Robert Vilain

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Robert Vilain is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Bristol,[1] and was the last Warden of Wills Hall (2015-18). He is also Lecturer in German at Christ Church, Oxford,[2][3] and Co-Director of the South-West Consortium of the UK's Routes into Languages scheme.[4] Previous posts include a personal chair in German and Comparative Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London and three years as Head of the School of Modern Languages at Bristol. He has held a number of fellowships, including one sponsored by Princeton University Library,[5] which resulted in an important re-evaluation of Delacroix's illustrations for an early edition of Goethe's Faust in French.[6]

Vilain attended Solihull School in the West Midlands as a Foundation Scholar before reading French and German at Christ Church, Oxford. He obtained a BA with first-class honours, an MA and a DPhil from Oxford, and conducted some of his doctoral research at the University of Bonn. His first academic post was at the Victoria University of Manchester. He joined the University of Bristol in 2010.

Specialising in 19th- and 20th-century German, Austrian and French literature, especially poetry, Vilain is the author and editor of numerous books and articles. He is Editor of Studies in Modern German and Austrian Literature for Peter Lang,[7] and Germanic Editor of the UK-based journal Modern Language Review, having formerly co-edited Austrian Studies with Judith Beniston. He reviews for the Times Literary Supplement[8] and appears occasionally on BBC Radio 3, BBC television and other public discussion fora to discuss German literature and culture.[9]

Vilain is married to Patience Robinson and they have three children, Nathaniel, Imogen and Genevieve.

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