Dr Richard Millington

Programme Director School of Languages and Cultures


Teaching in 2017

Research interests

18th-20th century German literature; comparative literature; the European Avant-Garde; translation studies

Dr Richard Millington profile picture


BA (Hons) PhD


I started as a Lecturer in German at VUW in 2006 after completing my PhD on German Expressionist poetry. Before that I had studied in Wellington, Moscow and Berlin and lived for extended periods in other parts of Europe as well, working as a language teacher and translator. My special interests include 20th century literature from the German-speaking world, comparative literary studies (especially the European Avant-garde) and translation studies.

Current research projects

  • Cocaine in literary Expressionism
  • Literary Galicia of the late Habsburg and interwar periods
  • Poetry of Georg Trakl

Research supervision

I welcome proposals relating to:

  • German literature since the 18th century
  • Comparative literature with a German and/or Russian component
  • Translation studies

I currently have students working on:

  • Contemporary German fiction in English translation;

Teaching interests

  • German language;
  • German literature and film;
  • German-English translation (theory and practice);
  • European studies.

Selection of publications


Snow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets Bern: Peter Lang, 2012, 341pp.


“Max Pulver’s Himmelpfortgasse: Fictionalizing the 1920s Cocaine Craze in German-Speaking Europe.” Central Europe (2015, forthcoming).

“Deutsch, undeutsch, kleinrussisch: The Shifting National Loyalties of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.” Intercultural Encounters in German Studies. Eds Alison Lewis and Alan Corkhill. St Ingbert: Röhrig, 2014, pp. 121-373.

“‘Immer wieder kehrst du, Melancholie’: Plotting Georg Trakl’s Poetic Sadness.” Edinburgh German Yearbook 6: Sadness in Modern German-Language Literature and Culture. Eds Mary Cosgrove and Anna Richards. Rochester: Camden House, 2012, pp. 95-111

“From the Evening-Land to the Wild East: Symbolic Geography in Three Poems by Georg Trakl.” German Life and Letters 64/4 (Oct. 2011). pp. 521-35.

“Durch Dichtung zur Wahrheit: Gedächtniskrisen als Erzählimpuls in Max Frischs Zürcher Trilogie” Kritische Ausgabe 20 (2011), pp. 23–25

“Dissent in the nation of nobles: The Polishness of Joseph Roth’s ‘The Bust of the Emperor’” New Zealand Slavonic Journal 42 (2008), pp.121–136

Configurations of Memory Crisis in the Narrative Prose of Max Frisch.” Limbus 2008: Australisches Jahrbuch für germanistische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft. Erinnerungskrisen. Eds Franz-Josef Deiters, Axel Fliethmann et al. Freiburg: Rombach, 2008, pp. 181–198

"'Klänge, weich und trunken': Georg Trakl’s Poetics of Intoxication." AUMLA 107 (May 2007), pp. 77–102

“Pameelen in the Snow: Towards a Reading of Gottfried Benn’s Episode with Cocaine.” Seminar 40.4 (Nov. 2004), pp. 349–367