Dr Tara Beaney

Dr Tara Beaney
Dr Tara Beaney
Dr Tara Beaney


Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272488
Office Address

School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
King’s College
University of Aberdeen
AB24 3UB

School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture


I have been a lecturer at Aberdeen University since 2014. As an undergraduate I studied German and Philosophy, before spending a year in Japan. To pursue my interests in literature and culture I studied for a masters in Comparative Literature, and for a PhD at the 'Languages of Emotion' excellence cluster of the Free University Berlin.


2013     PhD Literary Studies (magna cum laude)

            Free University of Berlin

2009     MA Comparative Literature (distinction)

            University College London (and intercollegiate status at SOAS)

2007     BA Hons Philosophy and German (first class)

            St Anne’s College, University of Oxford

Internal Memberships

German Examinations Officer

German Year Abroad Coordinator


Research Overview

My research interests lie in Comparative Literature with particular focus on German literature from the Romantic period to the present day. I also have interests in Japanese literature, and am often drawn to texts with fantastic or unexpected elements. I see literature as offering powerful insight into the deeper cultural narratives that inform our perceptions and behaviour, and am particularly interested in relationships between people and their environment.

My first book Metamorphosis in Modern German Literature (Legenda, 2016) read stories of bodily transformation into non-humans, exploring ways such tales grapple with problematic identities, and envision literature as a way of feeling into another existence. The book takes a comparative and historical approach, tracing cultural changes in thinking about bodies, identity, agency and emotion.

My interest in how people understand themselves and relate to others extends into work on environmental culture. The environmental crisis has mobilised me to direct my interest in radical change and issues of agency towards literary engagement with environmental crisis and concepts of autonomy and control in relation to climatic phenomena. I am currently working on a project on narratives of floods and flooding in literary texts.

I welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students with interests in related areas of research.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in German.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Comparative Literary Studies
  • German Literature
  • German Society and Culture
  • German Studies
  • Environmentalism

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

My current research deals with floods and flooding in literary texts (including climate change related flash flooding and future sea level rise). A particular focus is German language texts, although I am also working towards a larger comparative study.

Aspects of interest include: risk prediction and mitigation, and the imaginative crisis of culture when envisioning environmental change; experiences of catastrophe and perceptions of human and non-human agency; apocalyptic narratives and non-linear alternatives; exploitative and extractive relations with nature, versus connectedness and Gaia theory; generational differences in relating to future threats; connections between climatic and affective phenomena; perceptions of water as both threatening and life-giving; dissolution of boundaries and civilisation collapse; attitudes towards destruction and waste; mythic and supernatural elements in flood narratives; critique of techno-fix solutions to environmental problems including floods.

I would be happy to hear from researchers interested in similar and related areas.


Teaching Responsibilities

I teach a range of undergraduate courses on German language, literature, culture and history. My honours options include:

Environmental Crisis in Literature and Culture

Humans and Others: Modernity and its Discontents

Transgression: From Sturm und Drang to Romanticism

Fairytales and Feminism



Page 1 of 1 Results 1 to 3 of 3

  • Confronting ‟Unforeseen” Disasters: Yōko Tawada’s Surrealist and Animistic Poetics

    Beaney, T.
    Ecozon@, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 81-98
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Metamorphosis in Modern German Literature: Transforming Bodies, Identities and Affects

    Beaney, T.
    Legenda, Cambridge. 192 pages
    Books and Reports: Books
  • Gothic Emotions: E.T.A. Hoffmann's 'The Devil's Elixirs' and Izumi Kyōka's 'The Holy Man of Mount Kōya'

    Beaney, T.
    Compar(a)ison, vol. I-II, no. 2009, pp. 169-186
    Contributions to Journals: Articles


Books and Reports

Contributions to Journals