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Professor Jonathan Long


Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures+44 (0) 191 33 42453
Fellow of the Durham Research Methods Centre


General Editor, Legenda Books

Director of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture


Jonathan Long has published extensively on twentieth-century German and Austrian literature, including acclaimed monographs on Thomas Bernhard and W. G. Sebald, and articles on Bertolt Brecht, Wolfgang Hildesheimer, Monika Maron, Gerhard Fritsch, Hans Lebert, Dieter Kühn, and others. In 2005 he was awarded a £50,000 Philip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of international research achievement and the Max Kade Prize for Best Article in Modern Austrian Literature. He was a founder member of the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies, and is Director of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

His current research focuses on the photography of the inter-war period, with a particular interest in the photographic book in the Weimar Republic. The profound social and political upheavals of Weimar are well-documented, as is the response to these upheavals in the cultural sphere. The photographic book, made possible in part by technical improvements in printing and image reproduction, was a significant cultural form by means of which Weimar photographers, artists, writers, and editors sought to address the problems facing Weimar society. While many producers of photographic books are canonical figures in Weimar cultural history (Moholy-Nagy, Kurt Tucholksy, Ernst Jünger, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Erich Mendelssohn, and August Sander, to name just a few), the genre has itself received little scholarly attention, but provides uniquely illuminating insights into the culture and politics of inter-war Germany.

He also works on German literature and photography from Peter Altenberg to the present. Looking at writers who have not merely thematised photography but have incorporated it physically into their work, the project seeks to read a series of works by writers such as Tucholsky, Jünger, Brecht, Kluge, Volker Braun, Sebald, and Maron as responses to the changing social function of photography over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Jonathan has held a number of senior leadership roles, serving as Deputy Head of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities for postgraduates (2010-13) before taking up the position of Consortium Director of the AHRC-funded Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership. He was Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures from 2018-21, and is currently Faculty Lead for Culture, Creativity, and Heritage.

Jonathan invites inquiries from prospective postgraduates seeking to study the following fields:

Photography since 1900

German and Austrian literature since 1945

Photography history and theory

Literary theory

Cultural responses to social acceleration

Research interests

  • Literary theory
  • Photography in the Weimar Republic
  • Theory of photography and visual culture
  • Twentieth-century German literature
  • Writers and photography

Esteem Indicators

  • 2017: Member of Selection Committee, Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellowsips, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada:
  • 2014: External assessor for Austrian Science Foundation:
  • 2014: Member of the Doctoral Awards Committee, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada:
  • 2011: Member of Editorial Board of Modern Austrian Literature (US), 2008-11:
  • 2010: External assessor for research grants, Centre for Advanced Study, University of Oslo:
  • 2000: Member of the AHRC Peer Review College:
  • 2000: Member of AHRC Panel D:
  • 2000: External assessor for o\tperiodic review of MA in Cultural Memory, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies:
  • 2000: Assessor for Government of Ireland Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships:
  • 2000: Member of the European Science Foundation peer review body:


Authored book

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Edited book

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Supervision students