Relevant Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Requirements" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Literature and migration; literature and Visual Arts; critical European Studies; gender, race, ethnicity; diversity and super-diversity; sociographic approaches to literatures; transitional spaces in postmigration literature; avant-garde arts, literature and theories; art and bioart performances; biopolitics; images of the body;
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - May 2019)
This dissertation is a literary studies analysis of select German-language prose, poetry and essays by the contemporary Japanese author Yoko Tawada. In this study I utilize and expand upon Tawada’s own concept of ‘fictive ethnology’ as a highly critical and self-reflexive literary approach that can be located throughout her texts. I argue that this fictive ethnological or counter-ethnographic literary technique is what directs the political charge behind Tawada’s poetics. My focus then is on how Tawada’s texts as cultural critiques undermine binary distinctions of ‘otherness’, destabilize the position and authority of the author/narrator representing the other, and reveal the ideology and power structures behind representing, constructing and classifying difference. Unlike the descriptive and textual model of ‘writing culture’ that engraves and freezes culture into words, Tawada’s fictive ethnological texts stress the fluid and performative dimension of culture and identity. Therefore, I also demonstrate how these texts are much more about inventing, rather than finding, the self, and about denaturalizing taken-for-granted assumptions about cultural, ethnic and racial differences that are anchored in essentialist, biological and binary logics.The core chapters of this study braid together representations of photography, skin and race and their variegated deployments in Tawada’s texts, and then explicate their ideological underpinnings. Photography, skin and race, as textual and visual representations, metaphors and themes, are fundamental to how Tawada’s protagonists are commodified and racialized as ethnographic objects; how they self-identify and are read by others according to restrictive cultural literacies; and how they are classified and made meaningful according to their bodies, especially when these bodies are seen as racially and ethnically marked. Yet, Tawada’s texts do not simply represent bodies and identities as they already are, but rather the processes, rituals, discourses and social practices that make them intelligible as raced, gendered, or ethnically marked beings. Each chapter therefore highlights, in connection to theories of gender and racial performativity, how Tawada’s texts convey the quotidian, repetitive and ritualistic performance of gendered, racial and ethnic identities, but also how these identities are transgressively (mis)performed against the script.