dirk wiemann


How does literature ‘work’? How does form matter? What is the politics of the poetic? These are questions that I find crucial for any discussion of the possible relevance (or irrelevance) of literature for the present. 

I am professor of English Literature at the University of Potsdam (Germany). I graduated from the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg where I wrote my PhD thesis on European exile writers in Britain during the 1930s and World War II. Before joining the English and American Studies Department at Potsdam, I held teaching positions at the universities of Magdeburg and Tübingen as well as the (then) CIEFL Hyderabad (India) and the University of Delhi. My research areas include Postcolonial Studies, especially Indian literature, film and cultural politics; 17th-century English radicalism; genre transformations in contemporary transnational literature;  emotion studies; and theories of modernity.

Together with Lars Eckstein, I am speaker of the Research Training Group “Minor Cosmopolitanisms” funded by the German Research Association (DFG). For further information, please visit http://www.uni-potsdam.de/minorcosmopolitanisms

I am also programme director of the bilateral research network “Writing the Cosmopolitan Imagination: Genre Transactions in World-Literary Space”. This is a collaborative project of the English and German Departments at the University of Delhi and the University of Potsdam, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) for a five-year period from 2016 to 2020.

My current research is in the area of political formalism. In a monograph entitled Anglophone Verse Novels as Gutter Texts: Postcolonial Writing and the Politics of Gaps (forthcoming in July 2023 from Bloomsbury Academic) I analyze a sample of contemporary anglophone verse novels from all across the world as texts that present alternate versions/visions of planetarity articulated from positions in the global south, as well as prospects for post- and transnational affiliations under the auspices of authoritarian neoliberalism.