 Lecturer, 1988-90 Senior Lecturer, 1990-95 Associate Professor ad hominem (tenured) and Head of German Department / Deputy Chairperson Modern Languages at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg/South Africa.

1981 – 1986: University of Hamburg

Academic Assistant in the Department of German; Doctoral Dissertation and and Doctorate in Philosophy (1985)

1974 – 1981: Studies at Hamburg University

Studied German, History, Education and English at the University of Hamburg where I also obtained my First State Exam.

Research focus

Digital Humanities, Narratology, Austrian Literature of the 20th century, Fantastic Literature

Committee and Association Offices

Chair of the Executive Comittee of the EADH – European Association for Digital Humanities (2013 ff) Chair of the Executive Committee of DHd – Digital Humanities in the German speaking region (2012-2015) eLearning Commissioner for the Faculty of Arts, Universität Hamburg (Summer term 2010 ff) “Executive Director” of the Institute for German, Universität Hamburg (Winter term 2010/11 – Summer term 2013) Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Narratology (ICN; 2009 ff) Member of the Executive Committee of the EADH – European Association for Digital Humanities (formerly ALLC; 2008 ff) Commissioner for Study and Teaching, Departments SLM, Universität Hamburg (Winter term 2007/8 – Summer term 2013)

Wilder Stuff

Climbing the 2nd pitch (grade 21) of Mithral Peak at The Crags, South Africa
Day 3 of the 2012 Dr.Evil Mountainbike Classic (250 km)

… happens beyond the desk! Some memories still linger on, others  have eventually become history