School of Politics and International Relations

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Professor Colin Grant


Vice Principal (International)

Office Hours: By appointment


I studied modern languages, international organisations, literature and European Studies in Edinburgh, Nantes, Leipzig, Bath and Berlin and had two DAAD postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Siegen (Germany). I was an exchange student at the universities of Leipzig and Nantes and a visiting PhD student at the Humboldt/Zentralinstitut fuer Literaturgeschichte in Berlin. I was Head of Department, Head of School, Dean and inaugural Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Relations at the University of Surrey and inaugural PVC (International) at the University of Bath and inaugural Vice President (International) at the University of Southampton. I was Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and at Paris 4. I have taught across many different areas at all levels: European Studies, international organisations, German and French literature, social philosophy, translation studies, media and communication theory. My PhD students and postdoctoral fellows have worked on various aspects of political communication, mental health and environmental communication, the public sphere and uncertainty and dialogism, media and communication, Islamophobia and communication philosophy.

Twitter: @ColinBGrant

QMUL Who's who: Colin Grant


Research Interests:

Political Communication, Uncertainty and Communication, Theories of Intersubjectivity, Public Sphere theory, the works of Jürgen Habermas and Niklas Luhmann.

Examples of research funding:

  • Two DAAD/CNPq/CAPES postdoctoral fellowships to pursue research project on radical constructivism and public sphere theory/systems theory
  • British Council PhD research funding (Berlin) to complete fieldwork with writers and theorists in Berlin
  • Collaborative research funding agreement at multi-institutional level with ministries and agencies in Brazil (Fapesp) and leadership capacity development in South Africa (Dept. of Higher Education and Training to develop doctoral training in leadership across public universities)
  • Multi-institutional British Council funding for engagement in India (to support the development of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune).


Select publications


1995: GRANT, C.B. Literary communication from consensus to rupture. Theory and Practice in Honecker’s GDR. Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi, 1995 ISBN 98-5183-785-2

2000: GRANT, C.B. Functions and Fictions of Communication. Oxford/Bern/Berlin/Bruxelles/ Frankfurt am Main/New York/Wien: Peter Lang, 2000 ISBN3-906758-40-0

2000: GRANT, C.B. (ed.). Ränder der deutschen Literatur. Eine Einführung in die Literatur der DDR der 80er Jahre und danach. Stadtlichter Presse: Berlin.

2001: GRANT, C.B. (ed.). Language – Meaning – Social Construction. Interdisciplinary Studies. Rodopi: Amsterdam/ New York, 2001 ISBN: 90-420-1448-2

2003: GRANT, C.B. (ed.), Rethinking Communicative Interaction: New Interdisciplinary Horizons. John Benjamins: Dordrecht, 2003. ISBN 90 272 5358 7

2007: GRANT, C.B. Uncertainty and Communication. New Theoretical Investigations. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke

2008: GRANT, C.B. Post-transcendental Communication. Contexts of Human Autonomy.  Lang: Oxford

2010: GRANT, C.B. (ed.) Beyond Universal Pragmatics. Studies in the Philosophy of Communication. Lang: Oxford

2019: GRANT, C.B., Contingency and Communication: the Changing Face of the ‘Public Sphere’ – contracted to Palgrave Macmillan

Special journal issue devoted to my work

2009:    Die (Un)möglichkeit der Kommunikation (= Siegener Periodicum zur Internationalen Empirischen Literaturwissenschaft, Jg. 26 (2007), 1 with essays by S.J. Schmidt, D. Baecker, E. Von Glasersfeld et alii (published 2009).

Articles, chapters

1990: GRANT, C.B. “The Departure from Dialogue in GDR Reader-Writer Relations” in: GDR Monitor. Amsterdam: Rodopi: 22/1990: pp. 69-82 ISSN 90-120-0145-3

1991: GRANT, C.B. “Öffentlichkeit-Diskurs-Kommunikation. Ein Interview mit Robert Weimann” in: Weimarer Beiträge. Vienna: Passagen: 1991: pp. 1053-1062 ISSN 0043-2199

1994: GRANT, C.B. “Die Türen zu den Zwischenräumen offenhalten. Einführung in Leben und Werk von Brigitte Burmeister” in: Neophilologus. Dordrecht: Kluwer: 78/1994: pp. 131-135 ISSN 0028-2677

1994: GRANT, C.B. “Beyond the Guilt of Words? Gert Neumann’s writing after the ‘Wende’ ” in: A. Williams, S. Parkes, J. Preece (eds.). German Literature at a Time of Change. New York/Bern/Frankfurt: Lang, 1994: pp. 221-232. ISBN 32610-444-38

1995: GRANT, C.B. “Narrations of the decay of the post-socialist city” In: Terceira Margem 3: pp. 35-46 ISSN 1413-0378

1996: GRANT, C.B. “Probleme des Öffentlichkeits-Begriffes im Verorten von Literatur (LUMIS-Schriften University of Siegen). 45/1996 (20pp.) ISSN 0177-1388

1997: GRANT, C.B. “Poderes da ficção e ficções do poder”. In: Terceira Margem. 4/1997: pp. 42-48 ISSN 1413-0378

1997: GRANT, C.B. “Procedures of exclusion and reserves of inclusion in the public spheres”. In: Interfaces vol. 3, 3: pp. 91-100

1997: GRANT, C.B. “Tracing the texts of a new novel. Brigitte Burmeister’s Anders oder vom Aufenthalt in der Fremde”. In: R. Atkins and M. Kane (eds.). Retrospect and Review. Aspects of the Literature of the GDR 1976-1990. Amsterdam/ Atlanta: Rodopi: pp. 75-91 ISBN 90-120-0145-3

1997: GRANT, C.B. Kritik der Dialogizität. Zu den Asymmetrien literarischer Kommunikation. (LUMIS-Schriften University of Siegen). 49/1997 (20pp.) ISSN 0177-1388

1998: GRANT, C.B. “Intersubjetividade: Necessidade social ou impossibilidade cognitiva. Uma contribuição ao debate entre Habermas e Luhmann”. In: Princípios. Revista de Filosofia (Federal University of Natal): pp. 5-27 ISSN 0104-8694

1999: GRANT, C.B. “Literatura alemã após a abertura do muro”. In: Literatura contemporânea alemã. Ensaios críticos. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro ISBN 85-900939-1-3: pp. 175-183

2000: GRANT, C.B. “Discursive Democracy as the Political Taming of Globalisation? On recent political essays by Jürgen Habermas”. In: Debatte. Review of Contemporary German Affairs 2/8 (2000): pp. 133-148 ISSN 0965-156 X

2001: GRANT, C.B. “Theories of intersubjectivity: heuristic fiction or counterfactual ideal?” in: Holger Briel and Andreas Kramer (eds.). In Practice. Adorno, Critical Theory and Cultural Studies. German Linguistic and Cultural Studies, vol. 9 Lang, 2001: pp. 85-101 (slightly modified version of 24) ISBN 3-906766-85-3

2001: GRANT, C.B., “Vagueness, Porous Communication, Fictions of Society” in: Language-Meaning-Social Construction. Interdisciplinary Approaches. Rodopi: Amsterdam/New York, 2001: pp. 43-58 ISBN 90-420-1448-2

2002: GRANT, C.B. “Constitucionalidade, legalidade e legitimidade na União Europeia e no Mercosul” in: Comunicação & Política (Rio de Janeiro), vol. IX, no. 2 (2002): pp. 52-72 ISSN 0102-6925)

2003: GRANT, C.B. “Rethinking Interaction: an interdisciplinary programme” in: Grant (ed.), Rethinking Communicative Interaction, Benjamins, 2003: 1-26 ISBN 90 272 5358 7

2003: GRANT, C.B. “Destabilizing Social Communication Theory” in: Theory, Culture and Society vol. 20 no. 6 2003: 95-119. ISSN 0263-2764

2003: GRANT, C.B., “Complexities of Self and Communication” in: Grant (2003 ed.): 101-125. ISBN 90 272 5358 7

2004: GRANT, C.B., “Risks of Communicating and the Self at the Edge”, Theory and Psychology vol. 14, (2004): 221-237

2004: GRANT, C.B. “Uncertain Communications : Uncertain Social Systems” in Soziale Systeme vol. 10 (2004): 217-2322005: GRANT, C.B. “Information overload, globalisation and risks of the dialogical self” in: Oles P.K. & Hermans H.J.M. (eds.), The dialogical self: Theory and research. Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL: 27-41.  isbn 83-7363-320-0

2009: GRANT, C.B., “Without a Name: Kurt Drawert and the Dislocated Self” in: Dislocation and Reorientation. Exile, Division and the End of Communism in German Culture and Politics, Goodbody, Axel, Pól Ó Dochartaigh and Dennis Tate (Eds.), Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2009, XII: pp. 291-302.

2009: GRANT, C.B. “Kommunikation ohne Intersubjektivität” in: Siegener Periodicum zur Internationalen Empirischen Literaturwissenschaft – special issue on C.B. Grant, Intersubjektivität ohne Kommunikation, edited by S.J. Schmidt: pp. 3-29.

2010: GRANT, C.B., “Radical Contextualism vs. Universal Pragmatics” in: Grant, C.B., Beyond Universal Pragmatics. Studies in the Philosophy of Communication, P. Lang: Oxford, 2010: pp. 201-230.

2014: Sangita Shrestha, Kate Burningham & GRANT, Colin B., “Media and Local Constructions of Climate Change in Nepal” In: Journal of Environmental Communication 8, Issue 2: pp. 161-178

2016: GRANT, C.B., “Claude Shannon” in: Klaus Bruhn Jensen (ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell)

2016: GRANT, C.B., “Information Theory” in: Klaus Bruhn Jensen (ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell)

2016: GRANT, C.B., “Constructivism” in: Klaus Bruhn Jensen (ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell)

D. Translations

1992: GRANT, C.B. (Trans.) Gert-Joachim Glaeßner (1992). From Dictatorship to Democracy. London: Pinter

E. Series editorships

2008ff: GRANT, C.B. Interdisciplinary Communication Studies. Oxford: Lang.

2016ff: GRANT, C.B., Interdisciplinary Communication Studies. New Pathways. Oxford: Lang.

PhD Supervision

Supervision interests:

  • Public sphere theory
  • Uncertainty and political communication
  • Political communication in the Middle East, Latin America and Europe
  • The works of Jürgen Habermas and Niklas Luhmann

I am also very interested in supervising postdoctoral fellows in the above fields.

Public Engagement

  • Chair, British Council Education Advisory Group (2018-)
  • Chair, Russell Group International Forum (2017-)
  • Chair, UUK Latin America Network (2013-2017)
  • Member, UUK International Strategic Advisory Board (2012-)
  • Member, DAAD Global Networks Review Committee (2013-)

I have made appearances on live TV, several current affairs programmes in national and international radio, specialist press, financial press and magazines in several countries in Latin America and the UK.

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