Beate Schirrmacher

Beate Schirrmacher

Department of Film and Literature Faculty of Arts and Humanities
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My research centers on intermedial questions exploring how literature interacts with other media and how the material conditions of literature shape and influence narratives. I have especially focused on the intermedial relationship between literature and music, but also explored the representation of court proceedings in different media. Currently, I am researching the intermedial relations of journalism, on informative narrative strategies and clashing truth claims in different media.

As a former freelance journalist, I am always interested in participating in conversations and debates in different forums, for example on German literature, on the role of music in literature, on intermedial media literacy in a digital age, and on the role of the humanities in addressing societal challenges.


I mainly teach at the Bachelor's level in Literary Studies and at the Master's programme Media Cultures: Intermediality and Multimodality.


I have mainly researched the intermedial relationship between text and music, for example how narrative text can be structurally reminiscent of music, how text can evoke and utilise inner sounds and images, or why classical music in literature and film is so often linked to violence.

In the project Instruments of repair I have investigated what happens when artists expose worn-out musical instruments to elements like water, fire and weather? How does it change our understanding of what music, sound and the world around us?

Currently, I focus on an intermediary perspective on news and journalism, examining informative and misinformative narrative strategies and clashing truth claims in different media.

Furthermore, I am interested in intermediality and its performativity, the connection between intermediality to multimodality and other media and communication theories

Within Linnaeus University's Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies, I am mainly active in the research groups IMS News and IMS Literacy.


Representation of Trials in other Media (with Corina Löwe, 2016-2018)

A legal trial is a complex process used to agree upon what can be considered as (legal) facts. Representations of trials in other media don't only tell the story of a specific case but also convey questions of truth production and credibility. In this project, we investigate how social conflicts and questions of truth production are mediated when trials appear in literature, film, and news media. 

The Common Ground of Music and Violence in Literature (2014-2016)
Why do so many texts with intermedial reference to music deal with violence, war and trauma? The combination of music and violence in literature and film however, repeatedly calls forth ambivalent reactions. In films and novels, this experience of ambivalence is used to convey complexity. 

Music in the Fiction of Günter Grass (2005-2012)
Beates PhD-thesis explores the role of music in Günter Grass's novels. In pointing out the vital role of intermediality for Grass's narrative strategies, the thesis opens up for a new, intermedial perspective on his work.


I am a member of the steering committee of the Linnaeus University Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies (IMS), head of the board of the International Society for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies, member of the steering committee of the doctoral school Multimodality and Intermediality for a Digital World (MIDWorld), financed by the Swedish Reseach Concil (VR)


Conference paper (Refereed)

Chapter in book (Refereed)

Collection (editor) (Refereed)

Conference proceedings (editor) (Refereed)

Conference paper (Other academic)

Chapter in book (Other academic)

Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)

Collection (editor) (Other academic)

Article, book review (Other academic)

Article, review/survey (Other academic)

Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))

Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))