Karen Leeder is one of the most influential international scholars in the field of modern and contemporary German poetry and also a prize-wining translator. She has published 16 books (in Germany, USA, UK) and over 70 articles especially on Bertolt Brecht, Rainer Maria Rilke, Durs Grünbein, Paul Celan, Evleyn Schlag, Raoul Schrott, Ulrike Almut Sandig, as well as GDR poetry, twentieth-century German poetry, Expressionism and First World War poetry.
She is active as the editor for 4 international journals (USA, UK, Germany), organizes conferences in the field, and regularly reviews manuscripts for publishers and projects for funding organizations (DFG, DAAD, the Austrian Sciences Fund, Polish OPUS etc.). She is very widely networked internationally and has been invited to give public lectures or to be keynote speaker. Recently, she was appointed to the Schwarz-Taylor Chair of German Language and Literature in Oxford, the oldest established Chair of German in the UK. A regular on BBC radio and TV (including her own programmes), she has also performed at more than 100 festivals and stand-alone events over the last 10 years.
Karen Leeder will conduct research on the temporality of 20th and 21st century German poetry with a research group at Freie Universität Berlin. The project examines how contemporary political, social, and cultural developments are reflected in poetry. Of particular interest is the idea of posteriority, i.e., the question of how phenomena express themselves in art with a temporal delay. This will be examined in terms of stylistic devices, the question of authorship, and the relations between art and society. The research group is affiliated with both the Cluster of Excellence Temporal Communities and the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies.