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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Miriam Schwarz


Jesus College



Prof Sarah Colvin

Research Topic

Women’s Friendships in Contemporary German and Anglophone Literature

About Me       

Before starting her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2020, Miriam taught as DAAD–Lektorin at the University of Oxford for three years. She received a Master’s Degree in Modern German Literature as well as a Bachelor’s degree in German Philology and Social Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin. In between these degrees, she spent a year as a teaching assistant at the German Department of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran.


Miriam's PhD researches narratives of women’s friendships in contemporary German and Anglophone fiction and non-fiction literature. She explores how recent texts develop theories and practices of friendship and provide a framework to navigate differences of race, class and sexuality in these relationships. In this work, she is particularly interested in how these friendship practices are conceived as political responsibilities of democratic citizenship.


Jesus College Cambridge Schröder PhD Scholarship


As a DAAD-Lektorin at the University of Oxford, Miriam has taught German language and literature for undergraduate students of all years. A particular focus in her teaching lies on anti-racist and feminist perspectives. Together with Dr Veronika Schuchter, she has taught seminars on contemporary feminist and Afro-German women’s writing. Additionally, they have organized teaching projects and events focussing on anti-racist work and Black women’s writing in Germany. Among others, they have invited Vina Yun and Anne Potjans to talk about their work.

Conference papers

‘Building a Future on Feminist Friendship. An Intertextual Approach on Friendship as a Gender Non-Conforming Practice in Contemporary German and English Writing’, given at the ‘Gender (Non)Conformity’- Conference at Oxford, organized by the London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (2019).


‘Antirassismus Interdisziplinär’, along with Rim Jasmin Irscheid for ‘Kontrovers’

Other activities and roles

With Dr Veronika Schuchter and Prof Barry Murnane, Miriam founded and is part of the Decolonial Discourses & German Studies project. Taking its lead from wider initiatives such as Expanding German Studies and Diversity, Decolonization, & the German Curriculum, this ongoing project acknowledges that German Studies must develop a critical awareness of the legacies of colonialism, of continuing discourses of difference and identity, and of the need for increased inclusivity.