Franzi Finkenstein

PhD student in Germanic Languages & Literatures
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
University of Marburg - Bachelor's Degree
University of Freiburg - Master's Degree
research interests:
  • Narratology
  • German-Jewish Studies
  • Queer Theory
  • Decolonial Approaches
  • Feminist Theory
  • Life Writing
  • Critical Theory
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    mailing address:

    • MSC 1104-1146-319
    • Washington University
    • 1 Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Franzi Finkenstein received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Philipps-University of Marburg and her master's degree from the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg with an exchange year at University College London.

    Franzi's interdisciplinary research interests encompass narrative theory, performance studies, disability studies, feminist and queer theory. Franzi’s current research looks at the relationship between autobiographical performance, trauma, and grief work as well as the conditions of work in life narratives (writings and visuals) by women (late 19th and 20th century). Franzi teaches in German, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.


    German Studies Association conference 2019: "Traveling Narratives in Rudolf von Ems Willehalm and Weltchronik"
    English Graduate Studies Association Symposium 2021: "'...don't you know that I'm decaying, completely decaying, like something that ceases to exist?' The decaying self and self-constitution in Rahel Varnhagen's letters to David Veit"
    German Studies Association conference 2021: Participant in Emerging Scholars Workshop with Professor Monica Black
    2021/22: Co-Vice President of GemWGS (Association of Gender Minoritized and Women Graduate Students)
    2021/22: Co-Convener of the Comparative Readings of LGBTQ+ Literature in German reading group, sponsored by the Center for the Humanities
    Rahel Varnhagen Conference Kraków 2021"Auch ist der Schmerz, wie ich ihn kenne, auch ein Leben“. Leid und Selbsterfahrung in Rahel Varnhagens Briefe an David Veit
    30th Graduate Symposium (German Department at Washington University in St. Louis) 2022Un)making Pain – Translation of Pain into Art in the Case of Charlotte Salomon
    Fellow at The Berlin Seminar 2022
    Grimmelshausen Conference “Gender in Grimmelshausen and Early Modern Literature” 2022: “Unmasking the Masks. The Picaresque and the Complexity of Gender in Grimmelshausen’s Courasche”
    2022: German Studies Association (GSA): "Doing Autobiographical Work: Performance and Conditions of Craft in Life Writings by Charlotte Salomon an dElse Lasker-Schuler"
    2022/23: Convener, alongside Ivan Bujan, of the "Crusing Utopia in 2020s" reading group, sponsored by the Center for the Humanities
    2023: Participant in the workshop "To be (dis)continued. New Perspectives on the Entanglements of Gender, Sexualities, and Jewishness" (Berlin)

    2022: The Berlin Seminar Travel Fellowship from Max Kade Foundation

    2023: The Podcasting Institute Fellowship sponsored by National Humanities Center 

    2023: Fritz Halbers Research Award by Leo Baeck Institute New York

    2023: Global Futures Small Grant from Global Futures Grant Washington University in St. Louis

    2023/24: TESOL Fellowship from English Language Program at Washington University in St. Louis 

    2021-2024: Reading Group Grants from Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis 

    2023: Graduate Student Conference, New York University, “Repetition of Pain: Loss, Grief, and Annihilation in Charlotte Salomon’s ‘Life? or Theater’?” 

    2023: ‘Thinking With Lauren Berlant in German Studies’ Workshop


    Editor: WEAK zine (2021-present)
    Guest at netcon talks, refuge radio, Berlin (theme: "Empowerment")
    Freelance writer for music magazines


    Book Review of Gabriela Stoicea's “Fictions of Legibility. The Human Face and Body in Modern German Novels from Sophie von La Roche to Alfred Döblin” for Vol. 28 of "focus on German Studies", University of Cincinnati Press (2021)


    Book Review of Marija Krsteva’s “Towards a Theory of Life-Writing. Genre Blending” for H-Biography (H-Net) (2023)