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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2016/17 Dr. Eva von Contzen

Dr. Eva von Contzen

University of Bochum
English Literature
Junior Fellow
October 2013 - July 2014

Room 02 017
Phone +49 761-203 97341


2004-2009 BA and MA studies English literature and Classics at Ruhr-University Bochum; 2006-2007 visiting student at NUI Maynooth; 2012 PhD in English medieval studies on narrative theory and medieval hagiography; 2009-2012 research assistant in the DFG-project “Marco Girolamo Vida: Christias” at Ruhr-University Bochum (edition and commentary); 2012-2013 research assistant at the chair of Prof. Monika Fludernik, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg; since 2012 associated member of the research training group Factual and fictional narration (GRK Faktuales und fiktionales Erzählen) at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg; since 2013 post-doctoral position at the chair of Prof. Luuk Houwen, Ruhr-University Bochum


Selected Publications

  • Marco Girolamo Vida, Christias. Vol. 1: Einleitung, Edition und Übersetzung, Vol. 2: Kommentar. WVT 2013 (together with Reinhold F. Glei, Wolfgang Polleichtner, and Michael Schulze Roberg)
  • “Marco Polo in the Scottish Legendary”, in: Notes & Queries 60.2 (2013): 196–99.
  • “Die Verortung eines Nicht-Ortes. Der fiktionale Raum in Thomas Morus’ Utopia”, in: Neulateinisches Jahrbuch 13 (2011): 33–56.


  • Reading for the Discourse: Hagiographic Narration in the Scottish Legendary. Manchester University Press.
  • Sanctity as Literature in Late Medieval Britain. Manchester University Press (co-edited with Anke Bernau)


FRIAS Research Project

Chaos and Creativity – A Cognitive Approach to Lists in Literature

Lists and list-making frequently feature in everyday life. Their uses and functions in literary texts, however, have not received much attention, even though catalogues and enumerations have always been used in literature, ranging from the Greek and Roman epics, medieval wisdom poetry, and Renaissance prose treatises to Dickensian cataloguing and postmodern novels. While previous approaches to lists in literature tended to focus on structural questions and sought to categorise the various types of enumerations and lists on the basis of both their form and content, I start from a different angle in order to do justice to the close interrelationship between the textual form and the cultural and cognitive grounding of lists. I propose a diachronic and interdisciplinary approach that explores the functions, purposes, and effects of lists in literature as the artful expression of experientiality. Drawing on a range of selected examples from Greek and Latin epics, medieval and Renaissance literature to postmodern novels, I am going to combine cognitive linguistic, narratological, cultural and anthropological theories. I suggest that lists can be understood as a narrative strategy the main factor of which is not its system of categorization but the attitude towards this system. This attitude may be reflected by experiential parameters so that lists could be read in terms of the affective responses they seek to stimulate, such as 'the list as desire', 'the list as fear', and 'the list as power'.