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Burkhard Niederhoff is professor of English Literature. As a teacher, he is a generalist, with a broad range of courses centered around individual writers, genres, motifs and theoretical subjects. His research interests include the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson, narrative theory and the history and theory of comedy. He co-edits Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate and has hosted some of the bi-annual conferences organised by the editors of the journal. He is currently editing a volume of tales for The New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson.



What's New?


Research Leave

After serving as Dean of the Faculty of Philology from 1 October 2019 to
30 September 2021, Burkhard Niederhoff is now on research leave for the duration of the winter semester 2021/22. His main project is the completion of an edition of early tales in The New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson.


Recently Published

Wider alle Regeln? Theorie und Geschichte gespielter Komik im 20. Jahrhundert, edited by Guido Hiß, Burkhard Niederhoff and Monika Woitas (Athena, 2021), has recently been published. Based on a lecture series held in the winter semester 2019/20, the anthology includes contributions about comedy in areas as different as TV sitcom, comic books and dramatic comedy.
Burkhard Niederhoff contributed an essay about Somerset Maugham’s The Circle and the traditions of English stage comedy.


16TH INTERNATIONAL CONNOTATIONS SYMPOSIUM: METAGENRE

The 16th International Connotations Symposium will be concerned with “Metagenre”, i.e. with texts which explicitly or implicitly discuss their own genre(s). The conference will take place from July 25 to July 29, 2021 as a hybrid event, both online and on-site at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen. Burkhard Niederhoff and Lena Linne will help their colleagues from the university of Tübingen organize the event.
Burkhard Niederhoff will open the conference with an “Introduction to Metagenre”. Lena Linne will give a paper on “Metageneric Reflection in Contemporary Rewritings of the Homeric Epics”.


Recently Published

With Lena Linne. “Annotation as an Embedded Textual Practice: Analysing Explanatory Notes in Three Editions of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.” Connotations, vol. 29, 2020, pp. 48-76.
There is also a recent response to this article by Richard Dury, one of the general editors of The New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson:
“Annotation as an Embedded Textual Practice: Some Further Comments in Response to Lena Linne and Burkhard Niederhoff.” Connotations, vol. 29, 2020, pp. 142-55.


Recently Published

With Anton Kurenbach. “The Exotic Other and the Other Within: A Comparative Reading of A. C. Doyle’s The Mystery of Cloomber and R. L. Stevenson’s ‘The Pavilion on the Links.’” Literaturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch, vol. 61, 2020, pp. 233-51.

(This article was co-authored with former student Anton Kurenbach and partly based on his BA thesis.)


Recently Published

Lena Linne’s doctoral dissertation Unlived Lives in English Literature: A Typological Study, wchich was supervised by Burkhard Niederhoff, was published as a book in September 2019 by Winter.


Research Stay at Beinecke Library

During the month of September 2019, Prof. Niederhoff is working as a visiting scholar at the Beinecke Library, a research library of Yale University in New Haven, CT. He is studying letters and manuscripts by Robert Louis Stevenson, which are relevant to his work as a volume editor for The New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson.


Annotating Literature: Workshop with Richard Dury and Lesley Graham

Time & Room: 25 June 2018, 9 s.t. to 12, GB 03/49

As students and scholars of literature, we encounter explanatory notes almost every day – but do we ever think about them? Do we reflect on what, why and how we annotate? In this workshop, we will focus on the practice and the principles of explanatory annotation. Two editors of the The New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson (EdRLS; 2014-) have been invited.
Richard Dury is a general editor of EdRLS. He is a linguist as well as a literary scholar and the author of The Annotated Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1993). Lesley Graham is a volume editor of the fifth volume in the series, Uncollected Essays 1880-1894. She is the director of the Département Langues et Cultures (DLC), Université de Bordeaux and has published several essays on Stevenson’s life and oeuvre.

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Guest Lecturer Dr. Tracy Collins (CMU)

Dr. Tracy Collins joins us from the faculty at Central Michigan University. She earned a Ph.D. in 19th Century British Literature with a secondary area in Women’s Studies form Purdue University in 2007. Her dissertation “Physical Fitness, Sports, Athletics, and the Rise of the New Woman” was awarded the university’s bi-annual Best Dissertation Prize awarded to the best dissertation in the College of Arts and Letters. She has published on a variety of topics ranging from Joseph Conrad and George Bernard Shaw to Punch magazine and women in baseball literature. When she is not working, she enjoys playing a variety of sports, travelling, and hanging out with friends and family. Her husband John, who has joined her in Bochum, is a retired English professor, and her 16 year-old daughter Rebecca is completing an 11-month study abroad program in Gmunden, Austria. You can find her most days in her office GB 5/31 studying for German class.


Joseph Conrad Under Eastern Eyes
(Konferenz in Englischer Sprache)

Joseph Conrads Ruhm gründet sich auf Romane, die sich durch eine modernistische Erzähltechnik auszeichnen und die problematischen Seiten des britischen See-Imperiums darstellen. Weniger bekannt ist, dass er polnischer Adliger war und seine Berufung zum englischsprachigen Schriftsteller erst spät auf Umwegen fand.
Die Vortragsveranstaltung widmet sich den osteuropäischen Kontexten von Conrads Werk und versammelt dafür Beiträge von Philologen aus Deutschland und Polen. Es wird sowohl um Conrads Auseinandersetzung mit Russland gehen als auch um seine tiefen Verbindungen mit der polnischen (Volks-) Kultur. Gastgeber: Prof. Dr. Mirja Lecke (Slavistik, RUB), Prof. Dr. Burkhard Niederhoff. Teilnehmer: Prof. Dr. Christiane Maria Binder (Anglistik, TU Dortmund), Prof. Dr. Wisław Krajka (Anglistik, Universität Lublin), Prof. Dr. Anna Brzozowska-Krajka (Polnistik, Universität Lublin). Ort: Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Veranstaltungszentrum Beckmannshof, Seminarraum Shanghai. Zeit: DI 28.11. 15:00 – 18:00

Die Konferenz ist Teil des Joseph-Conrad-Festivals anlässlich des 160. Geburtstages des Schriftstellers. Weitere Informationen zum Festival

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Self-Imposed Fetters: The Productivity of Formal and Thematic Restrictions (Symposium)

The 14th International Connotations Symposium is concerned with one of the most remarkable (and, indeed, paradoxical) accounts of literary genesis: the appreciation of limitations and restrictions as the condition of creativity, as well as of the scope and depth of representation. Why is it that writers seek to impose restrictions upon themselves so as to set free their powers of imagination? What is it that those restrictions bring about?
The conference “Self-Imposed Fetters” investigates this paradox of how limitations serve as inspiration in literary texts.
It takes place at the conference centre “Wolfsburg” (Mülheim a.d. Ruhr),
30 July – 3 August. Students and staff are welcome to join!

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Recently Published: Die englische Komödie: Eine Einführung

Die englische Komödie hat eine wechselvolle, an Höhepunkten reiche Geschichte. Sie hat eine Reihe herausragender Dramen hervorgebracht, darunter Stücke von weltliterarischer Geltung wie William Shakespeares Midsummer Night’s Dream und Oscar Wildes The Importance of Being Earnest.
In einem einleitenden Theoriekapitel referiert das Buch zunächst eine Auswahl älterer und neuerer Thesen zur Komödie, um dann ein Modell der Gattung zu entwickeln, das typische Darstellungsweisen und Handlungsstrukturen in einen systematischen Zusammenhang bringt. Die weiteren Kapitel stellen die Geschichte der englischen Komödie vom ausgehenden Mittelalter bis zum Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts dar. Jedes dieser Kapitel beginnt mit einem Überblick, der wichtige Themen und Tendenzen des jeweiligen Zeitraums skizziert. Es folgen Einzelanalysen, die sich detailliert mit herausragenden oder repräsentativen Dramen befassen und einen Eindruck von der Vielfalt der Gattung vermitteln. Zu den ausführlich analysierten Dramen gehören neben den oben genannten Klassikern aus der Feder Shakespeares und Wildes auch weniger bekannte, aber lohnende Stücke wie Aphra Behns The Rover und Thomas Otways The Soldiers’ Fortune.

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Prof. Dr. B. Niederhoff

Address

Prof. Dr. Burkhard Niederhoff
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Department of English
GB 6/141 Fach 166
44780 Bochum, Germany

Office Hours during the semester:
Tue 11.30-12.30
or by appointment

Please make an appointment with Hildegard.Sicking-at-rub.de
You can choose between a meeting
via Zoom and a meeting on campus (GB 6/141).

Tel: +49-234-32-25051
Email: Burkhard.Niederhoff-at-rub.de

Secretary's Office

Hildegard Sicking
GB 6/142

Office hours on campus:
Tuesdays 9-13

Tel. +49-234-32-28051
Email: Hildegard.Sicking-at-rub.de