Emeritus Professor James Bade

MA (Well) PhD (Zurich)


  • Studied German and English language and literature at Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Zürich
  • Lektor in English at the University of Münster, 1975-76
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in German (1976)
  • Associate Professor of German (1998)
  • Professor of German (2011)
  • Professor Emeritus of German (2016)
  • Head of Department, Germanic Languages and Literature, 1999-2002
  • Head of School of European Languages and Literatures, 2004-2007, 2013
  • Head of Disciplinary Area, European Languages and Literatures 2014 (S1)
  • Faculty of Arts School Governance Advisory Group member, 2017
  • Chair, Translation Studies Programme Review Panel, 2017
  • School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics Academic Staffing Review Committee member, 2018
  • Director, University of Auckland Research Centre for Germanic Connections with New Zealand and the Pacific, 1999-

Research | Current

  • Modern German literature
  • German film
  • German connection with New Zealand and the South Pacific

Current  projects

Contribution to Fontane Bicentenary

Professor Bade made three substantial contributions to the 2019 bicentenary of the birth of the German novelist Theodor Fontane. The first was his chapter “Fontane as a Pacifist?  The Antiwar Message in Quitt (1890) and Fontane’s Changing Attitude to Militarism”, in Fontane in the Twenty-First Century, edited by John B. Lyon (Pittsburgh University) and Brian Tucker (Wabash College), which was released at the Fontane bicentennial conference at Potsdam University, Germany, in June 2019. The second was his Goethe Society Wellington lecture “New Perspectives on Fontane: Fontane’s Changing Attitude to War as reflected in his novel Quitt” delivered at Victoria University of Wellington in September 2019. The third was the launch at Victoria University, following his Goethe Society lecture, of his young adult adventure novel The Secret of the Glass Mountains, based on his Fontane research.  The Secret of the Glass Mountains, published by World Castle Publishing in Florida, is concerned with the adventures of three university students from Germany, New Zealand, and the United States who have been chosen to take part in a United Nations special mission to delve into the significance of a chart discovered in the Fontane Archives in Potsdam. A detailed review of the novel by Lutz Görgens appeared in Fontane Blätter 109, 2020.  The sequel, Snake Point, published by World Castle Publishing in 2021, expands on these themes and relates in particular to Fontane's novel The Stechlin. Prof. Bade's review of two key Fontane biographies, by Iwan-Michelangelo D’Aprile and Regina Dieterle, both published as part of the Fontane bicentenary, appeared in Arbitrium 38(2): 213–218, 2020.

Senzke Parish Church Great Flood Painting (c. 1680)  as Fontane's Inspiration for Sophie's Stralau Great Flood Painting in Die Poggenpuhls (1896)

Professor Bade's research into Sophie's use of the Stralau landscape in her portrayal of the Great Flood in Fontane's novel Die Poggenpuhls (1896) revealed that Fontane's inspiration was the painting, c.1680, of the Great Flood in the Senzke parish church, Brandenburg, which he visited in 1889.  With the help of the local pastor and church elders, Prof. Bade was able to locate the painting, and his findings were published in the Fontane journal Fontane Blätter 109, 2020.  Prof. Bade is now working on an expanded English version of this project which details Fontane's use of Stralau landscapes in his Berlin novels.

Monarchy in the Age of Empire

Professor Bade presented a paper at the “Monarchy in the Age of Empire” conference held at Flinders University in Adelaide on 23-24 July 2019. His paper was on the role of Tonga’s constitutional monarchy in preserving Tonga’s independence during the European Colonial Era in the Pacific and the contribution of the 1875 Treaty of Friendship with Germany to the recognition by European powers of the sovereignty and independence of Tonga in the nineteenth century. After the conference, Prof. Bade was invited to submit an expanded version of his paper, which appeared in May 2021 as “The role of Tonga’s constitutional monarchy in preserving Tonga’s independence during the European colonial era in the Pacific” in History Australia DOI: 10.1080/14490854.2021.1918009.

Ludwig Haas Project

Prof. Bade is a member of a collaborative research team which is researching the role and contribution of Ludwig Haas, of the German Democratic Party, to German politics during the First World War and the Weimar Republic. There is an important New Zealand connection here, as Ludwig Haas' son, Karl Haas, came to New Zealand as a German Jewish refugee.  Prof. Bade’s chapter “Deutsche Einwanderung und Kultur in Neuseeland”, in the German Ludwig Haas volume Ein deutscher Jude und Kämpfer für die Demokratie, appeared in May 2017, and in the English language edition, Ludwig Haas: German Jew and Fighter for Democracy, published by Decisionmaker/Kaiwhakatau in 2020, the English version of his chapter appeared under the title  “German Immigration and Culture in New Zealand”.

Historical Documents on German Samoa

Frieda Zieschank's Memoirs

Prof. Bade supervised a number of senior German research students who were involved with the translation and annotation of Frieda Zieschank’s memoirs published in German in 1918 of her ten years in German Samoa 1906-1916, including the last years of German administration, and the New Zealand occupation of German Samoa at the beginning of World War I.  The resulting volume is being edited by Dr Nicole Perry for the Germanica Pacifica series, to be published by Peter Lang, Berlin.

Frida Peemüller's Memoirs

Prof. Bade also supervised research students at the University of Auckland and the University of Canterbury working on the translation and annotation of selected memoirs of Frida Peemüller.  Frida Peemüller was the wife of Barnim Peemüller, who came to Samoa in 1896 and became established there as a plantation manager. Frida Peemüller’s memoirs give her husband’s background, how he came to Samoa, her own childhood, background, and travels before she met her husband, her impressions of her life in Samoa from 1910 to 1914, when she went back to Germany because of ill health, and her impressions of Samoa under New Zealand occupation after her return there from 1915 to 1920.  Prof. Bade has now completed the transcription, annotated  translation, and introduction, and his critical edition is also to appear in the Germanica Pacifica series.

Postgraduate supervision

Prof. Bade has supervised 12 PhD theses and 29 MA theses and BA Honours dissertations, mainly concerned with German literature and the German connection with New Zealand and the Pacific. The latest thesis to be supervised by Prof. Bade was Kasia Cook’s thesis on the German Tongan diaspora, completed in April 2017, and nominated in 2018 for the Vice-Chancellor's Best Thesis Award.


  • Appointed Justice of the Peace for New Zealand, 6 February 2016
  • Awarded German Parliamentary Medal (Bundestagsmedaille), presented by President  of German Parliament, Dr Wolfgang Thierse, on his visit to Auckland, 5 December 2003


  • Co-Director (with Dr Nicole Perry) of the University of Auckland Research Centre for Germanic Connections with New Zealand and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • German literature from the nineteenth century to the present
  • German cinema 1920-1945
  • The German connection with New Zealand and the Pacific

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Examiner, Year 13 Secondary School German Oral Examinations, Goethe Society Wellington, 3 August 2019 and 8 August 2020, held at Victoria University of Wellington.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Bade, J. J. (2020). Sophies Sintflut-Gemälde in 'Die Poggenpuhls' und ein Blick auf Stralau. Fontane Blätter, 109, 103-113. Related URL.
  • Bade, J. N. (2019). Fontane as a Pacifist? The Antiwar Message in 'Quitt' (1890) and Fontane’s Changing Attitude to Militarism. In J. B. Lyon, B. Tucker (Eds.) Fontane in the twenty-first century (pp. 84-102). New York, USA: Camden House.
  • Bade, J. N. (2017). Deutsche Einwanderung und Kultur in Neuseeland (German immigration and culture in New Zealand). In E. Grothe, A. Pomerance, A. Schulz (Eds.) Ludwig Haas: Ein deutscher Jude und Kämpfer für die Demokratie (Ludwig Haas: German Jew and fighter for democracy) (pp. 279-289). Dusseldorf, Germany: Droste Verlag.
  • Bade, J. N. (Ed.) (2016). Karl Hanssen's memoirs of his wartime experiences in Samoa and New Zealand 1915-1916 Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Peter Lang Edition. 10.3726/978-3-653-06295-3
  • Bade, J. J. (2015). Eine gemalte Landschaft?: Die amerikanischen Landschaften in Theodor Fontanes Roman “Quitt”. In H. Delf von Wolzogen, R. Faber (Eds.) Theodor Fontane:: Dichter und Romancier: Seine Rezeption im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert (pp. 107-139). Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann.
  • Bade, J. J. (2015). Eine gemalte Landschaft?: Landscapes in Theodor Fontane’s novel Quitt (1890). In R. Robertson, M. White (Eds.) Fontane and cultural mediation: Translation and reception in nineteenth-century German literature (pp. 23-48). Oxford: Legenda.
  • Bade, J. (2014). ‘Das Auge der Landschaft:’ Contrasting Landscapes in Theodor Fontane’s Frau Jenny Treibel. Journal of Language, Literature and Culture, 61 (3), 153-166. 10.1179/2051285614Z.00000000039
  • Bade, J. J. (2014). The Magic Mountain of Weimar Politics: The Impact of the Assassination of Walter Rathenau on Thomas Mann's 'Der Zauberberg'. Monatshefte fuer deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur, 106 (1), 37-53. Related URL.

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Level 5, Room 517
New Zealand