I am currently working as a Lecturer in German at University College Cork, Ireland, while working on the completion of my PhD.
My research focuses on the memory politics presented in film comedies of post-Reunification Germany. In other words my thesis considers how German humorous films since 1990 relate the memory of the Second World War and what their treatment of it reveals about a changing German identity. My dissertation topic is entitled:
“Comedy about War and Cinema about Cinema: When German Film Comedies since Reunification reflect on the Second World War”
I am passionate about this topic for many reasons though the strongest is always personal. Born in Germany to grandparents who were all born in the 1920s, I remember growing up with a general silence surrounding their experiences of the Third Reich and the Second World War. Except for one grandmother who seemed to have had a comparatively happy and protected youth, my grandparents never revealed much about their past. I am sad that my grandparents have now taken most of their memories to their graves without ever really wanting to share them. Although I know the main junctures of their lives, I do not feel I fully understand their actions and experiences. Certainly, we are entering an era of post-memory as fewer and fewer of those time-witnesses like my own grandparents are still alive. Unsurprisingly, and maybe out of a need to keep imagining the past, the Second World War remains a topic that enjoys huge popularity in cultural productions of all kinds. The German national identity has been a contested and difficult one which continues to be negotiated through film among other media.
My research examines the relationship between German national identity and the humorous treatment of the Second World War experience on screen since 1990.