Research

Ever since my PhD on postmodern identity in A.S. Byatt's novels, my research focus has been the connection between literature, the self, and the cultures we live in. I am interested in the contingent and shifting subject positions that a cultural context can offer to and construct for us and in the ways in which such identities can be represented, contested, and developed by literary texts.

In recent years, I have expanded this focus on identity by an intersectional framework, and I have worked on representations of whiteness in Irish, Australian, and American literature and culture. In my research, I have defined whiteness as a performative act of 'doing whiteness' (in spite of whiteness having been historically naturalised as a biological and self-evident position): If you do (and are allowed to do) whiteness right, you are rewarded with economic, social, and psychological privileges. I am now extending this research to include literatures from regions such as Nigeria, India, New Zealand, and Britain.

Research Interests at a Glance

Publications

Books and Edited Books

Heinz, Sarah. The Relative Skin: Whiteness in Contemporary Irish Literature and Film. Manuscript of the 2013 habilitation. Under preparation as a book manuscript.

Kuster, Nora, Stella Butter, and Sarah Heinz, eds. Subject Cultures: The English Novel from the 18th to the 21st Century. Tübingen: Narr, 2016.

Butter, Stella, and Sarah Heinz, eds. Special Issue "Focus on Community in Contemporary Cultural Production." Anglistik 26.1 (Spring 2015).

Heinz, Sarah, Anton Kirchhofer, Katharina Rennhak, and Michaela Schrage-Früh, eds. Papers of the section "Recent Ireland" in Anglistentag 2012 Potsdam: Proceedings. Eds. Ilse Wischer and Katrin Röder. Trier: WVT, 2013. 3-89.

Heinz, Sarah. Die Einheit in der Differenz: Metapher, Romance und Identität in A.S. Byatts Romanen. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 2007. [Unity in Difference: Metaphor, Romance and Identity in A.S. Byatt's Novels]

Marosi, Silvia, Sarah Heinz, et al., eds. Globales Denken: Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Globalisierungsprozesse. Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang, 2006. [Thinking Globally: Cultural Studies Perspectives on Processes of Globalisation]

Journal Articles

Butter, Stella, and Sarah Heinz. "Introduction: The shifting Imaginaries of Community in British and Irish Cultural Production." Special Issue "Focus on Community in Contemporary Cultural Production." Anglistik 26.1 (Spring 2015): 7-13.

Heinz, Sarah. "Sharing, the Gift, and the Search for Community in Darragh Burne's Film Parked." Special Issue "Focus on Community in Contemporary Cultural Production." Anglistik 26.1 (Spring 2015): 25-34.

Heinz, Sarah, and Mark Schmitt. "Blighted Past - Lost Future? Denaturalising Narratives of Rural Irishness in Leonard Abrahamson's Garage and Patrick McCabe's The Holy City." Special Issue "Cultural Remediation: The Role of Literary and Visual Representations in Reshaping Cultural Narratives in Contemporary Ireland." NIS: Nordic Irish Studies 13.1 (2014): 77-93.

Heinz, Sarah. "Not White, Not Quite: Irish American Identities in the US Census and in Ann Patchett's Novel Run (2007)." Amerikastudien / American Studies 58.1 (2013): 79-100.

---. „The Shite of Dublin: Body Metaphors, Biopolitics, and the Functions of Disgust in Sebastian Barry's The Pride of Parnell Street and Gianina Carbunariu's Kebab." JCDE: Journal for Contemporary Drama in English 1.1 (2013): 80-91.

---. „Cú Chulainn Down Under: Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang and the Ambivalences of Diasporic Irish Identity Construction in Australia." Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies April (2013): online. Click here for the article.

Book Chapters

Heinz, Sarah. "Unhomely Spaces and Improper Houses: Representations of Whiteness and Class on British Television." Anglistentag 2015 Paderborn: Proceedings. Eds. Christoph Ehland, Ilka Mindt, and Merle Tönnies. Trier: WVT, 2016. 77-88.

---. "Celtic Tiger Ireland and the Politics of Disgust: White Trash in Leonard Abrahamson's Film Adam and Paul and Sebastian Barry's Play The Pride of Parnell Street." Narrating Ireland in Different Genres and Media. Ed. Katharina Rennhak. Trier: WVT, 2016. 133-149.

---. "The Ambivalent Bourgeois: Sherlock Holmes and late Victorian Subjectivities in Detective Fiction." Subject Cultures: The English Novel from the 18th to the 21st Century. Eds. Nora Kuster, Stella Butter, and Sarah Heinz. Tübingen: Narr, 2016. 155-191.

---. "Becoming White in Europe: Skin Discourses and Skin Colour in Contemporary Irish Literature." Probing the Skin: Cultural Representations of Our Contact Zone. Eds. Caroline Rosenthal and Dirk Vanderbeke. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015. 92-109.

Heinz, Sarah, Anton Kirchhofer, Katharina Rennhak, and Michaela Schrage-Früh. "Recent Ireland: Visions and Revisions of Irishness from the 1990s to Today." Anglistentag 2012 Potsdam: Proceedings. Eds. Ilse Wischer and Katrin Röder. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2013. 3-10.

Heinz, Sarah. "From Utopia to Heterotopia: Irish Writers narrating the Spanish Civil War." Ireland in/and Europe: Cross-Currents and Exchanges. Eds. Werner Huber, Sandra Mayer and Julia Novak. Irish Studies in Europe Vol. 4. Trier: WVT, 2012. 93-104.

---. "Ireland Online: Diaspora, Virtual Communities and the Question of National Identity." Anglistentag 2010 Saarbrücken: Proceedings. Eds. Joachim Frenk and Neal Norrick. Trier: WVT, 2011. 207-217.

---. "Drama after Postmodernism: Martin Crimp's Attempts on Her Life and Patrick Marber's Closer." A History of British Drama: Genres - Developments - Interpretations. Eds. Sibylle Baumbach, Birgit Neumann and Ansgar Nünning. Trier: WVT, 2011. 399-412.

---. "The Whiteness of Irish Drama: The Irish and Their Black Other." Staging Interculturality. Eds. Werner Huber, Margarete Rubik and Julia Novak. Trier: WVT, 2010. 195-217.

---. "Mütter, Söhne und Töchter: Gewalt und Geschlecht im Mythos von Cathleen ni Houlihan bei W.B. Yeats und Martin McDonagh." ["Mothers, Sons, and Daughters: Violence and Gender in the Myth of Cathleen ni Houlihan in Yeats and Martin McDonagh"] Gewalt und Geschlecht: Gewaltdiskurse und Gender-Problematik in zeitgenössischen englischsprachigen Romanen, Dramen und Filmen [Violence and Gender: Discourses of Violence and the Issue of Gender in Contemporary Novels, Drama and Film in English]. Ed. Susanne Bach. Trier: WVT, 2010. 173-204.

---."Kreatives Schreiben im Literaturunterricht." ["Creative Writing in the Literature Classroom"] Literaturwissenschaftliche Lehrstücke: Konzepte und Anwendungsbeispiele für die Hochschuldidaktik [Lessons in Literature: Concepts and Case Studies for Higher Education Pedagogy]. Eds. Dorothee Birke, Stella Butter and Monika Sproll. Gießen: Giessener Elektronische Bibliothek, 2010. 20-30. http://geb.uni-giessen.de/geb/volltexte/2010/7515

---. "The Age of Transition as an Age of Transgression? Victorian Poetry and the Taboo of Sexuality, Love and the Body." Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present. Eds. Stefan Horlacher, Stefan Glomb and Lars Heiler. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 159-176.

---. "Teaching Autobiography. The Reintegration of Theory and Practice through Creative Writing." Anglistentag 2008 Tübingen: Proceedings. Eds. Lars Eckstein and Christoph Reinfandt. Trier: WVT, 2009. 327-334.

---. "If you think you know Shakespeare, think again: Julie Taymor's Titus and the Art of Adaptation." Cultural Shakespeare - Shakespearean Culture. Eds. Jürgen Kamm and Bernd Lenz. Passau: Stutz, 2009. 149-167.

---. "Minute Dramas in Compressed Spaces - Neil LaBute's Short-Play Cycle autobahn." Non-Standard Forms of Contemporary Drama and Theatre. Eds. Ellen Redling and Peter-Paul Schnierer. Trier: WVT, 2008. 191-205.

---. "Freiheit ohne Grenzen? Das Freiheitsdilemma und seine Konsequenzen in A.S. Byatts Babel Tower und A Whistling Woman." ["Freedom without Limits? The Dilemma of Freedom and its Consequences in A.S. Byatt's Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman"] Literatur und Lebenskunst: Reflexionen zum guten Leben im britischen Roman vom Viktorianismus zur Postmoderne [Literature and the Art of Life: Reflections on the Good Life in the British Novel from Victorianism to Postmodernity]. Eds. Anna-Margaretha Horatschek, Susanne Bach, Stefan Glomb and Stefan Horlacher. Trier: WVT, 2008. 267-288.

---. "'Funny thing, memory, isn't it?' Deconstructing Remembered Identities in Michael Frayn's Donkey's Years and Copenhagen." Drama and/after Postmodernism. Eds. Christoph Henke and Martin Middeke. Trier: WVT, 2007. 127-147.

---. "Inside and Outside Language: Body and Language as Borders of Identity in A.S. Byatt's Babel Tower." GrenzGänge - BorderCrossings: Kulturtheoretische Perspektiven [BorderCrossings: Perspectives from Cultural Theory]. Eds. Gerd Sebald, Michael Popp and Jan Weyand. Münster: Lit Verlag, 2006. 188-203.

---. "Vernetzt denken: Aspekte einer kulturwissenschaftlichen Sicht auf Globalisierung." ["Thinking in Networks: Aspects of a Cultural Studies View on Globalization"] Globales Denken: Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Globalisierungsprozesse [Thinking Globally: Cultural Studies Perspectives onto Processes of Globalization]. Eds. Silvia Marosi et al. Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang, 2006. 23-57.

---. "Die Romance als Ausweg aus der postmodern condition: Liebe und Identität in A.S. Byatts Possession: A Romance." ["The Romance Genre as a Way Out of the Postmodern Condition: Love and Identity in A.S. Byatt's Possession: A Romance)"] Beyond Extremes: Repräsentation und Reflexion von Modernisierungsprozessen im zeitgenössischen britischen Roman [Beyond Extremes: Representations and Reflections of Processes of Modernization in the Contemporary British Novel]. Eds. Stefan Glomb and Stefan Horlacher. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 2004. 53-77.

Books Reviews and Shorter Articles

Conference Report "‘Theatre and Mobility'. 25th Annual Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE)." The ESSE Messenger Online (2017). Read Report Online

Conference Report "‘Theatre and Spectatorship'. 24th Annual Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE)." The ESSE Messenger Online (2016). Read Report Online

Conference Report "‘Theatre and History: Cultural Transformations'. 23rd Annual Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE)." The European English Messenger 23.2 (2014): 83-85.

Book Review "Victor Merriman. Because We Are Poor: Irish Theatre in the 1990s." JCDE: Journal for Contemporary Drama in English 1.2 (2013): 332-336.

"A.S. Byatt." Kritisches Lexikon zur fremdsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur. Hg. Sebastian Domsch et al. München: edition text + kritik. 89. Lieferung, 3/2013. 1-14, A/1-D/4.

Book Review "Werner Huber and Seán Crosson, eds. Contemporary Irish Film: New Perspectives on a National Cinema." Anglistik 24.1 (2013): 199-201.

Book Review "Joanna Rostek. Seaing through the Past: Postmodern Histories and the Maritime Metaphor in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction." Anglistik 23.2 (2012): 185-187.

Book Review "Alexa Alfer and Amy J. Edwards de Campos. A.S. Byatt: Critical Storytelling." Anglistik 23.1 (2012): 201-203.

Book Review "Julia Lippert. Ein Kognitives Lesemodell Historio(bio)graphischer Texte. George III. - Rezeption und Konstruktion in den Britischen Medien (1990-2006)." Anglistik 22.2 (2011): 174-176.

Book Review "Andrea Ochsner. Lad Trouble: Masculinity and Identity in the British Male Confessional Novel of the 1990s." JMMS 5.1 (2011): 26-28. http://www.jmmsweb.org/issues/volume5/number1/pp26-28

Book Review "David A. Copeland. The Media's Role in Defining the Nation: The Active Voice." MEDIENwissenschaft 1 (2011): 50-51.

Omnibus Review of Publications on Web Communities "Debra Ferreday. Online Belongings; and Alexander Tokar. Metaphors of the Web 2.0." MEDIENwissenschaft 4 (2010): 518-522.

Book Review "Susanne Bach and Albert-Reiner Glaap, eds. Frayn in Germany: Plays and Novels." Anglistik 21.2 (2010): 193-195.

Book Review "Robin Curtis. Conscientious Viscerality: The Autobiographical Stance in German Film and Video." Scope: an online journal of film and tv studies 16 (Feb 2010). http://www.scope.nottingham.ac.uk/bookBook Review.php?issue=16&id=1188

Together with Folkert Degenring. Book Review "Martin Schüwer. Wie Comics erzählen: Grundriss einer intermedialen Erzähltheorie der grafischen Literatur." ZAA 57.4 (2009): 429-430.

Together with Nora Plesske. Book Review "Adi Wimmer. Australian Film. Cultures, Identities, Texts." MEDIENwissenschaft 4 (2009): 452-454.

Together with Stefan Horlacher. Book Review "Marion Gymnich, Birgit Neumann und Ansgar Nünning, eds. Gattungstheorie und Gattungsgeschichte." Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift 59.3 (2009): 456-458.

Omnibus Review of Publications on Theater and Politics "Christine Regus. Interkulturelles Theater zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts; and Bill McDonnell. Theatres of the Troubles. Theatre, Resistance and Liberation in Ireland." MEDIENwissenschaft 3 (2009): 283-287.

Book Review "Jerome de Groot. Consuming History: Historians and heritage in contemporary popular culture." MEDIENwissenschaft 2 (2009): 137-139.

Book Review "Klaus-Dieter Felsmann, ed. Der Rezipient im Spannungsfeld von Zeit und Medien." MEDIENwissenschaft 1 (2009): 25-27.

Book Review "Corina Caduff, Tan Wälchli, eds. High / Low: Hoch- und Alltagskultur in Musik, Kunst, Literatur, Tanz und Kino." MEDIENwissenschaft 2 (2008): 151-153.

Book Review "Norbert Otto Eke. Wort/Spiele: Drama-Film-Literatur." MEDIENwissenschaft 1 (2008): 70-71.

Book Review "Robin Curtis. Conscientious Viscerality: The Autobiographical Stance in German Film and Video." MEDIENwissenschaft 3 (2007): 329-331.

Book Review "Thomas Rommel and Mark Schreiber, eds. Mapping Uncertain Territories. Space and Place in Contemporary Theatre and Drama." MEDIENwissenschaft 2 (2007): 197-199.

Together with Stefan Horlacher. Book Review "Natascha Gentz and Stefan Kramer, eds. Globalization, Cultural Identities and Media Representations." MEDIENwissenschaft 2 (2007): 150-152.

Together with Stefan Horlacher. Book Review "Britta Zangen. Our Daughters Must Be Wives: Marriageable Young Women in the Novels of Dickens, Eliot, and Hardy." Anglistik 17.2 (2006): 208-211.

"Adel verpflichtet." Filmgenres Komödie. Ed. Heinz-B. Heller and Matthias Steinle. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2005. 246-249.

"Der rosarote Panther." Filmgenres Komödie. Ed. Heinz-B. Heller and Matthias Steinle. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2005. 319-321.

Presentations and Invited Talks

"The Immobilized Family: Home and Homeland in the Nigerian Novel." Symposium "Mobilizing Home(s): New Approaches to the Study of Home in Contemporary Literature and Culture." IAS Aarhus, Denmark. 14-15 Sept. 2017.

"Home-Making Practices and White Ideals in the Contemporary British and Nigerian Novel." Conference "The Intersections of Whiteness." Bochum and Dortmund, Germany. 11-13 Jan. 2017.

"Unhomely Spaces and Improper Houses: Representations of Whiteness and Class on British Television." Anglistentag 2015 Paderborn, Germany. 23-26 Sept. 2015.

"The Individual Subject and Genre Theory." Invited Talk at the Workshop on "Identity and Genre." University of Tübingen, Germany. 18 Sept. 2015.

"Postcolonial Whitenesses in the Contemporary Anglophone Novel." Invited Guest Lecture at the University of Dortmund, Germany. 25 June 2015.

"'What's it like to be white?': Representations of Whiteness in Contemporary Irish and Anglophone Literature." Lunch Talk at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, University of Michigan, USA. 12 Feb. 2015.

"Postcolonial Studies, Postcolonial Literature and the Intersection of Race and Gender." Invited Guest Lecture at the University of Saarbrücken, Germany. 15 Dec. 2014.

Presentation of Plans on the Founding of a German Association for Irish Studies (with Katharina Rennhak). Invited Talk at the "Irland-Tage 2013." Saarbrücken, Germany. 21-23 June 2013.

"The Colour of Power: Functions of Whiteness in Transcultural Encounters in Ireland since 1990." Invited Guest Lecture at the University of Vienna, Austria. 14 Nov. 2013.

Organiser of the thematic panel "Old and New Marginalities in Contemporary Irish Literature and Film: The Materiality of Nationalities and Ethnicities." (with Mark Schmitt) 9. EFACIS Conference. "Towards 2016: Old and New Irelands." Galway, Ireland. 5-8 June 2013.

"The Whiteness of Europe: Skin Discourses and Skin Colour in Irish Literature and Film." Conference "Probing the Skin: Cultural Representations of Our Contact Zone." Jena, Germany. 24-26 Apr. 2013.

"'My whole life is betwixt and between': The White Trash Body and Problems of Intersectionality in Sebastian Barry's The Pride of Parnell Street and Irvine Welsh's Skagboys." (with Mark Schmitt) International Conference "Between Bodies / Bodies Between." Maynooth, Ireland. 5-6 Apr. 2013.

Organiser of the Panel "Recent Ireland: Visions and Revisions of Irishness from the 1990s to Today." (with Katharina Rennhak, Michaela Schrage-Früh, and Anton Kirchhofer). Anglistentag 2012 Potsdam, Germany. 19-21 Sept. 2012.

Presentation of the Project "The Colour of Power." Invited Talk at "Challenging Institutional Whiteness in Postcolonial Times: International Conference of the White Spaces Network." Leeds, Great Britain. 10-12 Sept. 2012.

"Staging the Body Politic in Irish Contemporary Drama: Sebastian Barry's The Pride of Parnell Street and Gianina Carbunariu's Kebab." 21. Annual CDE Conference. Bodies on Stage. Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany. 7-10 June 2012.

"Ireland Online: Diaspora, Virtual Communities and the Question of National Identity." Anglistentag 2010 Saarbrücken, Germany. 19-22 Sept. 2010.

"An Old Myth in New Guises: Gender and Violence in Contemporary Rewritings of Cathleen ní Houlihan." 34. Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures: IASIL. Irish Literatures and Cultures: New and Old Knowledges. Maynooth, Ireland. 26-30 July 2010.

"Irish Identities in the US Census and in American Literature."  Workshop on "Young in Ireland, Old in America." EAAS Conference 2010. "Forever Young?" The Changing Images of America. Dublin, Ireland. 26–29 Mar. 2010.

"From Utopia to Heterotopia: Irish Writers Narrating the Spanish Civil War." 7. EFACIS Conference. Ireland in/and Europe: Cross-Currents and Exchanges. Vienna, Austria. 3-6 Sept. 2009.

"Relative Whiteness: The Irish and the Question of the Skin." 33. Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures: IASIL.  Irish Literatures - World Perspectives. Glasgow, Scotland. 27-31 July 2009.

"The Whiteness of Irish Drama: The Irish and their Black Other" 18. Annual CDE Conference. Staging Interculturality. Vienna, Austria. 6 June 2009.

"Kreatives Schreiben im Literaturunterricht." Invited Talk at the Workshop "Lehr-Stücke." Gießen, Germany. 14 Nov. 2008.

"Teaching Autobiography: The Reintegration of Theory through Creative Writing." Anglistentag 2008 Tübingen, Germany. 8 Oct. 2008.

"'If you think you know Shakespeare ... think again'. Julie Taymor's Shakespeare Adaption Titus." Invited Talk at the Provinzkino Kaiserslautern, Germany. 13 June 2007.

"Minute Dramas in Compressed Spaces - Neil LaBute's Short Play Cycle autobahn." 16. Annual CDE Conference. Non-Standard Forms of Contemporary Drama and Theatre. Heidelberg, Germany. 18 May 2007.

"Funny thing, memory, isn't it? - Constructing and Deconstructing Memory in Michael Frayn's Donkey's Years." 15. Annual CDE Conference. Drama and/after Postmodernism. Augsburg, Germany. 27 May 2006.

"Inside and outside language - Body and Language as Borders of Identity in Contemporary Philosophy and Literature." 6. Erlanger Graduiertenkonferenz. GrenzGänge - BorderCrossings. Erlangen. 7 Nov. 2004.

"Sprachskepsis und ihre Überwindung am Beispiel von A.S. Byatts Roman Possession." Invited Talk at the 4. Mannheimer Sprachfestival. Artes Liberales, Universität Mannheim. Mannheim. 25 May 2004.

Conferences Organised

Conference "Come Together? Concepts of Community in Contemporary British and Irish Literature and Culture." 31 May–1 June 2013 at the University of Mannheim, organized with Stella Butter and Nora Wiechert Kuster, English Department, University of Mannheim. Two international keynote speakers: Berthold Schoene (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) and Richard Kerridge (Bath Spa University, UK)

Graduate Conference "World-Culture: Limits and Possibilities of Global Thought." 25–27 Nov. 2004 at the University of Mannheim, organized with Silvia Marosi, Oliver Preukschat, Barbara Storz, Sascha Becker, Amadou Ba, and Elke Reinhard. The conference was part of the program celebrating the University's centenary. Funded by Summacum GmbH and the Foundation of the Federal Bank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW).