Professor Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly, MA NUI, MA Oxf, Dr phil Basle, FBA
Between 1989 and 2013, Professor Watanabe-O’Kelly was Fellow in German Language and Literature at Exeter College. During this time she was also Sub-Rector (1995-97, 2002-04). Prior to teaching at Exeter, she lectured at the University of Reading from 1974 to 1989.
Her specialisms include Early modern German culture; European court culture from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, especially festivals; the representation of women in German literature; writing by women in German. Among her books are Melancholie und die melancholische Landschaft (1978), Triumphal Shews. Tournaments at German-Speaking Courts in their European Context 1560-1730 (1992) and Court Culture in Dresden from Renaissance to Baroque (2002). She has edited The Cambridge History of German Literature (1997), and Spectaculum Europaeum. Her most recent books are Beauty or Beast? The Woman Warrior in the German Imagination from the Renaissance to the Present (2010), Queens Consort, Cultural Transfer and European Politics, c.1500-1800, with Adam Morton (2016) and Projecting Imperial Power: New Nineteenth Century Emperors and the Public Sphere (2021).
From 2013-2016 she led the research project ‘Marrying Cultures’ which examined the role that royal consorts played in cultural transfer between European courts.