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Detailed Page PD Dr. Erchinger

Philipp Erchinger

Senior Lecturer

PD Dr. Philipp Erchinger
Building: 23.21
Floor/Room: 02.51
+49 211 81-13275
+49 211 81-11443

Office Hours

by arrangement via e-mail

I studied English (as well as Rhetoric and Political Science) at Tübingen and Lancaster, UK. Then I moved to the University of Frankfurt/Main to participate in the DFG doctoral programme ‘Zeiterfahrung und ästhetische Wahrnehmung’. Having received my PhD (Dr. phil.) from Frankfurt, I worked at the Universities of Erlangen-Nürnberg, where I was a post-doctoral member of the DFG graduate school ‘Cultural Hermeneutics’, and Exeter, UK, where I spent more than two and a half years as a DFG-funded research fellow at the Centre for Victorian Studies. In October 2013, after another brief stint at Erlangen-Nürnberg, I came to Düsseldorf where I have been teaching ever since.

My research interests cover the following areas:

  • British poetry and prose of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
  • Literature among the arts and sciences
  • Literary theory, especially theories of creativity, experiment, and emergent form
  • Ecology and anthropology of literary practices

My first book, Kontingenzformen (Königshausen & Neumann, 2009), investigates how fictional narratives by Thomas Nashe, Laurence Sterne and Lord Byron operate through and along with the contingency that informs them, rather than seeking to domesticate it. As a result of this study, I have become more generally interested in historical theories of evolution and emergence as well as in practices of experimentation in the arts and sciences. These concerns have led to a second book on ways of knowing in Victorian literature and science, which is entitled Artful Experiments (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). Most recently, I have begun to pursue an interest in the ecology and anthropology of literary work.

I teach BA and MA courses on a wide range of British literary and intellectual history, on literary and cultural theory, as well as on the ecology and anthropology of literature.


  • Artful Experiments: Ways of Knowing in Victorian Literature and Science. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018. Chapter abstracts
  • Kontingenzformen: Realisierungsweisen des fiktionalen Erzählens bei Nashe, Sterne und Byron. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2009 (ZAA Monograph Series).

Editorial Work

  • (with Pippa Marland und Sue Edney), Eco-Georgic: From Antiquity to the Anthropocene. Ecozon@ 12.2 (2021). Open access
  • Earth Writing: Special Issue. Philological Quarterly 97.2 (2018). Article abstracts
  • with Cristian Alvarado-Leyton. Identität und Unterschied: Zur Theorie von Kultur, Differenz und Transdifferenz. Bielefeld: transcript, 2010.
  • (with Nadine Böhm-Schnitker). “Victorian Lives and Minds: Scientific Cultures in the Nineteenth Century”. Anglistentag 2013 Konstanz: Proceedings. Ed. Silvia Mergenthal, Reingard M. Nischik. Trier: WVT, 2014, 1-80 (edition of book section).

Essays in Journals and Books

  • "Georgic Culture in Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native: Participant Observation". Georgic Literature and the Environment: Working Land, Reworking Genre. Ed. Sue Edney and Tess Somervell. New York: Routledge, 2022, 136-150. Abstract
  • with Sue Edney und Pippa Marland. "Eco-Georgic: From Antiquity to the Anthropocene. An Introduction”. Ecozon@ 12.2 (2021), 1-17. Open access
  • “Anthropogenesis: Ian McEwan’s Fictions of the Human”. Nonhuman Agencies in the 21st Century Anglophone Novel. Ed. Bettina Burger, Yvonne Liebermann and Judith Rahn. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, 89-109. Abstract
  • "Science, Footnotes and the Margins of Poetry in Percy B. Shelley's Queen Mab and Charlotte Smith's Beachy Head." European Journal of English Studies (EJES) 22.3 (2018), 241-257. Abstract
  • "Introduction: Earth Writing." Philological Quarterly 97.2 (2018), 125-135. Abstract
  • "Curious to Know: John Clare's 'The Nightingale's Nest' (1832)." What Literature Knows: Forays into Literary Knowledge Production. Ed. Antje Kley and Kai Merten. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2018, 135-153. Open access
  • "Reading Experience: William James and Robert Browning." Journal of Literary Theory 11.2 (2017), 162-182. Abstract
  • "Art as Process and Skill: On the Work of Literature in Wilkie Collins and Robert Browning." Materie – Material –Materialität: Disziplinäre Annäherungen. Ed. Andrea von Hülsen-Esch. Düsseldorf: Düsseldorf UP, 2016, 59-77.
  • (with Nadine Böhm-Schnitker). "Scientific Cultures in the Nineteenth Century: Introduction." Anglistentag 2013 Konstanz: Proceedings. Ed. Silvia Mergenthal, Reingard M. Nischik. Trier: WVT, 2014, 1-7.
  • "Mobility, Movement, Method and Life in G.H. Lewes." Perspectives on Mobility. Ed. Ingo Berensmeyer and Christoph Ehland. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2013, 151-175.
  • "Laws, Characters, and the Agency of the Text: An Answer to Beatrix Hesse and Lyn Pykett". Connotations 22.2 (2013), 264-278.
  • "Handlung, Identifikation und Ermöglichung von Differenz: Zur Kreativität der Rhetorik in literaturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive." Kreativi­­tät: Kommuni­kation, Wissenschaft, Künste. Ed. Joachim Knape, Berlin: Weidler, 2013, 107-133.
  • "'Moving Things into Certain Places': Nature, Culture and Art as Practice in Victorian Writing." Literature Compass 9.11 (2012), 786-800.
  • "Transport, Wayfaring and Ways of Knowing in Victorian Writing." REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 28 (2012), 285-311.
  • "Being Moved: G.H. Lewes’s Studies in Life." Anglistentag Saarbrücken 2010: Proceedings. Ed. Joachim Frenk and Neal Norrick. Trier: WVT Wissen­schaftlicher Verlag, 2011, 329-339 (rev. and extended version published with Rodopi, as above).
  • "Secrets Not Revealed: Possible Stories in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White. Connota­­tions 18.1-3 (2008/2009), 48-81 [issue backdated, published in 2010].
  • "Zwischen Identität und Unterschied: das Leben des Wissens." Identität und Unterschied: Zur Theorie von Kultur, Differenz und Transdifferenz. Ed. Cristian Alvarado Leyton and Philipp Erchinger. Bielefeld: transcript, 2010, 11-33.
  • "Nascent Consciousnesses, Unaccountable Conjunctions: Emergent Agency in Herbert Spencer's Principles of Psychology and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda." SKASE Journal of Literary Studies 1.1 (2009), 1-19.
  • "Das Bild der Rhetorik in der rhetorikkritischen Tradition." Rhetorik und Stilistik: Ein internationales Handbuch historischer und systematischer Forschung. Ed. Joachim Knape and Andreas Gardt. Vol. 1. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008, 991-1009.
  • "Die Evolution des Textes. Mimikry als Selbstbeschreibungsverfahren (Nashe, Cervantes, Sterne)." Mimikry: Gefährlicher Luxus zwischen Natur und Kultur. Ed. Andreas Becker et al. Schliengen: Edition Argus, 2008, 288-305.
  • (with Joachim Knape). "Uniköpfe: Tübinger gelehrte Dichter." Literatur vom Neckar bis zum Bodensee 1000-1800. Ed. Wolfgang Gaier und Monika Küble. 2 vols. Ulm: OEW, 2003, 949-963.


  • Gowan Dawson, Bernard Lightman, Sally Shuttleworth, Jonathan R. Topham, eds. Science Periodicals in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Constructing Scientific Communities.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020. Victorian Studies 65.1 (2023), 131-133.
  • Davina Höll. Das Gespenst der Pandemie: Politik und Poetik der Cholera in der Literatur des 19. Jahrhunderts. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: frommann-holzboog, 2021. Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 260:1 (2023), 182-185.
  • Leonie Achtnich. Literatur im Fieber: Zur Poetik der Temperaturen bei Conrad, Woolf, Joyce und Th. Mann. Heidelberg: Winter, 2020. Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 259.1 (2022), 156-158.
  • Ian Duncan. Human Forms: The Novel in the Age of Evolution. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2019. Victorian Studies 63.2 (2021), 290-291.
  • Melissa Bailes. Questioning Nature: British Women's Scientific Writing and Literary Originality, 1750-1830. Charlottesville: University of Virginia UP, 2017. Review 19 (December 2019), online.
  • Devin Griffiths. The Age of Analogy: Science and Literature between the Darwins. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2016. Victorian Studies 60.3 (2018), 461-463.
  • Tiffany Watt Smith. On Flinching: Theatricality and Scientific Looking  from Darwin to Shell Shock. Oxford: OUP, 2014. Victorian Studies 59.2 (2017), 362-364.
  • Kathleen Frederickson. The Ploy of Instinct: Victorian Sciences of Nature and Sexuality in Liberal Governance. New York: Fordham UP, 2014. Victorian Studies 58.3 (2016), 582-585.
  • Ralph Pordzik. Victorian Wastelands: Apocalyptic Discourse in Nineteenth Century Poetry. Heidelberg: Winter, 2012. Anglia 131.2-3 (2013), 419-425.

Reference Articles and Miscellaneous Texts

  • "Teaching Guide to 'Moving Things into Certain Places'". Literature Compass 9.11 (2012), 916-917.
  • "Forms of Contingency: Realising Fictional Narrative in Nashe, Sterne, and Byron." English and American Studies in German: A Supplement to Anglia, Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010, 69-72 (English summary of Kontingenzformen).
  • "Titel." Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik. Ed. Gert Ueding. Vol. 9. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2009, 537-545.
  • "Subnexio." Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik. Ed. Gert Ueding. Vol. 9. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2009, 255-257.
  • "Sermo." Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik. Ed. Gert Ueding. Vol. 8. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2007, 879-886.
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