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Graduate Students 2012-2013

Fatima Adalbayeva is in the second year of the Master’s non-thesis program. She received a B.A. in German and Russian at UBC in Vancouver in 2011. She participated on the ‘Canadian Year in Freiburg’ exchange program 2010-2011. She is interested in Germans in Kazakhstan during the Soviet era.  

Fatima [dot] adalbayeva [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Nina Gerschack 

Nina [dot] gerschack [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

David Gosselin is an M.A. candidate. He holds a Joint Honors B.A. in German and Russian from McGill University. During the academic year 2006-2007 he was an exchange student at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. He subsequently spent a year studying Russian Literature and German Philosophy at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. From 2009 to 2011 he was a French foreign language teaching assistant in Germany, during which time he studied Philosophy at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. His main research interests include Vormärz, German Idealism, and German Romanticism. Among his broader interests are German literature of the 20th century as well as Russian literature and philosophy. Currently, he teaches Beginner’s German at McGill and French at cégep du Vieux Montréal.

david [dot] gosselin [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Jennifer Greig 

jennifer [dot] greig [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Iris Hennigfeld, Ph.D candidate. Obtained her M.A. in Philosophy and German Literature at the University of Freiburg (2007). From 2009 to 2011 she received a fellowship in the field of Goethe Studies at McGill University under the direction of Prof. Andrew Piper. In her current interdisciplinary dissertation, titled "Goethe’s Phenomenological Way of Thinking as a Dialogue with Phenomenological Philosophy (Edmund Husserl)" she explores the intertwinement between poetical thinking and philosophical thinking, and, particularly, how it is pronounced in Goethe's poetry and natural science. By investigating key structures and dynamics of Goethe's specific way of 'intuiting thinking' she aims to show how Goethe might be understood as a spiritual precursor of the phenomenological movement in the 20th and 21st century, and how his answers may serve as new leading clues to the original questions which also drove Husserl's phenomenology. In Spring and Fall 2012 Ms.Hennigfeld benefits from a Graduate Assistantship at the Phenomenology Research Center (Southern Illinois University) where she has the opportunity to conduct research for her dissertation.

Her primary research interests include the intersection between philosophy and literature, continental philosophy, especially phenomenology (Husserl, Scheler, Heidegger, Levinas), Weimar Classicism (Goethe, Schiller) or Romanticism (Novalis), German Idealism (Fichte, Hegel, Schelling), and philosophy of religion.

ih [at] irishennigfeld [dot] de (email)

Olesya Ivantsova graduated from Ulyanovsk State University (Russia) with Candidate degree (Theory of Language; dissertation topic: Factors of Communicative Success in Fictional Dialogue). She worked in Saint-Petersburg (Russia) as a university lecturer, a bookstore director, and a freelance translator and writer. Her research interests include German Culture and Culture-oriented Linguistics, German Literature of 19th – early 20th century, Philosophy of Language, Pragmatics, and Practice and Theory of Translation.

Olesya [dot] ivantsova [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Janet Janzen is a PhD candidate specializing in film, intersections of science and culture, and literary theory. She began her studies at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan where she completed a BA in English and German Literature with a minor in Film Studies. She went on to complete her MA at the University of Waterloo. Her Master's thesis, titled “‘The Writer Within Did It!’ Metafiction and Ulf Miehe’s Ich hab noch einen Toten in Berlin (1973)”, concentrated on self-reflexivity within the detective fiction genre. 

Her dissertation project strays from the formal interests of her MA and instead asks what the proliferation of plants in literature and film during the early twentieth century can reveal about the relationship of German culture to nature. This historical survey will include analyses of texts by Paul Scheerbart, Alfred Döblin, Gustav Meyrink, and Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The chosen films range from the feature length films Nosferatu and Alraune to various short Naturfilme such as “Die Seele der Pflanzen”. 

During her time at McGill, she helped to organize a graduate student conference in 2010 called, Going Green: grünes Gedankengut und die Germanistik. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at McGill, she was involved as a Research Assistant for the Interacting with Print group, where she contributed to the early development stages of a searchable bibliography.

janet [dot] janzen [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Adam Kitchen is an MA student and published translator with a background in philosophy, Germanic languages, and cultural studies - BA in German language and literature (University of New Brunswick / University of Manitoba), MA in Icelandic language and literature (University of Manitoba / University of Iceland).  

He has written extensively on phenomenology and existentialism, philosophies of music and language, musical subcultures, Norse mythology, world literature, and film. His work at McGill is focused on Nietzsche, but has also included film theory, environmental studies, and digital humanities.

Adam [dot] kitchen [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Jasmine Maggiori completed her Honours BA in History at McGill University in 2009. Her undergraduate work focused primarily on twentieth-century interwar literature and feminist embodiment theory. She began her MA in the German Studies Department at McGill in 2010 and, after spending a summer semester at Freie Universität Berlin in 2011, began work on her Master’s thesis which explores issues of tactility, sentimentality and social/sexual identity in Leontine Sagan’s 1931 film “Mädchen in Uniform.” In the summer of 2012 Jasmine was awarded a DAAD scholarship and successfully completed an intensive German language course at Humboldt-Universität, after which she received funding to participate in an intensive graduate seminar on globalized European cinema at Universität der Künste Berlin. In addition to her studies, Jasmine has worked as a research assistant in the Moving Image Research Lab at McGill and has been a teaching assistant for courses concerned with the works of Franz Kafka and the relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. Currently, Jasmine is working as an English language assistant through the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst at an integration school in Berlin while writing her thesis. She plans on completing her Master’s degree and graduating in 2013.

jasmine [dot] maggiori [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Michel Mallet (PhD Candidate) joined the department after completing both his BA and MA at the Université de Montréal, during which time he also took part in bilateral exchange programs with the Freie Universität Berlin and the Karl Franzens Universität Graz. While writing his Maters thesis on the author Klaus Mann, he also acted as a French foreign language teaching assistant at the Konrad-Wachsmann Oberschule in Berlin during the academic year 2005-2006. Upon completion of his MA thesis in 2007, he took part in Veterans Affairs Canada's Student Guide Program and worked as a guide-interpreter at the Canadian National WWI Memorial Site in Vimy, France. 

In addition to teaching various language courses in German, he has also acted as a Teaching Assistant in the program of Sexual Diversity Studies (2008-2011) and has recently added Introduction to German Literature (1800 - Today) on his list of courses taught at McGill. Beyond his teaching and research-focused activities, he has organized and administered the department's first interdisciplinary graduate conference entitled Europe's Dis/Integration: Place, Belonging and Identity Across and Beyond Europe. His dissertation project, for which he has received a FQRSC doctoral scholarship and a recently awarded Québec-Bavaria research grant, deals with the notion of “the neighbor” used as a theoretical framework to address issues related to gender, transnationalism and freedom of speech, as well as notions of place, belonging and identity in Herta Müller’s œuvre.

michel [dot] mallet [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Hossein Mehdizahdeh

hossein [dot] mehdizadeh [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Özlem Öztekin (Orhan) completed her Honours BA in German Studies at the Université de Montréal in 2007. In 2010 she completed her SSHRC-funded MA Thesis entitled “Performance in German-Turkish Migrant Literature and Cinema”, mainly focusing on works of Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Haldun Taner and Kutlug Ataman at McGill University. She has recently published an article on Hoelderlin in the Journal “Studien zur deutschen Sprache und Literatur” of the University of Istanbul and is currently leading a literature club for the LLCU graduate students. Her dissertation project deals with transnational literature and cinema. She has been teaching German language at McGill University since 2008.

ozlem [dot] orhan [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Katrina Sark is completing her PhD dissertation on contemporary Berlin culture, documentary films, urban marketing, and cultural policy. After a BA in English and History at the University of Victoria, she finished her MA in Humanities at York University in Toronto, specializing in Berlin Studies. While on exchange at the Free University in Berlin, she researched and wrote her MA thesis on post-reunification Berlin and German national identity. Simultaneously, she conducted extensive research on the history of Berlin fashion and manufacturing, which resulted in several conference presentations, as well as a chapter on fashion in the ruins of Berlin in 1945 in the anthology, Berlin’s Culturescape (2008). Her co-authored book Berliner Chic: A Locational History of Berlin Fashion was published in February 2011. She also assisted with the research on the forthcoming sequel Wiener Chic (2013), and contributed articles and photographs to World Film Locations: Berlin (2012).   

From 2008 to 2010 she was the Graduate Representative to the CAUTG (Canadian Association of University Teachers of German) organized professional development workshops, and published several reports on the CAUTG website. She was also the local organizer for the CCLA (Canadian Comparative Literature Association) annual Congress at Concordia University, May 2010. Katrina has taught as an instructor at McGill since 2007. She also taught language, film, and culture courses at Dawson College in Montreal, and the University of Victoria, BC.

katrina [dot] sark [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Peter Eli Schweppe I joined the McGill Department of German Studies in 2010 and have enjoyed furthering my research interests in philosophy, poetry, digital humanities, and film. I am currently working on a dissertation project that analyzes the interrelation of literary production and the public sphere in the 1968 protest movement. In my project, I seek to explore how shifting ideas of medium and material came to influence transformations in how literature was produced, circulated, and read.

peter [dot] schweppe [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Arnim Alex Seelig(PhD Candidate) received a B.A. from the Liberal Arts College at Concordia University and an M.A. in German Studies from Université de Montréal. He was an instructor for German at McGill from 2009 until 2012. Currently he is a DAAD visiting scholar at Freie Universität Berlin and a guest lecturer at Universität Paderborn. His dissertation has the working title “Mythos Kracht. Rhizomatische Poetik im Dickicht der Diskurse um Pop, Avantgarde und Konservatismus.” The study investigates the significance of Kracht’s oeuvre in a broad cultural context, with an eye towards his rhizomatic writing method and idiosyncratic use of irony. Arnim has presented on this and other topics at numerous conferences including the GSA, CAUTG, CCLA, MSA, and NeMLA. He has published the article “Irony and Narrative Subtext in the Novel 1979 by Christian Kracht” (2011) as well as book reviews. Arnim’s further research interests include media theoretical approaches to network theories; the aesthetics of decadence and horror and their various relationships with catastrophism, terrorism, radical politics, and the sublime; issues in ecocriticism and posthumanism. 

In 2009, Arnim started the “Kinoclub” at McGill, a biweekly series of German-themed film screenings, which since then has been continued by the association of undergraduates in German Studies. In 2010, he co-organized the graduate student conference “Going Green: grünes Gedankengut und die Germanistik.” In 2011, Arnim served as the elected president of the LLC’s graduate students association.

arnim [dot] seelig [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Kathrin Spiller

kathrin [dot] spiller [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email)

Sandra Woywod-Page

sandra [dot] woywod-page [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (e-mail)