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Research at St Andrews

Tom Smith


Tom Smith
Postal address:
School of Modern Languages
Buchanan Building, Union St
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462998

Research overview

I started in St Andrews in 2017, having previously taught at Newcastle University, University College London, and Worcester College and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. My research interests are:

  • post-war and contemporary German literature and culture
  • music (classical and popular, especially electronic) in German culture
  • German film and television
  • gender and queer studies
  • decolonial approaches to teaching and research
  • the culture of East Germany

I am happy to discuss supervision of doctoral work on any of these areas.

My current project explores queer and BIPOC perspectives on Germany’s techno scene, with a specific focus on ideas of the present. I am working with a range of sources, from electronic music, photography and club promotional material to magazines, literature and film. The first stage of the project has been funded by a Research Incentive Grant from the Carnegie Trust, and is entitled Afrogermanic? Cultural Exchange and Racial Difference in the Aesthetic Products of the Early Techno Scenes in Detroit and Berlin. I was selected as one of the AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers in 2019. I presented some of my work on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking and The Essay – listen here to my piece on race in techno's origins in Detroit and Berlin.

With Nicola Thomas, Rey Conquer and Richard McClelland, I co-founded an online resource dedicated to diversity and decolonising in German Studies called Expanding the German Studies Curriculum. It features a bibliography of texts and films, and a blog. Please get in touch if you’d like to contribute!

My book, Comrades in Arms: Military Masculinities in East German Culture, appeared in February 2020 with Berghahn Books, and is available to download as an open-access e-book. I presented some of my ideas from the book as an Essay on BBC Radio 3 – listen to it on BBC web site.

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