Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Welcome to new members of the department in the winter term 2021/22


English Studies



Marlene Dirschauer


MarleneDirschauer.jpgHaving received an M.A. in comparative literature at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2015, I did my PhD at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School in Berlin and the University of Cambridge. In my doctoral thesis I explored the poetics of water in Virginia Woolf’s oeuvre. The monograph based on my thesis, Modernist Waterscapes. Virginia Woolf and the Poetics of Water, will be published with Palgrave Macmillan next year. For my current postdoc project, I gained a one-year scholarship from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation at the Ludwig Maximilians-Universität München. Positioned at the intersection between literature and theology, my project examines literary representations of death and desire in late medieval and early modern women’s writings as a vehicle of emerging female subjectivity. The project is also funded by the FONTE foundation.

My research interests are early modern women’s writing, the imbrications between literature and religion, modernist poetics, and intertextuality. 

I’m excited to be joining the English department at the Humboldt Universität this semester and look forward to meeting my new colleagues and students!



PD Dr. Jennifer Wawrzinek


Picture of Jennifer WawrzinekI am a literary studies scholar originally from Melbourne, Australia, but living in Germany since 2006, when I was offered a postdoc in Australian Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. I wrote my doctoral thesis on the postmodern sublime in Australian and Canadian literature and performance at the University of Melbourne (Ambiguous Subjects, Rodopi 2008) before heading to Paris on a grant from the Mary Fisher Meyer foundation, where I lived and worked on a project concerned with the movement of Eastern Europeans into France and their status as personnes sans papier. After moving to Berlin, where I met my current partner, and completing the postdoc, I worked for six years as a Junior Professor at the Freie Universität, where I also began my second book project and my Habilitation on modes of decreation in British Romanticism at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Since then, I have been Acting Chair in Literary Studies and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Potsdam, Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Melbourne University, British Academy Visiting Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and Guest Professor at Delhi University in India.

I am currently an external research associate with NELK, Goethe University, adjunct faculty (Privatdozentin) at the Freie Universität Berlin, and Associate Researcher with the research unit “Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Contemporary Culture”, University of Melbourne.

My research generally focuses on the intersections between the political and the ethical in literature and culture of the Romantic and post-Romantic eras. I often explore the connections between the Romantic period and our world today in the new millennium, and have, to this end, published extensively in the fields of Romanticism, Postmodernism, Postcolonial and Transnational Studies, in addition to 21st-Centry literature and culture. Most recently I co-edited, with Lisa O’Connell (UQ), a special edition of Postcolonial Studies. This collection of essays interrogated the ways in which global movements of the long eighteenth century can be seen to have reinvented Anglo-European literature and culture of the period.

I am currently developing two new research projects, “Romantic Worlding” and “Creaturely Force: Becoming Posthuman”, both of which examine models of relationality in which (human) being is conceived as embedded within a world that is not only biological, but techno-ecological as well. The first project examines modes of ‘worlding’ in the work of Percy Shelley, Thomas De Quincey, and William Blake, and the second project examines the liminal figure of the creaturely (dogs and monsters) within narratives of posthuman becoming by writers such as Anne Carson, John Berger, Chris Abani, and Derek Walcott.

I am delighted to have the opportunity to spend this winter at Humboldt Universität as a FONTE Guest Professor and hope that I will have the chance to meet as many of my colleagues as possible.




English Language Education (Fachdidaktik Englisch)



Dr. Tomáš Kos


kos_picture_small.jpgMy name is Tomáš Kos. I am a Czech national from Prague, living in Dresden, Germany with a Japanese wife and three children. I am working at the Faculty of Language, Literature, and Humanities at the Department of English and American Studies. Before coming here, I taught at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg and the University of Leipzig in the field of second and foreign language pedagogy with a focus on primary school.  Before that, I served as a primary and secondary school teacher for twenty years in various countries in Asia and Europe. I spent nearly fifteen years in Asia, mainly in Japan where I worked as a teacher and studied Japanese culture and language. I also got married in Japan and two of my children were born there.


I received my first MA from the University of Liberec, Czech Republic where I studied to become a teacher of German as a foreign language and History. Later, while teaching in Japan, I joined the School of East Asian Studies University of Sheffield where I studied MA in Advanced Japanese Studies. Four years ago, I completed a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at Lancaster University in the UK.


I am an enthusiastic researcher in the field of Language Education. My research so far has been related to classroom interaction with a particular focus on peer interaction and teaching methodologies in mixed-ability settings. I love playing table tennis, walking in the forest, doing yoga and meditating before sunrise, and many other things.

I am looking forward to meeting you.


I am looking forward to being with you.


Tomáš Kos