Germany's colonial past

Kieran Howard was awarded a research grant to carry out doctoral research into how contemporary German literature confronts the nation's colonial past.

Photo of young man with a pleasant smile

After graduating with a 1.1 class degree in Chemistry with German at UCL, Kieran Howard worked for three years as a Digital Marketing Executive in London, creating advertising campaigns for the German market. His interest in German took him to Sheffield to pursue an MA in German Studies, which he completed with Distinction in June 2023.

His thesis focused on Sharon Dodua Otoo’s 2021 novel Adas Raum, which combines elements of magical realism with Afrofuturism, the exploration of possible futures from a Black cultural perspective.

During his MA, Kieran also carried out a one-month research project in Berlin, analysing the public understanding of the Holocaust implicit in two memorial sites – the Holocaust-Mahnmal and the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz museum. Together with Dr Caroline Bland, he wrote an application for the highly competitive WRoCAH (White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities) grant.

For his PhD, Kieran will explore the shifting parameters and changing contours of Germany’s literary confrontation with its colonial past over the last fifteen years, thus filling a significant gap in the existing research into the country’s self-image. Kieran is supervised by three of our Germanic Studies lecturers, Caroline Bland, Henk de Berg and Henriette Louwerse.

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