Researchers at UCD


Siobhan Donovan

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Languages, Cultures & Linguis
James Joyce Library Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168479


I graduated with a BA (Mod. Hons.) in German and French from Trinity College Dublin in 1989, and obtained my PhD in 1997 (with a thesis on the intellectual collaboration between two eighteenth-century German thinkers: Matthias Claudius and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi). During both my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, I spent some time studying abroad: as an undergraduate at the University of Göttingen (1987-88), and as a postgraduate at the University of Bern, Switzerland (1989-91 & Summer 1992) and a semester at the University of Hamburg (winter 1991-92).
Since 2001 I have been a College Lecturer/Associate Professor in German at UCD. In the 1990s I held temporary lectureships at UCC and UCD, was Faculty of Arts Fellow for German at UCD, tutored at Trinity College Dublin, and taught German language at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, and at the National College of Ireland.
2004-08 I was Membership Secretary and Treasurer of the German Studies' Assocation of Ireland (, that fosters the study of the German language and the cultures of the German-speaking countries, as well as consituting a platform for all colleagues teaching and researching in German Studies at Irish third-level institutions. 2013-14 I was a representative on the first commitee of German Connects campaign (, an initiative of the German embassy and Goethe Institute, which, in collaboration with the Swiss and Austrian embassies and third-level institutions around Ireland, promotes and supports the learning of the German language at all levels. From January 2010 to August 2016 I was the Head of Teaching and Learning in my School (UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics) and 2015-16 the School Lead for the University-Wide Curriculum Enhancement and Reform. I completed the Diploma in Teaching and Learning 2015-2017.

Music is my main hobby and passion, and I enjoy including it in my teaching and research. I have taught courses on Music and Literature in German Romanticism, used opera to give an introduction to German Enlightenment, Classicism and Romanticism, and for many years co-ordinated and co-taught on a Level 3 module with Dr Wolfgang Marx of the School of Music on German Opera in the Nineteenth Century. I have also co-organised two international conferences on Music and Literature related topics: Music and Literature in German Romanticism (2000) and Eduard Hanslick (2010).
The two years I was fortunate to spend on a Swiss Government Scholarship in Bern sparked off an interest in Swiss literature. In addition to musically-informed courses, I teach courses and conduct research into literature by Swiss-German authors and am a member of an international group of colleagues conducting research in this field. 
I also very much enjoy teaching German-language classes and have taught at all levels. Currently I am coordinator and course designer of the second-year German language modules, and also teach a final-year module on Advanced Translation (German-English). I am also involved in an ECML project in Graz to develop and online self-assessment tool designed to prepare for the alignment of a a course or programme with the CEFR.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2017.
Title: Aurora Leadership Foundation Scholar
Year: 2017.
Title: Funding of 1,000 from National Forum for Teaching and Learning
Year: 2017.
Title: College Teaching & Learning Award
Year: 2010.
Title: Seed Funding
Year: 2006.
Title: Grant from Kulturkompetenzzentrum für Kulturaußenpolitik, Bern, for funding of Swiss writer-in-residence programme September 2005 to December 2006


Association: Membership Secretary and Treasurer Association of Third-Level Teachers of German in Ireland, Function/Role:

Conference Contributions

Siobhán Donovan; (2010) Her portrait, her story? ¿ Issues of genre, gender and perspective in Gabrielle Alioth¿s biographical novel, The Searching Gaze (2007). [Non Refereed Paper/Abstract Presented at Conference], 21st-Century European Literature: Mapping New Trends, University of St Andrews, Scotland , 15-SEP-10 - 17-SEP-10.
Donovan, S.; Music and Literature in German Romanticism. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Co-Organiser of international interdisciplinary conference on Music and Literature in German Romanticism, December 2000, selected proceedings published 2004, UCD .


Committee : UCD representative on German Connects Campaign to promote German language throughout Ireland, 2013-14
Committee : German Studies' Association of Ireland
Committee : School Head of Teaching and Learning Committee, UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, 2010-16


Year 2017 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: Professional Certificate Subject: Professional Diploma in University Teaching and Learning
Year 1997 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1989 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: BA (Mod) Subject:



Outreach Activities

2012-15 I was the organiser of our School's day-long taster -- a programme of events and classes for fifth-year students interested in studying languages and/or linguistics at UCD.

Other Activities

Co-organiser of International Conference on Death, Burial and the Afterlife in the Arts and Humanities, UCD June 2016
 Co-organiser of international, interdisciplinary conference on Music and Literature in German Romanticism, UCD, December 2000
Membership Secretary and Treasurer of Association of Third-Level Teachers of German in Ireland, 2004-2008                      
Co-organiser of interdisciplinary conference on Eduard Hanslick, UCD, 24-25 June 2009

Organiser and Co-ordinator of Swiss Writer-in-Residence Programme 2005/06 (financed by Kompetenzzentrum für Kulturaußenpolitik, Bern) with Basel writer Gabrielle Alioth, resident in Co. Meath since 1984

External Examiner in German to DIT, Cathal Brugha Street, 2004-2008 



Donovan, S.; (2004) Der christliche Publizist und sein Glaubensphilosoph: Zur Freundschaft zwischen Matthias Claudius und Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi. Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann. [Details]

Book Chapters

Donovan, S. (2017) 'Operatic Translation and Adaptation: Gounod's Faust with a tribute to Ken Russell' In: Lorraine Byrne Bodley (eds). Music in Goethe's Faust, Goethe's Faust in Music. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. , pp.201-213 [Details]
Donovan, S. (2017) 'Zuckermelonen und Heimatsuche. Der Heimkehrer als Märchenheld? Zu Yusuf Yesilöz' Roman Soraja' In: Vesna Kondric Horvat (eds). Transkulturalität der Deutschschweizer Literatur: Entgrenzung durch Kulturtransfer und Migration. Wiesbaden: J.B. Metzler, Springer. , pp.215-226 [Details]
Donovan, S. (2015) 'Frau Rebekka mit den Kindern, an einem Maimorgen: Rebekkas Morgenandacht für Klein und Groß' In: Reinhard Görisch (eds). Helle reine Kieselsteine. Gedichte und Prosa von Matthias Claudius mit Interpretationen. Husum, Germany: Husum. , pp.203-214 [Details]
Donovan, S (2015) 'Dichtung und Wahrheit, Fiktion und Rekonstruktion: Zur Metamorphose der griechischen Kaiserin Theophanu in Gabrielle Alioths Romanen 'Die Braut von Byzanz' und 'Die Griechische Kaiserin'' In: Barbara Burns, Malcolm Pender (eds). Konstruktionen der Vergangenheit in der Deutschschweizer Literatur. Würburg: Königshausen & Neumann. , pp.19-32 [Details]
Donovan, S. (2013) 'Illness, Creativity and Self-Discovery in Lea Gottheil's Sommervogel' In: Valerie Heffernan, Gillian Pye (eds). Transitions: Emerging Women Writers in German-language literature. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi. , pp.149-168 [Details]
Donovan, Siobhán; (2010) 'Ein keltisch-helvetische Netz: Mythen, Märchen und Magie in Gabrielle Alioths Kinderromanen' In: Barkhoff, Jürgen / Heffernan, Valerie (eds). Schweiz schreiben. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Mythos Schweiz in der Gegenwartsliteratur, 309-21. Tübingen: de Gruyter. , pp.309-321 [Details]
Donovan, S.; (2008) 'Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm: Der alte Großvater und der Enkel / Die Sterntaler (1812)' In: Florian Krobb and Jeff Morrison (eds). Prose Pieces. Irish Germanists interpret German short and very short prose. Konstanz: Hartung Gorre. , pp.69-80 [Details]
Donovan, S.; (2008) 'Der romantische Sog des Wassers, des weiblichen Elements. Zu Gabrielle Alioths Roman Die Arche der Frauen' In: Axel Goodbody & Berbeli Wanning (eds). Wasser - Kultur - Ökologie. Beiträge zum Wandel im Umgang mit dem Wasser und zu seiner literarischen Imagination. Göttingen: V & R unipress. , pp.285-300 [Details]
Donovan, S.; (2007) 'Inspired by Schnitzler's Traumnovelle: The Intersemiotic Representation of Figural Consciousness in Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut' In: Christiane Schönfeld, in collaboration with Hermann Rasche (eds). Processes of Transposition: German Literature and Film. Amsterdam: Rodopi. , pp.59-80 [Details]
Donovan, S.; (2004) 'Introduction (with Robin Elliott)' In: Donovan, S.; (eds). Music and Literature in German Romanticism. Rochester, NY: Camden House. , pp.xi-xxix [Details]
Donovan, S.; (2003) 'Matthias Claudius: "Das Bauernlied" (1783)' In: Florian Krobb and Jeff Morrison (eds). Poetry Project: Irish Germanists interpret German Verse. Oxford: Peter Lang. , pp.29-36 [Details]
Donovan, S.; (2000) 'An Irish Concerto for Hoffmann's Rat Krespel' In: Jürgen Barkhoff, Gilbert Carr und Roger Paulin. Mit einem Vorwort von Wolfgang Frühwald (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2000) (eds). Das schwierige neunzehnte Jahrhundert. Germanistische Tagung zum 65. Geburtstag von Eda Sagarra im August 1998. Tübingen: Niemeyer. , pp.523-534 [Details]
Donovan, S; (1997) 'Metaphor as an instrument of religious discourse and critique of pure reason in the works of Matthias Claudius' In: Bernhard Debatin, Timothy R. Jackson, Daniel Steuer (eds). Metaphor and Rational Discourse. Tübingen: Niemeyer. , pp.215-227 [Details]
Donovan, S.; (1992) 'Christlich-theologische und philosophische Anthropologie bei Matthias Claudius' In: ed. by Jürgen Barkhoff and Eda Sagarra (eds). Anthropologie und Literatur um 1800. Munich: Iudicium. , pp.98-119 [Details]

Edited Books

Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan and Wolfgang Grimes (Ed.). (2013) Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression. Rochester, New York: University of Rochester Press. [Details]
Donovan, S., Elliott, R (Ed.). (2004) Music and Literature in German Romanticism. Rochester, NY: Camden House. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Siobhán Donovan (2012) 'Berg's Opera Wozzeck on Stage and Screen in Frankfurt: Multiple Adaptation and Intertextuality'. Germanistik in Irland, 7/2012 :47-63. [Details]
Pye, Gillian / Donovan, Siobhán; (2010) ''Schreiben und Komponieren': Elfriede Jelinek's 'Rosamunde''. Austrian Studies, 17 (2009) :179-192. [Details]

Other Journals

Donovan, S. (2012) 'Chancen für die irische Germanistik' Irish-German Studies 6: Contemporary German-Irish Cultural Relations in A European Perspective :235-237. [Details]
Donovan, S., Lüchow, A.; (2000) 'Matthias Claudius und die Volksaufklärung' Jahresschriften der Claudius-Gesellschaft IX (2000) IX :6-25. [Details]
Donovan, S., Lüchow, A.; (1993) 'Viel Wahres und Viel Scharfsinniges: Matthias Claudius und die Vermischten Schriften von Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi' Jahresschriften der Claudius-Gesellschaft II (1993) II :5-19. [Details]

Conference Publications

Donovan, S., Herzmann, H.; (2000) Schöpferische Rezeption: Deutsche Klassik im Drama der Wiener Jahrhundertwende am Beispiel Arthur Schnitzlers . In: Renate Koroschetz de Maragno eds. Brückenschlag. Actas de X Congreso Latinamericano de Estudius Germanistícos Venezuela: Caracas, , pp.212-222 [Details]


Siobhán Donovan (2013) Review of Annelen Kranefuss: Matthias Claudius. Eine Biographie (2011). Reviews [Details]
Donovan, S. (2011) Review of Crossing Cultures: Cultural Exchange and Conflict. Papers in Honour of Malcolm Pender. Ed. Barbara Burns, Joy Charnley (Amsterdam, New York; Rodopi, 2010), in Modern Language Review 2011 (106/4), pp. 1202-03. Reviews [Details]
Donovan, S. (2009) Review of Gottfried Keller, 'Die Leute von Seldwyla': Kritische Studien - Critical Studies. Ed. by Hans-Joachim Hahn and Uwe Seja (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang. 2007), in Modern Language Review 2009 (104/2,1), pp. 596-97. Reviews [Details]
Donovan S.; (2006) Anna Koziol-Scherner: 'meine Schrifstellerei ist Realität bei mir'. Praktische Ethik in den Werken und Briefen von Matthias Claudius. Themen ' Traditionen ' Darstellungsformen (Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2005), in: Jahresschriften der Claudius-Gesellschaft 15 (2006). Kiel: Reviews [Details]
Donovan S.; (2001) Günter Saße, Die Ordnung der Gefühle: Das Drama der Liebesheirat im 18. Jahrhundert (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1996), in: Lessing Yearbook XXXIII (2001). Reviews [Details]
Donovan S.; (2000) Jörg-Ulrich Fechner (Hg.), Matthias Claudius 1740-1815. Leben ' Zeit ' Werk (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1996), in: Das achtzehnte Jahrhundert.  Zeitschrift  der Deutschen Gesellschaft für die Erforschung des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts. Jahrgang 23, Heft 2, Wolfenbüttel 1999. Reviews [Details]
Donovan S.; (1998) Herbert Rowland, Matthias Claudius. Language as 'Infamous Funnel' and Its Imperatives (London: Associated University Presses, 1997), in: Jahresschriften der Claudius-Gesellschaft VII (1998). Reviews [Details]
Donovan S.; (1996) Johann Peter Hebel, The Treasure Chest. Introduced and translated by John Hibberd (London: Libris, 1994), in: British Journal for 18th-Century Studies. Autumn 1996. Reviews [Details]


Donovan, S.; (2007) "Fliegende Blätter: Gabrielle Alioth liest Texte". Bremen: CD-ROM [Details]

Review Articles

Donovan, S. (2015) Review: A Companion to the Works of Max Frisch by Olaf Berwald (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2013). Review Articles Available Online [Details]
Siobhán Donovan (2013) Review of 2 anthologies of works of Matthias Claudius: Matthias Claudius: Mich verlangt nach dir. Ein Lesbesbuch, hg. und mit einem Nachwort von Gerhard Henschel (Hamburg: Hoffmann & Campe, 2012) & Matthias Claudius: Der Mond ist aufgegangen. Gedichte und Lieder. Ausgewählt von Susanne Claudius (Köln: Anaconda, 2012). Kiel: Review Articles [Details]


Research Interests

My research interests embrace the literature and culture of German-speaking countries in the 18th and 19th centuries, Music and Word studies, German Opera as transformational and translational genre, recent and contemporary Swiss-German literature.

Current Research Projects
Works of Swiss writers Gabrielle Alioth, Yusuf Yesilöz
Operatic adaptation: 19th-century German novella and their operatic afterlife

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : OBRSS Research Support Scheme
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-16 / 31-OCT-19
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Eduard Hanslick: Aesthetic, Critical and Cultural Contexts
Start Date / End Date : 17-MAY-10 / 16-NOV-11

Recent Postgraduates

Minor Dissertations for taught Masters in German
Seán Hade: "Construction of Identity and Gender Roles in Arthur Schnitzler's Reigen" (2007)
Maeve O'Regan: "'Man muss schriftstellen wie komponieren'. Musical Devices in the Musiknovellen E. T. A. Hoffmann" (2011)
Oriane Legrand: "Der Wassergeist Kühleborn in Fouqués Libretto für Hoffmanns Oper Undine (1816): Die Veroperung und Bearbeitung einer märchenhaften Figur" (2012)




Teaching Philosophy

Modules Coordinated

201700   GER20160     German: German-speaking Enlightenment
201700   GER30130     German: Translation Ger-Eng (Advanced)
201700   GER10030     German: Intro to German Literature
201700   GER40080     German: Literature and Opera
201700   GER20060     German: German Language II a
201700   GER20070     German: German Language II b

Developing as a Teacher

I am currently taking the Graduate Diploma in University Teaching and Learning, and before that, regularly attended CPD workshops. I have attended workshops on PBL, giving feedback and group assessment, small-group teaching, using technology in teaching, posters as a means of assessment. These help me to be more innovative in my teaching, and make me realise that an effective teacher is one who facilitates and who encourages autonomous learning. Throughout my years in UCD and since becoming co-ordinator of team-taught language and other modules, I have tried to support young tutors by giving them ideas for structuring their tutorials, correction tips and how to didactise authentic material. In turn I have learnt from them, and got new ideas for enlivening classes. Furthermore, being put in the role of the learner when I took up Spanish in 2008, contributed significantly to sharpening my awareness of the difficulties (attitudinal as well as disciplinary) confronting the language learner.

Innovation & Leadership