As Professor for Early Modern Literatures in English, my research and teaching revolve mainly around early modern drama and theatre history, memory culture in Shakespeare’s England, eighteenth-century literature and culture, gender studies and the history of feminism before 1800. I am particularly interested in the ways literary texts are part of the world, then and now: as situated in specific historical, political and socio-cultural contexts, as the result of material conditions as well as cognitive, affective and aesthetic perception habits, in the form of theatrical performances, adaptations, re-writings, as acts of communication that create communities, shape identities, negotiate conflicts and help us understand better our society, past and present. I am therefore particularly delighted to be leading a research project with the Robinson-Library (https://www.kunstzeughaus.ch/kunstzeughaus/robinson-bibliothek), a unique archive of over 4’000 editions, translations, and adaptations of Defoe’s famous novel Robinson Crusoe (1719), a formative text for modernity that continues to influence our ideas about the colonial past as well as today’s globalisation.
I took up my post at UZH in August 2019. Before coming here, I did my graduate studies in English and Comparative Literature at LMU Munich, where I was awarded a doctoral degree for a study of masculinity in the eighteenth-century novel in 2007. For my postdoctoral studies, which explored practices of remembering and forgetting in early modern drama, I received the Habilitation degree in English Philology in 2011. After holding a temporary professorship in English Literature at LMU Munich I was appointed in 2013 as chair of Chair for English Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany, where I also served as Head of Department (2014-2016) and as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts (2017-2019). Since 2016 I have been invited regularly as a guest professor at Jawaharlal-Nehru-University, New Delhi.
I am lucky to work together with a team of colleagues whose research complements, challenges and supports mine: with Dr. Beatrice Montedoro I share a keen interest in the material production and reception conditions of early modern plays; Dr. Antoinina Bevan Zlatar’s research on the Reformation and seventeenth-century literature intersects with mine on confessional conflict and memory culture; together with her and Dr. Anne-Claire Michoux I am working on the history of women’s writing in the research project “The Feminist Enlightenment Across Europe”.