I am Professor of Literatures in English of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. In both my research and teaching, I have a special interest in cultural-historical and discourse-analytical approaches to texts and their surrounding contexts.
From 2003 to 2014, I was a research associate with Prof. Aleida Assmann, the chair of English Literature and Literary Theory, at the University of Konstanz. There, I received my PhD in 2005 for a dissertation on cross-cultural encounters and the anxiety of cultural influence in colonial literature of the nineteenth century. In 2014, I was awarded the Habilitation degree for a study on the cultural imaginary of terrorism from the late Victorian period to the present day.
Prior to coming to Zurich, I held temporary professorships at the universities of Konstanz, Giessen, and Duesseldorf, and acted as an adjunct lecturer at the universities of Bern and Basel.
My current research interests include the narrativization of cities (and the relationship between literature and space more generally), representations of the tabooed figure of the terrorist, historical perspectives on the culture of fear, and literary responses to the post-9/11 condition. Most recently, I have co-edited a special issue of the European Journal of English Studies on Global Responses to the “War on Terror.”
In November 2019, I convened an interdisciplinary conference on The Figure of the Terrorist in Literature, Film and Media at the University of Zurich.