Profile - Balz Engler

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Balz Engler is Professor emeritus of English Literature at Basel University, Switzerland. His research interests have increasingly focused on literature as a social institution and its pragmatics, using Shakespeare as an example. He has published a critical edition of Shakespeare’s Othello, which includes a German prose translation of the play. He has written books on Shakespeare translation, on the relationship between poetic texts and their modes of communicating, on literature as performance and its cultural implications, and on how Shakespeare is continually re-created as a classic. He initiated the HyperHamlet project, which documents how the play has been quoted in culture. He has also edited or co-edited nine collections of essays, on topics like community drama, the history of English Studies in Europe, and Shakespeare in European culture. He served on the boards of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE), the Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft, the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences and the European Shakespeare Research Association (ESRA). His website is at

Representative articles

  • "Vorwort" in Balz Engler, Hrsg., Disziplin/Discipline. Fribourg: Fribourg Academic Press, 2014. 1-4.

  • "The Editor as Translator," Shakespeare Survey 59 (2006), 193-97.

  • "Constructing Shakespeares in Europe," Four Centuries of Shakespeare in Europe. Ed. by A. Luis Pujante and Ton Hoenselaars. Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press, 2003, 26-39.

  • "Der Stein sich leise hebt: Das Shakespeare-Denkmal in Weimar," Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 139, 2002, 146-60.

  • "Shakespeare in the Trenches." In Alexander, Catherine M.S., and Wells, Stanley, eds. Shakespeare and Race. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 101-111.

  • "Englishness and English Studies" in Engler, Balz, and Haas, Renate, eds. European English Studies: Contributions towards the History of a Discipline, Leicester: The English Association, 2000. 335-48.

  • "Postdisciplinarity." Language and Literature Today: Proceedings of the XIXth Triennial Congress of the FILLM. Brasilia: Universidade de Brasilia, 1996. 852-59.

  • "Else my project fails: Applause and the authority of Shakespeare's texts." Cahiers Elisabéthains 44. 1993. 23-31.

  • "The Poem and Occasion." In Peter Verdonk, ed. Twentieth Century Poetry: From Text to Context. London: Routledge, 1993. 159-70.

  • "Reading Hopkins Writing." In The Authentic Cadence: Centennial Essays on Gerard Manley Hopkins, ed. Anthony Mortimer. SEGES, n.s. 10. Fribourg: Fribourg University Press, 1992. 143-51.

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