The contribution explores the German and Austrian variety of the academic novel in its distinctness from the Anglophone and in its regional specificity. Whereas the academic novel of the Lodgean mould has not been able to establish itself in the literary field of German-speaking countries, the Germanophone university novel does create a variety of fictional formats to represent the academic world and its inhabitants. The German and Austrian texts are shaped by a particular mental disposition, and, to a certain degree, by a political agenda, most notably hierarchical thinking and criticism of university legislation and politics. Some of them foreground components and features of non-academic forms, such as grotesque pastiche, existential probing, or literary and cultural history, while others recognizably emulate sub-genres of the Anglo-American variety, as, for example, the campus novel of earlier periods or the currently popular academic mystery. As we move from the fairly ‘cleansed’ German to the Austrian academic novel we find, for the most part, humour and eroticism abandoned altogether.