I work in the fields of Comparative Literature, Popular Entertainment Studies and Science in Fiction Studies, and have a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany (published in 2016). I am a Feodor Lynen Postdoctoral Fellow (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) at the Australian National University.
My primary research focus is on the popular arts of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (in fiction). I seek to get a better understanding of how they were, and are, formative for the present. I am particularly interested in the richness and multidimensionality of the cultural and aesthetic capital of the circus in fiction and other media (embodied, for instance, in violent and cannibal clowns, epileptic dancers and freak performers), on the one hand, and of pathological body aesthetics oscillating between humour and violence (as typified by Frankenstein-clowns and mad scientists), on the other. Over the last few years, I have also developed a special interest in the relationship between popular entertainment, fictional literature and science and technology (regarded as a kind of cultural practice), and therefore in the links between scientific research and creative imagination. I am currently exploring the representations and dynamics of scientist characters in Australian fiction with a focus on their relation to art and knowledge credibility/‘post-truth’ issues.