Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Professor Axel Goodbody

A leading authority on German environmental literature.

Axel Goodbody

A Professor of German with particular expertise in literature and environment

1 West North 2.1
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6659

PhD supervision

The Dynamics of German Remembering: The Rosenstraße Protest in Historical Debate and Cultural Representation (Hilary Potter)

Turning Nature into Essays: The Epistemological and Poetic Function of the Nature Essay (Simone Schröder)


I am a founding member of the British branch of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment and of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment (I served as first president of the latter between 2004-6).

I graduated from Trinity College Dublin and have spent ten years teaching and studying in Germany, at the University of Kiel, before moving to Bath.

My thesis on romantic and 20th Century nature poetry was published as Natursprache (1984). I have since written on aspects of 20th century German literature including exile studies, GDR studies, and literary and filmic representations of nature and technology. Climate change fiction and nature writing are focuses of my current work.

I co-edit the journal ECOZON@ and the book series Nature, Culture and Literature and New Studies in European Cinema.

I am a member of the GW4 Environmental Humanities research group and the Augsburg Network Environmental Crisis and the Transnational Imagination. I lead the departmental research group Memory, History, and Identity.

I was co-investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council project, Nature and Environment in Modern German Literature (2002-6), and principal investigator of the AHRC network The Cultural Framing of Environmental Discourse (2010-11).

I was Research Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment & Society in Munich in spring 2015. I am currently CI on the three-year AHRC project, Stories of Change: Energy in the past, present and future.

In 2015-16 I am teaching undergraduate units on 20th Century German and European political and cultural history, and a final year option on Heimat and National Identity. I also teach German language at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.


  • Environmental discourse
  • Place and identity
  • The (German and comparative) literature of climate change
  • Nature writing
  • Cultural transformation in East Germany
  • Eco-critical theory


Recent publications include Nature, Technology and Cultural Change in 20th-Century German Literature (2007), Wasser - Kultur - Ökologie (2008), and Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches (2011).

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