Prof. Dr. Marion Gymnich

BCDSS Co-Speaker and Principal Investigator

Department of English, American and Celtic Studies
Rabinstraße 8
D-53111 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 7624

© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

In her research project on representations of domestic service, Marion Gymnich explores changes and continuities in a wide range of literary and non-fictional depictions and negotiations of asymmetrical dependencies that shaped the lives of domestic servants in Britain from the Restoration period to the end of the nineteenth century. The juxtaposition of fictional representations of domestic service that were targeted at a middle-class and/or upper-class readership (in plays, poems and novels), 'lowbrow' texts (such as street ballads) and non-fictional texts (e.g., diaries, letters, advertisements, and testimonies by employers and servants), promises to shed new light on social stereotypes and recurring narratives that informed dominant discourses on relations between employers and (domestic) servants. More often than not, the stereotypes and narratives (with their implicit assumptions about 'normal' life trajectories) sought to legitimize and perpetuate patterns of asymmetrical dependency, although traces of resistance and subversive (literary) performances can also be found. Gender, age, social mobility, changing notions of ‘family’, ‘home’ and human development as well as numerous literary strategies of voicing and silencing are among the key concepts drawn upon in this project.

6 books (3 of these co-authored), 18 (co-)edited volumes, more than 100 articles, more than 30 contributions to lexica and encyclopedias, more than 20 reviews; numerous national and international lectures and papers; 11 completed doctorates as first supervisor; 22 completed doctorates as second supervisor; 1 completed Habilitation as co-mentor (University of Heidelberg).

Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Cologne and the University of Giessen, Germany; Habilitation in English Studies at the University of Giessen, Germany, Venia legendi in English Studies

Ph.D. Studies in English Literature, University of Cologne, Germany

M.A. Studies in English and American Studies, German Studies and Slavic Studies, University of Cologne, Germany

since 2023
Dean of Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Bonn

Member of the University Council, University of Bonn

since 2007

Professor for English Literature and Culture, University of Bonn

Dean of Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Bonn

Visiting Professor, University of Graz, Austria

Substitute Professor for English and American Studies, University of Giessen, Germany

Guest lecturer, University of Łodž, Poland

Coordinator of the International and Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Program in Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Giessen, Germany

Research Associate, English Department, University of Cologne, Germany

2011 and 2013
Teaching Award, University of Bonn

Member of TRA 5 - Present Pasts

Member of the interdisciplinary research project “Phraseorom – Phraseology of the novel”, funded jointly by the German Research Foundation and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche

Member of the Giessen Graduate Centre

Coordinator of the International and Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Program in Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Giessen, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service

Co-editor of the series “Representations & Reflections: Studies in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures” (V&R Unipress/Brill), “Narratio Aliena?” (EB-Verlag), “Reality and Hermeneutics. Bonn Studies in the New Humanities” (Mohr Siebeck)

German Research Foundation (DFG)/Agence Nationale de la Recherche: collaborative interdisciplinary research project "Phraseorom" (2016-2020)

  • 2023. With Jeannine Bischoff and Stephan Conermann. Ed. Naming, Defining, Phrasing Strong Asymmetrical Dependencies: A Textual Approach. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • 2023. "Naming, Defining, Phrasing Strong Asymmetrical Dependencies: Introduction." In Naming, Defining, Phrasing Strong Asymmetrical Dependencies: A Textual Approach, edited by Jeannine Bischoff, Stephan Conermann, and Marion Gymnich, 1–12. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • 2023. "Beyond Travelogues - Images of India in three Mid-Victorian Novels: Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847), Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford (1853) and Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone." In Narrative Strategies for India in Transition, edited by Anna Kollatz and Tilmann Kulke, 231–263. Berlin: EB Verlag.
  • 2022. With Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp and Klaus P. Schneider. Ed. Representing Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World. Leiden/Boston: Brill.
  • 2021. "Two Representations of Homelessness on British Television – Cathy Come Home and Call the Midwife." In Representing Poverty in the Anglophone Postcolonial World, edited by Verena Jain-Warden and Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, 245–260. Göttingen: V&R Unipress.
  • 2018. With Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Gerold Sedlmayr, and Dirk Vanderbeke. The Orphan in Fiction and Comics since the 19th Century. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • 2018. "'We are the people of the Apokalis': Narrative Voice and the Negotiation of Power Structures in Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People." In Narratology and Ideology: Negotiating Context, Form, and Theory in Postcolonial Narratives, edited by Divya Dwivedi, Henrik Skov Nielsen and Richard Walsh, 141–155. Columbus, OH.
  • 2017. "Erzählen und Gender." In Erzählen: Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch, edited by Matías Martínez, 326–334. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler.
  • 2013. "Gender and Narratology." Literature Compass 10(9): 705–715.
  • 2011. "'Decolonizing Genre'? – Das Konzept der literarischen Gattung in englischsprachiger postkolonialer und interkultureller Literatur." In Was sind Genres? Nicht-abendländische Kategorisierungen von Gattungen, edited by Stephan Conermann and Amr ElHawary, 299–315. Berlin. 
  • 2010. "The Gender(ing) of Fictional Characters." In Characters in Fictional Worlds. Understanding Imaginary Beings in Literature, Film, and Other Media, edited by Jens Eder, Fotis Jannidis, and Ralf Schneider, 506–524. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
  • 2007. Charlotte Brontë: "Jane Eyre" – Emily Brontë: "Wuthering Heights". Uni-Wissen: Anglistik, Amerikanistik. Stuttgart: Klett.
  • 2004. "Konzepte literarischer Figuren und Figurencharakterisierung." [Concepts of Literary Characters and Characterization] In Erzähltextanalyse und Gender Studies [Narratological Analysis and Gender Studies], edited by Vera Nünning and Ansgar Nünning, 122–142. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler.
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