skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Syamala Roberts

Syamala Roberts

Ms. Syamala Roberts





Dr. Lucia Ruprecht


I work on the ‘auditory imaginary’ in literature. My PhD examines conceptions and representations of hearing and listening in German modernist writing with particular reference to Rilke, Kafka, Freud and Benjamin. My other academic interests include aesthetics and media studies, performance and art history, and comparative studies from the eighteenth century onwards.

I am also interested in the role of the arts in the rehabilitation of prisoners, and have been both a participant and mentor on Learning Together courses at HMP Whitemoor offered by the university’s Institute of Criminology and the Faculty of Divinity.

Scholarships / Prizes

AHRC / Christopher Hogwood Scholarship, Jesus College

Thomas Mann Essay Prize of the English Goethe Society (2016)

Albert Goh and Elizabeth Coupe Scholarship, Jesus College (2016-17)

Fellowships and Affiliations

Visiting Student at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, FU Berlin (2020)


  • Ge10 (Modernist Fiction; Poetry: Forms and Functions; Psychoanalysis; Theories of Art and Culture)

Other topics by arrangement

Conference papers

  • ‘“Als Samen sonnst du dich”: Dissemination and inheritance in Rainer Maria Rilke’, German Graduate Symposium, University of Oxford (May 2019)
  • ‘Rilke and Mann Listening to the Gramophone’ – Graduate Conference, ‘Mediating the Modern: Sound, Image, Text’, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (September 2017)
  • ‘Sounds of the Modern City’ – DAAD Postgraduate Summer School, ‘Metropolis’, Institute of Modern Languages Research, London (June 2017)
  • ‘Gallery Politics’ – Graduate Conference in German Studies, ‘Aesthetics and Politics’, University of Cambridge (May 2017)



Reviews (peer-reviewed)

  • Roberts, Syamala, 'Grenzgänge zum Anorganischen bei Rilke und Celan by Friederike Felicitas Günther', in Austrian Studies, 27 (2019), 269–270.

Online Publications

Other activities 

Co-Convenor, German Graduate Research Seminar (2018-19)

Mentor, ‘The Good Life’ course on Philosophy and Ethics, HMP Whitemoor (2019) 

Committee / postgraduate mentor, Cambridge Undergraduate Conference in German Studies (2016-2019)