My first degree was in Modern Languages (French and German) at the University of Oxford. Since completing my PhD in German Literature at the University of London in 2008, I have taught English literary and cultural studies in Germany and Sweden. In 2013, I joined the department in Potsdam where I teach mainly in cultural studies and postcolonial studies, and where I also research, mainly on the intersection between childhood and migration.
Research and Teaching Interests
I teach the core course Introduction to Cultural Studies and have also helped to develop digital versions of the department’s core courses on literary and cultural studies. In my courses, I mainly pursue topics and lines of enquiry related to cultural and postcolonial studies, with a geographical focus on the UK, Ireland and Australia. Most of my own teaching is research-led, which means that the courses I offer are directly related to issues I address in my own research. I am interested in cultural representations of forced migration, specifically in relation to children, and have published articles on how the politics of childhood influences how child migrants are perceived, especially within the context of illegalized migration.
My teaching areas include:
- (child) forced migration studies, particularly discourses of asylum and the production of 'illegality'
- refugee narratives
- histories of child migration
- the history of childhood as an idea
- representations of the Northern Irish 'Troubles'
I am currently co-editing two forthcoming volumes commissioned by Routledge. The first, scheduled for publication in late 2022, is the Routledge Companion to Migration Literature. This volume will offer a comprehensive survey of an increasingly important field, demonstrating the influence of the “age of migration” on literature and showcasing the importance of migration literature in creating knowledge and shaping socio-political debates about migration. The second, scheduled for publication in 2023, is titled Narratives of Precarious Migrancy in the Global South. This volume focuses on literary narratives that depict the varied histories, contexts and conditions of precarious migrancy in the Global South, which have so far received considerably less scholarly attention than narratives of migration to and arrival in countries of the Global North.
I am also part of the project “Minor Migrations”, a collaboration between the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Potsdam and Bard College Berlin (https://criticalhabitations.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/819/). Developed in cooperation with my colleagues Dr. Sunčica Klaas (Potsdam) and Prof. Kerry Bystrom (Bard College), the project brings together international scholars and activists working in the field of child migration. Our lecture series “Children Crossing Borders” (see www.uni-potsdam.de/en/iaa/our-department/events.html) invited scholars working in Germany and elsewhere on the topic of children and migration forms part of this project. We also organised the international symposium “Shifting Frames: Migrant Children, Politics and History” in May 2019, and co-organised the fourth ‘Children in Crisis’ workshop (https://cwg1945.org/workshop/children-in-crisis-iv/).
Previously, I have been involved in two DAAD-funded cooperations with Australian partners, the first being Waste Matters: cultural studies of waste and the city with the University of Sydney, and the second Experimental Histories and Alternative Archives with University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).