Prof. Dr. Ralf Haekel

Prof. Dr. Ralf Haekel


Englische Literaturwissenschaft
Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum
Beethovenstraße 15, Room 4307
04107 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-37312


Ralf Haekel is Professor and Chair of British Literature at the University of Leipzig. In 2003 he received his PhD from FU Berlin and in 2013 his Habiliation from the University of Göttingen. From 2008 to 2016 he was Juniorprofessor of English Literature and Culture at Göttingen. Previous to his current position he was Visiting Professor at the Universities of Mannheim, Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Hannover, and Gießen. His main research interests are Romantic Studies, Early Modern Drama and Theatre, as well as Irish Studies. A current focus of his research lies on the media theory of literature.

Professional career

  • since 04/2020
    Professor of British Literature at the University of Leipzig
  • 10/2013 - 03/2020
    Visiting professorships at the Universities of Darmstadt, Hannover, Mannheim, and Gießen
  • 10/2008 - 09/2016
    Junior Professor of English Literature and Culture at the University of Göttingen
  • 04/2008 - 09/2008
    Visiting Professor of English and American Studies at Frankfurt University
  • 04/2007 - 03/2008
    Assistant Professor at the Department of English and American Studies, HU Berlin (DFG-funded temporary position for Principal Investigators)
  • 10/2006 - 03/2007
    Visiting Professor (Hochschuldozentur) at Frankfurt University
  • 10/2004 - 09/2006
    Post-doc at the research training group (DFG Graduiertenkolleg) "Classicism and Romanticism" at the University of Gießen


  • 02/2013
    Habilitation (second doctorate) at Göttingen University (venia legendi: British Literature and Culture)
  • 01/2000 - 12/2003
    PhD at FU Berlin
  • 10/1992 - 01/1999
    M.A. in English, German and History, University of Frankfurt / Main and University College Galway, Ireland (today NUIG)

In my research I focus on the areas of Early Modern drama and theatre, Romanticism, Irish studies, as well as literature and media theory.

  • The monograph Die Englischen Komödianten in Deutschland investigates the origins of German professional acting in the practice of the English travelling companies. Already during the Age of Shakespeare these actors introduced the practice of the London stages in Germany and Europe and made Shakespeare's theatre popular long before his literary reception.
  • The Soul in British Romanticism examines the transition in the traditional concept of the human from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. Romantic poetry reflects this fundamental paradigm shift in multiple ways. In the literature of romanticism the soul fills a void left by these scientific concepts, and at the same time this paradigm shift leads to an increased self-reflexivity of romantic poetry as a (material) medium.
  • The Handbook of British Romanticism, in which well-known international experts have written essays on central romantic topics and literary texts, provides a state-of-the-art discussion of a wide range of theoretical, historical, and philological questions. Subdivided into three major parts, it offers an introduction to fundamental systematic approaches, an overview of the different Romantic genres, and readings of key literary texts in the light of the most recent theoretical discussions.
  • Haekel, R.
    The Soul in British Romanticism: Negotiating Human Nature in Philosophy, Science and Poetry
    Trier: WVT. 2014
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  • Haekel, R.
    Die Englischen Komödianten in Deutschland: Eine Einführung in die Ursprünge des deutschen Berufsschauspiels
    Heidelberg: Winter. 2004
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  • Haekel, R. (Ed.)
    Handbook of British Romanticism
    Berlin & New York: de Gruyter. 2017
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  • Haekel, R.
    Post-National Literature? Post-Celtic Tiger Fiction and the Canon of Irish Literature
    Anglistik. 2020. 31 (2). pp. 19-33
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  • Haekel, R.
    Cultural Techniques, Media History, and the Art of Poetry: T.S. Eliot’s "Four Quartets"
    Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik. 2018. 66 (2). pp. 197-219
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