Birgit Breidenbach

Birgit Breidenbach


  • 2.27 Arts and Humanities Building

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Personal profile

Academic Background

I joined UEA in 2018 as a Lecturer in Literature and Philosophy after gaining research and teaching experience at the University of Warwick and Queen Mary University of London.

In my research, I study the role of mood and other collective forms of feeling in our encounters with literature and other artistic forms. I am particularly interested in the idea that literature can convey or produce certain moods and in the ways in which the textual dynamic of affect intersects with wider political, social and cultural questions. I use an interdisciplinary approach drawing on aesthetic theory, philosophy and affect theory to study these phenomena. Since my background is in comparative literary studies with a particular focus on modern Anglophone, German and Russian literature, I study aesthetic articulations of mood across literatures and languages.

My monograph Aesthetic and Philosophical Reflections on Mood: Stimmung and Modernity (Routledge, 2020) investigates aesthetic philosophies of mood in works by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Samuel Beckett and Thomas Bernhard. I'm also the co-editor of the interdisciplinary volume Mood: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, New Theories (Routledge, 2019).

You can watch my lockdown lecture on the question 'Who's in Charge of Our Emotions?' for the Royal Institute of Philosophy here.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests include aesthetic and critical theory, the intersection of literature and philosophy, literature and affect, comparative literary studies, contemporary fiction and modern world literature. I welcome enquiries from prospective Ph.D. candidates interested in any of these areas.

At UEA, I have taught the modules Literature and Philosophy, Criticism/Critique, Critical Theory and Practice, Contemporary Fiction (MA level), Reading Texts I and II, Literature in History II: Varieties of Realism and Writing across Borders.

I'm a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Administrative Posts

I am the Admissions Director for the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. Prospective applicants are welcome to contact me via to discuss any Admissions-related queries.

Office hours: 

My autumn semester office hours are 11-12 on Tuesdays (in person or online) and 11-12 on Thursdays (online). If you'd like to book an appointment, please contact me via email.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Warwick


Master of Arts, University of Warwick


Bachelor of Arts, Justus Liebig University Giessen


External positions

Teaching Fellow in Comparative Literature, Queen Mary University of London


Early Career Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick