Dr. Julia Weber

Research Group Leader

Julia Weber, Dr. phil, studied German Literature, Philosophy and Psychology in Berlin, Lisbon, Vienna and Paris. After working for one year as a dramaturge at the Deutsches Theater Berlin, she wrote her dissertation on forms of multiple subjectivity in the works of Fernando Pessoa, Samuel Beckett and Friederike Mayröcker at the Ludwigs-Maximilians-University of Munich (published in 2010 by Wilhelm Fink). She subsequently spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at Yale University, and returned to the Free University Berlin in 2010, where she now works as the leader of the research group “Building Imagination. Literature and Architecture in Modernity” at the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature. Her current book project “Architectures of the Soul: A Travel-Guide to Inner Realms” focuses on the representation of emotion, spatiality and architecture across different time periods. Recent and forthcoming publications include articles on the metaphor of the camera obscura as a “darkroom of the soul”, the relationship between architecture and interiority in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s novella “Rat Krespel”, and the uncanny architectures in Mark Z. Danielewski’s “House of Leaves”.

Dr. Dorit Müller


Dorit Müller, Dr. phil, is a literary historian whose main focus is cultural and media studies. First educated at Rostov Civil Engineering College (Russia), she subsequently studied at Humboldt University Berlin, where she received her MA degree in German Literature and Cultural Studies. In her doctoral thesis, completed in 2002, she investigated the depiction of the automobile experience in literature and film around 1900.

From 2002 to 2007, she was a research fellow at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin and participated in projects on the history of literary criticism and the depiction of science in film. Since 2008 her research has focused on spatial theory. During that time, she was associated with the “Topology of Technology” Graduate School at the University of Technology Darmstadt and most recently with the Research Center for Historical and Cultural Studies at Trier University. She joined the research group “Building Imagination” in April 2013. Here, she will investigate the epistemic functions of spatiality in literature and visual media using historical examples of Arctic research and polar fiction.

Julia Dettke

Doctoral Candidate

Julia Dettke, M.A., studied Comparative Literature and Theatre Studies in Göttingen, Berlin, Paris and Bologna and completed the Licence franco-allemande in Franco-German Cultural Studies at the Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle in 2009. During her studies, she was Gert Mattenklott’s student assistant. She also worked as a freelance journalist for the film department of TV station 3sat. Her M.A. thesis (2012) connects Michel Foucault’s theory of power with his writings on aesthetics and analyzes gazes between surveillance and spectacle in the cinema of Elio Petri, Michael Haneke and Pedro Almodóvar. In 2019 she completed her Ph.D. about the spatiality of literature in Georges Perec’s “Espèces d’espaces” and “La Vie mode d’emploi” with summa cum laude (mention of honor).

Her research interests include French and Italian literature, the spatiality and materiality of the arts, feature and documentary films, surveillance studies and visual studies. She is a film critic for Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and Zeit Online.

Lena Abraham

Doctoral Candidate

Lena Abraham, M.A., studied Spanish Language and Literatures, Comparative Literatures and Psychology in Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Berlin, as well as Translation at the University of Córdoba (Spain). In her previous studies she was mainly concerned with thematological issues in 19th century Mexican and German narrative works. In 2011 she completed her Licenciatura at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México with her thesis on the aestheticization of murder in Bernardo Couto Castillos’ short stories. In her Master’s thesis (2014) she wrote about the femme fatale in the form of a salamander in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Der Elementargeist and Efrén Rebolledo’s Salamandra, as well as in other narrative texts of the late German Romanticism and Mexican Modernism. Currently she explores the effects of the spatial unsettling of the house as shelter in literary texts with regard to the formation of the subject. Her analysis is based on descriptions of houses ›coming alive‹ in German, Spanish, French, and English narratives. She joined the Emmy Noether Research Group “Bauformen der Imagination” at FU Berlin in April 2015. Since 2017 she is a fellow in the Doctoral program at the Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung in Berlin.

Abraham. Publikationen und Vorträge

Maria Ebner

Research Assistant

Maria Ebner studied European Literature and Publishing in Mainz and completed her B.A. with a thesis on gender-ambiguous narrations and performativity in contemporary German and French Literature. She is currently enrolled in the M.A. Program for Comparative Literature at FU Berlin. In her previous studies she was concerned with poststructuralist theories and phenomena such as Rewriting and Autofiction. Her main research interests are the intersections between literary constitutions of spatiality and subjectivity regarding questions of gender.
Alongside her studies she has worked in bookstores, did internships in publishing houses and media agencies and is a freelance assistant editor at rbb Fernsehen.

Rina Schmeller

Associate Member

Rina Schmeller, M.A., studied Comparative Literature and Anthropology in Berlin. During her studies, she worked as a student assistant with Prof. Oliver Lubrich and the Emmy Noether Research Group “Building Imagination”. Her research interests include literary representations of space and architecture, self-reflexive narration, as well as travel, colonial and exile literature. Her B.A. thesis (2010) examined the diary Virginia Woolf kept during her trip to Nazi Germany in 1935. In her M.A. thesis she explored representations of snowbound spaces in literature, most notably in Stifter’s last tale (From the Bavarian Forest) and in Kafka’s last novel (The Castle). Besides looking at the specific impact of white spaces on the narratives’ subjects and their ways of mastering space, the thesis focused on self-reflexive references to the act and process of writing. She is currently giving a seminar on the topic „Snowed in. White Spaces in Prose from Stifter to Sorokin“ and is investigating the poetological scenario at the window in Virginia Woolf’s Letter to a Young Poet. She continues working with the Emmy Noether Research Group as a freelance lector.