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Vanessa Schmolke

Graduate Student/Max Kade Fellow

Contact Information

DEN 400K
Office Hours: 
Spring 2017: Mondays 2-3pm and Thursdays 11-12, or by appointment


B.A., "Kulturwissenschaften" (Major: English, Minor: German), Otto-von-Guericke Universitaet Magdeburg, 2011
M.A., Anglophone Cultural Studies, Otto-von-Guericke Universitaet Magdeburg, 2013
M.A., English Literature, University of Idaho, 2015

Vanessa Schmolke is a second year PhD candidate in the Department of Germanics where she also works as a teaching assistant for first-year German language classes.

Before joining UW in 2015, Vanessa earned a Master's Degree in English literature at the University of Idaho. It was then when she discovered her interest in ecocriticism and environmental literature.However, while ecocriticism have gained significicance among English departments, its role in Germanics seems still quiet marginal. For this reason, Vanessa decided to switch disciplines and pursue a PhD in Germanics rather than English. 

Her current research work focus on Marlen Haushofer's Die Wand and the relationship and interactions between the isolated first-person narrator and her dog. Haushofer's book, often called a Robinsonade, describes the life after an unknown catastrophe that ended the lives of everyone, but the first person narrator and her dog.

Vanessa will be also presenting one of my former research papers on Christa Wolf's Stoerfall at this year's annual GSA conference in San Diego. In her analysis, Vanessa has focused on how Wolf treats the invisibility of the nuclear catastrophe. 

Vanessa is also a member of the interdisciplinary research group on the Anthropocene formed by department member Jason Groves and Jesse Oak Taylor.