About Professor Peter Morgan

Professor Peter Morgan carries out research in the areas of European literatures, cultures and national identities, and is director of European Studies, an ambitious area studies program aimed at bringing together Europeanists across the breadth of the Arts Faculty.

The European Union is the most successful global supranational institution. It has brought together nations that were at war half a century ago, and has created synergies and unities not only in the economic sphere, but also across societies, political entities, cultures and linguistic groups.

In 2010 Professor Morgan became Director of the European Studies program at the University of Sydney. Before that he was Winthrop Professor of German and European Studies at the University of Western Australia where he established the European Studies program in the mid-nineties. A speaker of six languages including his native English, he has published a socio-literary study of Goethe’s works at the time of the French Revolution, The Critical Idyll: Traditional Values and the French Revolution, and has published widely on classical, 19th century and contemporary German and European literature, and on the teaching of German and European Studies in Australia. His latest book is a study of the Albanian writer and dissident intellectual, Ismail Kadare: The Writer and the Dictatorship 1957-1990 (Oxford: Legenda, 2010). During his career at UWA, Professor Morgan received two Faculty Distinguished Teaching Awards. Professor Morgan’s research has been supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1992), the Australian Research Council (2003, 2010) and the Camargo Foundation (2004). As Director of the European Studies Program at Sydney University he devotes his energies to teaching, writing, and encouraging Australian students to broaden their horizons through the study of languages and cultures. In this role he intends to extend the teaching and research of Europe and related areas and to build up a leading European Studies Centre for the Asia-Pacific region.

Selected publications

  • “The Polarization of Utopian Idealism and Practical Politics in the Idyll. The Role of the ‘Erster Bräutigam’ in Goethe’s Hermann und Dorothea.” The German Quarterly 57 (1984): 532-45.
  •  The Critical Idyll: Traditional Values and the French Revolution in Goethe’s ‘Hermann und Dorothea.’ Columbia (SC): Camden House, 1990. Pp. 183 pp.
  •  “Aufklärung, Revolution und Nationalgefühl: Der Topos des Jakobiners und die Frage deutscher Identität in Goethes Hermann und Dorothea.” Zeitschrift für Germanistik N.S. 3 (1991): 533-541.
  •  “The Sins of the Fathers: A Reappraisal of the Controversy about Peter Schneider’s Vati.” German Life & Letters 47 (1994): 104-133.
  •  “‘Something Greater, an Emotion More Transcendent’: Violence and the Reconstruction of Group Identity in Enzensberger’s Civil War.” Gerhard Fischer,  ed. Debating Enzensberger:  ‘Great Migration’ and ‘Civil War.’ Tübingen: Stauffenberg Verlag, 1996, pp. 103-116.
  •  “European Studies,” chapter 12 of Knowing Ourselves and Others: The Humanities in Australia into the 21st Century: The Strategic Disciplinary Review on Resarch and Research Training in the Humanities. Canberra: Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1998. Vol. 2, Pp. 117-126.
  •  “The Sign Of Saturn: Melancholy, Homelessness and Apocalypse in W.G. Sebald’s Prose-Narratives.” German Life & Letters 58 (2005): 76-92.
  • “’Your Story is Now My Story’: The Ethics of Narration in Grass and Sebald.” Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur, Vol. 101, no. 2 (2009): 86-106.
  • “Kadare after Communism: Albania, the Balkans, and Europe in the Post-1990 Work of Ismail Kadare.” Postcommunism, Postmodernism, and the Global Imaginary. Christian Moraru and Stephen Fischer-Galati, eds. East European Monographs. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.) 137-167. 
  • Ismail Kadare: The Writer and the Dictatorship, 1957-1990. Oxford: Legenda, 2010.