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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Francesco Albé

Francesco Albe

College: Jesus                    


Supervisor: Prof Andrew J. Webber

Research Topic: Queer (Dis)locations: Klaus Mann and Weimar Homosexual Emancipation Literature



Before starting his PhD at the University of Cambridge, Francesco received his Master of Studies (MSt) in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford (2018-19) and his BA in European Studies with German from Royal Holloway, University of London (2014-18). As an integral part of these programmes, he worked at the ‘Forschungsplattform Elfriede Jelinek’ (Elfriede Jelinek Research Centre) and the ‘Österreichische Gesellschaft für Literatur’ (Austrian Society for Literature) in Vienna as well as studying European Ethnology and Gender Theory at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.



Francesco’s research brings the early works of Klaus Mann (1906-1949) into dialogue with the political and literary texts of other homosexual authors during the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), against the historical background of the first movement of homosexual emancipation. In particular, he is investigating the way in which these writers deploy notions of spatio-temporal dislocation as a political tool to open up ontological possibilities and articulate new, queer sexual orientations.

Francesco’s broader interests include contemporary German and Austrian literature, literature and politics, gender and queer studies.



Cambridge European Trust Scholarship for PhD, 2019-2023

Thomas Mann Essay Prize of the English Goethe Society 2020



Lecturer and Supervisor for the ‘Gender and Sexuality’ module, Ge9: German Literature, Thought and History, 1815-1914 (2020-2021; 2021-2022).

Supervisor for ab initio course GEA3 - Introduction to German 3: German Culture


Conference papers

‘Queer Associations: Dance and Kinship in Klaus Mann’s Der fromme Tanz [The Pious Dance] (1926)’, American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting 2023, Chicago IL, March 2023.

‘‘Wir sind zu zerrissen […], um Gegenpol und Ruhehafen irgendwo zu finden’: The Movements of Queer Desire in Klaus Mann’s Early Works’, Arrested Mobilities: Stillness, Power and Modernity, 30th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference, UC Berkeley, February 2022 [online]

‘“Wir sind alle sehr exponiert”: German Homosexual Émigrés during National Socialism’, 67th National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies (UK), October 2020 [online]

‘(Con)fusion of Identity Narratives in Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s Außer sich [Beside Myself] (2017)’, From 'Where are you from?' to 'Where shall we go together?' Re-imagining Home and Belonging in 21st-Century Women's Writing, September 2020, Institute of Modern Languages Research, London (UK) [online]

‘Männlich, weiblich, divers? The Intersex Body in Contemporary German Novels and Debates’, Oxford Medieval & Modern Languages Graduate Network Conference, June 2019, University of Oxford (UK)

‘“Wir sind die Vergessenen, uns kennt man schon nicht mehr”. Forgetting ‘Otherness’ and Disturbing ‘Sameness’ in Elfriede Jelinek’s Die Schutzbefohlenen/Charges (The Supplicants)’, Interdisziplinärer Workshop für NachwuchswissenschaftlerInnen. Elfriede Jelinek: Alterität, Xenophobie und kulturelle Übersetzung’, December 2018, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels (Belgium)




‘Becoming Queer In/human in Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s Außer sich (2017)’, Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, 58.3 (2022), pp. 231–250.  

‘Choreographies of (Dis)order: Dance and Same-Sex Desire in Thomas Mann’s Unordnung und frühes Leid (1925) and Klaus Mann’s Der fromme Tanz (1926)’, PEGS: Publications of the English Goethe Society, 90.3 (2021)

Conference Reports

Co-authored with Dr Anissa Talahite-Moodley: ‘From 'Where are you from?' to 'Where shall we go together?' Re-imagining Home and Belonging in 21st-Century Women's Writing, 23-24 September 2020’, Journal of Romance Studies, 21.1 (2021)

‘Die Arbeitsgruppe 4: Internationale Perspektiven’, in Jelinek[Jahr]buch 2018-2019, ed. by Pia Janke (Vienna: Praesens Verlag, 2019)


‘(J)unitag’, in Bibliothek deutschsprachiger Gedichte. Ausgewählte Werke XXII (Gräfelfing: Realis Verlag, 2019), p. 344.


Other activities and roles

Mentor for speakers at the Cambridge Undergraduate Conference in German Studies (2022)

Co-convenor, German Graduate Research Seminar (2021-22)

Co-organiser, Queer Aesthetics and Queer Homemaking Reading Groups (2021)