Hannah Schoch

Hannah Schoch

Assistant to Prof. Bronfen

Phone: 044 634 36 76




Hannah Schoch holds a BA in English Language and Literature, Film Studies, and Philosophy and an MA in English Literature and Gender Studies from the University of Zurich. In 2011, she spent two terms at the University of Cambridge, Pembroke College, reading American Literature and Shakespeare. She wrote her MA thesis on early American (Puritan) women writers entitled On the Domestic Front: America's Writing Mothers. A Puritan Triptych: Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Abigail Adams.  

PhD Project: Intimate Politics: The Couple and the American Democratic Project.

This project posits that the American (heterosexual) couple serves as a crucial trope for the American culture to assess the state of its (political, democratic) union. The couple can be seen not just as a mere genre device, or as a depleted cultural cliché, but as a recurring motif that has to be taken seriously as it allows the American cultural imaginary to play through questions of a successful democracy. As the couple is situated on the border between the public (national) and the private (individual), it allows for thinking through questions of the individual and the community, of the private and the public, of democratic citizenship and the state of the union. The couple can be seen as the atomistic unit that makes up America’s democratic social space (Fisher 2000), and is both a self-sufficient social cell and, at the same time, carries with it the promise of possible generational reproduction, without laying claims to a generational commitment to tradition, as the trope of the family would suggest. In other words, the couple can be regarded as the smallest cell for democracies whereas the family structurally calls up aristocratic lineages. Furthermore, internally, the couple performs in a nutshell what have been key issues of any democracy: how to negotiate between individual and communal desires, how to recognize and acknowledge the other and his/her desires, and, last but not least, how to acknowledge and deal with the fragility and precariousness of the hope for a future together while at the same time negotiating the ordinariness of everyday life. Hence, I suggest that the American couple in literature and film serves as a nodal point for a philosophical, political and cultural discussion of what the American philosopher Stanley Cavell calls the American project. 


Research Interests

  • American literature and culture, including early American/puritan literature
  • literary and cultural theory, interface between literature and philosophy, literature and politics
  • media and questions of genre, gender, race and class
  • Shakespeare and his cultural afterlife


FS 2017 Textual Analysis Part II,  BA Seminar Group 4 (first year introductory module)

HS 2016: Dreams of a New America: Writing Democracy in the 19th Century (BA Seminar) Syllabus (PDF, 83 KB)

HS 2016: Textual Analysis Part I,  BA Seminar Group 4 (first year introductory module)

FS 2016: The Puritans - Linchpin of the American Imagination (BA Seminar) Syllabus (PDF, 79 KB)

HS 2015/ FS 2016: Textual Analysis Part I and II, BA Seminar Group 7 (first year introductory module)


Workshops, Conferences, Roundtables


October 20-21, 2017Over Her Dead Body Redux: Feminism for the 21st Century”, international conference, English Seminar UZH, co-organizer together with Prof. Dr. Barbara Straumann and Dr. Daniela Janser

December 10-12, 2015  "Cold War Cultures. Workshop on Cold War cultures and representations of history on screen", PhD Program, English Seminar UZH, Invited speakers: Robert Burgoyne (St. Andrews University) and Alan Nadel (University of Kentucky)


May 12, 2017 "Genrebildung und kulturelle Archive am Beispiel von Objective, Burma! (1945)". Inputreferat DFG Netzwerktreffen "Genre und Medien". Trier University, Germany, May 11-12, 2017.

May 6, 2017 “Zirkulierende Bildformeln zwischen Ost und West: Politiken des Populären und Shakespeare: The Animated Tales“. Paper at the workshop „Texts and Contexts“ with Prof. Paulo de Medeiros (University of Warwick) and Prof. Ana Sobral (UZH), at the English Seminar, UZH.

October 6, 2016 “The Scandal of The Birth of a Nation.” Introduction for the general public to Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation at the Royal Scandal Cinema, Baden.

June 18, 2016 Response paper. "Emily Dickinsons Metaphysische Albernheit". Interdisciplinary Symposium “Albernheit, Nonsense, Irrwitz”. June 17-18, 2016, Zürich.

June 5, 2016 Participation in the roundtable discussion at the Filmpodium for the Ida Lupino Workshop organized by the English Seminar UZH.

June 4, 2016 “Ida Lupino: Ein Weiblicher Blick auf den fragilen Amerikanischen Traum”, together with Elisabeth Bronfen. Paper given at the Filmpodium for the Ida Lupino Workshop organized by the English Seminar UZH.

December 12, 2015 "Cold War Shakespeare". Paper at "Cold War Cultures. Workshop on Cold War cultures and representations of history on screen" at English Seminar UZH.