Skip to main content

Language Centre

Photo of Dr Sam Osborn

Dr Sam Osborn

Lecturer in German (E&S)


Sam joined the German department at Exeter in September 2023, after previously being employed by the University of Manchester and the University of St Andrews. 

Sam completed his BA in German and Russian in 2016, earning a First class with distinction from the University of Nottingham. Afterwards, he worked in publishing and digital media before returning to Nottingham for a Research Masters in German literature, where he secured AHRC funding from the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities for his PhD at the University of St Andrews.

While there, he hosted the international conference GDR Today VI with his co-host Matthew Hines. Among others, speakers included Kyle Frackman, Phi Hong Su and Katharina Warda - the theme for the conference was Minority Experiences of the GDR and featured papers on queerness in the GDR, homelessness, migration, disability, Black and East Asian representation in GDR culture and others.

Back to top


Sam's research interests are primarily in post-war German literature and film, especially from the GDR or divided Germany and on the themes of gender, sexuality and queerness. He is currently working on a PhD monograph, based on his thesis completed in 2022, entitled "Gender, Queer Visibility and Queer Imagery in the German Democratic Republic".

Back to top

External impact and engagement

[2022] Documenting Socialism Workshop. In collaboration with the DAAD and German Screen Studies Network (presenter at the University of St Andrews)

[2022] SGSAH Discipline+ Catalyst Workshop: The Dos and Don'ts of Archival Research, (presenter  

at the University of St Andrews)  

[2022] 'Tracing the Image in the Archive: Representation of Transmasculinity in the German  

Democratic Republic' (presented at the Historicising Trans Pasts Conference, University of Sheffield)  [2021] ‘Queer Perspective on the Body in Brigitte Reimann’s Franziska Linkerhand’ (presented at the 68th Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies, IMLR)  

[2021] ‘Charlotte von Mahlsdorf’, Centre for Minorities Research: The Diversity Project. Podcast Episode.  

[2020-present] DEFA Reading Group, University of Bonn, University of Glasgow, University of Oxford, University of St Andrews (online)  

[2019] 'Red Hot Rebellion: Jazz and Popular Music in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe', University of St Andrews. Public Lecture.  

[2013-2018] Language and Culture Workshops, Instructor. Accessing Modern Languages, University of Nottingham.  

[2018] 'The Politicisation of Sexuality in Jürgen Lemke's Gay Voices from East Germany' (presented at the Languages, Texts, and Society conference, University of Nottingham)

Back to top


Sam has a collaborative student-oriented approach to teaching and frequently organises language teaching so that students can use what skills they have acquired in his classes to engage more critically with the media, to participate fully in discussions of contentious issues, which affect Britain and German-speaking countries with a high degree of sensitivity and nuance and how to present written arguments cogently — including how to argue effectively in their literary and cultural studies. Though many students hope only to learn the language, his aim in teaching has been to draw more attention to the other skills one acquires when they learn a language: attention to detail, discipline and established work ethic, presentational skills, analytical skills.

Sam also loves to teach film and literature, which he has taught at all undergraduate levels, especially film and theatre from the late 19th century to the 20th century.

Modules taught

Back to top

 Edit profile