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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Mr Thomas Crew

Tom Crew


St Edmund's



Dr Martin Ruehl

About me


The turn of the 20th century witnessed the birth of dystopian literature. From Jules Verne’s Paris in the 20th Century and H. G. Wells’ Time Machine, the genre finds its most well known examples in the 1920s, 30s and 40s: Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. My research project deals with “visions of dystopia in German literature”, focussing of five works of literature published between 1909 and 1957. I hope to help define and establish the dystopian genre in the German context and bring out its main contours, which are of renewed relevance to our times – above all, the impact of technology on the shape of man.

Additionally, I am also interested in the German philosophy of this period, especially that of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Adorno, as well as philosophy’s relationship to literature, and the potential role of art as a counterpoint and antidote to dystopian worlds.



  • Hanseatic Scholarship, 2020-21.
  • Vice Chancellor’s and St Edmund’s Luzio Scholarship, 2017-20.
  • London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) Masters Studentship, 2015-16.


Conference Papers

  • ‘The Age of Mechanization and the Failure of Utopia: Georg Kaiser’s Gas Trilogy’, given at the Lead Panel of the Association for German Studies conference, Swansea University, September 2021.
  • ‘Visions of Dystopia in German Literature’, chair of panel at the Association for German Studies annual conference, Swansea University, September 2021.


Academic Publications

  • ‘“How to become what you are”: Self-Becoming and Individuation in Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo and Hesse’s Demian and Steppenwolf’, Journal of European Studies, 51 (1), pp. 3-23.
  • ‘Ernst Jüngers Gläserne Bienen und der Übergang zur Perfektion’, Berliner Debatte Initial, 31 (1), pp. 72-84.
  • ‘“Der Tag hängt tot zwischen Himmel und Erde”: On the theme of Ambivalence in Ernst Barlach’s “Der tote Tag”, German Life and Letters, 72 (2), pp. 168-186.


Other Publications

  • ‘The Dystopian Age of the Mask’, The Critic (September 2020)



  • ‘Why Study the Humanities?’, Varsity (March 2018)