Mentor / Lab:
Prof. Charles Ross
Specific Research Area / Project:
University of Freiburg, Germany
I work in the field of comparative literature, and I compare texts from different time periods, languages, and cultural contexts. My focus hereby lies on German, English, and Spanish literature, including the genre of film. I have studied texts from the Middle Ages to the present in all three languages under literary and linguistic aspects, and have a special interest in poetry and in contemporary narrative texts and movies. In my research project for the OIGP spring reception, for instance, I conducted a so far neglected interdisciplinary analysis of Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale (2001) and its intertextual discourse with medieval sources. This project makes broader connections in the world by revealing the links between postmodern filmic pop art made for mass-audiences and medieval cultural products that nowadays only very few receive in the original language and medium.
In my literary analysis and interpretation, I often combine the classic technique of close reading with linguistic and cognitive approaches, and in addition, I have specific research interests in narratology. Further, I have become increasingly fascinated with metaphors since I wrote my M.A. thesis on “Metaphors in Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove, The Turn of the Screw, and ‘The Beast in the Jungle.’” I view metaphor and literature as part of the human experience and as strongly connected to our everyday life.
I studied German, English, and Spanish at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and, as a result of my fascination with foreign languages and cultures, my wanderlust grew. During my studies, I spent a semester at the University of Valencia, Spain, as an Erasmus exchange student, and I worked for one year as a foreign language assistant of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in Rathcoole, Ireland. What I learned during my time abroad is priceless. In addition to German, I am fluent in English and Spanish, and have learned how to adapt myself to different cultures, since I have experienced both student life and professional life in urban as well as rural contexts. My time abroad has given me invaluable experiences, which have broadened my horizon and enriched both my research and my teaching.
On the basis of how much I have grown through living, studying, and working abroad, I did not hesitate when the University of Freiburg offered me the opportunity to go on an academic exchange to Purdue for one year. I love working as a German TA at Purdue because the students are bright and motivated, and the department is very supportive. I have fun teaching German language and culture courses in a relaxed environment with very high academic standards, and I especially enjoy organizing a German Movie Night every two weeks. Purdue also offers me outstanding professional development opportunities, and, consequently, I have decided to extend my stay here, and am now officially a Ph.D. student in the Comparative Literature department at Purdue University.
- Certificate of Excellence for the poster "Narrating the Human Experience of Oppression, Violence, and Resistance in Imaginary Cinematic Carcerality: The German Film Das Experiment (2001) and its Hollywood Remake The Experiment (2010)." IGP Spring Reception. Purdue University. April 1, 2013.
- First place in the Foreign Languages & Literatures Award for cultural analysis category in Purdue University’s 82nd Annual Literary Awards Contest 2013 for the paper "Narrating the Human Experience of Oppression, Violence, and Resistance in Imaginary Cinematic Carcerality: Das Experiment (2001) and The Experiment (2010)."
- First place in the Foreign Languages & Literatures Award for literary analysis category in Purdue University’s 82nd Annual Literary Awards Contest 2013 for the paper "A Cognitive Approach to Metaphorical Space in Theodor Fontane's Cécile."
- Certificate of Excellence for the poster "A Knight at the Movies: Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale (2001) – Blending Hollywood with Medieval Texts." IGP Spring Reception. Purdue University. April 4, 2012.
- Graduate Teaching Certificate. Center for Instructional Excellence. Purdue University. April 2012.
- Graduate Teaching Award of Excellence, School of Languages and Cultures. Purdue University. Academic Year 2011-2012.
- "Ekphrasis des Ungewissen – Clemens Brentanos ambivalentes Sonett, Über eine Skizze: Verzweiflung and der Liebe in der Liebe." Ninth Biennial Graduate Student Conference. Department of Germanic Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington. February 22-23, 2013.
- "Mixing up the German Language Teaching Game." 44th IFLTA (Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association) Conference. November 1-3, 2012.
- "Lustschlösser und private Räume. Metaphorical Rooms in Fontane’s Cécile." 37th Annual European Studies Conference. University of Omaha, Nebraska. October 4-6, 2012.
- "Hermann Brochs Romantrilogie Die Schlafwandler." Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. University of Kentucky, Lexington. April 19-21, 2012.
- "A Knight at the Movies: Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale (2001) – Blending Hollywood with Medieval Texts." Poster presentation. Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Spring Reception. Purdue University. April 4, 2012.
- "Hisaye Yamamoto's 'Seventeen Syllables' – A Story of Initiation with Ethnical Elements." American Comparative Literature Association Conference, “Collapse/Catastrophe/Change.” Brown University. March 29 – April 1, 2012.
- "The Significance of Space in Fontane’s Cécile." 2nd Annual Alabama Modern Language Conference, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. February 23rd-25th, 2012.
- "Metaphors in Henry James's The Wings of the Dove, The Turn of the Screw, and 'The Beast in the Jungle.'" 6th Annual Eucor (European Confederation of Universities in the Upper Rhine Region) English Trinational Conference. Mulhouse, France. December 11, 2010.