Visiting Scholars

Dr. Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle

Dr. Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle - Fulbright Scholar (2022)

Professor Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century multiethnic and inter-American literature and autobiographical studies with specific interest in narratives of colonialism, exile, immigration, and dictatorship throughout Canada, the United States, and Latin America. In her more than two decades at the College of New Jersey, she has taught courses in literary theory, autobiographical studies, and Latinx literature in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. She has been a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Biographical Research at the University of Hawai’i, at Manoa (2018) and in the Departments of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies and English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, Edmonton (2020).

Dr. Ortiz-Vilarelle has recently published Américanas, Autocracy and Autobiographical Innovation: Overwriting the Dictator (Routledge, 2020); her next book is In the Spaces Provided: Women’s Academic Career Narratives as Autobiography (Routledge, forthcoming). She is also working on a monograph about academic career narratives as a genre capable of social justice-centered forms of intellectual fellowship and activism in the academy. That work is tentatively titled Life’s Work: Personhood and Affiliation in the North American Academy.

Dr. Alex Averbuch

Dr. Alex Averbuch - Postdoctoral Fellow (2022 - 2023)

Alex Averbuch, a native of Novoaidar, Luhans’k region, Ukraine (b. 1985), is a literary historian, bilingual (Ukrainian/Russian) poet, and translator. He specializes in Ukrainian, Russian, and Hebrew literatures; commodity culture; gender and critical race theory; the European Enlightenment; transnational cultures; and using creative writing in foreign language pedagogy. He earned his PhD in Slavic and Jewish studies at the University of Toronto with a dissertation on the genre of solicitory poetry in Ukrainian, Russian, and Hebrew. This study represents a comparative history of solicitory poetry – works composed in these languages, from the early eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, to aesthetically articulate political and economic aspirations, or make requests in poetic form of the Russian imperial or Soviet authorities and/or influential individuals for goods and benefits.

Currently he is an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial postdoctoral fellow, working on a project titled “The Womanly Face of War: Narratives of Resistance and Exile in the Confiscated Correspondence of Ukrainian Female Ostarbeiters in Nazi Germany.” Examining letters written home by Soviet women forced to work in Germany during the Second World War, the project investigates these as literary texts, endowed with unique narratives of war and exile, conflict and separation.

Averbuch is the author of three books of poetry and an array of literary translations between Hebrew, Russian, Ukrainian, and English. His poetry deals with the issues of ethnic fragmentation and in-betweenness, multiple identities, queerness, cross- and multilingualism, documentalist writing, and memory. He has organized numerous poetic performances and festivals, such as the International Festival of Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry, summer 2020. He has also edited a special issue of Ukrainian Literature: A Journal of Translations, dedicated to the festival participants’ poetry.

Dr. Magdalena Kaltseis

Dr. Magdalena Kaltseis - Postdoctoral Fellow (2022)

Magdalena Kaltseis is a postdoctoral research fellow, researcher, and applied linguist. She received her PhD in Slavonic Studies (specialization in discourse analysis and Russian linguistics) in 2021 from Klagenfurt University (Austria). In her dissertation, she analyzed visual and textual propaganda strategies in Russian TV talk shows during the Ukraine conflict in 2014. This study entitled TV-Talkshows als Propagandainstrument Russlands im Ukrainekonflikt (2014) has recently been published by DeGruyter (2022). Magdalena Kaltseis’ research interests are in applied linguistics, in particular critical sociolinguistics, contemporary media in Russia and the war in Ukraine, discourse analysis, visual communication, and second/foreign language education. In her current research project, she examines the role and concept of the native speaker in French and Russian languages and is also planning a case study to investigate this concept in Ukrainian language.

Magdalena Kaltseis has participated in several scientific conferences and published articles in scientific journals as well as in edited volumes. Also, she was one of the editors of the first issue of the open access journal DiSlaw (Didaktik der Slawischen Sprachen), where she is now on the editorial board.

Bettina Egger

Dr. Bettina Egger - Austrian Visiting Professor (2021-2023)

Bettina Egger is a comics writer, illustrator and a researcher. She has studied Fine Arts, Russian and French literature in France and Austria. In 2006 she obtained her master’s degree in Fine Arts at the Université Rennes II (France) with her diploma work on Cartography and Russian Fairy Tales (Cartographier les contes merveilleux russes: narration et carte fictive). In 2018 she obtained her doctoral degree at the Interuniversitarian Research Instititute for Science & Art of University of Salzburg & Mozarteum Salzburg, with a practice-based thesis on Memory in Emmanuel Guibert’s Bande dessinée (Comics und Erinnerung. Oral History im Werk von Emmanuel Guibert). Bettina Egger has lived and worked in France for many years. Up to now, she has published nine comics in French. She has a special interest in non-fiction and documentary forms. Amongst other works, she has published a travelogue on the Transsiberian Railway (Un voyage en Transsibérien, 2015) and an interview with Emmanuel Guibert (Entretien avec Emmanuel Guibert, 2018). Currently, she works as a scholar in the field of Comics Studies and continues to publish comics and children’s books.

Watch interview on YouTube

Florian Mundhenke

Dr. Florian Mundhenke - DAAD Visiting Associate Professor (2020-2022)

Florian Mundhenke, M.A., Dr. phil. habil., is Temporary professor (W3) for Media Studies and Media Culture at University of Leipzig in Germany. Before he was Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Media and Communication (IMK) at University of Hamburg, Associate Professor for Media Hybridity (Juniorprofessor für Mediale Hybride) at the University of Leipzig, and Research Assistant at Philipps-University of Marburg as a responsible editor for the journal Media Studies/Reviews.

Florian was founder and speaker of the DFG-research network “Cinema as an experience space”: He got his PhD from Philipps-University in 2008 with a dissertation about chance in film (published by Schueren). His Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) was granted by University of Leipzig in 2016. The results were made available in a study dealing with hybrid forms between documentary and fictional film (published by Springer Science in 2017).

Other book publications include volumes on cultural exchanges between Japan and Europe (with Adachi-Rabe, Becker: Japan – Europa. Wechselwirkungen zwischen den Kulturen im Film und den darstellenden Künsten, Buechner 2010), and on the phenomenon of media mashups (with Wilke, Ramos Arenas: Mashups – Theorien, Praktiken, Methoden, Ästhetiken, Springer Science 2014).

Currently Florian Mundhenke researches the evolution and diversification of documentary media in the digital age (VR, AR, interactive documentary). He recently edited an international volume on interactive documentaries: Towards an Art of Participation – Aesthetics, Arts and Ethics of Interactive Documentaries (New Cinemas – Journal of Contemporary Film 1/2020, Bristol: Intellect 2020).

He is member of the German Society for Media Studies (GfM) and the Network for European Cinema and Media Studies (NECS). Florian has been visiting scholar at Université de Montréal (Canada) and at University of Bristol (England).

Fields of research: cultural and social questions of media, hybrid media between fiction and non-fiction, the cinematic apparatus and its challenges in the digital era, (new) media art/experimental film/passages between film and art, narration and storytelling across diverse media, interactive/web documentaries, audience studies, theories of media realism.

Maxime Bock
Photo by Annie Lafleur

Dr. Maxime Bock - Postdoctoral Fellow (2021- 2022)

Maxime Raymond Bock completed his PhD in December 2020 at the Université de Montréal, Québec. His thesis in Research and Creation consisted of a novel titled Morel about the transformations of Montréal over the course of the twentieth century, and an essay on the post-Quiet Revolution modernity of Montréal writer Gilbert La Rocque (1943-1984). As an academic, Bock has participated in conferences in Canada (Canadian Writers’ Summit, Toronto, 2018) and in the United States (Biennial Conference, American Council for Québec Studies, Portland, Maine, 2016), and published in various journals such as Canadian Literature, Liberté, Spirale, and Voix et images.

As a fiction writer, Bock has published four books, of which two, Atavismes (Atavisms, Dalkey Archive, 2015), and Des lames de pierre (Baloney, Coach House, 2016), were translated into English. His latest collection of short fiction, Les noyades secondaires, published in 2017, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal. A story from this collection, Under the Ruins, is featured in English translation in the latest Best Canadian Stories (Biblioasis, 2020). He was invited twice by the Toronto International Festival of Authors for tours abroad (China, 2017; Greece, 2018), and has published stories in such literary journals as The Review of Contemporary Fiction and Literatura na swiecie. Bock’s novel Morel will be published in the fall of 2021 with Éditions du Cheval d’août.

Maxime Raymond Bock is a SHRC postdoctoral fellow at the MLCS (2021-2022) under the supervision of Professor Daniel Laforest, with a project revolving around the problematic and unethical relationship of historical figures Dr. William Beaumont and Alexis Saint-Martin, the coureur des bois guinea pig who helped Beaumont ascertain the chemical process of digestion in the 1820s and 1830s. Bock’s research, in the field of medical humanities and ethics, will analyze the representations of Saint-Martin in fiction, in biographies about Dr. Beaumont, and in medical scientific literature. A biographical novel about Alexis Saint-Martin will follow as the creative writing portion of this fellowship.

Former Visiting Scholars


Dr. Maria Mayerchyk - Huculak Research Felow (2019- 2020)
Dr. Iryna Skubii - Stuart Ramsay Tompkins Visiting Professorship (2019-2020)
Dr. Wolfgang Stadler - University of Innsbruck (Austria) - September 2019
Dr. Yanyu Zeng - Hunan Normal University, China - November 2019
Dr. Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez - Visiting Professor (October 2019 - March 2020)


Dr. Tatiana Saburova - Stuart Ramsay Tompkins Visiting Professorship (2018-2019)
Anna Seidel - DAAD German Academic Exchange Service research; Graduate Academy of TU Dresden
Marianna Novosolova - DAAD German Academic Exchange Service/ research
Dr. Paulo Andrade - Brazilian Visiting Scholar