Stella Castelli

Stella Castelli, M.A.

Coordinator Doctoral Program in English and American Literary Studies

Phone: +41 44 634 36 26


Stella Castelli is the coordinator of the English Department's Doctoral Program in English and American Literary Studies. She holds a BA in English Literature and Linguistics and Theory and History of Photography as well as an MA in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Zurich. She wrote her MA thesis on Aestheticized Representations of Death in American Literature and Film exploring repressions of death and their symptomatic reappearance in contemporary American culture. She is currently working on her doctoral thesis furthering her research within this field. Further research interests include American cultural studies, film and the serial as well as literary and cultural theory.

PhD Project: Death in America - Relentless Renegotiations of an Inevitable Demise

Within the American cultural imaginary we find numerous different versions of death, the dying and the corpse in decay represented throughout the history of the New World. These representations are sometimes part of the supernatural realm, sometimes gruesome, sometimes subject to a deadly agency and other times utterly grotesque, but always aestheticized. This constant aestheticization may be seen as a symptom of American exceptionalism – a concept which elevates the individual to a state of the extraordinary and, by extension dismisses not only the individual’s eventual demise in the form of traumatic repression but further repudiates death in its universality. As a result, relentless renegotiations of death are assumed in the form of performative repetition bearing a spark of false hope, a delusion of a possible means of compromise, the illusion of immortality. Within the history of the American culture these manifold representations have manifested themselves in a number of different forms, which is what I wish to explore further. 


  • Spring 2019: Ethics of Revenge (BA Seminar)
  • Fall 2018 / Spring 2019: Textual Analysis (BA Seminar - basic module)
  • Spring 2018: The Murderous Feminine (BA Seminar)
  • Fall 2017 / Spring 2018: Textual Analysis (BA Seminar - basic module)
  • Spring 2017: Disturbia (BA Seminar)


Conference Papers

"I am Dead, Yet I Live: Twin Peaks as a Tale Enabled by Absent Female Bodies" Paper presented at PAMLA Conference 2018. Western Washington University, 09-11 November 2018.

"Vengeance is Served: Tarantino's Kill Bill saga as a Reconfiguration of the Traditional Cooking Show". Paper presented at SANAS Conference 2018: The Genres of Genre. University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 02-03 November 2018.

"The Serial Tragedy - Twin Peaks and the Disrupted Community" Paper presented at the SANAS Conference 2016: American Communities: Between the Popular & Political. University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 04-05 November 2016.

"Zur Ausdifferenzierung der Albernheit: Von verstörenden Albernheiten - Momente der Ambivalenz". Inderdisziplinäre Tagung Albernheit, Zürich, 17 - 18 June 2016.

Talks & Workshops

Macbeth - Einführung. Theater Winterthur, 12.12.2018.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Einführung zum Film. Filmstelle, 30.10.2018.

Truth in Venice - Workshop, presentation of PhD Project. Warwick in Venice, 05-08 September, 2018.

Questions of the Archive - BAA Summer School, presentation of PhD Project. Miami, University of Florida, 02-10 June, 2018.

The Materialities of American Culture - CUSO Workshop, presentation of PhD Project. University of Berne, 15-16 September, 2017.



“In the Future I Will Love Her, the Wife of Stepford”. CINEMA #63 – das Filmjahrbuch. Schüren, 2018.

"The Hitch-Hiker". In Ida Lupino. Bertz und Fischer Verlag, 2018.

"It's All Fun and Games Until the Laughter Ceases - The Fine Line Between Horror and Humor". In VARIATIONS - Humor/humour/humour, Verlag Peter Lang AG, 2017. 



"The Future is Violet - and Female". fempop blog ultra violet issue. 2018.