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Hella Liira

Hella Liira is a PhD researcher in German Studies at the University of Tartu. As a junior lecturer in the University of Tartu, she teaches German as a foreign language, German Literature in the 19th century and an introduction course to German-Estonian translation, offering additional courses in Creative Writing and a Theatre-Workshop. Her MA Thesis Transitory Space and Transitory Writing in Wolfgang Hilbigs Novel “Das Provisorium”. A Hypothesis about Time, Space and Memory combined narratological approach with space theory. Her PhD thesis researches the contemporary German novels by Antje Rávic Strubel through the lens of intertextuality and transitory space.

University of Tartu

Department of German Studies
J. Liivi 4
50409 Tartu


Personal site (etis.ee)

Sich das Land erschreiben: Die DDR als Erinnerungsraum in der deutschen Literatur der 1990er Jahre und des beginnenden 21. Jahrhunderts

I am studying novels by female authors born in the GDR in the 1970es (e.g., Antje Rávic Strubel) and explore how space and the traces of GRD are used in their novels. Working with Strubel’s novels has opened up unexpected and rewarding avenues of spatiality. Strubel has her own style in writing, where the textual tissue is layered and interlacing. The novels have similar central subjects, such as homelessness, desire, sexuality and are linked through real life places. The subjects of self, history, sexuality, and identity have become pivotal since they also manifest in spatial representations.

  • “Lescovec, Andrea (2020), Vergangenheitsbewältigung. Deutschsprachige Literatur und nationalsozialistische Vergangenheit,” [book review] Zielsprache Deutsch. Eine internationale Zeitschrift für Deutsch als Fremdsprache / Deutsch als Zweitsprache 1 (2023): 75-77.
  • Co-organisation of XII. Symposium der baltischen literarischen Kultur: Lenz und Livland / J.M.R. Lenz und sein livländisches. Umfeld, University of Tartu, September 16-17, 2022.
  • “Antje Rávik Strubel’s ‘Travel Writing’: Motion, Power and Identity,” Borders and Crossings: A Transdisciplinary Conference on Travel Writing, University of Tartu, July 6-8, 2022.
  • “Desire in ‘In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens’ by Antje Rávik Strubel,” annual conference of the Centre for Excellence in Estonian Studies (CEES) Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity in Language and Culture, Estonian Literary Museum and University of Tartu, Tartu, May 12-13, 2022.
  • “Überlegungen zur räumlichen Struktur von Antje Rávic Strubels Trilogie: ‘Kältere Schichten der Luft’ (2007), ‘Sturz der Tage in die Nacht’ (2011), ‘In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens’ (2016),” Wissenschaftliche Tagung der Germanistikstudierenden Sprache und Literatur, Department of German Philology, Vilnius University/online, April 16, 2021.

University studies and degrees

  • 2018
  • M.A. cum laude, German Studies, University of Tartu.
  • 2010
  • B.A. German Language and Literature, University of Tartu.

Professional background

Junior Lecturer in German Language, University of Tartu, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, College of Foreign Languages and Cultures.


Proseminar: German Literature (part 2: 19th century).
Translation from German into Estonian.
Translation Seminar.
Creative Writing.
Theatre Workshop.
German for Beginners I (Intensive Course), Level 0 > A1.
German for Beginners II (Intensive Course), Level A1 > A2.
German for Beginners I, Level 0 > A1.1.
German for Beginners III, Level A1.2> A2.1.
German for Pre-Intermediate Learners I, Level A2.1 > A2.2.
German for Pre-Intermediate Learners II, Level A2.2 > B1.1.