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English Department

Alan Mattli

Alan Mattli, Dr.

  • Teaching and Research Assistant in English Literature
  • Assistant Prof. Dr. Michael C. Frank
+41 44 634 36 71


Alan Mattli is a teaching and research assistant in English Literature, working at Prof. Dr. Michael C. Frank's Chair of English Literatures of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

He received a PhD in English Literature from the University of Zurich in 2023. His dissertation, entitled "The Conservative Mystery Lover Will Object": Revisionist Crime Fiction in the U.S., offers an illustrative analysis of post-war American crime fiction as a key theatre of postmodern literature, identifying its seemingly disparate subgenres as an internally and ideologically coherent rebuttal to traditional detective fiction in the Sherlock Holmes mold.

Alan Mattli also holds a BA in English Literature and Linguistics, Film Studies, and Swiss History as well as an MA in English Literature and Linguistics and Film Studies, both from the University of Zurich.

Research Interests

  • Crime fiction
  • Postmodernism and metafiction
  • 20th-century literature
  • Retronarratives
  • Politics of popular art
  • Film studies
  • Horror fiction and film
  • Video game studies


Spring 2024 (forthcoming) Queer Theory (BA seminar, co-taught with Dr. Olivia Tjon-A-Meeuw)
Autumn 2023 The American Century in Retrospect (BA seminar)
Spring 2023 Adaptation (BA seminar)
Autumn 2022 Postmodern Aesthetics (BA seminar)
Spring 2021 Revisionist Crime Fiction in the U.S. (BA Seminar)
Spring 2020–present Supervision of BA theses
Autumn 2019 "Under Siege from Within": American Horror Fiction and Film (BA seminar)
Autumn 2018–present Examiner and invigilator for Reading List oral exams
Autumn 2018–present English Literature: Textual Analysis (introductory module, 2 semesters)


Forthcoming: Mattli, Alan. "'Where the City Started and the Suburbs Ended': The (Sub)urban Confinement of Post-Industrial America in David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows." Narratives of Confinement in American Popular Culture, edited by Firuze Güzel, De Gruyter, Anglia Book Series.

Forthcoming: Mattli, Alan. "'They Weren't All Fakes': Feminist Crime Fiction as an 'Authentic Copy' in Marcia Muller's Edwin of the Iron Shoes." Crime Fiction, Femininities and Masculinities: Proceedings of the 8th Captivating Criminality Conference, edited by Kerstin-Anja Münderlein, U of Bamberg P.

Mattli Alan. Review of Noir Fiction and Film: Diversions and Misdirections, by Lee Clark Mitchell. Crime Fiction Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, 2023, pp. 136–139.

Mattli, Alan. "Policing the Border in Lucas Pope's Computer Game Papers, Please." Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature, vol. 41, 2022, pp. 99–117.

Academic Talks

Upcoming: 26–30 August 2024. "Murderous Slapstick: Humour in Chester Himes' The Real Cool Killers. ESSE Conference 2024, University of Lausanne.

Upcoming: 9–11 May 2024. "Visualising the Colonisation of the Arctic in Zacharias Kunuk's One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk." GAPS Conference 2024, University of Zurich.

16 November 2022. "Postmodernism and American Literature." Guest lecture in the lecture course Modernism, Postmodernism, and Popular Modernism, taught by Dr. Thomas Keller, University of Zurich.

29 August–2 September 2022. "Men, Women, and Children: Gendered Violence in Sara Paretsky's Indemnity Only." ESSE Conference 2022, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz.

30 June–2 July 2022. "'They Weren't All Fakes': Feminist Crime Fiction as an 'Authentic Copy' in Marcia Muller's Edwin of the Iron Shoes." Captivating Criminality 8, University of Bamberg.

10 March 2022. "The (Hi)stories of Cinema: Film Analysis in Practice." Talk given at Kantonsschule Zürcher Oberland (Wetzikon) in the context of a project day on film.

14–15 October 2021. "The (Sub)urban Horrors of Post-Industrial America in David Robert Mitchell's It Follows." FRINGE/ALUS Symposium, University of Alcalá, Madrid/Online.

14–15 May 2021. "Policing Borders in Lucas Pope's Computer Game Papers, Please." SAUTE Conference 2021, University of Zurich/Online.

20–23 February 2019. "'Deeply Marked with All Bestiality and Cruelty': Challenging Detective Fiction's Racialised Others." SWPACA Conference 2019, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Upcoming: 7–8 June. Women and Crime Fiction. Workshop organised with Dr. Olivia Tjon-A-Meeuw, English Department, University of Zurich.

Spring semester 2023. Co-organisation of the lecture course Lecture Series in English Studies: Space, University of Zurich (with Prof. Dr. Michael C. Frank and Dr. Olivia Tjon-A-Meeuw).

8–9 November 2019. Assistance of Prof. Dr. Michael C. Frank and Dr. Maria Flood in the organisation of the conference "The Figure of the Terrorist in Literature, Film and Media," University of Zurich.