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Prof. Dr. Eva von Contzen

Research Interests:

Medieval literature, historical narratology, lists and practices of enumeration in literature, narrative theory, cognitive approaches to literature 


Eva von Contzen studied English Literature and Classics at the Ruhr-University Bochum and NUI Maynooth (Ireland). In 2012, she obtained her Ph.D. on the topic of medieval saints' legends and their narrative art. She joined the Department of English at the University of Freiburg in 2016, where she holds a tenure track professorship in English Literature including the Literatures of the Middle Ages. Her research is located at the intersections of medieval literature, literary history, narrative theory, cognitive approaches to literature, and contemporay literature in diachronic perspective. 

Project Abstract

(A)synchronous Temporality: Translating Antiquity (joint project with Prof. Dr. Karin Kukkonen)

The project investigates (a)synchronicity through the temporal dimension of narrative in translation. We foreground three aspects: (1) the temporal dynamics of the plot; (2) the temporal distance of the narrator to the events told; (3) the “implied temporality” of the translation to its historically distant original. We pursue these aspects through a detailed analysis of Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale” (as a reworking of Statius) and Charles Gildon’s early modern translation of Heliodorus’ Aethiopica, to develop a narratologically and historically informed understanding of (a)synchronicity.

Curriculum vitae

Since 2017 

Tenure Track Professor of English Literature including the Literatures of the Middle Ages, 

 English Department, University of Freiburg


Assistant Professor of English Literature, English Department, University of Freiburg


Assistant Professor of Medieval English Literature and Culture, English Department, Ruhr-University Bochum


Research Assistant, DFG-funded research project on Marco Girolamo Vida’s Christiad, Classical Philology, Ruhr-University Bochum

Funding and Stipends


Principal Investigator, ERC Starting Grant, “Lists in Literature and Culture: Towards a Listology (LISTLIT)"


Co-applicant and Investigator, Graduate Research School 1767 “Factual and Fictional Narration”, University of Freiburg


Visiting Professor, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto


Principal Investigator of the scientific network “Medieval Narratology”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG-Netzwerk)


External Junior Fellow, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)

Selected Publications

2022. "Chrononarratology: Modelling Historical Change for Narratology." Narrative 30 (1): 26-46. (co-authored with Dorothee Birke and Karin Kukkonen).

2019. Handbuch Historische Narratologie [=Handbook Historical Narratology’]. Stuttgart: Metzler (co-edited with Stefan Tilg). 

2018. "Experience, Affect, and Literary Lists." Partial Answers 16 (2): 315-27.

2017. "Dido’s Words. Representing Speech and Consciousness in Ancient and Medieval Narrative." In How to Do Things with Narrative: Cognitive and Diachronic Perspectives, edited byJan Alber and Greta Olson, 79-92. Berlin: de Gruyter.

2016. The Scottish Legendary. Towards a Poetics of Hagiographic Narration. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

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February 23, 2023

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