Dr. Jennifer Leetsch

Postdoctoral Researcher

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room: 2.011
Niebuhrstr. 5
53113 Bonn
jleetsch@uni-bonn.de

Portrait Jennifer Leetsch.jpg
© Jennifer Leetsch

Academic Profile

In my research and teaching I am particularly interested in relating literary texts and various strategies of imagination to other cultural as well as socio-political formations. My research interests span from the 18th to the 21st century – in my PhD research, published as Love and Space in Contemporary African Diasporic Women’s Writing: Making Love, Making Worlds (2021) with Palgrave’s series on Contemporary Women’s Writing, I explored contemporary literature, culture and new media forms in interplay with feminist and postcolonial Anglophone perspectives. Analysing the vulnerable, private spheres of love and desire inhabited by black, queer and female characters, while simultaneously grappling with geo-political issues such as neo-colonialism, the so-called refugee crisis and diasporic displacement in a globalised twenty-first-century world, the project proposed a wilful re-negotiation of ostensible oppositions such as public/private, global/intimate.

In my book and my other publications, my research foregrounds literature’s ability to engage with the harmful as well as the reparative results that come to be produced at the intersections of affect, migration and globalization, and activates various African diasporic literatures in concert with one another, thus suggesting a newly connected global imaginary.

My research on geographies and spatial practices of (dis)location has evolved into an interest in ecological and ecocritical modes, which I am currently developing as part of my postdoctoral research. In my postdoctoral project I look at late 18th- and early 19th-century forms of black life writing (i.e. slave narratives, autobiographies, letters, treaties) and connect them with ecologies of Empire from an ecocritical perspective. I am interested in the contested constellations of environment, nature and ecology in early examples of black life writing and how these texts reflect on the entanglements of black and colonial ecologies in, of and after the Plantationocene, while expanding and recasting our understanding of the constitutive and contingent relationships between the Black Atlantic world, ecological belonging and capitalist modernity. 

2014–2020
PhD, English Literary and Cultural Studies, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg (Germany) [Thesis on: “Be/longing: At the Intersections of Love and Space in Contemporary Afro-Diasporic Women’s Writing”]

2008–2013
MA (Magister), English Literature, American Literature and Comparative Literature, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (Germany) [Thesis on: “Letting the Subaltern Speak: Female Voices in A. S. Byatt’s Possession and Ahdaf Soueif’s The Map of Love”]

2010–2011
Erasmus Scholarship, King’s College London (UK)

From 09/2021­
Postdoctoral researcher and lecturer, BCDSS, Bonn University, Germany

2020–08/2021
Postdoctoral researcher and lecturer, Department for English Literature and British Cultural Studies, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Germany

2020
Visiting Researcher, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford (UK) (withdrawn due to COVID-19) 

2020
Visiting Researcher, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi (India)

2014–2020
Doctoral researcher and lecturer · Department for English Literature and British Cultural Studies, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg 

2014–2020
Coordinator for English Literature and British Cultural Studies Tutorials, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg 

2018
Visiting Researcher, British Library, Goldsmiths University and London Metropolitan Archives (UK)

2016
Visiting Researcher, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi (India)

2021
Funding by the DFG (German Research Foundation), International conference “Imagining Migration, Knowing Migration: Intermedial Perspectives.” With Miriam Wallraven (Würzburg) and Frederike Middelhoff (Frankfurt).

2021
Funding by the Universitätsbund Würzburg: Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften, Public reading by Olumide Popoola.

2020
ERASMUS+ Visiting Scholarship, Research Stay, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford (UK).

2019
University of Würzburg Doctoral Travel Grant Award, Conference on “Postcolonial Oceans: Contradictions and Heterogeneities in the Epistemes of Salt Water.” University of Bremen (Germany).

2019
University of Würzburg Doctoral Travel Grant Award, Conference on “New Configurations of Contemporary Women’s Writing.” University of Hull (UK).

2018
Funding by the University of Würzburg Jubiläumsstiftung, Research stay in London (UK) at the British Library, at Goldsmiths University and at the London Metropolitan Archives. 

2017
Funding by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Travel grant to Yale University (US) for the Annual African Literature Association Conference.

2017
Funding by the DRV (Deutscher Romanistenverband) and the Universitätsbund Würzburg: Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften, Summer School “The Self and the Other: Afro-Diasporic Literatures”. Together with Gabriella Lambrecht, Julius Goldmann and Julien Bobineau (all Würzburg).

2016–2021
Funding by the DAAD and the UGC (University Grants Commission) within the initiative IGP (Indo-German Partnerships), 5-year project “Literature in a Globalized World: Creative and Critical Perspectives”. Project Assistant. Project leaders Prof. Isabel Karremann (Würzburg) and Prof. Sauagta Bhaduri (New Delhi).

2016
University of Würzburg Doctoral Travel Grant Award, Conference “Global Meeting of the Diasporas Research Stream: A Culture, Traditions, Societies Project.” Mansfield College, Oxford University (UK).

2015
University of Würzburg Doctoral Travel Grant Award, Conference “Igbo Womanhood, Womanbeing and Personhood. The 4th Annual International Igbo Conference.” SOAS University of London (UK)

2013
Excellence Award, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich for achieving the highest GPA among 2013 graduates in the arts and humanities. 

2010–2011
ERASMUS scholarship at King’s College London (UK)

222

Research Monograph
2021. Love and Space in Contemporary African Diasporic Women’s Writing: Making Love, Making Worlds. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Link: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783030677534 3

Edited Volume
In Preparation. Knowing Migration, Imagining Migration: Interdisciplinary Perspectives across Visual and Textual Spheres. Eds. Jennifer Leetsch, Frederike Middelhoff and Miriam Wallraven. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

 

Chapters in Edited Collections

  • 2020. “Translocations of Desire: Urban Topographies of Love in Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah.” Geographies of Affect in Contemporary Literature and Visual Culture. Eds. Ágnes Györke and Imola Bülgözdi. Leiden: Brill/Rodopi. 181–198.
  • 2019. “Opening Homes, Opening Worlds: African European Spatial Interventions in Helen Oyeyemi’s Fiction.” Locating African European Studies: Interventions, Intersections, Conversations. Eds. Felipe Espinoza Garrido, Caroline Koegler, Deborah Nyangulu and Mark Stein. New York: Routledge. 153–164.
  • 2016. “Pop & Porno: Gegen-Körper, Gegen-Blicke.” Kulturen der Pornografie: Annäherungen an ein Massenphänomen. Eds. Daniel Schulze and Andrea Stiebritz. WVT: Trier. 135–146.

06/2021
Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Department for English Literature and British Cultural Studies, Research workshop with Lauren Fournier (SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Studies, University of Toronto) on “Autotheory as Feminist Practice in Art, Writing and Criticism.”                              

03/2021
Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Department for English Literature and British Cultural Studies, Organisation of the international, interdisciplinary DFG-funded conference “Imagining Migration, Knowing Migration: Intermedial Perspectives.” Together with Miriam Wallraven (Würzburg) and Frederike Middelhoff (Frankfurt). With a keynote lecture by Ananya Kabir (King’s College London), an artist intervention by Charl Landvreugd (Rotterdam) and a public reading by Olumide Popoola (London).

02/2020
Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi (India), Co-Organisation of a collaborative research workshop in Delhi within the DAAD/IGP-funded project “Literature in a Globalized World: Creative and Critical Perspectives.”

05/2018
Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Department for English Literature and British Cultural Studies · Co-Organisation of the Summer School “Africa in a Globalized World” within the DAAD/IGP-funded project “Literature in a Globalized World: Creative and Critical Perspectives.” With keynotes and workshops by Isabel Hofmeyr (Witwatersrand, SA), Frank Schulze-Engler (Frankfurt), David Peimer (Liverpool, UK) and Ralf Schneider (Bielefeld).

09/2017
Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Department for English Literature and British Cultural Studies and the Department for Romance Studies, Organisation of the international and interdisciplinary DRV-funded Summer School “The Self and the Other: Afro-Diasporic Literatures.” Together with Gabriella Lambrecht, Julius Goldmann and Julien Bobineau (all Würzburg). With public readings by Sharon Dodua Otoo and Alain Mabanckou.

02/2016
Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi (India), Co-Organisation of the Winter School “Literature and Globalization” in Delhi within the DAAD/IGP-funded project “Literature in a Globalized World: Creative and Critical Perspectives.” With keynotes and workshops by Prof. Ranjan Ghosh (University of North Bengal), Prof. Saikat Majumdar (Ashoka University), Prof. Jonathan Gil Harris (Ashoka University), Prof. Isabel Hofmeyer (Witwatersrand, SA), Prof. Madavi Menon (Ashoka University) and the poet Sumana Roy.

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