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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Maha El Hissy

Maha

Lecturer in German and Comparative Cultural Studies

Email: m.elhissy@qmul.ac.uk
Room Number: Arts One 2.04
Office Hours: Monday 11.30-13.30 via MS Teams

Profile

My research addresses the relationship between politics and aesthetics, with a historical focus on postmigrant literature and film after German Unification and German literature around 1800. My first book Getürkte Türken. Karnevaleske Stilmittel im Theater, Kabarett und Film deutsch-türkischer Künstlerinnen und Künstler (published 2012), investigates the nexus of migration, cultural production and critique in cinema, theatre and stand-up comedy by Turkish-German immigrants after the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Currently, I am completing my second book, The Affective State. Virgins and the Political Imaginary around 1800 [Der affektive Staat. Jungfrauen und das politische Imaginäre um 1800], that sheds light on the intersection of gender, political and theatrical imagination. Focusing on the pristine female body, my study shows how the theatrical imagination at the turn of the 19th century responds to the fall of Bourbon monarchy and the end of the Ancien Régime by restoring kingly rule and paternal sovereignty through phantasies of virginity and defloration of the pristine female body.

Prior to joining QMUL in 2020, I worked as an Assistant Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich (LMU, 2012-2020) and at the DFG-Research Group “Beginnings in/of Modernity” (2010-2012). At the LMU I also served as Acting Gender Equality Representative (2016-2017). From 2017-2018, I was a visiting research scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Between 2017 and 2019, I was part of the research network on literary, media and political figurations of touch which was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). I earned my PhD in 2010 at the LMU. Before that I studied “Literature and Media” at the University of Bayreuth in Germany and German, Arabic and Spanish studies at the University of Ain Shams in Cairo.

Teaching

  • COM5040, COM6040, GER5040, GER6040 Brecht and the Drama
  • COM4006, SML4006 Culture and Language
  • COM5008, GER5008 German Thought I: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud 

Research

Research Interests:

  • Postmigrant literature and film in Germany 
  • Comedy and Migration 
  • Gender and Feminism 
  • Intersectional feminist writing 
  • Postcolonial theory and literature 
  • Affect theory and Politics 
  • Political theology and literature  
  • German literature around 1800 

Publications

I. Books

Getürkte Türken. Karnevaleske Stilmittel im Theater, Kabarett und Film deutsch-türkischer Künstlerinnen und Künstler (Bielefeld: transcript, 2012)
- Reviews: Gerhard Bauer, in: Das Argument. Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Sozialwissenschaften, 298 (2012); Germanistik 53/1-2 (2012); Kathrin Bower, in: Monatshefte, 105/2 (2013); IDA-NRW

Der affektive Staat. Jungfrauen und das politische Imaginäre um 1800 [Manuscript in preparation, not yet under contract]

 

II. Co-Edited Volumes and Special Issues

Taktilität und Gemeinschaft. Literatur und Politik der Berührung (with Andrea Erwig and Sebastian Haselbeck). Special Issue, Arcadia. Internationale Zeitschrift für literarische Kultur (2021). In preparation; peer reviewed.
 
Gründungsorte der Moderne. Von St. Petersburg bis Occupy Wall Street (with Sascha Pöhlmann) (München: Fink, 2014).

 

III. Articles and Book Chapters

“Of Maidens and Virgins, or, Sparking Military Alliance. The Affective Politics of the Pristine Female Body”, in Strategic Imaginations. Women and the Gender of Sovereignty in European Culture, ed. By Anke Gilleir and Aude Defurne (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2021). (Forthcomig, open access) Print.
 
“Die Abschweifung ist Modus meines Schreibens.“ Narrative und politische Abenteuer in Saša Stanišićs Herkunft”, in Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 2/2020, Special Issue Deutschland-Analysen, ed. by Marcus Hahn und Frederic Ponten. (Forthcoming) Print.
 
“Die verwitwete Jungfrau, oder: die gespenstische Hand der Restauration. Hebbels Judith”, in Komparatistik Online, Special Issue Berühren. Relationen des Taktilen in Literatur, Philosophie und Theater (2019), ed. by Andrea Erwig and Sandra Fluhrer. https://www.komparatistik-online.de/index.php/komparatistik_online/article/view/197
 
“Die Geburt der Republik aus dem Geiste des Genies. Politische Souveränität und Genieästhetik in Schillers Die Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua”, in In (Ge)Schlechter Gesellschaft. Politische Konstruktionen von Männlichkeit in der Romania, ed. by Karin Peters and Julia Brühne (Bielefeld: transcript, 2016), pp. 137-154.
 
(2015) “„Wahnprediger“. Zur Ambivalenz religiöser Figuren bei Feridun Zaimoglu”, in Interkulturalität und Transkulturalität in Drama, Theater und Film. Literaturwissenschaftliche und didaktische Perspektiven, ed. by Christian Dawidowski, Benjamin Walter et al. (Frankfurt a.M., New York, et al.: Peter Lang), pp. 125-140.
 
“Negotiating Colonial Legacies in Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North”, in Fictionalizing the World. Rethinking the Politics of Literature, ed. by Louisa Söllner and Anita Vrzina (Frankfurt a.M., New York et al.: Peter Lang, 2015), pp. 97-112.
 
“Writing Justice: History, Crime and the Political Unconscious in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped”, in Crimelights. Scottish Crime Writing – Then and Now ed. by Frauke Reitemeier and Kirstin Sandrock (Trier: WVT, 2015), pp. 63-78.
 
“Kaffeehausgeschichten. Politik der Gastronomie in Yadé Karas Cafe Cyprus”, in Colloquia Germanica. Internationale Zeitschrift für Germanistik, Special Issue Transnational Hi/Stories: Turkish-German Texts and Contexts 44 (4), ed. by Ela Gezen and Berna Gueneli (2011, published December 2014), pp. 408-421.
 
“Der Mythos Südsee: Koloniale Ursprungsphantasien und gescheiterte Gründungen im Fin de Siècle”, in Gründungsorte der Moderne. Von St. Petersburg bis Occupy Wall Street, ed. by Maha El Hissy and Sascha Pöhlmann (München: Fink, 2014), pp. 145-159.
 
“Veiled Bodies, Vile Speech: Islam, the Carnivalesque and the Politics of Profanation”, in Islam and the Politics of Culture in Europe: Memory – Aesthetics – Art, ed. by Frank Peter, Sarah Dornhof et al. (Bielefeld: transcript, 2013), pp. 127-142.
 
“„Bist du schwul oder was?“ Ethnizität, Homoerotik und der deutsch-türkische Film”, in REAL. Zeitschrift für Germanistik (2012), pp. 185-207.
 
“Transnationaler Grenzverkehr in Fatih Akins Gegen die Wand und Auf der anderen Seite”, in Von der nationalen zur internationalen Literatur. Transkulturelle deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur im Zeitalter globaler Migration, ed. by Helmut Schmitz (Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2009), pp. 169-186.

 

V. Review 

Naoko Ishikawas. The English Clown: Print in Performance and Performance in Print (2013), http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/3638.

 

VI. Short and miscellaneous papers

“Deorientalize, Now More than Ever!”, in COLLATERAL. Online Journal for Cross-Cultural Close Reading (2020), http://www.collateral-journal.com/index.php?collision=54.
 
“„Wir schaffen das“. On Engineering the German Nation”, in COLLATERAL. Online Journal for Cross-Cultural Close Reading (2019), http://collateral-journal.com/index.php?cluster=19.
 
“Bey and Jay, or, The New Royal Hip-Hop/Pop. Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s Politics and Aesthetics of Self-Portrayal”, in COLLATERAL. Online Journal for Cross-Cultural Close Reading (2019), http://collateral-journal.com/index.php?collision=32.
 
“The Last Five Jews in Egypt”, in COLLATERAL. Online Journal for Cross-Cultural Close Reading (2019), http://collateral-journal.com/index.php?collision=25.
 
“Affective Communities”, in COLLATERAL. Online Journal for Cross-Cultural Close Reading (2018), http://collateral-journal.com/index.php?collision=16.
 
“New Year’s Blast”, in COLLATERAL. Online Journal for Cross-Cultural Close Reading (2018), http://collateral-journal.com/index.php?collision=9.
 
“Whatever you do, do not touch the Queen! Modern Representations of Royal and Democratic Touch”, in COLLATERAL. Online Journal for Cross-Cultural Close Reading (2017), http://collateral-journal.com/index.php?collision=2.
 
“Gründungsorte auf einen Blick” (with Sascha Pöhlmann), in Gründungsorte der Moderne. Von St. Petersburg bis Occupy Wall Street, ed. by Maha El Hissy and Sascha Pöhlmann (München: Fink, 2014), pp. 19-22.
 
“Kulturelle Hybridität und Schwellenphänomene in Migrantenliteratur und -medien”,  in: Spektrum (Universität Bayreuth) 1/2007, p. 14.

Supervision

I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:

  • Postmigrant literature and film in Germany 
  • German literature around 1800 
  • Gender and Feminism 
  • Postcolonial theory and literature 

Public Engagement

Public Talks and Film Introduction

“„Wir schaffen das“. On Engineering the German Nation”, Statement for the EUROPE-Symposium “The State of the Union”, Provinciehuis of the Province of Limburg, Hasselt, Belgium (3.5.2019)
 
Film Introduction and Panel Discussion on Cinema after the Egyptian Revolution, Cultural Centre, Taufkirchen, Germany (6.3.2015)  
https://kulturzentrum-taufkirchen.de/faszination-orient.html  
 
“Kino nach der Revolution, Introductory Note and Commentary on Yousri Nasrallah’s Après la bataille”, School of Continuing Education, Cultural Centre, Ismaning, Germany (5.2.2014)
 
“„Bild - Abbild - Trugbild. Überlegungen zur Macht der Bilder bei Gemeinschaftsgründungen im arabischen Frühling”, Symposion, “Social Media und neue soziale Bewegungen – Chancen, Potentiale, Risiken”, Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz, Austria (20.4.2013)
http://www.kulturinstitut.jku.at/symposion2013.html

 

Panel Discussions

“Heimat? Da war ich noch nie!”, Augsburg, Germany (26.3.2014) https://www.sensemble.de/termin/heimat-da-war-ich-noch-nie-260314, https://www.daz-augsburg.de/heimat-da-war-ich-noch-nie/
 
“Ägypten: Demokratischer Aufbruch oder Eskalation der Gewalt“, GKKE, Berlin (22.3.2012) https://www.gkke.org/24-donnerstagsgespraech-der-gkke/
 
“Expertenrunde diskutiert politische Aktualität Schillers – Bezüge zu ägyptischer Revolution”, Memmingen, Germany (6.4.2011)
https://www.all-in.de/kempten/c-lokales/expertenrunde-diskutiert-politische-aktualitaet-schillers-bezuege-zu-aegyptischer-revolution_a952554 
 

Radio Interviews

During the events of the Arab spring, I was guest in more than five radio programs in Germany (mostly for the Bayrischer Rundfunk BR) where I gave interviews and statements on the political situation in Egypt.

Other

Conference Organisation including public talks and panel discussions:
“Taktilität und Gemeinschaft. Literatur und Politik der Berührung”, Amerikahaus, Munich (with Andrea Erwig and Sebastian Haselbeck) (25.-27.9.2017)
 
“Gründungsorte”, Amerikahaus, Munich (with Klaus Benesch, Tobias Döring, Sascha Pöhlmann, Bernhard Teuber) (3.-5.5.2012)
 
Honorary Member of the Jury of the City of Augsburg, Prize for the best play on “Heimat” and the transcultural theatre in Germany (26.3.2014)
https://www.sensemble.de/termin/heimat-da-war-ich-noch-nie-260314
https://www.daz-augsburg.de/heimat-da-war-ich-noch-nie/