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Dr. Eva Ulrike Pirker

Eva Ulrike Pirker became Professor of English and Comparative Literature at VUB Brussels as of 1 October 2023. She is also an associated member of the CTS


I obtained my M.A. diploma in Modern English Literatures, American Studies and Philosophy at the University of Tübingen and my Doctoral Degree at the University of Freiburg, where I taught before transitioning to HHU Düsseldorf in 2017. I feel fortunate for having had the opportunity to spend time abroad in a variety of Anglophone contexts during my own studies as well as for research and teaching. Much of my published research is characterised by an oscillation between close and distant reading practices and attempts to bring formalist, microanalytical approaches into a dialogue with an understanding of contextual aspects. This zooming in and out is inspired by an understanding of literature’s being in a dialogic relationship with the world.    

My research and teaching at HHU are situated in the fields of Anglophone Studies and Translation Studies. I have a decided interest not only in the ‘translation’ of concepts across cultural contexts, but also in the questions of how concepts and the perception of experiences change and evolve over time – and how literature becomes both a vehicle and agent in such processes. Contextually, much of my research to date explores literary and artistic production in the Atlantic world: Britain, Africa and the Americas.

Beyond my responsibilities in supervision and teaching I curate the programme of the interdisciplinary Centre for Translation Studies.

For singular events in connection with the Centre for Translation Studies please consult the Website of the CTS and the archive of events.

Decolonising Knowledge in the Humanities: African Poetics of the Minor: International Symposium, Accra, 2023/24 (Point Sud/DFG-funded). More information t.b.a.

Translation and the Archive: Performance, Practice, Negotiation: International Symposium, Düsseldorf, 31/05/23-02/06/23. More information t.b.a.

Demarginalising Orature: Translating Minor Forms into the Digital Age (eLFF-funded). More information (2022-2023)

Staging Wor(l)ds, Embodiments: Performative Acts across Language, Culture and Media (funded by the eLFF and HHU’s Citizen Science Programme). More information (2020-2022)

Blick in die Zukunft – Gegen das Vergessen: Geschichten aus afrikanischen Kontexten (funded by Kunststiftung NRW and others) More information (2020-2022)

The Pull of Form and Poetic Practice since 1800 (Habilitation)

• Eva Ulrike Pirker. Narrative Projections of a Black British History. London/New York: Routledge, 2011. (reviewed i.a. in Wasafiri 4/2013 and in Journal for the Study of British Cultures 1/2014)
• Eva Ulrike Pirker & Barbara Korte. Black History, White History: Britain's Historical Programme between Windrush and Wilberforce. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011.

Edited work
• Eva Ulrike Pirker & Judith Rahn. Afrofuturism’s Transcultural Trajectories: Resistant Imaginaries Between Margins and Mainstreams. New York: Routledge, 2023. More informationUse the flyer linked above to get a 20% discount.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Kathrin Hettrich & Leslie Fried. Borderlands. Performative Acts Across Language, Culture and Media. Düsseldorf: hhu books, 2022.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Vera Elisabeth Gerling & Birgit Neumann. Timescapes: Aller-retour. Geschichten aus afrikanischen Kontexten. Düsseldorf: C.W. Leske, 2022.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker & Judith Rahn. Afrofuturism’s Transcultural Trajectories. Special Issue Critical Studies in Media Communication 37.4 (2020).
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Katja Hericks & Mandisa Mbali. Forward, Upward, Onward? Narratives of Achievement in African and Afroeuropean Contexts. Düsseldorf: hhu books, 2020.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Petra Tournay-Theodotou & Sofía Muñoz-Valdivieso. Beyond Britishness. Special Issue. Journal of Postcolonial Writing 52.1 (2016).
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Christian Mair & Susanne Mühleisen. Selling the Caribbean: Questions of Value in a Globalized World. Special Issue. ZAA 63.2 (2015).
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Barbara Korte & Sissy Helff. Facing the East in the West: Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2010. (reviewed i.a. in Modern Language Review 107.1/2012).
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Mark Rüdiger, Christa Klein, Thorsten Leiendecker, Carolyn Oesterle, Miriam Sénécheau & Michiko Uike. Echte Geschichte: Authentizitätsfiktionen in populären Geschichtskulturen. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2010. (reviewed, for instance, in H-Soz-u-Kult, 23 March 2011, hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/rezensionen/2011-1-217).
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Lars Eckstein, Barbara Korte & Christoph Reinfandt. Multiethnic Britain 2000+: New Perspectives in Literature, Film and the Arts. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2008. (reviewed, for instance, in literaturkritik.de, 3/2009, www.literaturkritik.de/public/rezension.php).
• Eva Ulrike Pirker & Barbara Korte. Britain Rewritten: Stories of a Multi-Ethnic Nation. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2007.

• Eva Ulrike Pirker & Tasun Tidorchibe. ‘Close or Intimate Reading? Approaches to Forms in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Fiction.’ Review of African Literatures. (under review).
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Crossing Borders: Eine Einführung." In Borderlands: Performative Acts across Language, Culture & Media. Eds. Eva Ulrike Pirker, Kathrin Hettrich & Leslie Fried. Düsseldorf: HHU Books (2022). 1-16.
• Vera Elisabeth Gerling, Birgit Neumann & Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Nachwort." Timescapes: Aller-retour. Geschichten aus afrikanischen Kontexten. Düsseldorf: C.W. Leske, 2022. 257- 269.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Intermedial Acts of Worldmaking: Zadie Smith’s Swing Time." Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 41.2 (2022): 267-283.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker & Judith Rahn. "Afrofuturist Trajectories across Time, Space and Media." Critical Studies in Media Communication 37.4 (2020): 283-97.• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Reading Africa: Past/Present – Future." Praxis Englisch 4 (2020). 44-46.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Britain." Stefan Helgesson, Birgit Neumann, Gabriele Rippl. Handbook of Anglophone World Literatures. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Frank O'Hara: Lunch Poems und andere Gedichte." Brinkmann Handbuch: Leben – Werk – Wirkung. Eds. Markus Fauser, Dirk Niefanger und Sybille Schönborn. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2020.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Adapting Contested Histories? The Film Belle and its Politics of Representation." Locating African European Studies: Interventions, Intersections, Conversations. Eds. F. Espinoza Garrido, C. Koegler, D. Nyangulu & M. Stein. New York: Routledge, 2019.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Affected Men: Agency, Masculinity and the Race Episteme in Caryl Phillips’s Dancing in the Dark and Foreigners." Commonwealth Essays and Studies 40.1 (2017): 117-33.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "'Beyond Race and Location': Mike Phillips's Crime Fiction of the 'Long' 1990s." Jahrbuch für internationale Germanistik 2017, Peter Lang. 155-72.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Approaching Space: Zadie Smith's North London Fiction." Beyond Britishness. Special Issue. Journal of Postcolonial Writing 52.1 (2016): 64-76.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Petra Tournay-Theodotou & Sofía Muñoz-Valdivieso. "Britishness Beyond the New Britain: British Identities and the Identity of Britain in Recent Black and Asian Writing." Beyond Britishness. Special Issue. Journal of Postcolonial Writing 52.1 (2016): 1-5.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Halt und Haltung: Darstellerische Spannungsfelder in Alfred Lord Tennysons Gedichtzyklus In Memoriam A.H.H. Obiit MDCCCXXXIII." In: Lyrische Trauernarrative: Erzählte Verlusterfahrung in autofiktionalen Gedichtzyklen. Eds. Achim Aurnhammer and Thorsten Fitzon. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2016. 173-191.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker, Christian Mair & Susanne Mühleisen. "Selling the Caribbean: An Introduction." ZAA 63.2 (2015). 139-156.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Language and Agency After Modernism: A Reading of J.H. Prynne's Poem 'Die a Millionaire (Pronounced "Diamonds in the Air")'." Anglistentag Proceedings 2013 [Section IV, "Rhetoric and Poetry"]. Eds. Silvia Mergenthal and Reingard M. Nischik. Trier: WVT, 2014. 179-190.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "New Canons in the Making: Creating Visual 'Archives' of Black Britain." In: Codifications, Canons, and Curricula. Eds. Ulrich Busse, Ralf Schneider and Anne Schröder. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2012. 265-282.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "A Black Atlantic Agenda: Artistic/Narrative Strategies in Caryl Phillips's The Atlantic Sound and Isaac Julien's Paradise Omeros." In: New Perspectives on the Black Atlantic. Eds. Pilar Cuder-Dominguez and Bénédicte Ledent. New York: Peter Lang, 2012. 197-218.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Postkoloniale Situationen, postkoloniale Erinnerungen: Großbritannien und Ostafrika in Abdulrazak Gurnahs Romanen." In: Die Kunst der Migration. Eds. Sissy Helff & Marie-Hélène Gutberlet. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011. 245-272.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "Fictions of Multiculturalism." In: British Politics Review: Journal of the British Politics Society, Norway 6.2 (2011): 10-11.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "'Black Romans' – Die Antike im öffentlichen Diskurs um eine 'schwarze' britische Geschichte." In: Antike, Archäologie und Öffentlichkeit: Für einen neuen Dialog zwischen Medien und Wissenschaft. Eds. Hans-Joachim Gehrke & Miriam Sénécheau. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2010. 103-122.
• Eva Ulrike Pirker. "The Unfinished Revolution: Black Perceptions of Eastern Europe." In: Facing the East in the West: Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture. Eds. Barbara Korte, Eva Ulrike Pirker & Sissy Helff. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2010. 123-143.

  • CTS: Center for Translation Studies Düsseldorf
  • Deutscher Anglistenverband
  • Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe
  • DFG Research Group: Historische Lebenswelten in populären Wissenskulturen der Gegenwart (2007-2010)
  • ACT: Africa Centre for Transregional Research Freiburg
  • Modern Language Association
  • Deutscher Hochschulverband


  • German Jamaican Society: ‘Windrush im Spiegel der Literatur: Stimmen aus drei Generationen’. Königswinter. October 2022.
  • U of Brighton: ‘Acts of Self-Translation in Andrea Levy’s early Fiction’. Brighton. July 2022.
  • ACLALS: ‘Bodies, Dreams, Relations: Re-Reading Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon’. Toronto. July 2022.
  • with Tasun Tidorchibe: GAPS: ‘The Agency of Words: Rereading Ama Ata Aidoo’s Works of Fiction through a New Formalist Lens’. Frankfurt. 27 May 2022.
  • CEREP: ‘Desires of passing: Perspectives on (Self-)Translation in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s The Last Gift’ at ‘The Dynamics of Postcolonial Passings: Comparisons and Intersections’. Liège. 13 May 2022.
  • 'Translation and Multilingualism'. Summer School Literaturübersetzen 2021. 01 July - 03 July 2021.
  • 'Translation and the Digital World'. Summer School Literaturübersetzen 2019. 27 June - 29 June 2019.
  • ‘Koloniale Denkweise in Kunst und Literatur.’ Lecture upon the invitation of the Volkshochschule and the Museum im Ritterhaus, Offenburg. 12 April 2018.
  • ‘Perceptions of Value (in) the Works of Sharon Dodua Otoo’ On Whose Terms? Ten Years On: Critical Negotiations in Black British Literature and the Arts. 22 March 2018.
  • Afroeurope@ns VI: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe (Biennial Conference, Tampere, 5-9 July 2017): ‘African Travel Photojournalism in Europe: Performance Expectations and Constraints. Insights into the Work of Lola Akinmade Akerstrom.’
  • Kulturbegegnung und Kulturkonflikt im (post-)kolonialen Kriminalroman (International Conference, Stellenbosch University, 11-12 March 2016): ‘Glimpses of Afro-European Encounters through a London Eye: Mike Phillips's Crime Fiction’
  • Afroeurope@ns V: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe (Biennial Conference, Münster, 16-19 September 2015): ‘Politics and Heritage: A Reading of Amma Asante's Film Belle (2013)’
  • Photographs of 19th and 20th century Africa. Changing perspectives and object histories in school textbooks and digital archives (Dakar, 25th -29th November 2014): ‘Exhibiting Photographs of Africa, or: Looking for Africa in the Museum’
  • Uncommon Wealths (Triennial EACLALS Conference, Innsbruck, 13-20 April 2014): Panel: ‘Selling the Caribbean: Questions of Value in a Globalised World’ (with Ch. Mair, Freiburg and S. Mühleisen, Bayreuth).
  • Creative Identities: Strategizing the Self in 19th and 20th Century English Poetry (Graduate student conference, University of Amsterdam, 10-11 April 2014): ‘Subjectivity and Language: Poetry as performative Event’ [Keynote].
  • Lyrische Trauernarrative: Erzählte Verlusterfahrung in autofiktionalen Gedichtzyklen (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, 6-8 February 2014): ‘Alfred Lord Tennyson: In Memoriam.’
  • Afroeurope@ns IV: Black Cultures and identities in Europe: Continental Shifts, Shifts in Perception (University of London, 1-4 October 2013): ‘Activist aesthetics: The Work of Wilfried N'Sondé and the Worlds of Literature.’
  • Anglistentag (Universität Konstanz, 18-21 September 2013): ‘'Mainstream' versus 'Avantgarde', the Legacy of Modernism in Britain and the Poetry of J.H. Prynne.’
  • 'The current unbroken/the circuits kept open': Connecting Cultures and the Commonwealth (Triennial ACLALS Conference, St Lucia, 5-9 August 2013): ‘The Cultural Work of Poetry and the Postcolonial Situation.’
  • Black British Women's Writing: Where is it now? (Expert meeting at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 20 March 2013): ‘The Yoke of Genre: Some Reflections on Black British Women's Poetry.’
  • Rethinking Humanism (University of St Andrews, 28 June - 1 July 2012): ‘Whose Humanism? Humanist Discourse, the Science of the 'Human', and Radical Critique around the Turn of the 18th Century.’
  • ConVersify Conference (University of Edinburgh, 10-11 September 2011): ‘Hybrid Forms -- A Poetic Project from Blake to the present.’
  • Contemporary Photography and the Representation of African Migration (Point Sud: Centre de Recherche sur le Savoir Local, Bamako, 7-17 February 2011): ‘'Place and Memory in Photography and Visual Culture': Response to Moussa Konaté.’
  • EARS Meeting 2010 (University of Freiburg, 22 October 2010): ‘The Long Poem in English Literature.’
  • London Debates 2010: How does Europe in the 21st century address the legacy of colonialism? (School of Advanced Studies, University of London, 13-15 May 2010): ‘Colonialism and the 'Two Europes'.’ See Abstracts.
  • Strokes Across Cultures (Triennial ACLALS Conference, Nicosia, Cyprus, 6-11 June 2010): Panel Organisation: ‘Historical Cultures and the Post-Colonial Situation’; Paper: ‘Clio Between Celebration and Doom: Historical Culture and the Caribbean.’
  • Antike Geschichte, Archäologie, Öffentlichkeit (Berlin, 26-27 November 2009), ‘Black Romans: Die Antike im gegenwärtigen Diskurs um eine schwarze britische Geschichte.’
  • Evolution and the Public (Siegen, 3-5 September 2009): with Barbara Korte: ‘Tracing 'Descent' as Popular History in Contemporary Britain.’
  • Facing the East in the West: Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture (Freiburg, July 2009): ‘Soul Tourism Eastbound: Eastern Europe in a Black British Literary Imagination.’
  • Double/Edges: Rhetorics – Rhizomes – Regions. IAPL Conference (London, June 2009): ‘Rhizomic life/writing: Charlotte Williams's memoir Sugar and Slate.’
  • Black Diaspora and Germany Across the Centuries. Deutsches Historisches Institut (Washington, D.C., March 2009): ‘White Bertha – Black Jenni? Phantasies of Race in Theodor Storm's Novella Von Jenseits des Meeres (From Beyond the Sea).’ 
  • ‘Media & Migration’ (NELK University of Frankfurt/Main, 17 January 2009): ‘Black British Literature.’
  • On Whose Terms? Critical Negotiations in Black British Literature and the Arts. (London, March 2008): ‘A Discourse Oppressed? The Representation of Deaths in British Police Custody.’
  • ‘Common Ground. Einführung zur Ausstellungseröffnung.’ 23 November 2007. Cinema Lumière, Universität Göttingen. University Library Göttingen.
  • European Perspectives on the Black Atlantic. ESF Exploratory Workshop (Huelva, Spain, September 2007): ‘The Black Atlantic Agenda in Caryl Phillips's The Atlantic Sound (2000) and Isaac Julien’s Paradise Omeros (2001).’
  • ‘Der Black Atlantic in der Lyrik Derek Walcotts.’ 22 April 2007. Literaturbüro Freiburg. Series: Sprechen über Sprache. Haus für Film and Literatur im Alten Wiehrebahnhof.
  • Geschichte im Kriminalroman (Freiburg, December 2006): ‘Keine weiße Geschichte: Mike Phillips' Thriller über ein geteiltes and vereintes Europa A Shadow of Myself.’
  • Fundamentalism and Literature: Global/Local (Münster, November 2006): ‘'Private Matters' under Public Scrutiny: Recent Fictional Contributions to the Discourse around Arranged Marriages.’
  • Sharing Places: Searching for Common Ground in a World of Continuing Exclusion. EACLALS Triennial Conference (Sliema, Malta, March 2005): ‘'History Writ Small': Andrea Levy's Renegotiations of Post-War Britain and British Identity in Her NovelSmallIsland.’
  • Transcultural English Studies. ASNEL Annual Conference (Frankfurt, May 2004): ‘'Final Passages'? Representations of Black British History in Caryl Phillips’s Novel and Its Television-Adaptation.’
  • New Identities – Readings in Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures. Graduate Forum, Internationales Wissenschaftsforum der Universität Heidelberg (IWH) (Heidelberg, December 2003): ‘Mapping Out a Black British History: Contemporary Literary and Filmic Constructions.’


  • Narratives of Achievement in African and Afroeuropean Contexts (transdisziplinärer Workshop, sponsored by the program Point Sud and DFG, with K. Hericks, Potsdam and M. Mbali, Kapstadt) 31 Oktober - 3 November 2018 Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, Südafrika. More information.
  • Here and Black: Schwarze Erfahrungen in Europa/Deutschland/Südwestdeutschland - Geschichte und Gegenwart (a series of exhibitions, readings, events, Freiburg, summer/autumn 2017, funded by ‘Demokratie Leben!’, Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, recipient of Förderpreis SolarEnergie 2017 and 2018). More information.
  • Dada Praha: International Prague Literature and Translation: with David Vichnar, Tim König and Louis Armand, 6 May 2016, Hofcafé Corosol (in collaboration with Tschechische Kulturtage)
  • The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion. Poetry Reading with Kei Miller. 24 July 2015, Peterhofkeller Freiburg (in collaboration with Carl-Schurz-Haus)
  • Erfolgsmeldungen!  ÜberLeben in der Leistungsgesellschaft. (main organisers: Literaturbüro Freiburg, inter:est Berlin), 25-27 October 2013.
  • Ghana Must Go: A Reading with Taiye Selasi. 17 April 2013, Peterhofkeller Freiburg (in collaboration with Literaturbüro Freiburg, Jos Fritz Bücher, Carl-Schurz-Haus) 
  • Songs from Down Under and Out Back: An Evening with Australian Poet Les Murray. 14 May 2012, Kinosaal Alter Wiehrebahnhof (in collaboration with Literaturbüro Freiburg, Carl-Schurz-Haus and Jos Fritz Bücher)
  • An Evening with Anne Enright and Anna Thalbach. 15 November 2011, Peterhofkeller Freiburg (in collaboration with Carl-Schurz-Haus and Jos Fritz Bücher)
  • You Think You Know Me But You Don't - Readings and Performance with Kapka Kassabova, Mike Phillips and Constantin Chiriac. 25 July 2009, Galerie Alter Wiehrebahnhof Freiburg (in collaboratipon with Literaturbüro Freiburg and Büro für Migration und Integration Freiburg)
  • Conference: Facing the East in the West: Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture. 23 - 26 July 2009, FRIAS Freiburg (with Barbara Korte, Freiburg and Sissy Helff, Frankfurt)
  • Winter Retreat: Authentizitätsfiktionen in populären Geschichtskulturen: Ansprüche – Strategien – Wirkungen. 27 - 30 November 2008 Altglashütten/Feldberg (with Christa Klein, Thorsten Leiendecker, Carolyn Oesterle, Mark Rüdiger, Miriam Sénécheau and Michiko Uike)
  • Against Mugabe: An Evening of Zimbabwean Literature. 09 September 2007, Alter Wiehrebahnhof Freiburg (in collaboration with Literaturbüro Freiburg, part of the world-wide reading initiative 'Against Mugabe').
  • Exhibition, tours and lecture series Common Ground: Britisch-Muslimische Identitäten. Fotografische Aspekte. 16 February - 31 March 2007, Freiburg (in cooperation with the British Council and Büro für Migration und Integration, Freiburg).
  • Conference: Multiethnic Britain 2000+. 16 -18 February 2007, Freiburg. (with Barbara Korte, Freiburg, Christoph Reinfandt and Lars Eckstein, Tübingen).
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