Study of German Literature and History at the University of Tübingen; PhD Tübingen 1987 "Mystik der Moderne. Zur visionären Ästhetik der deutschen Literatur im 20. Jahrhundert" (1989); Postdoctoral Research at the University of Konstanz; Habilitation Konstanz 1994 "Die Melancholie der Literatur. Diskursgeschichte und Textfiguration" (1997); 1995-1998 Professor at the University of Bochum; since 1998 Professor at the University of Münster; Member of the North-Rhine Westfalian Academy of Sciences and Arts
German Literature from 17th to 21st century; Modern German Literature; Theory of Literature; Autobiography; Rhetorics; Relation of Religion, Literature and Politics
The Knowledge of Autobiography
My Morphomata research project "The Knowledge of Autobiography" consists of three sub-projects: 1. I am the editor of a 3 vol. international and interdisciplinary handbook of Autobiography/Autofiction. I will have to edit a couple of articles and write the introductions to the three volumes in which I will have to consider the epistemological problems that go along with such a comprehensive book project (e.g. problems of eurocentricity, selectivity, different disciplines looking differently on the genre etc.). 2. Cultures of Decision-making in Autobiography. This sub-project is part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) "Cultures of Decision-making" that has been established by the German Research Foundation (DFG) at the University of Münster. It analyses the autobiographical importance of decision making. The projectx is especially interested in the rhetoric and narratives of decision-making. Goethe's autobiographical writings will be an essential part of the project. 3. Autobiographies of Researchers: Whereas literary studies have been mainly interested in autobiographies by literary authors this sub-project looks at autobiographies by scientists and researchers. It wants to find out whether and in what way scientific paradigms inform the representation of the researcher's life.