Dr Rey Conquer

BA, MSt, DPhil Oxf


I teach German literature of the modern period (that is, from the mid-18th century to the present), particularly poetry and film, as well as German-English translation.


My research interests are mainly in poetry and poetics, and what might broadly be called ‘art writing’, mostly around the turn of the twentieth century but not exclusively. My monograph Reading Colour (2019) looks at colour in the poetry of Stefan George, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wassily Kandinsky and Else Lasker-Schüler, and uses colour language as a way to think more about how poetic language works.

I am currently working on the concrete poet (and Benedictine monk) Dom Sylvester Houédard. This is part of a larger project on the theological implications of an emphasis on space and on spatial interactions between poet and reader or audience, which can be seen in various kinds of avant-garde or experimental poetry of the early and mid-twentieth century (such as Dada or concrete poetry)—an emphasis that was equally important in the theories of the liturgy of the same period, with practical consequences in church design and liturgical reform. For this I convened, with Dr William Ghosh, a seminar series on Poetry as Religious Practice at The Queen’s College during my Laming Fellowship.

I am also interested in translation, in particular what might be called ‘creative’ translation, and I have organised workshops on this, for instance at the Ashmolean Museum with Dr Nicola Thomas. Another collaborative project I am part of is the ‘Expanding German Studies’ interactive bibliography, which aims to think critically about the scope of the German higher education curriculum. I also contribute reviews of contemporary art, film and children's fiction (among other things) to a number of publications. 


Reading Colour: George, Rilke, Kandinsky, Lasker-Schüler (Peter Lang, 2019)

‘A Poetics of Parataxis: Stefan George’s Umdichtung of Shakespeare’s Sonnets’, Oxford German Studies 44 (2015), 365-382