Miriam Zeh, M.A.

Research Assistant

Project Description
Writing/Working. Ethos and Aesthetics between Staging and Exoticizing.

Foto MiriamSince the 1990s, there has been a subtle transformation in the literary field regarding the organization of its economy and profession. These changes led to an increase in a streamlined instrumentalizing behaviour of the field’s agents, focussing mainly on economic profitability. As a result, the writer’s life script is changing. There are two figures responding to the enhanced attention economy in the contemporary literary market: the ‚authorpreneur‘, who considers himself as an entrepreneur and commercially exploits his whole personality and his individual biography, as well as the ‚self-publisher’, who completely incorporates all publishing processes into his persona.
Hence my dissertation project focuses on (precarious) scenes of writing and working in select contemporary novels. Thereby I will not only question the way that authors stage their own writing process, but also how they try to distinguish their writing from other productive work. I will not observe this phenomenon according to the commonly used, but rather vague concept of authenticity. Instead, I suggest an interpretation concerning strategies of self-exoticizing. In doing so, I would like to explore to which extent these strategies are supported by agents of literary criticism or the literary scene (e.g. through literary prizes).



since 10/2019: Research Assistant at Johannes Gutenberg-Unviversity Mainz

since 2016: Literary Critic for Deutschlandfunk, SWR, WDR and ZEIT ONLINE

2009 – 2016: German Literary Studies and Linguistics, Music and Philosophy (Staatsexamen) at the University of Cologne and the University of Music and Dance in Cologne

2012 – 2015: Teaching Assistant at the University of Music and Dance in Cologne (Musicology) and the University of Cologne (Pedagogy)

2013 – 2014: Graduate Student (M.A.) and Teaching Assistant at Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

2010 to 2015: Scholarship of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation

e-mail Miriam Zeh