Office: 462 b)
The New Materialism is an onto-epistemological turn that focuses on the agential abilities of matter. New materialist theory radically challenges a Cartesian notion of matter as an inert, extended and fixed substance that is ontologically different from conscious and active human beings. In its place, it offers new concepts in which the world and everything it contains is treated as an entangled becoming. Agential demarcation lines between humans and nonhumans are eroded and thus, matter becomes an integral and vibrant component in the production of meaning in society.
By means of a new materialist approach to English literature, this PhD project will think literature’s contribution to our understanding of the world anew. Its aims are, on the one hand, to develop tools and techniques with which to translate the insights of new materialist theory into the practice of an academic reading in the field of literary studies, and on the other hand, to identify a specifically literary contribution to those ideas and notions that lie at the heart of a New Materialism which is at the moment almost exclusively dominated by the natural sciences and philosophy. My hypothesis here is that literature is a privileged site on which a new materialist practice has been developed well before any new materialist theory evolved. In order to identify such a practice, this study will map and explore new materialist traces in English literature from the 20thcentury until today.
"The Agency of Colour: A New Materialist Reading of Derek Jarman’s Chroma“ International conference Tracing Non-Human Agency in Literatures in English, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 17. – 19.11.2018.
"Entangled Becoming: New Materialist Explorations in English Literature (Working Title)." International workshop How Matter Comes into Literature & How Literature Comes into Matter. New Materialist Methodologies for Literary Studies, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, 18.-20.10.2018.
together with Katharina Luther. "The Poetics of Erosion: How Matter Comes into Literature." International workshop How Matter Comes into Literature & How Literature Comes into Matter. New Materialist Methodologies for Literary Studies, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, 18.-20.10.2018.
"A Living Mountain? New Materialist Encounters with Matter and Landscape." Resource Cultures Dialogue, SFB 1070 RessourcenKulturen, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, 12.03.2019.