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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2016/17 Jun.-Prof. Dr. Evi Zemanek

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Evi Zemanek

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
German Studies
Junior Fellow

April - September 2016 / April - September 2017

Room 01 010
Phone +49 (0) 761-203 97319
Fax +49 (0) 761-203 97451


Evi Zemanek studied Comparative Literature, Italian Studies and American Studies at the Universities of Augsburg and Munich, DePaul University Chicago, USA, and Università di Pisa, Italy. She completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2007 at LMU Munich with a dissertation on Poetic Portraits (Das Gesicht im Gedicht. Studien zum poetischen Porträt, 2010). After having worked as lecturer at LMU Munich and as assistant professor at FAU Erlangen/Nürnberg, she was appointed as a Junior Professor for German and Intermedia Studies at ALU Freiburg in 2010. She has published within the fields of Intermedia Studies (on the relationship between literature, painting and photography), Intercultural Studies (on multilingual literature and the poetics of translation), German Literature (especially on contemporary prose and poetry) and Ecocriticism (e.g. on the poetics of ecotopia and ecological genres). She is a member of the Transatlantic Humboldt-Network Environmental Humanities, and in 2013 she founded the DFG-Network Ethik und Ästhetik in literarischen Darstellungen ökologischer Transformationen / Ethics and Aesthetics in Literary Representations of Ecological Transformations, for which she organized various conferences (e.g. on perspectives of European Ecocriticism and on Posthumanism). The next conference, on the Rhetorics of Sustainabilty in Mass Media, will take place at FRIAS June 15-17, 2016.


Selected Publications

  • Evi Zemanek: Unkalkulierbare Risiken und ihre Nebenwirkungen. Zu literarischen Reaktionen auf ökologische Transforma­tionen und den Chancen des Ecocriticism. In: Literatur als Wagnis/Literature as Risk. DFG-Symposium 2011, ed. by Monika Schmitz-Emans, et. al., Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, pp. 279-302.
  • Evi Zemanek: Die Kunst der Ökotopie. Zur Ästhetik des Genres und der fiktionsinternen Funktion der Künste (Morus, Morris, Callenbach). In: Ökologie und die Künste, ed. by Erika Fischer-Lichte and Daniela Hahn, München: Fink Verlag 2015, pp. 257-274.
  • Evi Zemanek: Bukolik, Idylle und Utopie aus Sicht des Ecocriticism. In: Ecocriticism. Eine Einführung, ed. by Gabriele Dürbeck und Urte Stobbe, Köln/Weimar/Wien: Böhlau 2015, pp. 187-204.
  • Evi Zemanek (Ed.): Ökologische Genres und Schreibmodi, München: Fink (in preparation).
  • Gabriele Dürbeck, Urte Stobbe, Hubert Zapf, Evi Zemanek (Eds.): Ecological Thought in German Literature and Culture (Ecocritical Theory and Practice series) Lanham/MD: Lexington Books (in preparation).


FRIAS Research Project

"Caricatures of Man-Made Nature: Reflections on Environmental Change in German Magazines from the Era of Industrialization"

My research project focuses on a selection of long-forgotten caricatures that appeared in literary and satirical magazines during the era of industrialization. These caricatures depict man-made environmental transformations and address their consequences in the humorous manner typical of the genre. Usually neglected as mere illustrations in literary and cultural studies, their potential as a pictorial form of satire is greatly underestimated. However, as a unique medium of cultural criticism that inventively reveals problematic developments and imagines alternatives by combining text and image, it deserves more attention and a specific approach informed by intermedia studies. Random samples from 19th-century journals already show that many of the drawings indicate that the relation­ship be­tween humans and nature is changing. They expose a utilization of resources that is highly questionable and implicitly demand environmental protection and thus a proto-ecological ethics. I intend to contextualise such caricatures with reference to environmental history, socio-political background and media history, as well as to offer iconographic interpretations. The aim is to decode and distinguish different modes of the artistic representation of environmental transformations and to assess their socio-political influence at a time when our world was less flooded with images than today.