Professor Michael Gratzke

Professor (Teaching and Research)

Research and Innovation Services Office, Research and Innovation

Michael Gratzke
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I studied at the University of Hamburg for my undergraduate degree and doctorate, and have worked at Cambridge, St Andrews, Hull and now Dundee. My background is in German literature, but I have subsequently changed designation to Comparative Literature which reflects better my approach which is informed by themes, tropes and transformations rather than nationalist imaginations of individual, single-language traditions.

Apart from teaching and researching in these fields, I have been working in various academic leadership roles at School, Faculty and University level such as Head of School, Associate Dean for Research, Director of Educational Transformation and Director of the Doctoral College.

At Dundee my focus is on leading the Doctoral Academy.


I work across genres of "high" and "popular" culture. My work combines methodologies from the arts & humanities and social sciences. In terms of themes, my research explores representations of gendered subjectivity in literature, on film and on the Internet. I am particularly interested in the aesthetic representation of extreme experiences and altered states of mind such as in war, love and masochism. I am currently working on a comparative study of 'romantic' love and intimacy (erotically charged intimate love between non-related adults) in 21st century literature. My comparative work addresses German-, English- and Finnish-language prose. I facilitate community-based participatory research into love and 'healthy relationships'.

My own creative practice sits in the realm of DIY culture. I describe myself as a zine maker rather than a creative writer.

Research interests

Love Research, Relationships Research, History of Emotions, DIY Cultures, Popular Culture, Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, Modern Literature, Critical Theory, Queer Theory, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, Gender History, Comparative Cultural Studies, Participatory Research

If you are interested in PhD supervision or research collaboration, please contact me via email. I welcome PhD project proposals in German and comparative literature or cultural studies on any period from the 1750s onwards. Ideas for contemporary studies are also very welcome. Your research interests should broadly match mine so that you can get the most out of my supervision.

I especially welcome applicants with an interest in researching experiences of love which involve issues of physical disability, mental health, non-neurotypical people, non-conformist expressions of gender or sexuality, age (young & old), or migration.

View full research profile and publications


I do not currently teach on UG or PGT programmes, as my job as the Academic Director of the Doctoral Academy keeps me busy.

PhD Projects

Principal supervisor


Heart by Anthony Head
View Discovery Days 2021

Press release

Vacuum cleaners that unblock brain vessels, super normal design for extraordinary bodies, and the ways in which our medical data can aid the COVID-19 fight are just some of the topics to be explored at the University of Dundee next week.

Published on 6 January 2021