skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Amy Ainsworth

College: Jesus College                      


Supervisor: Dr Charlotte Woodford

Research: Topic The Demonic and Gothic Nature in German Literature and Culture of the Early Twentieth Century.


About Me

Amy received an MA in English and German Literature from the University of Edinburgh in 2016, before spending a semester at Hubei University in Wuhan, China. She completed an MPhil in European Literature at Cambridge in 2018. Before beginning her PhD, she worked at the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs at the European Commission in Brussels, and in academic publishing at Cambridge University Press.



Amy’s research explores representations of the demonic and Gothic nature in German literature and culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her thesis interrogates the relationship between the human and the nonhuman, and explores the ways in which we might re-evaluate perceptions of the role of the natural world during this time of rapid change – whilst challenging our own relationship with nature in the twenty-first century – by paying closer attention to the darker, more unsettling aspects of nature. Her research focuses in particular on representations of the Arctic, subterranean spaces, haunted coasts and monstrous botany.        



Tiarks German Scholarship (2019-2022).

Goethe Essay Prize of the English Goethe Society (2018) for ‘“Das Vorurteil ist gut, zu seiner Zeit: denn es macht glücklich”: The notion of prejudice in Herder, Goethe and Jacobowski’.



English-German Translation

Ge5: Modern German Culture 1750-1914 


Conference papers

‘Unearthing the ecoGothic in Literary Plant Life of the Early Twentieth Century’ given at the Jesus College Graduate Conference, University of Cambridge, in March 2021

‘Alfred Döblin’s Nature as Secret in Theodor Storm’s Der Schimmelreiter’ given at Haunted Shores: Coastlands, Coastal Waters, and the Littoral Gothic Online Symposium in March 2021

‘From Mandrakes to Madness: Enchanting the Underland in the Era of Disenchantment’ given at Dark Economies: Anxious Futures, Fearful Pasts, Falmouth University, in July 2021



‘The Resurrected Prehistoric in Alfred Döblin’s Subterranean Imaginary’ in Revenant Journal (Forthcoming)

‘‘Nature as a Secret’: Alfred Döblin’s Baltic Stones and Theodor Storm’s Gothic Coast’ in Gothic Nature Journal (Forthcoming)


Other activities and roles

Member of Haunted Shores Research Network

Member of The British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS)

Member of The International Gothic Association (IGA)