Academic Background

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 have since started my post-doctoral research on childhood and migration. I am specifically interested in how the politics of childhood influences how child migrants are perceived, especially within the context of illegalized migration.

Research and Teaching Interests

I teach the core courses on Introduction to Cultural Studies and Key Skills in English and American Studies. 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. 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.

  • (child) forced migration studies, particularly discourses of asylum and the production of 'illegality'
  • histories of child migration
  • the history of childhood as an idea
  • representations of the Northern Irish 'Troubles'


I am currently involved in the project "Minor Migrations", a collaboration between the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Potsdam and Bard College Berlin. 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. The lecture series "Children Crossing Borders" (see www.uni-potsdam.de/en/iaa/our-department/events.html) which invites scholars working in Germany and elsewhere on the topic of children and migration forms part of this project. Our first conference "Shifting Frames: Migrant Children, Politics and History" will take place 2-4 May 2019 at the University of Potsdam.
Previously, I have been involved in two DAAD-funded cooperations with Australian partners, the first being Waste Matters: cultural studies of waste and the citywith the University of Sydney, and the second Experimental Histories and Alternative Archives with University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).