I am a DPhil candidate at Pembroke. I trained and worked as a theatre director in Munich, Germany, before completing my BA degree in English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, followed by an MSt in English (1830-1914) here at Oxford. My thesis is supervised by Dr. Stefano Evangelista and Prof. Ritchie Robertson.
My thesis examines the interaction with and portrayal of the East within British and German Decadent texts between 1880 and 1920, that reinforce and condemn at once the fin de siècle’s anti-colonial activism and heavily orientalised ideologies. Guiding research questions are: In how far do orientalising Decadent texts break down the stern binary of colonial encounter? Can Decadent Orientalism be considered a purely aesthetic project or do socio-political undercurrents prevail? How do national histories influence and radicalise aesthetic notions of inclusivity and exclusivity?
Although Anglo-French relations have been extensively discussed, the Anglo-German axis and the vital influence of the Middle East on Decadent writing remains unexplored. My project bridges this gap by suggesting that the Decadents on both sides, being themselves in- and outsiders of their respective societies’ establishments, actively participated in Orientalist research, whilst equally trying to recover and defend the non-European as well as European ‘other’. I demonstrate how topoi associated with pre-Islamic Egypt (Oscar Wilde), the ‘Gypsy’ and Constantinople (Arthur Symons), Syria, Persia and Roman colonies in Anatolia (Stefan George), modern Arabic culture (Paul Scheerbart) are created in order to mobilise and politicise the European readership of art for art’s sake literature. This project is funded with an AHRC doctoral studentship.
Special research interests include
Drama and Theatre, Literary theory (Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism), European Avant-garde movements, Comparative Literature/Translation studies
MT 2015 FHS Paper 6 Graduate Teaching Assistant ‘Post-War British Drama’ – Sos Eltis and Kirsten Shepherd-Barr
March 2015/2016 seminar teaching ‘Baroque influences in Fin de siècle literature and Surrealism’, second year English and Comparative Literature Students at Goldsmiths College, London
Sept 2014 seminar tutor for Prof. Susanne Kord and Dr. Florian Mussgnug’s (both UCL) course ‘Deutsche Rebellionen’, Synapsis- European School for Comparative Studies, Siena, Italy
‘Dancing the Image – Sensoriality and kinaesthetics in the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé and Arthur Symons’ in Decadence and the Senses, Bloomsbury Sensory Studies (LEGENDA, 2016);
Conference report ‘Cosmopolitanism, Aestheticism, and Decadence, 1860-1920’ in Journal of Victorian Culture Online (July 2014);
March 2016 ‘Cosmopolitan Conglomeration and Orientalist Appropriation in Oscar Wilde’s The Sphinx‘, Cosmopolis and Beyond, International Conference, Oxford
Sept. 2015 ‘”Against civilisation”: Symons, the Gypsy Lore and politicised Aestheticism’, Arthur Symons: Writing across Arts and Cultures, International Conference, Iuav University of Venice, Italy
April 2015 ‘”Against civilisation”: Symons, the Gypsy Lore and politicised Aestheticism’, Aestheticism and Decadence in the Age of Modernism: 1895 to 1945, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London
April 2014 ‘Dancing the Image – Sensoriality and kinaesthetics in the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé and Arthur Symons’, Decadence and the Senses, Goldsmiths College, London