Dr. Jamie H. Trnka

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Associate Professor of World Languages & Cultures

Dr. Trnka joined the University of Scranton faculty in 2006. She earned her B.A. in German Language and Literature and Comparative Literature from Oberlin College and both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. Her research interests include 20t- and 21st-century German literature, film, and cultural studies; literature and politics; literatures of migration and exile; social scientific approaches to globalization and culture; history, memory, and literature; paraliterary writing (e.g., documentary, testimonio, life-narrative); postcolonial theory; comparative literary theory (including translation theory); Weltliteratur and the global; “1968”; representations of terrorism and revolutionary violence; and Latin American literature and cultural studies. She has published numerous articles in such journals as New German Critique, The German Quarterly, and German Studies Review.

Her book, Revolutionary Subjects: German Literatures and the Limits of Aesthetic Solidarity with Latin America (2015) explores the literary and cultural significance of Cold War solidarities and offers insight into a substantial and under-analyzed body of German literature concerned with Latin American thought and action. It shows how literary interest in Latin America was vital for understanding oppositional agency and engaged literature in East and West Germany, where authors developed aesthetic solidarities that anticipated conceptual reorganizations of the world connoted by the transnational or the global. Through a combination of close readings, contextual analysis, and careful theoretical work, Revolutionary Subjects traces the historicity and contingency of aesthetic practices, as well as the geocultural grounds against which they unfolded, in case studies of Volker Braun, F.C. Delius, Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Heiner Müller. The book’s cultural and comparative approach offers an antidote to imprecise engagements with the transnational, historicizing critical impulses that accompany the production of disciplinary boundaries. It paves the way for more reflexive debate on the content and method of German Studies as part of a broader landscape of world literature, comparative literature and Latin American Studies.

Dr. Trnka directs the major in German Cultural Studies and curates The University of Scranton’s Annual East German Film Festival. She is an Associate Faculty Member in Women’s Studies and an Affiliate Faculty Member in Latin American Studies. 

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