Aileen Jorena Behrendt



Am Neuen Palais 10
Building 19, Room 0.25


by individual appointment

I wrote my PhD thesis on Dynamic Stasis and Gender Politics in British Novels of the 1930s, focusing on Nancy Mitford, Stevie Smith, Rosamond Lehmann and Jean Rhys. My dissertation was supervised by Prof. Dr. Dirk Wiemann (Universtität Potsdam) and Prof. Dr. Eveline Kilian (Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin). 

In 2017 and 2018 I was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, USA. I was awarded a short-term scholarship to prepare my PhD thesis by the Caroline von Humboldt-Stipendiatinnenprogramm in 2014. As a student of the master’s programme English Literatures at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin I graduated in 2014 with a thesis on liminality and British Novels of the 1930s. For my bachelor’s degree, I read English and German at Universität Potsdam, from which I graduated in 2011. My bachelor thesis was on the question of identity in Evelyn Waugh’s early novels. I spent an Erasmus semester at the University of Hull.  

My research and teaching interests include: 

  • Modernism
  • Gender and Queer Theory
  • Fandom Studies and Television Studies
  • British Humour and Contemporary Comedy
  • Metropolitan Cultures
  • Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Cultural and Literary Theory

Recent academic projects include:

‘Policing Female Bodies – Narratives of Illegal Abortions in Interwar British Literature and Beyond’, lecture series: Geschichte, Politik und Ethik des Schwangerschaftsabbruchs (11/2018)

‘Who can we laugh at? – British Humour in Times of Brexit’, Hard Times 101 (11/2018)

‘Against the Economic Imperative – Jean Rhys’s Interwar Women as Capitalist Failures’ King’s College London, Cultures of Work (05/2018)

‘Social Claustrophilia in Rosamond Lehmann’s Dusty Answer’ Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and King’s College London,Joint Workshop The Interwar Years (02/2017)

“‘Every woman in London seemed to have some secret service activity on hand’ – Secrecy in Nancy Mitford’s Spy Novel Pigeon Pie”, University of Delhi, India (12/2016)

“’Pompey der Grosse’ – Genre and Gender in Stevie Smith’s Over the Frontier” Jesus College, University of Oxford: 'We All Have These Thoughts Sometimes' – a Conference on the Work of Stevie Smith (1902-1971) (03/2016)

‘Walking the Streets of Interwar London: West End Prostitution in Patrick Hamilton’s Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky’, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and King’s College London, Joint Workshop City-Centric: Sexing and Gendering Urban Spaces Workshop (11/2015)

‘Literary Frontiers: Stevie Smith’s Over the Frontier’, King’s College London: Cultural Translations Across Borders (05/2015)

“Subversion Through Humour in V. Woolf’s Orlando: a Narratological Reading”, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, student conference HU Sprechstunde (11/2013)

‘Christopher Isherwood and the German Metropolis’, New York University, Berlin, Welcome Lecture, key speaker (05/2013)