Teaching Experience

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Since September 2020: freelance lecturer, teacher, and tutor.

  • Associate Lecturer in English, Department of English and American Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany. Course taught: ‘Introduction to British Literature and Culture’ (please see section below for further details).
  • Business English courses for the staff of a major dairy company in the greater Hamburg area, among others.

April – July 2020: Guest Professor of English, Department of English and American Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany. Full-time professorial teaching cover at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Courses designed and taught:  

  • ‘The Essay: short prose, amphibious form, cultural institution’. The genre of the essay is an institution in British public and intellectual life. This course set out to explore the origins of the essay genre in the 16th century and the unfolding essayistic tradition up to the present. Students read essays by Michel de Montaigne, Francis Bacon, Richard Steele, Joseph Addison, David Hume, Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, Harriet Martineau, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, Geoff Dyer, and Zadie Smith, among others. Because of the essay’s characteristic attempt to submit learning, experience, and opinion to public discourse through aesthetic means, we paid particular attention to the literary styles of these writers. There were two sides to this course. The first, in the original sense of Montaigne’s genre-founding Essai (1580), was experimental. Students were hence required to write a ‘creative’ essay on any topic of their choice, which was then published, either under their real name or a pseudonym, on the course website. The other side was scholarly, which means that students submitted a British-style academic essay on any of the above-mentioned author(s) and/or related topics. Tutorials in this were provided. The course attracted the maximum permissible number of 25 BA and MA students.
  • ‘The East End of London’ focused on four milestone novels – Arthur Morrison, A Child of the Jago, Emanuel Litvinoff, Journey through a Small Planet, Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor, and Monica Ali, Brick Lane – about London’s East End from across the ‘long’ twentieth century, as well as their largely working-class authors, the cultural geographies and changing demographics of the area, and the tension between Englishness and immigration. Within this framework, students explored various strands and sub-genres such as autobiography, the detective story, and eclectic postmodernist reworkings of local history, as well as varying degrees and kinds of realism. The course concluded with a screening of Sarah Gavron’s 2007 film Brick Lane and the question how its practice of adaptation relates not only to the novel on which it is based, but also the tradition out of which that novel grew. The course attracted the maximum permissible number of 25 BA and MA students.
  • ‘Introduction to British Literature and Culture’: this survey course had two key objectives: 1) to familiarize first-year students with literary genres, canonical works, and traditions within British culture more broadly; and 2) to equip students with the necessary tools for textual and cultural analysis, knowledge of research methods and ethics, and command of basic hermeneutics. We proceeded chronologically from medieval poetry and early modern drama to the present, discovered the birth of the novel and the essay, discussed the pitfalls of retrospective periodization, and reflected on our reading from various standpoints in critical and intellectual history. Students found the following titles (usually short-ish extracts, unless otherwise indicated) on the course reading list: anon., Beowulf; Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; William Shakespeare, Hamlet (complete); John Milton, Paradise Lost; Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; William Cowper, The Task; William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads; William Hazlitt, Table-Talk; Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland; Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (complete); Pat Barker, Union Street; Zadie Smith, NW; as well as further selected poetry by Charlotte Smith, Robert Burns, W.H. Auden, Vikram Seth, and Moniza Alvi. I provided the course reader. The course attracted the maximum permissible number of 30 BA students.
  • ‘Transatlantic Abolitionism’: this was a further development of ‘Abolitionism and the Anti-Slave-Trade Campaign in British and American Literature’ (first taught during the 2016 summer term – please see below). The course attracted the maximum permissible number of 25 BA and MA students.
  • ‘Literary theory reading group’: this course surveyed literary theory and the critical tradition from Plato to the present. It convened once a week for one hour, and followed the British format of the informal reading group. Among others, students discussed extracts (in English) from Plato, Aristotle, Philip Sidney, Immanuel Kant, William Wordsworth, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Walter Benjamin, Mikhail Bakhtin, Frederic Jameson, Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf, Stephen Greenblatt, Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler, Henry Louis Gates, Edward Said, and Homi Bhabha.

August 2015 – June 2019: Postdoctoral Fellow of the German Research Foundation (Principal Investigator/DFG Eigene Stelle), Department of English and American Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany. During this research fellowship, I designed and taught the following courses:

  • ‘The British Working-Class Novel’ (Winter 2018–19): in the light of critical approaches from Georg Lukácz to Theodor Adorno to Frederic Jameson, this course examined four twentieth-century milestone novels by, and about, the British working class: Robert Tressell, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists; Walter Greenwood, Love on the Dole; Pat Barker, Union Street; and Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting. The course attracted the then maximum permissible number of 20 BA and MA students.
  • Guest lecture, ‘The Romantic Essay: William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb’, in Professor Ute Berns’s lecture series on ‘Key Concepts in British Romanticism’ (15 January 2018).  
  • ‘“No light, but rather darkness visible”: Milton, influence, and intertextuality’ (Summer 2017): this course explored John Milton’s influence on a variety of Romantic writers, applying the theoretical frameworks of the ‘anxiety of influence’ and ‘intertextuality’, established by Harold Bloom and Julia Kristeva, respectively. It focused on ‘Lycidas’ and all twelve books of Paradise Lost, before unpicking related passages in selected poems by William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The course attracted 18 BA and MA students.
  • ‘Hazlitt’ (Winter 2016–17): this course familiarized students with William Hazlitt’s ‘radical style’ (Tom Paulin) and its cultural environs. It set out with Hazlitt’s On the Principles of Human Action, Reply to Malthus’s Essay on Population, and Lectures on English Philosophy, in order to help students come to grips with the philosophical substratum of Hazlitt’s works. Then followed selected extracts from The Round Table, Characters of Shakespear’s Plays, A View of the English Stage, Lectures on the English Poets, Lectures on the English Comic Writers, Political Essays, Table–Talk, The Spirit of the Age, and The Plain Speaker. This course attracted 15 BA and MA students. 
  • ‘Abolitionism and the Anti-Slave-Trade Campaign in British and American Literature’ (Summer 2016): this course investigated the extent to which Steve McQueen’s 2013 cinematographic adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir Twelve Years a Slave had been undertaken with the integrity that its subject matter demands. Readings of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Marjorie Levinson on the New Historicism established the theoretical framework for debate, before I introduced my students to a range of Abolitionist writings from the period, both British and American. On the British side, we focused on the poetry of William Cowper, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Ann Yearsley, Hannah More, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Burns, and Robert Southey, as well as the prose of Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano followed, before turning towards the US, the poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier, John Pierpont, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the anti-slavery prose of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Solomon Northup’s memoir Twelve Years a Slave came next. The course, which drew a total of 44 BA and MA students, concluded with a screening of McQueen’s film.
  • ‘Revolution and Reaction in British Romantic Literature’ (Winter 2015–16). In addition to works taught on Romanticism courses at Goldsmiths, University of London and Queen Mary University of London (please see below), I incorporated Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience into this course, which attracted 25 BA and MA students in total.

September 2014 – June 2015: Associate Lecturer, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London. I taught on the following courses:

  • ‘Sensibility and Romanticism: Revolutions in Writing and Society’: opening lecture (‘Sensibility and pre-Romanticism’) and weekly seminars on this second-year undergraduate module. The works I taught in seminars included Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield; Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy; Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility; William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Matthew Lewis, The Monk; William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads; selected essays by William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb; as well as further selected poems by William Cowper, Thomas Gray, Isaac Watts, Blake, Coleridge, and Wordsworth. The marking of student coursework and exam papers ranged more widely, comprising also Jane Austen, Mansfield Park; Walter Scott, Waverley; and selected poetry by John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron.
  • ‘Explorations in Literature’: weekly seminars on this first-year undergraduate survey course, in which I taught Homer, The Odyssey; Sophocles, Antigone; Ovid, Metamorphoses; anon., Beowulf; Dante Alighieri, Inferno; Geoffrey Chaucer, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale; William Shakespeare, Hamlet; John Milton, Paradise Lost; anon., Lazarillo de Tormes; Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’; Jane Austen, Emma; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass; Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; August Strindberg, Miss Julie; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot; Leonora Carrington, The Hearing Trumpet; and Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad.
  • ‘Literature of the Victorian Period’: weekly seminars on this first-year undergraduate module. The authors and works taught were: Algernon Charles Swinburne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Oscar Wilde (selected poems); George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss; Rudyard Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills; Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; George Egerton, A Cross Line; Sydney Grundy, The New Woman; Arthur Wing Pinero, The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith; and Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure. The marking for this course also encompassed works by Thomas Carlyle, Alfred Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Robert Browning.

January 2014 – June 2015: Freelance lecturer, teacher, and tutor, London.

  • Lectures on ‘Romantic Essayists’ and William Hazlitt’s Liber Amoris (re-invited – please see entry below) for the second-year undergraduate module ‘Imagination and Knowledge’, Department of English, Queen Mary University of London.
  • Various teaching and tutoring jobs in English and German across London, ranging from primary school to postgraduate level. Literary foci included the works of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Paul Celan, Kurt Tucholsky, Günther Grass, Robert Louis Stevenson, and the Brothers Grimm. I prepared a future teacher for a literacy tests, and taught German in London-based music, media, and communications businesses, tailoring my teaching to the requirements of each field.

September 2009 – June 2012: Teaching Assistant, Department of English, Queen Mary University of London. I taught on the following undergraduate courses:

  • ‘Imagination and Knowledge’ (2012): lecture on William Hazlitt, Liber Amoris (1823) for this second-year module on English Romanticism. I delivered this lecture again in 2014.
  • ‘Reading, Theory and Interpretation’ (2011­–12): conducting seminars as part of this first-year module through guided tasks and discussions. I covered critical approaches by, or based on the work of, Karl Marx, G.W.F. Hegel, Mikhail Bakhtin, Simone de Beauvoir, Barbara Johnson, Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Sigmund Freud, Ferdinand de Saussure, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, and Terry Eagleton, among others. The novels examined in the light of such approaches included Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, and J.M. Coetzee, Foe. I tutored students in academic writing as well as research methods and ethics, and provided constitutive feedback and marks on year-long portfolio exercises and essays.
  • ‘Poetry’ (2009–10): teaching seminars on this first-year module, discussing in depth a range of poetic techniques, genres, and performance styles covered in a preceding lecture. The poetry taught on this course ranged from the early modern period to the present, including works by Ben Jonson, John Donne, Edmund Spenser, Robert Browning, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, William Blake, Charlotte Smith, Hannah More, John Keats, Christina Rossetti, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe, Lorine Niedecker, Gertrude Stein, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Cobbing, Basil Bunting, Vladimir Mayakovsky, W.H. Auden, Langston Hughes, and Wallace Stevens, among many more. Preparing and marking written coursework as well as poetry performances was part of my duties on this course. The course convenor, Dr Andrea Brady, observed my teaching and found that ‘Philipp seems to be a very confident, committed and responsive teacher, who shows great enthusiasm for his subject and makes his students feel comfortable and engage with it too’.

July 2005 – September 2006 and September 2007 – September 2008: Teacher of English and German as foreign languages, the Inlingua International School of Languages, Münster, Germany.

  • Taught English and German as foreign languages to students from a wide range of ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds, and of all ages (between 10 and 60).
  • Prepared language students for official exams such as TOEFL and Zertifikat Deutsch.
  • Taught English extension classes for German primary school teachers.
  • Translated and proofread coursework and academic papers.
  • Trained new teachers in the school’s pedagogic methods (a variant of Communicative Language Teaching).
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