I am currently serving as Acting Chair of German (Deutschdidaktik) in the Teacher Training Program at Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, after teaching for half a year at a secondary school for hearing-impaired students in Munich.
Before this, I served as Acting Chair of German Literature at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg for three years, following more than a decade in various untenured faculty positions at LMU Munich. Between 2016 and 2018 I was on leave from Munich to serve as Acting Chair of German Philology at the German Department of Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, focussing on the teacher training program (Literaturdidaktik) and collaborating with colleagues from Linguistics to design an introductory lecture for students preparing to become German teachers.
My research interests span the cosmos of European literatures from the early modern era to the 19th century (and occasional adventures into the realm of contemporary authors), but two of my favourite areas of research are children’s and young adult literature on one hand, secrets, mysteries and uncertainties on the other.
In 2015 I finished my habilitation thesis (i.e. my second major monograph) »Erzählgeheimnisse: Funktionen unzugänglichen und vorenthaltenen Wissens in der Erzählliteratur des mittleren 19. Jahrhunderts« (»Narrated Secrets – Narrative Secrets: Functions of withheld and inaccessible knowledge in mid-19th-Century Prose Fiction«), which I am currently preparing for its print publication. Another project I have been juggling in my mind for quite some time and recently returned to is a major paper on the connections between the fictional, factual and autobiographical writings of Per Olov Enquist, which follows the genealogy of his autobiography through his entire oeuvre and along a long tradition of critical self-examination that dates back to the Moravian Church, Bunyan’s »A Pilgrim’s Progress« and beyond.
Apart from such interactions between literature and spirituality, books for children and young adults have been an interest of mine for many years. In 2016 and 2017 I served in the jury for Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, the most renowned German awards in the area of children’s and young adult literature, organised by the German branch of IBBY. I have co-organised conferences on hybrid literary genres and »geographic non-fiction« in 2014 and remain fascinated by the recently booming genre of geographic wimmelbooks (Städte-Wimmelbücher, Bymyldrebøker, …) and its implications for the presentation of encylopedic knowledge.
Between 2009 and 2017 I was a member of the board of LMU’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and have been affiliated both with the Collaborative Research Center 573 (»Pluralisation and Authority in the Early Modern Period«) and the international research project Eurolab (Dynamik der Volkssprachigkeit im Europa der Renaissance/Dynamique des langues vernaculaires dans l’Europe de la renaissance). Besides, I regularly serve on the selection committee for the German National Merit Foundation and the Elite Network of Bavaria (Max Weber Programme). My teaching covers the area of German literature from the Reformation era to the 21th century. I have been the first academic teacher ever to earn the Bavarian Certificate of Academic Teaching (»Zertifikat Hochschullehre Bayern«) at my home university.
I occasionally scribble observations on academic life on Mastodon