Research in German

Our research in German include linguistics, literature as well as linguistic and cultural didactics. The connection between the areas is strengthened through clear cultural and cultural analytic elements in the research. Linguistic research is conducted in historical linguistic research and in the contemporary language. Research in literature cover a broad spectrum from post-war to contemporary literature, and in cultural didactics the focus is on development of new concepts for teaching realia.

Modern linguistics

In the profile area modern linguistics, we conduct research about the structure of the linguistic system as well as the connection between language and human relations and interactions. We also conduct research about populism, language learning and assessment of pupil's texts in German.

Research about the contemporary language is primarily conducted from a system and cognition linguistic, discourse and cultural analytical perspective. Investigations are mainly based on the written language in various media and contexts. Research questions concern the development of subjunctive, discursive changes in the societal climate, the meaning and impact of a text on interaction and relations between people, the importance of multilingualism for language learning and aspects of validity in assessment of pupil's texts.

Historical linguistics

The historical linguistic research encompasses texts from Middle Low German and New High German up until the 19th century. Research questions concern the morphological-syntactic area but also the information and argumentation structure of the texts. Questions regarding the role of the language in transfer of knowledge and culture are also adressed.

The profile area linguistic and culture historical and philologic research has a long tradition in the German subject and builds on cultural and lingustic connections between the German speaking areas and Sweden. At the department, research is conducted about Middle Low German historical syntax and ortographic history in early New Modern German as well as the status of German in Sweden in the late 17th century, about rethoric, linguistic interaction during pre-moderna time and oral and written German in early language stages.


Research in literature is focused on German post-war and contemporary literature. Of particular interest are questions that concern the connection between literature, culture and society e.g. in DDR and reunited Germany, but also questions about inter- and transcultural phenomena. Focus lies e.g. on autobiographical writing, literary border crossings, literary production and reception, travel literature and on literary theory, theory of intertextuality and narratology. Issues of environment and sustainability are of particular interest.

Cultural didactics

Research on cultural didactics is primarily conducted within the framework of the network Landeskunde Nord, which is coordinated in Uppsala. One of the objectives is to develop new concepts for teaching in realia/cultural knowledge, which are often discourse oriented. The network has become an established forum for research about subject based teaching and learning, and pedagogical exchange.

Current projects

PhD Students

  • Anders Gustafsson studies final dependent clauses and final infinitives in Middle Low German
  • Hanna Henryson's  dissertation is about representations of gentrification and the post-Wall development of Berlin in novels. Hanna Henryson will defend her thesis on 4 December 2020.
  • Jesse Juopperi's thesis project revolves around populism and political language in public discourse in Germany
  • Dominik Maier studies Contextual knowledge and its importance in language learning
  • Maria Håkansson Ramberg studies the assessment of upper-secondary school pupil's text production in German, in relation to the European framework, CEFR.
  • Petra Johansson Pirholt investigates autobiographical representations of West German terrorists (1988–2005), focusing on concepts such as family and parenthood.
  • Julia Sjöberg - Julia Sjöbergs dissertation deals with non-standard language use, more accurately, the use of non-normative syntactical structures, by L2 speakers of German and the language attitude of native speakers towards these non-normative features.