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Dr Maria Roca Lizarazu

College position(s)



Modern and Medieval Languages

Specialising in


Degrees, Awards and Prizes

PhD (Warwick), MA (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), BA (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Research themes

I specialise in German-language literature and culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. My research interests include cultural production by and about minority subjects in contemporary Germany, including Jewish, Turkish and Black German perspectives, as well as cultural engagements with (post-)migration, transnationalism, and citizenship. More recently, I have explored cultural responses to right-wing and racialised violence in contemporary Germany. Across these topics, I have an overarching interest in questions of remembrance and futurity in relation to violent pasts and presents, specifically the contribution that arts-based approaches can make to developing critical practices of memory-and future-making. I also have a keen interest in creative methods and collaborations as part of this research.

My first monograph Renegotiating Postmemory. The Holocaust in Contemporary German-language Jewish Literature (Camden House, 2020; nominated for the Waterloo Centre for German Studies Book Prize) investigated major shifts in Holocaust representation through the lens of contemporary German-language Jewish writing, paying special attention to the increasing digitisation and globalisation of Holocaust memory. I am currently completing my second monograph, The Coming Question. Literary Encounters with Difference in Postmigrant Germany. This book offers an in-depth examination of how writers from various ethnic and migration backgrounds, including Jewish, Turkish and Afro German, tackle the challenges of diversification in present-day Germany through literary experiments with alternative modes of (co-)existence and worldmaking. I argue that their texts generate models for more convivial futures that have the power to disrupt assimilationist, integrationist, and ethno-nationalist paradigms.


I currently lecture and supervise Tripos students in MML and teach across a range of German papers and modules including Ge 5 Modernising the Theatre; Ge 6 Heimat und Alptraum; Ge 12 Transforming the Stage; Ge 13 Futurity and Utopianism. I also teach translation for paper GEB2.


University Assistant Professor. 

I was educated and have worked in academic institutions in Germany, the UK and Ireland. Prior to joining Girton, I worked as Postdoctoral Researcher in Creative Futures at the Moore Institute, University of Galway, researching creative methods approaches as tools for alternative futures thinking in a range of academic and non-academic contexts including the arts and cultural as well as the policy sector. 

My research contributions have been recognised through several awards, including my election to the Young Academy of Ireland under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy (2023), a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Birmingham (2018-2021) and a Sylvia Naish Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Languages Cultures, and Societies (ILCS, formerly IMLR), University of London (2018).