Claire Ross, a 6th year PhD student in Germanic Languages and Literatures, has been abroad in Hamburg, Germany. She provided us this update about her time there.
Since fall 2016, I have been based at the University of Hamburg in Germany (funded by DAAD and the Graduate School), where I am completing my dissertation on the figure of the artist in Turkish German literature and film. I play an active part in departmental and university life here, attending research colloquia, and also established a regular writing workshop for PhD students here in Hamburg.
I have participated in a number of academic conferences and events in Europe. In summer 2017, the University of Hamburg Slavic Studies department invited me as a plenary speaker for their student conference, “Grenzenlos.” In July 2017, I was one of twenty humanities scholars (including three WashU alumni: Necia Chronister, Carol-Ann Costabile-Heming and Thomas Kniesche) who were selected to participate in the Notre Dame Berlin Seminar. The seminar provided the spark for an article on which I worked with fellow seminar participants Necia Chronister, Sarah Traylor and Ulrike Wiethaus. In November 2017, I received a DAAD travel grant to give a presentation at the Germanistische Institutspartnerschaft conference at Ege University in Izmir, Turkey. I was excited to make my first trip to Turkey, and to engage with scholars based there who are also working in my field.
In addition to staying in touch with my dissertation committee (led by Prof. Erin McGlothlin) and other dissertating students in St Louis, my research has benefited greatly from the advice I have received from Prof. Ortrud Gutjahr and her team in the Arbeitsstelle für Interkulturelle Literatur- und Medienwissenschaft at the University of Hamburg, the excellent primary and secondary resources here, and a dedicated materials budget awarded by the DAAD. I plan to defend my dissertation in St. Louis in August 2018.