Staff profiles

Photo of Professor Chloe Paver

Professor Chloe Paver

Associate Professor in German

4338

01392 724338

My current research centres on German and Austrian history museums, considering the museum as one a range of social practices for dealing with Germany's fraught 20th century. Much of my work focuses on material culture. The objects that remain from a historical era (and the much smaller group of objects that find their way into the museum) determine to some degree what stories can be told about the past. In educating the public about Germany's dictatorships, German and Austrian history museums have to deal with both material excess and material lack: mass ideologies, mass experiences, and mass death, on the one hand, produce large numbers of objects; while the destruction, fracturing, theft and displacement of the victims' objects leads to gaps and voids. My work investigates how a range of museum types, many of very recent foundation, deals in different ways with these issues. In the case of the former East Germany I consider also the role that museums are playing in the ‘growing together’ of East and West anticipated by Willy Brandt in 1989 and still arguably incomplete. I welcome enquiries about postgraduate and postdoctoral research in this area and in the broader area of German cultural memory.

I teach modules relating directly to my research questions (in particular ‘Dictatorships on Display: History Exhibitions in Germany and Austria’) but I also teach more widely across various eras of German literature and film. I have considerable experience of teaching in the MA Translation programme and have supervised numerous masters dissertations.

Research interests

Chloe Paver welcomes enquiries about postgraduate supervision (MRes, MPhil and PhD degrees) in topics related to:

  • Museum exhibitions and memorial sites commemorating the Third Reich
  • Cultural memory
  • Representations of the Third Reich in German and Austrian fiction and film
  • Fiction since the Wende

Dr Paver is undertaking the first wide-ranging investigation of historical exhibitions about the National Socialist era, the GDR, and their legacies. This research, which has already resulted in the publication of eight articles and chapters, takes account of the social and institutional forces that shape these exhibitions and of the ways in which they display the material traces of the past. She is currently pursuing various avenues of enquiry: the relationship between the fringes and the establishment in exhibition work; the staging of 'trash' for exhibition; and the exhibition of East Germany outside eastern Germany.

Dr Paver spent the year 2006-07 as a Humboldt Fellow working under the supervision of Prof. Aleida Assmann at the University of Konstanz and gave papers both there and at the University of Vienna. In 2007 she completed a monograph for OUP: a study of the ways in which recent German and Austrian literature and film approach the subject of the Nazi past, and of the ways in which we study these approaches. With Prof. Bill Niven of Nottingham Trent University she has edited a volume of articles, Difficult Pasts: Memorialisation In Germany Since 1945.  This is the first major collection of research into the diverse memorials to Germany's various ‘pasts' and  shows how both the memorials themselves and our ways of conceptualizing them have diversified over the last few decades.  Chloe Paver received a British Academy small grant to enable research visits to Germany to complete this work.

Research supervision

Postgraduate Supervision since 2001

  • PhD, ‘The Aestheticization of Green Ideas in German Literature', Simon Meacher, 1999-2003, 2 years' University of Exeter funding, one year's AHRB funding.
  • PhD, ‘Narratives of Change and Continuity: Theatre Institutions in East Berlin and Brandenburg in the Transition to the New Germany', Elizabeth Catling, 2000-2005, funded by the University of Exeter.
  • PhD, ‘Erfundene Welten, Modelle der Wirklichkeit. Eine hermeneutisch-rezeptionsästhetische Analyse von Christoph Ransmayrs Romanen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von „Morbus Kitahara"', Markus Spitz, 2000-2005, funded by the University of Exeter.
  • PhD, ‘Academic and Cultural Institutions in the Fiction of the GDR and the New Germany', Morven Creagh, 2004-2008, AHRC-funded.
  • Dr Paver has also supervised 15 MA theses on various aspects of post-1945 German literature and culture, including translation studies.

Teaching

Most of my teaching draws on past and present research. In particular, the modules 'A Nation Remembers' and 'Dictatorships on Display' accompany my current investigations into German and Austrian cultural memory. Students on these modules read my latest, often as yet unpublished, research as well finding out about new research reported at recent conferences. Dictatorships on Display uses photographs that I have taken on museum visits in Germany and Austria -- material that is unavailable online -- which means that students on this module are the only students in the UK given access to this knowledge and interpretation.

In 2014 I was given an award for 'Best Feedback Provider' by the Student Guild.

Modules taught