Axel Fliethmann

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


Axel Fliethmann is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of literary theory, media philology and theory of the image.

He studied Literature, History and Philosophy at the University of Cologne (Germany) where he also received his PhD (Dr. phil.). Before joining the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash in 2002, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the research centre for “Medien und Kulturelle Kommunikation” (Centre for media and cultural communication) at the University of Cologne.

His first monograph Stellenlektüre. Stifter. Foucault, published by Niemeyer in 2001, is one of the few works in the area of philology and literary theory, which analyses historically and systematically two central but theoretically mostly ignored concepts in literary studies: the concept of the quoted or paraphrased  “passage” and the use of “analogies” in literary interpretation.

His second monograph “Texte über Bilder. Zur Gegenwart der Renaissance“ (Texts about Images. On Renaissance Today), published by Rombach in 2014, is an attempt to establish media philology as a new field of inquiry between traditional philologies and media theories.

He is also one of the co-founders and co-editors of the peer-reviewed journal Limbus. Australian Yearbook of German Literary and Cultural Studies and was invited by Thesis Eleven, a leading Australian journal of Critical Theory to edit a Special Issue on German media philosopher Friedrich Kittler (published 2011). He has published widely on literary theory, visual cultures, and media philology.

He currently works on Renaissance image theories and investigates connections between material images and concepts of imagination in Early Modern Times, in particular intersections between image technologies, the formation of the modern concept imagination in aesthetic theory, and pathologies of imagination in medical discourse.

Axel Fliethmann is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.


  • Media Philology
  • Renaissance
  • Literary Theory
  • Visual Culture
  • History of Ideas
  • Imagination

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Projects 2017 2017

Research Output 2001 2018

Ähnlichkeit, Kulturbeobachtung und Kafkas Affe

Fliethmann, A., 2018, The World Within: Self-Perception and Images of the Other in German Literature and Cultures. Bandhauer, A., Lay, T., Lü, Y. & Morgan, P. (eds.). North Melbourne Vic Australia: Australian Scholarly Publishings Pty Ltd, p. 70-88 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Herkunft/Origin: Limbus: Australisches Jahrbuch für germanistische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft/Australian Yearbook of German Literary and Cultural Studies

Fliethmann, A., Weller, C. H., Deiters, F-J., Lewis, A. M. & Lang, B., Nov 2018, 1 ed. Freiburg: Rombach Verlag. 271 p. (Limbus: Australisches Jahrbuch für germanistische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft/Australian Yearbook of German Literary and Cultural Studies; vol. 11, no. 1)

Research output: Book/ReportEdited BookOtherpeer-review

Techniken der Visualisierung und Pathologien der Imagination im medizinischen Diskurs der Frühen Neuzeit

Fliethmann, A., 2018, Germanistik zwischen Tradition und Innovation.: Akten des XIII. Internationalen Germanistikkongresses Shanghai 2015. Zhu, J., Zhao, J. & Szurawitzki, M. (eds.). Frankfurt Main Germany: Peter Lang Publishing, p. 109-113 5 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review

The theology of the image in television and emblem theories

Fliethmann, A., 1 Jun 2018, In : Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology. 146, 1, p. 58-70 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Angst: Limbus: Australisches Jahrbuch für germanistische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft

Deiters, F-J. (ed.), Fliethmann, A. (ed.), Lang, B. (ed.), Lewis, A. M. (ed.) & Weller, C. H. (ed.), 2017, Berlin Germany: Rombach Verlag. 250 p. (Limbus; vol. 10)

Research output: Book/ReportEdited BookOtherpeer-review