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English Department

Michael C. Frank

Michael C. Frank, Prof. Dr.

  • Ausserord. Professor für Literaturen in englischer Sprache des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts
+41 44 634 36 86
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I am Professor of Literatures in English of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries and currently serve as Head of the English Department. 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 memory scholar 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 acting professorships at the universities of Konstanz, Giessen, and Duesseldorf, and taught as an adjunct lecturer at the universities of Bern and Basel.

My current research interests include the spatial turn in literary studies, migrant literature, as well as literary responses to the War on Terror.

In 2018, I co-edited a special issue of the European Journal of English Studies (EJES) on “Global Responses to the ‘War on Terror’” together with Pavan Kumar Malreddy. The issue has since been reprinted as a collected volume under the title Narratives of the War on Terror: Global Perspectives (Routledge, 2020).

In November 2019, I convened an interdisciplinary conference on The Figure of the Terrorist in Literature, Film and Media at the University of Zurich. A collected volume based on that conference was published in June 2023 by Edinburgh University Press.

In May 2021, I co-convened the biennial conference of the Swiss Association of University Teachers of English (SAUTE) on “Migrations and Contacts.” The peer-reviewed conference proceedings have recently been published as a special issue of Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature (SPELL). In May 2022, my colleague Barbara Straumann and I organized a symposium for the Swiss Association of North American Studies (SANAS) on “The Politics of Emotion.”

Together with Johannes Riquet from the University of Tampere, Finland, I co-chaired a seminar on “Literary Studies after the Spatial Turn” at the 2020 Lyon Conference of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE), which actually took place in August and September 2021. In May 2024, we will co-host the annual conference of the Association of Anglophone Postcolonial Studies (GAPS) on the topic of “Post/Colonial Environments” at the University of Zurich.