Stipendiary Lecturer in English

Dr Katharina Herold

  • My research areas are the arts and literature of the long nineteenth century and Comparative Literature.
  • I study decadence as a theoretical and cultural historical phenomenon.
  • I enjoy seeing my students develop their own research interests.


I currently teach English Literature from 1760- present. Prior to this post I have held appointments at Brasenose College, University College, and The Queen’s College. Since 2017 I have been Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths College, where I teach English and Comparative Literature.

I completed my DPhil at Pembroke, which was supported by an AHRC grant. My thesis examined the ways in which Orientalism shaped English and German Decadent writing between 1880 – 1920. Previously, I trained and worked as a theatre director in Germany before embarking on a BA in English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, followed by an MSt in English Literature (1830 – 1914) at Oxford. In 2017, I was a visiting scholar at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, where I became a member of the international research network ‘Writing 1900’ led by Prof Gesa Stedman and Dr. Stefano Evangelista.


At Trinity I teach the Victorian paper (Prelims Paper 3) and the Literary Theory paper (Prelims Paper 1) alongside Dr Stefano Evangelista. I also teach Modern and Contemporary Literature (Prelims Paper 4), and a course on literature in the long eighteenth century (Paper 5: Literature in English 1760-1830 (FHS Course I)) at other colleges in Oxford. I currently supervise a number of third-year dissertations on a variety of topics (The Circus in Victorian literature, Decadent poetry, Contemporary British Drama) and authors (including Wilde, Woolf and Katherine Mansfield). I act as the Faculty’s postdoctoral mentor for current MSt students on the Victorian strand. Previously I have supervised several Masters dissertations projects at Oxford and at the University of London. I have delivered lectures in Oxford and London on Victorian Orientalism, James Joyce and on the representation of Egypt in Oscar Wilde’s works.


My research and publications to date focus on the global nature of late-Victorian and early Edwardian literature in English, specifically the literary interest in regions of North Africa and the Middle East. As part of my research, I studied Arabic. This led me to developing a body of research rethinking the intertextuality of Orientalism in European Decadent texts. My latest research on the Female protagonists of German Decadence and my professional background as a theatre director at the Münchner Kammerspiele in Germany have inspired me to my current research project Twisting tongues: Feminist Theory and Contemporary British Drama (1990-present). This project investigates the indebtedness of contemporary drama to feminist discourses of recent decades. 

Selected Publications

 ‘The Indispensable East’ in Decadent Literature in England and Germany 1880−1920 (under consideration with OUP)

 ‘Decadence in Germany’, Oxford Handbook of Decadence, ed. by Jane Desmarais and David Weir (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021), forthcoming.

Katharina Herold and Leire Barrera-Medrano (eds.), Women Writing Decadence: European Perspectives 18801920, Volupté: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies, 2.1 (2019)

 ‘Socio-aesthetic Histories: Vienna 1900 and Weimar Berlin’, in Decadence and Literature, ed. by Jane Desmarais and David Weir (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019)

 ‘“Against civilisation”: Symons, the Gypsy Lore and politicised Aestheticism’, in Arthur Symons: Poet, Critic, Vagabond, ed. by Elisa Bizzotto and Stefano Evangelista (Cambridge: Legenda, 2018)

‘Dancing the Image – Sensoriality and kinaesthetics in the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé and Arthur Symons’, in Decadence and the Senses, ed. by Jane Desmarais and Alice Condé (Cambridge: Legenda, 2017)