Department of Germanic Studies

Thorsten Ries

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., German Literature, Joint Ph.D., Hamburg University (Germany), Ghent University (Belgium).

Thorsten Ries



Digital Humanities; Digital Learning; German Literature from the 18th to the 21st Century; Theory, Methodology and Practice of Scholarly Editing, Genetic Criticism and Textual Criticism, Digital Literature, Digital History, Literary Theory, Methodology and Discipline History of the Germanistik.


Thorsten Ries joined the Department of Germanic Studies in 2021 as Assistant Professor with specialism in  German literature from the 18th to the 21st century, digital learning and digital humanities. His primary research focus is the foreign language curriculum in the context of digital humanities, (digital) scholarly editing, born-digital archives and digital forensics.

Thorsten has worked on a historical range of authors, including Friedrich Hölderlin, Gottfried Benn, Thomas Kling, Michael Speier, and others, and is specifically interested in writing processes, scholarly editing, born-digital archives, digital literature and the vast spectrum of digital humanities methods in general. He works on multimodal digital learning concepts focusing on remodeling the language and cultural studies curriculum with digital literacy, digital skills and a digital-first perspective in mind.

Before coming to Austin, Thorsten has been teaching at Regensburg University, Antwerp University, Ghent University, Hamburg University, and conducted research at projects at Ghent University and the University of Sussex, UK.

Selected Publications:

Chr. Annemieke Romein, Julie Birkholz, Max Kemmann, James Baker, Michel De Gruijter, Alfred Mereno Penuela, Thorsten Ries, and Stefania Scagliola. “State of the field: Digital History”. In: History: The Journal of the Historical Association 105.365 (April 2020), pp. 291-312, DOI:

Thorsten Ries. "Das digitale ‘dossier génétique’: Digitale Materialität, Textgenese und historisch-kritische Edition. In: Textgenese in der digitalen Edition. Hrsg. v. Anke Bosse und Walter Fanta. Beihefte zu Editio, 45. Berlin et al.: de Gruyter, 2019, pp. 91–116. DOI:

Mike Kestemont, Thorsten Ries, and Gunther Martens. “A computational approach to authorship verification of Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s contributions to the Frankfurter gelehrte Anzeigen 1772-1773”. In: Journal of European Periodical Studies (JEPS) 4.1 (Summer 2019), pp. 115–143. url:

Thorsten Ries and Gábor Palko, eds. Born-Digital Archives. Special issue of International Journal of Digital Humanities 1.1 (Mar. 2019). url:

Thorsten Ries. “The rationale of the born-digital dossier génétique: Digital forensics and the writing process: With examples from the Thomas Kling Archive.” In: Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (DSH) 33.2 (June 2018), pp. 391–424. url:

Thorsten Ries. “Philology and the digital writing process.” In: Cahier voor Literatuur­weten­schap 9 (2017), pp. 129–158.

Thorsten Ries. Verwandlung als anthropologisches Motiv in der Lyrik Gottfried Benns: Textgenetische Edition ausgewählter Gedichte aus den Jahren 1935 bis 1953. 2 vols. Exempla Critica 4. Berlin et al.: De Gruyter, 2014, 1039 pages.

Thorsten Ries. “‘die geräte klüger als ihre besitzer’: Philologische Durchblicke hinter die Schreibszene des Graphical User Interface: Überlegungen zur digitalen Quellen­philo­lo­gie, mit einer textgenetischen Studie zu Michael Speiers ‘ausfahrt st. nazaire.’” In: Editio: Internationales Jahrbuch für Editionswissenschaft 24.1 (December 2010), pp. 149–199.


EUS 307 • Intro Study Of Northern Eur

36845 • Fall 2021
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 304

Please check back for updates.

GSD 360 • Dgtl Humn: Mthds/Cases/Thry

38550 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM PMA 5.124

The course introduces some central innovations used in what is called "digital humanities:  a set of theoretical frameworks, analytical tools and strategies, and evolving academic projects that are used in both Germanic studies and more generally throughout the humanities and social sciences (including digital linguistic methods, language-specific projects, and cultural studies approaches to code, data and digital editions.  It will combine case studies and hands-on group project work to introduce students to  I) text-oriented digital humanities, II) a hands-on introduction to several DH tools and programming in Python, as well as III) critical appraisal and reflection of data, methods, and results.

The course is based on a combination of in-class instruction and self-guided group projects with available supervision and support.  The course is designed to enable students with no programming experience to a) acquire essential digital skills they can build on and extend in future courses and their own projects, b) practice developing digital humanities research questions, project plans, implementation and evaluation and c) engage with existing DH research in critical ways.
This course also includes training in digital bibliographic research methods, as well as assessing and reviewing research literature. 

GER 382N • Digtl Map Of Cultr Networks

38090 • Spring 2021
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM GEA 114

The course offers an introduction to cultural and literary networks in northern Europe from a digital perspective. It will cover digital humanities methodology to map historical cultural, literary networks as well as inter- and intratextual networks, and networks of digital culture. On the other hand, the course will deal with digital networked art and literature, their code, and the history of digital culture networks (web history) as well as tech culture history.


Coming from a data perspective, the course will move from mapping women editor’s networks of the 18th century, letter exchange networks of literary exiles and scholars, and inter- and intratextual literary networks of texts and periodicals up to the 20th century in the Germanic language communities and England. Students will also have the opportunity to engage with digital art and literature, its source code and will learn to scrape, analyse, study web (literary) history from the mid-1990s until today and web culture phenomena such as fan fiction networks and the mechanisms of digitally spread disinformation.


The course will include a practical, hands-on introduction to digital humanities methods as well as to critical reflection on DH methodology and appraisal of DH research results.     


Please note: This course will be taught in English, with all main readings available in a native language (e.g. German or Dutch) and English translation. As the Electronic Literature Organization is strong in Spanish digital literature, student presentations in this area are welcome, but they would have to provide translations.

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