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Dissertationsprojekt von Leonie John

The Negotiation of (Im)Mobility in Anglophone Māori Literature (Arbeitstitel)

Where, how and why can certain characters or objects move in contemporary anglophone Māori prose fiction (novels, short stories and theatre plays)? These will be the central questions addressed in the cross-genre analysis of my dissertation project. Focusing on the continuum of mobility and immobility, I intend to reveal different forms, understandings and implications related to this conceptual pair, which includes a close examination of physical as well as social and cultural aspects. Domains of particular interest are travel and global movements, poverty and violence, rural and urban life, and disability. Drawing on diverse academic fields such as indigenous theories, mobility studies, social sciences and postcolonial theory, the paper is designed to fill several research gaps in the area of Māori literary studies. The analysis will be deliberately exploratory and reciprocal, allowing both primary works and academic theory to provide directional cues and fertilise one another. An overarching aim is to adopt a culturally sensitive and ethically adequate position, which allows for the inclusion of Māori concepts and terms. Indeed, such concepts will be included on a methodological, structural and analytical level. Establishing and maintaining close connections to indigenous experts from Aotearoa/New Zealand will also be of great importance for the project. Overall, considering selected works against a larger corpus of Māori literature, the dissertation will demonstrate how the concept of (im)mobility reveals thematic and structural interweavings, culturally specific interpretations as well as the general complexity, richness and versatility of Māori literature.

 

Kurzbiographie

Leonie John completed her studies of English and Educational Sciences at the University of Cologne as well as of Physical Education at the German Sport University Cologne with top marks in June 2016. During her studies, she worked as student assistant at the chair for English Historical Linguistics (2011–2015) and also at the centre for PE teacher education (SportlehrerInnen-Ausbildungszentrum, 2014–2016). She spent a semester abroad at the University of Waikato, New Zealand in 2012. Since November 2016, she has been enrolled at the University of Cologne as a PhD student with Prof. Dr. Heinz Antor and Prof. Dr. Beate Neumeier (both University of Cologne) as her supervisors. After having been introduced to the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne via the Research Master, she was initially promoted in her doctoral studies by a half-year scholarship (Stipendium zur Promotionsvorbereitung) and is currently a scholarship holder for a period of three years. Her research interests include Māori literature, postcolonial and indigenous theories, memory studies and mobility studies.

Kontakt: leonie-john(at)gmx.de

 

Vorträge

“‘i am the dreams of your tipuna’: Constructing Pacific memory in contemporary Māori literature”: Upcoming paper to be presented at Oceanic Memory: Islands, Ecologies, Peoples, Christchurch New Zealand.

“‘I came to this country […] needing to piece myself together’: Genealogy and Memory in Patricia Grace’s Chappy”: Upcoming paper to be presented at Postcolonial Narrations: Memory and Media, Erfurt.

“Experiencing Moments of Contact in Witi Ihimaera’s ‘The Thrill of Falling’” 14 July 2017: Paper presented at Literaturkontakte – Texte • Kulturen • Märkte, Freiburg im Breisgau.

 

Titelbild: Bildunterschrift (Credit: Te Paranihi, Otago Museum Collection; Foto: Leonie John) // Portraitfoto: Patric Fouad