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Christiane Schönfeld

Christiane Schönfeld

B.A. [Zwischenprüfung] (Universität Freiburg), Cand. phil. (Universität Bonn); MA (The Pennsylvania State University) and PhD (Penn State)
Head of Department & Associate Professor of German Studies

Research interests

19th and 20th century German-language literature and the history of cinema, with a particular focus on adaptation (1896-present), inter- and transmedialities, film narratology, women and gender in literature and film, representations of alterity, exclusionary practices, exile, migration and reeducation. 

More information

Christiane Schönfeld studied Germanic Languages & Literatures and Art History in Freiburg, Bonn, Paris and at The Pennsylvania State University, where she completed her PhD in 1994. After lecturing at Middlebury College, Vermont (USA), the University of Wales, Lampeter (GB) and the University of Galway, she was appointed Head of the Department of German Studies at Mary Immaculate College in 2009. An advocate of an inclusive culture and multilingualism, she teaches German language and intercultural skills, literature and film. Much of her teaching, but also her interdisciplinary research underscores the important role of literature and film in society. Narratives and representations of inequality and marginalisation, for example, have long served to communicate the vital benefits of EDII (equality, diversity, inclusion and interculturalism) to mass audiences and to trigger debates in the public sphere. In addition, in Germany and Austria, many creative individuals were eliminated not only from society but from the literary canon during the Nazi era and subsequently forgotten. Much of her research is devoted to highlighting the significance of these representations and individuals. Among her publications are a book on the representation of the prostitute in German Expressionism (Dialektik und Utopie, 1996), edited and co-edited volumes such as Commodities of Desire (2000), Practicing Modernity: Female Creativity in the Weimar Republic (2006), Processes of Transposition: German Literature and Film (2007), the works of Ernst Toller (2015), and articles on expressionism, autobiography, creative women of the 19th and 20th century, German film and, especially, film adaptations (for more info please see below). Her most recent book is The History of German Literature on Film (Bloomsbury, 2023). She has served as co-editor of Germanistik in Ireland, on the committees of the Association for German Studies in Britain and Ireland, Women in German Studies, One Voice for Languages, and initiated and co-directed the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies. She currently serves on the committee of the Ernst Toller Gesellschaft and on a number of advisory boards. She has supervised and examined MAs and PhDs on different aspects of 20th and 21st century German literature and film. If you are interested in pursuing postgraduate work, in gaining experience in Teaching German, or if you have any other queries, please contact Christiane via email.

Are you interested in doing your PhD in the context of cultural (socio-political/historical) relations between France and Germany under interdisciplinary supervision? For information about a PhD in Franco-German Relations (incl. a postgraduate assistantship stipend, a fee waiver, and an annual travel / research scholarship funded by the French and German Embassies in Ireland), please contact Christiane Schönfeld ( and the Head of French Studies, Dr. Loïc Guyon (


For a short essay (in German) on Ernst Toller's connection to Ireland and his planned visit to Dublin in 1935, click here.

For her 'rte brainstorm' article (in English) about anti-Nazi political activist Sophie Scholl (1921-1943), click here.

For a selection of research articles, see MIC's Research Repository here.


Publications - BOOKS

Monographs (including work in progress)

Deutschsprachige Literatur im Kino. Von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart. Stuttgart: Metzler

Deutschsprachige Literatur im Kino. Von den Anfängen bis 1945. Stuttgart: Metzler 

The History of German Literature on Film. New York: Bloomsbury, 2023

Dialektik und Utopie. Die Prostituierte im deutschen Expressionismus, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1996

Critical Edition

Ernst Toller. Sämtliche Werke. Kritische Ausgabe, 6 vols., critical edition of Ernst Toller’s collected works; edited in collaboration with D. Distl, M. Gerstenbräun, T. Hoffmann, J. Jordan, S. Lamb, P. Langemeyer, K. Leydecker, S. Neuhaus, M. Pilz, K. Reimers, G. Scholz, R. Selbmann, Th. Unger, I. Zanol. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2015 



Ernst Toller: A Youth in Germany, translated from the original German by Eoin and Eva Bourke, edited and introduced with Lisa Marie Anderson. Peterborough: Broadview, 2024.


German Life and Letters 75.2 (2022) – a special number on Ernst Toller in Exile; introduced and co-edited with Lisa Marie Anderson;

Germanistik in Ireland 12 (2017), edited with Gillian Pye. Konstanz: Hartung-Gorre (270 pp)

Germanistik in Ireland 11 (2016), edited with Gillian Pye, thematic section on Transit or Transformation? Border Crossings in Language and Literature ed. by guest editors W. Bonner, S. Egger, E.W.B. Hess-Lüttich. Konstanz: Hartung-Gorre (170 pp)

Edited and Co-Edited Books

Representing the ‘Good German’ in Literature and Culture after 1945: Altruism and Moral Ambiguity, edited and introduced with Pól Ó Dochartaigh. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2013 (250 pp)

Processes of Transposition: German Literature and Film, ed. (in collaboration with Hermann Rasche) and intro. Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik 64, Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007 (380 pp)

Practicing Modernity: Female Creativity in the Weimar Republic, ed. (in collaboration with Carmel Finnan) and intro. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2006 (350 pp)

Denkbilder: Festschrift für Eoin Bourke, ed. with Hermann Rasche. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2004 (490 pp)

Commodities of Desire: The Prostitute in Modern German Literature, ed. and intro. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 2000 (270 pp)

Publications - ARTICLES

Selected Peer-reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

“Kulturelles Erbe und Arbeit im Exil: Die deutschsprachige Literatur und der internationale Film (1933-45)”, Oxford German Studies 52.3 (2023): 350-65. [pdf]

“Film: Drehbücher, Adaptionen, Remakes”, Erich Kästner, ed. Stefan Neuhaus, Stuttgart: Metzler, 2023, pp. 263-85.

"Ernst Toller's Film Projects", German Life and Letters 75.2 (2022): 250-265.

“Women within the City (Berlin 1900-1933)” in: Jeremy Tambling, ed., Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies, London: Palgrave, online 2021, print 2022.

“Berlin Alexanderplatz”, in: Jeremy Tambling, ed., Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies, London: Palgrave, online & print 2022.

“Lotte Reiniger and Female Creativity in the Weimar Republic”, co-author: Aneka Meier, in Rada Bieberstein, ed., Beyond Prince Achmed: New Perspectives on Animation Pioneer Lotte Reiniger, Marburg: Schüren, 2022, pp. 31-69.

“Pariser Exilromane im Film: Transnationale Neucodierungen von Erinnerungskultur”, Feuchtwanger und die Erinnerungskultur in Frankreich / Feuchtwanger et la culture mémorielle en France, ed. by Daniel Azuélos, Andrea Chartier-Bunzel, Frédéric Teinturier, London: Lang, Feuchtwanger-Studien 8 (2020): 229-246.

“Collaborative Art with Political Intent: The 1933 Adaptation of Theodor Storm’s Der Schimmelreiter / The Rider on the White Horse (1888)”, in: Bernadette Cronin, Rachel MagShamhráin, Nikolai Preuschoff, eds. Process and Practice: Adaptation Considered As a Collaborative Art, London: Palgrave, 2020, 169-192.

“Verfilmungen”, Metzler Handbuch: Fontanes Effi Briest, ed. Stefan Neuhaus, Stuttgart: Metzler, 2019, 131-149.

“Ernst Toller und das Kino”, text+kritik 223 (2019): 47-57.

“Buddenbrooks im Stummfilm”, Metzler Handbuch: Thomas Manns Buddenbrooks, eds. Stefan Neuhaus and Nicole Mattern, Stuttgart: Metzler, 2018, pp. 58-63.

“Von einer Ästhetik des Hässlichen zu einer Ethik des Ähnlichen: Prostituierte in Kunst, Literatur und Film”, in: Komparative Ästhetiken, eds. Meher Bhoot, Vibha Surana, Ernest Hess- Lüttich, Mumbai: University of Mumbai Press, 2018, pp. 275-289.

“Prostitution im Kino der Weimarer Republik“, in: Körper kaufen? Prostitution in Literatur und Medien, ed. Simone Sauer-Kretschmer. Berlin: Bachmann, 2016, pp. 68-87.

“Memories of World War II in German Film after 1945”, in: The Long Aftermath: Cultural Legacies of Europe at War, 1936-2016, eds. Manuel Braganca and Peter Tame. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015, pp. 200-218.

“Bridging Gaps; Building Bridges: Figures of Speech, Symbolic Expression, and Pedagogy” (with Ulf Strohmayer), in Spatiality and Symbolic Expression: On the Links between Place and Culture, ed. Bill Richardson. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 59-86.

“’Alle Qual vom Herzen Schreiben.’ Performative Ästhetik von Lust und Schmerz in Margarete Böhmes Tagebuch einer Verlorenen (1905) und Dida Ibsens Geschichte (1907) in Text und Film”, in: Schmerz, Lust, Weiblichkeit und Avantgarde in Deutschland, eds. Lorella Bosco and Anke Gilleir. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2015, pp. 51-78.

“Die blinde Göttin - Nachwort”, in: Ernst Toller, Sämtliche Werke, vol. 2, eds. Kirsten Reimers, Christiane Schönfeld, Thorsten Unger, et al. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2015, pp. 749-772.

“Nie wieder Friede! - Nachwort”, in: Ernst Toller, Sämtliche Werke, vol. 2, eds. Kirsten Reimers, Christiane Schönfeld, Thorsten Unger, et al. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2015, pp. 772-794.

“Being Human: Good Germans in Postwar German Film”, in: Representing the ‘Good German’, ed. Christiane Schönfeld and Pól Ó Dochartaigh. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2013, pp. 111-37.

“Fritz Kortner’s Return to Germany and the Figure of the Returning Exile in Kortner’s The Mission and Josef v. Báky’s Der Ruf”, Feuchtwanger-Studien 3 (2013): 475-94.

“Erfolg und Misserfolg von Verfilmungen: Manfred Gregors Die Brücke und die Nahaufnahmen des Krieges in Kino und Fernsehen”, Germanistik in Ireland 7 (2012): 81-102.

“Die verdinglichte Frau als Heimat im deutschen Film: Rolf Thieles Das Mädchen Rosemarie”, in: Post/Nationale Vorstellungen von ‚Heimat’ in deutschen, europäischen und globalen Kontexten, eds. F. Eigler, J. Golec and L. Żyliński, Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 2012, pp. 133-138.

“Under Construction: Gender and the Representation of the Prostitute in German Expressionism”, in: Expressionism and Gender, ed. Frank Krause, Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2010, pp. 117-132.

“Feuchtwanger, Jud Süß and the Nazis”, in: Aesthetics and Politics in Modern German Culture, eds. Brigid Haines, Steven Parker, Colin Riordan, London: Lang, 2010, pp. 39-52.

“Malwida von Meysenbug’s Journey into Nachmärz: Political and Personal Emancipation in Eine Reise nach Ostende (1849)”, in: Jahrbuch Forum Vormärzforschung, Reiseliteratur im Vormärz, ed. Christina Ujma, Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2009, pp. 93-104.

“Feuchtwanger and the Propaganda Ministry: The Transposition of Jud Süß from Novel to Nazi Film”, in:  Feuchtwanger and Film, ed. Ian Wallace, Feuchtwanger-Studien 1, London: Lang, 2009, pp. 125-151.

“Representing Pain in Literature and Film: Reflections on Die Brücke (The Bridge) by Manfred Gregor and Bernhard Wicki”, Comunicação & Cultura 5 (2008): pp.  45-62.

“Eine Begegnung mit Neil Jordans Film The Crying Game”, in: Irish-German Encounters/Deutsch-irische Begegnungen, eds. Gisela Holfter and Hans-Walter Schmidt-Hannisa, Irish-German Studies 2 (2007): pp. 98-106.

Triumph des Genies (1940): Schiller in Third Reich Cinema”, in: Schiller – On the Threshold of Modernity, eds. Florian Krobb and Hans-Walter Schmidt-Hannisa, Germanistik in Ireland 1 (2006): pp. 75-88.

“Creative Women of the Weimar Republic: Borrowed Spaces and Modern Cultural Practices”, in: Practicing Modernity: Female Creativity in the Weimar Republic, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2006, pp. xi-xviii.

“Lotte Reiniger and the Art of Animation”, in: Practicing Modernity: Female Creativity in the Weimar Republic, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2006, pp. 169-85.

“The Femme Fatale on Film”, in: Women Emerging. A Decade of Irish Feminist Scholarship, Galway: Women’s Studies Centre, 2005, pp. 131-33.

“Pandora and the Construction of Memory in Film”, in: Landscapes of Memory/Paisagens da Memória, eds. Isabel Capeloa Gil, Richard Trewinnard and Maria Laura Pires, Lisbon: Universidade Católica Editora, 2004, pp. 35-47.

“Über die Eisenbahnfahrt ins politische Schreiben. Malwida von Meysenbugs Eine Reise nach Ostende (1849)”, in: Malwida von Meysenbug (1816-1903): Durch lauter Zaubergärten der Armida, ed. Karl-Heinz Nickel, Kassel: Wenderoth, 2004, pp. 34-62.

“Women on screen: A short history of the femme fatale”, in: Women’s Studies Review 8 (2002), pp. 29-46.

“Modern Identities in Early German Film”, in: Engaging Film: Geographies of Mobility and Identity, eds. Debra Dixon and Tim Cresswell, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, pp. 174-190.

“Streetwalking the Metropolis: The Prostitute in Expressionism”, in: Commodities of Desire: The Prostitute in Modern German Literature, Columbia, SC: Camden House, 2000, pp. 110-30.

“Representing 1848: Autobiography and Fiction in Fanny Lewald”, Colloquia Germanica 33.3 (2000), pp. 239-254. (co-authors: Deborah Pinfold and Ruth Whittle)

“Confessional Narrative/Fragmented Identity. Emmy Hennings’s Das Brandmal. Ein Tagebuch”, in: Autobiography by Women in German, eds. Mererid Puw Davies, Beth Linklater, and Gisela Shaw, Bern: Peter Lang, 2000, pp. 163-179.

“Constructing the Subject? Emmy Hennings’s Autobiographical Works”, in: Representing Lives, eds. Pauline Polkey-Taylor and Alison Donnel, Houndmills: Macmillan, 2000, pp. 187-195.

"The Urbanization of the Body: Prostitutes, Dialectics and Utopia in German Expressionism", The German Studies Review 20.1 (1997), pp. 49-63.

Short Essays for Encyclopedias

“Günther Eich”, “Lion Feuchtwanger”, “Wolfgang Koeppen”, “Thomas Mann”, “Nelly Sachs” in Encyclopedia of Contemporary German Culture, ed. John Sandford, London: Routledge, 1999, pp. 181, 242, 382, 484, 567.

“Dadaism”, “Erotic Literature”, “Expressionism”, “Whore”, in The Feminist Encyclopedia of German Literature, ed. Susanne Kord, Westport, London: Greenwood Press, 1997, pp. 83-84, 123-124, 137-138, 559-561.