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Senior Lecturer

PD Dr. Philipp Erchinger

Building: 23.32
Floor/Room: 04.30
Phone +49 211 81-13275
Fax +49 211 81-11443

Office Hours

by arrangement via email

Biographical Information
  • Biographical Information

    From 1998-2004, I studied English (as well as Rhetoric and Political Science) at Tübingen and, on a DAAD scholarship, at Lancaster, UK. Then I moved to the University of Frankfurt/Main in order to participate in the DFG doctoral programme ‘Zeiterfahrung und ästhetische Wahrnehmung’. Having received my PhD (Dr. phil.) from Frankfurt in 2007, I worked at the Universities of Erlangen-Nürnberg, where I was a post-doctoral member of the DFG graduate school ‘Cultural Hermeneutics’, and Exeter, UK, where I spent more than two and a half years as a DFG-funded research fellow at the Centre for Victorian Studies. In October 2013, after another brief stint at Erlangen-Nürnberg, I came to Düsseldorf where I have been teaching ever since. I completed the ‘Habilitation’ (post-doctoral degree) in 2016.

Research Interests and Projects
  • Research Interests and Projects

    My research interests cover the following areas:

    • British poetry and prose of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
    • Literature among the arts and sciences
    • Literary theory, especially theories of creativity, experiment, and emergent form
    • Ecology and anthropology of literary practices

    My first book, Kontingenzformen (Königshausen & Neumann, 2009), investigates how fictional narratives by Thomas Nashe, Laurence Sterne and Lord Byron operate through and along with the contingency that informs them, rather than seeking to domesticate it. As a result of this study, I have become more generally interested in historical theories of evolution and emergence as well as in practices of experimentation in the arts and sciences. These concerns have led to a second book on ways of knowing in Victorian literature and science, which is entitled Artful Experiments (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). Most recently, I have begun to pursue an interest in the ecology of literary work.

  • Teaching

    I teach BA and MA courses on a wide range of British literary and intellectual history, on literary and cultural theory, as well as on the ecology and anthropology of writing and the arts.

  • Monographs

    Editorial Work

    • Earth Writing: Special Issue. Philological Quarterly 97.2 (2018).
    • with Cristian Alvarado-Leyton. Identität und Unterschied: Zur Theorie von Kultur, Differenz und Transdifferenz. Bielefeld: transcript, 2010.
    • with Nadine Böhm-Schnitker. “Victorian Lives and Minds: Scientific Cultures in the Nineteenth Century”. Anglistentag 2013 Konstanz: Proceedings. Ed. Silvia Mergenthal, Reingard M. Nischik. Trier: WVT, 2014, 1-80 (edition of book section).

    Essays in Journals and Books

    • "Science, Footnotes and the Margins of Poetry in Percy B. Shelley's Queen Mab and Charlotte Smith's Beachy Head." European Journal of English Studies (EJES) 22.3 (2018), 241-257. 
    • "Introduction: Earth Writing." Philological Quarterly 97.2 (2018), 125-135.
    • "Curious to Know: John Clare's 'The Nightingale's Nest' (1832)." What Literature Knows: Forays into Literary Knowledge Production. Ed. Antje Kley and Kai Merten. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2018, 135-153.
    • "Reading Experience: William James and Robert Browning." Journal of Literary Theory 11.2 (2017), 162-182.
    • "Art as Process and Skill: On the Work of Literature in Wilkie Collins and Robert Browning." Materie – Material –Materialität: Disziplinäre Annäherungen. Ed. Andrea von Hülsen-Esch. Düsseldorf: Düsseldorf UP, 2016, 59-77.
    • (with Nadine Böhm-Schnitker). "Scientific Cultures in the Nineteenth Century: Introduction." Anglistentag 2013 Konstanz: Proceedings. Ed. Silvia Mergenthal, Reingard M. Nischik. Trier: WVT, 2014, 1-7.
    • "Mobility, Movement, Method and Life in G.H. Lewes." Perspectives on Mobility. Ed. Ingo Berensmeyer and Christoph Ehland. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2013, 151-175.
    • "Laws, Characters, and the Agency of the Text: An Answer to Beatrix Hesse and Lyn Pykett". Connotations 22.2 (2013), 264-278.
    • "Handlung, Identifikation und Ermöglichung von Differenz: Zur Kreativität der Rhetorik in literaturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive." Kreativi­­tät: Kommuni­kation, Wissenschaft, Künste. Ed. Joachim Knape, Berlin: Weidler, 2013, 107-133.
    • "'Moving Things into Certain Places': Nature, Culture and Art as Practice in Victorian Writing." Literature Compass 9.11 (2012), 786-800.
    • "Transport, Wayfaring and Ways of Knowing in Victorian Writing." REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 28 (2012), 285-311.
    • "Being Moved: G.H. Lewes’s Studies in Life." Anglistentag Saarbrücken 2010: Proceedings. Ed. Joachim Frenk and Neal Norrick. Trier: WVT Wissen­schaftlicher Verlag, 2011, 329-339 (rev. and extended version published with Rodopi, as above).
    • "Secrets Not Revealed: Possible Stories in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White.Connota­­tions 18.1-3 (2008/2009), 48-81 [issue backdated, published in 2010].
    • "Zwischen Identität und Unterschied: das Leben des Wissens." Identität und Unterschied: Zur Theorie von Kultur, Differenz und Transdifferenz. Ed. Cristian Alvarado Leyton and Philipp Erchinger. Bielefeld: transcript, 2010, 11-33.
    • "Nascent Consciousnesses, Unaccountable Conjunctions: Emergent Agency in Herbert Spencer's Principles of Psychology and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda." SKASE Journal of Literary Studies 1.1 (2009), 1-19.
    • "Das Bild der Rhetorik in der rhetorikkritischen Tradition." Rhetorik und Stilistik: Ein internationales Handbuch historischer und systematischer Forschung. Ed. Joachim Knape and Andreas Gardt. Vol. 1. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008, 991-1009.
    • "Die Evolution des Textes. Mimikry als Selbstbeschreibungsverfahren (Nashe, Cervantes, Sterne)." Mimikry: Gefährlicher Luxus zwischen Natur und Kultur. Ed. Andreas Becker et al. Schliengen: Edition Argus, 2008, 288-305.
    • (with Joachim Knape). "Uniköpfe: Tübinger gelehrte Dichter." Literatur vom Neckar bis zum Bodensee 1000-1800. Ed. Wolfgang Gaier und Monika Küble. 2 vols. Ulm: OEW, 2003, 949-963.


    • Melissa Bailes. Questioning Nature: British Women's Scientific Writing and Literary Originality, 1750-1830. Charlottesville: University of Virginia UP, 2017. Review 19 (December 2019),
    • Devin Griffiths. The Age of Analogy: Science and Literature between the Darwins. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2016. Victorian Studies 60.3 (2018), 461-463.
    • Tiffany Watt Smith. On Flinching: Theatricality and Scientific Looking  from Darwin to Shell Shock. Oxford: OUP, 2014. Victorian Studies 59.2 (2017), 362-364.
    • Kathleen Frederickson. The Ploy of Instinct: Victorian Sciences of Nature and Sexuality in Liberal Governance. New York: Fordham UP, 2014. Victorian Studies 58.3 (2016), 582-585.
    • Ralph Pordzik. Victorian Wastelands: Apocalyptic Discourse in Nineteenth Century Poetry. Heidelberg: Winter, 2012. Anglia 131.2-3 (2013), 419-425.

    Reference Articles and Miscellaneous Texts

    • "Teaching Guide to 'Moving Things into Certain Places'". Literature Compass 9.11 (2012), 916-917.
    • "Forms of Contingency: Realising Fictional Narrative in Nashe, Sterne, and Byron." English and American Studies in German: A Supplement to Anglia, Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010, 69-72 (English summary of Kontingenzformen).
    • "Titel." Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik. Ed. Gert Ueding. Vol. 9. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2009, 537-545.
    • "Subnexio." Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik. Ed. Gert Ueding. Vol. 9. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2009, 255-257.
    • "Sermo." Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik. Ed. Gert Ueding. Vol. 8. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2007, 879-886.
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