Visiting Students

Graduate Students from Zurich and Berlin Joining the Department as Research Collaborators


Ms. Jelena Rakin, a graduate student in the Film Studies Department of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, will spend the academic year 2013–2014 affiliated with the German Department as a Visiting Student Research Collaborator where she will work with Prof. Tom Levin on her dissertation “Filmfarbe 1895–1930. Asthetik, Materialitat, Diskurse der Moderne”[Film Color 1895–1930: Aesthetics, Materiality, Discourses of Modernity]. Ms. Rakin’s thesis explores the aesthetics of applied film color techniques (hand coloring, stencil, tinting and toning), examining the specificity of the use of color in film in the context of color in other visual media of the period, the connection between the aesthetic appreciation of film color and its materiality, and the nature of the production processes involved. Crucial to this project are the aesthetic categories used in different popular and academic discourses on color and their relevance to the attitudes and (normative) understandings of the relation of color to the moving image. These aspects are considered against the dynamic backdrop of modernity in which color was subject to revisions as material substance, cultural value category, and finally as an aesthetic phenomenon. Ms. Rakin’s sojourn as a VSRC is funded by a prestigious grant from the Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Forderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung.

Joining Ms. Rakin as Visiting Student Research Collaborators for the Fall 2013 semester are two graduate students from the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies (FSGS) at the Freie Universität Berlin. Ms. Eva Lieberich will be consulting with Prof. Sally Poor on her dissertation “Envy as an (Anti-) Social Emotion in High Medieval Narrative.” Based on the premise that envy is an emotion as well as a social situation, the thesis analyzes the relationship of the envier, the envied and the object of envy in the literary space of court and ultimately aims to describe the ways medieval conceptions of the emotion differ from modern narrations of envy and how these conceptions are linked to genre. Ms. Sakine Weikert will spend the Fall 2013 term in the German Department doing research for her dissertation ”Photographed Things in Contemporary Literature and Art“ which looks at the generic dissonances provoked by hybrid works combining textual and photographic elements. Ranging from late 1970’s experimental literature (Hubert Fichte, Einar Schleef) and conceptual art (Sophie Calle) to more recent author-artist collaborations (Thomas Demand and Botho Strauß) and a fictional auction catalog (Leanne Shapton), the project draws a historical line from modern to postmodern practices of thing-culture. The VSRC sojourns of both Ms. Weikert and Ms. Lieberich are being funded by Prof. Tom Levin’s multi-year Einstein Foundation grant.