"Memory, Mediation, Seriality: Re-cognizing Literary and Cultural Studies, Re-membering the Subject":
Taking off from three central concepts of cultural analysis – memory, mediation, and seriality – the project interfaces methods and research questions of cultural studies and the cognitive sciences and explores the potential of such transdisciplinary dialogue for our sense of cultural practice. What issues relevant to current cultural studies can be interrogated at the crossroads with the cognitive sciences? And in what ways can cultural analysis and cognition research be mutually instrumental?
Since both constructivism (which relegates the materiality of the body and cognition to the periphery of its perspectives) and current brain research (which cannot adequately account for consciousness and individual experience by way of neurophysiology) position the subject as nodal point and blind spot of their inquiries conceptions of subjectivity are central to my study. After all, both the subject and modes of perception are continuously being redesigned by a complex ever-shifting media ecology. My analyses therefore focus on phenomena such as cinematic adaptations of literary texts, advertisements, and computer tomography which, as transformations of canonized late 19 th- and early 20 th-century cultural practices, mediate new processes of perception rather than modes of cultural memory. What, however, would it mean for cultural studies to acknowledge and “re-member” the subject as an agent whose main faculty is to transform fragmented experiences into coherence?
The project is funded by the German Research Council.
"Science into Narrative" explores how contemporary US-American fiction, including novels by Michael Crichton, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Richard Powers, among others, translates science into narrative and thereby foregrounds how some scientific endeavors are continuous with literary discourse while others, clearly resisting narrative, are not. In this way American literature calls for more radically transdisciplinary readings while also exposing the limits of transdisciplinarity.
- "Nostalgie: Zeit-Räume, Affekte, Warenkultur"
- "Knowledge Ecologies: Changing Patterns in a Global Dynamic"
- "Mimicry as Communication"
- Associate member of the DFG graduate school "Life Sciences, Life Writing" (University of Mainz)