I passed preliminary examinations in April 2020 and as a result I have ABD status. Now I am writing my dissertation about transnational, post-1989 German literature of migration. I have thoroughly developed the introduction of the dissertation along with all body chapters. As a result, I am beginning work on the conclusion, and I am set to defend my dissertation, entitled Toward an Intercultural, Intersubjective Concept of Home(s) in Recent German Literature in Spring 2023.
Migration and Transnational Studies, Memory Studies, GDR Literature and Culture, Post-1989 Literature, Gender Performativity (with a focus on cultural ideals/illusions/constructions of masculinity), Shame and Shaming, Complaint, Cultural Hegemony, Affective Solidarities, Differential Vulnerability, Collective Responsibility, Relationality and Intersubjectivity, A Critical Intercultural Utopia, Second Language Pedagogy
Additional research interest and responsibility on campus
HGMS: Co-director of The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies Reading Group
While traditional, exclusionary concepts of Heimat (home; homeland; belonging) remain relevant in the post-1989 German public sphere, my dissertation demonstrates that certain contemporary German novels envision a more inclusive, intercultural idea of home. Until now, the vast majority of work that has productively scrutinized conservative beliefs associated with the term Heimat has often condemned without acknowledging the human need for a sense of community. My dissertation is critical of Heimat’s conventional imaginary against perceived Others, but transcends the Heimat/Anti-Heimat binary by analyzing literary instances of a multicultural, social sense of refuge. I contrast these examples of intercultural utopia featuring open belonging with enclosures in present-day society such as gated communities that perpetuate solipsism and isolation. The instances I analyze of both inclusive and exclusionary conceptions of home stem primarily from four novels published between 2000 and 2015. My project shows how post-1989 physical barriers prolong exclusionary sentiments of the right, and how the Berlin Wall conveyed certain pre-1989 illusory notions by the left of insulation from global capitalism. Hence, I illustrate that Othering by creating a pretense of separation alienates relations between geographically constructed social groups.
Building upon scholarly geocritical conversations, my project helps to denaturalize the culturally hegemonic artifice of separate places by reviving pre-1989 leftist ideas of international solidarity, while disapproving of separators from both the left and the right. Highlighting the fluid lines of belonging featured in four exemplary literary works, my project rethinks Heimat from a critical, yet hopeful perspective. Moving beyond antagonistic dichotomies of good vs. evil and victim vs. perpetrator, these literary examples show how acknowledgment of another’s unique challenges can interpersonally establish collective responsibility. In analyzing these illustrations of a radically new cross-cultural, intersubjective concept of open inclusion, my project provides insight toward establishing more all-embracing notions of home.
PhD, German Literature and Culture, University of Illinois (dissertation defense Spring 2023)
M.A., German, University of Illinois (May 2017)
B.S., German Education, Missouri State University (May 2004)
2022-2023 SLCL Dissertation Completion Fellowship
2018-2019 Max Kade Fellowship
Awards and Honors
Distinguished Teaching Honor
Ruth E. Lorbe Excellence in Teaching Award (2017)
Research and Teaching Awards
- Fall 2020 Ranked as excellent by students (GER 211)
- Spring 2019 Ranked as excellent by students (GER 101)
- Ernst Alfred Philippson Graduate Research Travel Award (Spring 2018)
- William W. and Imelde D.V. Langebartel Award: intended for student who plans to study or research abroad (2017)
- Fall 2016 Ranked as excellent by students (GER 103)
- Delta Phi Alpha (German Honors Society) (2016)
- Fall 2015 Ranked as excellent by students (GER 101)
- Beginning German I: GER 101 (Fall 2015) (Spring 2019)
- Beginning German II: GER 102 (Summer 2016) (Summer 2017) (Fall 2019) (Spring 2021)
- Intermediate German I: GER 103 (Spring 2016) (Fall 2016) (Spring 2017) (Fall 2021) (Spring 2022)
- Intermediate German II: GER 104 (Summer 2016) (Summer 2019) (February 2021: 2 weeks as substitute for colleague on parental leave)
- German Conversation and Writing I: GER 211 (Fall 2020) (Fall 2021)
- The Grimms' Fairy Tales in Context (Discussion section): GER 251 (Spring 2020)
- Übung Deutschsprachige Literatur seit 1989: Universität Greifswald (Winter 2017/18)
- Übung Aufbaumodul III Neuere Deutsche Literatur: Universität Greifswald (Sommersemester 2018)
Slattery, John. “Migration and Intersubjective Notions of Home(s) in Jenny Erpenbeck’s Gehen, ging, gegangen.” Heimat and Migration: Reimagining the Regional and the Global in the 21st Century. Edited by Len Cagle, Thomas Herold and Gabriele Maier. De Gruyter, Interdisciplinary German Studies, Series Editor: Irene Kacandes. Peer-Reviewed. Forthcoming.