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I am a Ph.D. candidate at the American studies department of the University of Potsdam where I hold a teaching position for literary and cultural studies classes. My dissertation project with the working title “Help Yourself So Help You Science” focuses on the dynamics of security narratives and affects in the context of biomedicine and biotechnology in U.S.-American literature and culture. I conducted part of the research as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle. The PhD project is a continuation of my longstanding interest in the study of biocultural phenomena and cultural theory. I studied American Studies and Spanish Philology, earning my M.A. in 2011 with the thesis “DeComposing the Self: Dying in American Literature,” for which I received the Hans-Jürgen-Bachorski-Preis from the University of Potsdam. I am member of the DFG research network, Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies. In addition to my academic work I am actively involved in and a founding member of the Network for Intercultural Communication e.V., an association that attempts to build bridges between academia, politics, and art through a series of seminars and workshops, and (mobile) exhibitions.
My main research interests include security studies, bioculture, and cultural theory (especially Performance studies and Affect studies), as well as transnational American studies, Border studies, and Latino/a studies.
PhD Project: Security Narratives and Biomedicine
This project with the working title “Help Yourself So Help You Science: Identity Construction in the Context of Security Narratives” explores security narratives that are increasingly used and produced in biomedical and biotechnological contexts. With this research project I aim to study to what extent the term biosecurity and its logics involve an understanding of what a good life is and how these pervade American culture in an increasingly intimate manner. Through the analysis of literary and cultural representations I aim to explore how the biologically inflected understanding of security determines life and identity constructions, structuring U.S. society and producing new paradigms of difference. Central to this analysis is the perspective on security not as a fixed property but as something produced by convincing narrative constructions. I therefore analyze security narratives as performatives that are based on affective attachment rather than factual relation alone.
“Die richtige Wahl: Biotechnologie, Selbstüberwachung und Identität.” Prokla. März 2015.
“Death of the Other: Dying, Alterity, and Appropriation.” The Morbidity of Culture: Melancholy, Trauma, Illness and Dying in Literature and Film. Ed. Stephanie Siewert and Antonia Mehnert. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Land, 2012. 119-138.