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Prof. Dr. Joanna Rostek

Prof. Dr. Joanna Rostek

Prof. Dr. Joanna Rostek

Juniorprofessorin für Anglophone Literatur-, Kultur- und Medienwissenschaft

Otto-Behaghel-Straße 10 B
35394 Gießen
Room: B 334

Phone: +49 641 - 99 301 20; Secretary: +49 641 - 99 300 71

Fax: +49 641 - 99 300 79



Administrative Assistant: Christine Buddensiek


International playwrights visiting Giessen: During the winter term 2017/18, two international playwrights will be visiting Giessen. Catherine Grosvenor (Edinburgh) and Maria Milisavljevic (Berlin) will join us for readings, a creative writing workshop and lively discussions in Professor Rostek's class on "History, Politics, and the Nation in Contemporary British Plays". They will also present their work at the Literarisches Zentrum Giessen on 29 November and 13 December. For more information, click here.

Office hours

Office hours during the winter term 2017/18: Wednesdays 9.30-10.30 a.m.

Please register via Stud.IP. If you don't have access to Stud.IP, you can simply drop by, but please bear in mind that you might have to wait your turn.

There will be no office hours on the following days: 22.11; 7.2.

Research Interests

Research Interests


  • PhD Thesis (2006-2010): Seaing through the Past: Postmodern Histories and the Maritime Metaphor in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction [Info] (Dissertation award of the German Association for the Study of English / Deutscher Anglistenverband 2012)
  • Second-book project (in progress): Towards a Herstory of Economic Thought: Women's Contributions to Economic Thought in England around 1800

My transdisciplinary project explores the place of women in the history of economic thought. Traditionally, the decades between 1770 and 1820 are seen as the 'birth' of modern economics. While male political economists of that period are widely known – e.g. Adam Smith, Thomas Robert Malthus, or David Ricardo – there is no study to date exploring what women had to say about the economy at that time. In view of this, my project firstly seeks to explain why this gap has been so persistent, and secondly, to fill it by presenting and discussing selected examples of English women's economic writing around 1800. My overall aim is to pave the way for a better understanding and appreciation of women's contributions to the economy and to economic thought. Besides, I wish to encourage a transdisciplinary dialogue between literary and cultural studies on the one hand and economics on the other.

Drawing on feminist economics, I demonstrate in the first part of the study that there is an androcentric bias at the heart of economics: our notions of what constitutes economic enquiry, economic topics, and economic genres of writing have for centuries privileged a vantage point that excludes the perspectives and experiences of women and that marginalises the type of knowledge women have generated and recorded in literary texts. This has resulted in an underrepresentation of women in the canon of economic theory, with manifest consequences for economic practice. I argue that redressing this imbalance calls for a transdisciplinary approach that bridges the gap between literary and cultural studies as well as economics.

Using such a transdisciplinary approach in the second part, I discuss selected women writers' analyses of the economics of marriage, of women and work, and of moral economics. I draw on literary texts as well as pamphlets and memoirs. I thus wish to illustrate that once the androcentric bias is recognised and removed, the period around 1800 proves a treasure trove of economic thought by English women.

Academic CV

Academic CV
  • since April 2016: Professor of Anglophone Literature, Culture, and Media Studies ("Juniorprofessur"), Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany
  • 2006-2016: Lecturer / Assistant Professor at the Department of English Literature and Culture, Universität Passau, Germany
  • 2006-2010: PhD in English Literature, Universität Passau, Germany


  • 2014-2016: Fellow of the Fast Track Programme of the Robert Bosch Stiftung
  • November 2014: Visiting Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland
  • July-September 2013: Visiting Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • March 2012, March 2013, March 2017: Visiting Lecturer, University of Lodz, Poland
  • September 2011: Visiting Professor, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma (Washington), USA
  • October 2009: Visiting Lecturer, Université de Strasbourg, France
  • March 2009: Visiting Lecturer, University of Stirling, Scotland


  • 1999-2005: International Cultural and Business Studies / Sprachen-, Wirtschafts- und Kulturraumstudien (Diplom), Universität Passau, Germany
  • September 2001 - May 2002: Université Laval, Québec, Canada (study abroad)
  • October-December 2004: British Council Germany, Berlin (Arts & Creative Industries Team)
  • January-June 2005: Leeds University, England (study abroad)




  • Seaing through the Past. Postmodern Histories and the Maritime Metaphor in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011. Postmodern Studies 47. [Info]

Reviews of Seaing through the Past:

- Stephen Gapps (Australian National Maritime Museum), in: Historical Justice and Memory Research Network. January 2012.

- Sarah Heinz (Universität Mannheim), in: Anglistik 23.2 (2012): 185-187.

- Lucia Krämer (Universität Hannover), in: Journal for the Study of British Cultures 19 (2012): 110-112.

- David Malcolm (University of Gdansk), in: LWU: Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 44.2/3 (2011): 223-225.


As Editor

  • Ed. with Stephan Karschay and Gerold Sedlmayr. Hard Times 84 (2008): The Politics of British Humour.
  • Ed. with Dirk Uffelmann. Contemporary Polish Migrant Culture and Literature in Germany, Ireland, and the UK. Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 2011. [Info]

Reviews of Contemporary Migrant Culture

- Elisa-Maria Hiermer (Universität Gießen), in: Kritikon Litterarum 39.3/4 (2012), 232-235.

- Kinga Kuligowska (Universität Marburg), in: Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 63.1 (2014), 154-156. [Link]


Journal and Book Articles

  • (Forthcoming) "Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey (1847)". Handbook of the English Novel of the Nineteenth Century: 1830-1900. Ed. Martin Middeke and Monika Pietrzak-Franger. Berlin: de Gruyter. 2018.

  • with Stephan Karschay. "'Man haf fe do wha man haf fe do': Humour and Identity (Re)Formation in Bernardine Evaristo's Mr Loverman (2013)'. Anglistik 27.1 (2016). 125-136. Focus on Comic Representations in Post-Millennial British and Irish Fiction. [Info]

  • with Dorothea Will. "From Ever-Lusting Individuals to Ever-Lasting Couples: Coupling (BBC2 2001-2004) and Emotional Capitalism". British TV Comedy: Cultural Concepts, Contexts, and Controversies. Ed. Jürgen Kamm & Birgit Neumann. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 311-324. [Info]

  • "Poetry of the Fifties and Sixties between Innovation and Tradition: Philip Larkin and the Movement". A History of British Poetry: Genres - Developments - Model Interpretations. Ed. Sibylle Baumbach, Birgit Neumann and Ansgar Nünning. Trier: WVT, 2015. 351-362. WVT Handbücher zum Literaturwissenschaftlichen Studium 18.

  • "Female Authority and Political Economy: Jane Marcet and Harriet Martineau's Contradictory Strategy in Disseminating Economic Knowledge". Anglistentag 2013: Proceedings. Ed. Reingard M. Nischik and Silvia Mergenthal. Trier: WVT, 2014. 21-33. [Download]

  • "Managing the Unmanageable: Paradoxes of Poverty in Harriet Martineau's Illustrations of Political Economy (1832-34)". Narrating Poverty and Precarity in Britain: Literary and Cultural Perspectives. Ed. Barbara Korte and Frédéric Regard. Berlin: de Gruyter. 2014. 33-55. Culture & Conflict 5. [Info & view article]

  • "Refusing to 'Rest on the Sea's Bed': The Sea of the Middle Passage in David Dabydeen's 'Turner' (1994) and Fred D’Aguiar’s Feeding the Ghosts (1997)". Navigating Cultural Spaces: Maritime Places. Ed. Anna-Margaretha Horatschek, Yvonne Rosenberg and Daniel Schäbler. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2014. 65-81. Spatial Practices: An Interdisciplinary Series in Cultural History, Geography and Literature 18. [Info]

  • "(Un)Othering the Terrorist: Responses to Terrorism in Two Contemporary British Plays". Deconstructing Terrorism. 9/11, 7/7, and Contemporary Culture. Ed. Jürgen Kamm, Jürgen Kramer and Bernd Lenz. Passau: Stutz, 2013. 95-116. PALK 11.

  • with Nora Pleßke. "Rubble or Resurrection: Contextualising London Literature by Polish Migrants to the UK". Literary London Journal 10.2 (2013). Web. [Download PDF]

  • "Migration, Capital, Space: Econotopic Constellations in Recent Literature about Polish Migrants in Ireland". Anglistentag 2012: Proceedings. Ed. Katrin Röder and Ilse Wischer. Trier: WVT, 2013. 47-60. [Download via]

  • with Dirk Uffelmann. "Czy polski migrant potrafi przemówić? Londyn w brytyjskim i polskim filmie, literaturze i muzyce". Rocznik Komparatystyczny 3 (2012). 213-238.

  • "From a Polish in Dublin to Polish Dublin: Retracing Changing Migratory Patterns in Two Recent 'Dublin Novels' by Polish Migrants". Polish-Irish Encounters in the New and Old Europe. Ed. Sabine Egger and John Mcdonagh. Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 2011. 117-130. Reimagining Ireland 39. [Info]

  • with Dirk Uffelmann. Introduction. Contemporary Polish Migrant Culture and Literature in Germany, Ireland, and the UK. Ed. Joanna Rostek and Dirk Uffelmann. Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 2011. 7-26. [Info]

  • "Life Course as a Ship's Course: Wavering Biographies in Contemporary Sea Voyage Narratives". From the Cradle to the Grave: Life-Course Models in Literary Genres. Ed. Sabine Coelsch-Foisner and Sarah Herbe. Heidelberg: Winter, 2011. 57-68. Wissenschaft und Kunst 15.

  • "Living the British Dream: Polish Migration to the UK as Depicted in the TV Series Londyńczycy (2008-2010)". Contemporary Polish Migrant Culture and Literature in Germany, Ireland, and the UK. Ed. Joanna Rostek and Dirk Uffelmann. Frankfurt: Lang, 2011. 245-275. [Info]

  • with Dirk Uffelmann. "Can the Polish Migrant Speak? The Representation of 'Subaltern' Polish Migrants in Film, Literature and Music from Britain and Poland". Facing the East in the West: Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture. Ed. Barbara Korte, Eva Ulrike Pirker and Sissy Helff. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010. 311-334. Internationale Studien zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft 138. [GoogleBooks & Info]

  • "Endlich Pro-Age oder immer noch Pro-Beauty? Zwei Beispiele der Darstellung des alternden weiblichen Körpers in den Medien". Medienkulturen. Ed. Daniela Wawra. Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 2010. 53-73. [Info]

  • with Gerold Sedlmayr. "Berührung im Überfluss. Grenzregionen und Körperzonen in Ian McEwans On Chesil Beach (2007)". Grenzen: Konstruktionen und Bedeutungen. Ed. Dennis Gräf and Verena Schmöller. Passau: Stutz, 2009. 235-258. MTS: Medien, Texte, Semiotik Passau 2.

  • "Defeat through Counterfeit. Looking for Shakespeare in Julian Barnes’s England, England (1998)". Shakespearean Culture – Cultural Shakespeare. Ed. Jürgen Kamm and Bernd Lenz. Passau: Stutz, 2009. 131-147. PALK 8.

  • "Die Migration von (Stereo-)Typen der Weiblichkeit. Die Literatur von und über polnische Migrantinnen und Migranten in Irland und Großbritannien". Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie 66.1 (2009): 181-209. [Info]

  • "Dreamland or Wasteland? Constructions of the Sea in Graham Swift’s Last Orders (1996)". Insular Mentalities: Mental Maps of Britain. Essays in Honour of Bernd Lenz. Ed. Jürgen Kamm and Gerold Sedlmayr. Passau: Stutz, 2007. 157-169.



  • Rev. of Unbounded Attachment. Sentiment and Politics in the Age of the French Revolution, by Harriet Guest. Francia-Recensio 2016.1 (April 2016). [Full text]
  • Rev. of Global Migrants, Local Culture: Natives and Newcomers in Provincial England, 1841-1939, by Laura Tabili. H-Soz-u-Kult (May 2013). [Full text]
  • Rev. of A History of Canadian Culture, by Jonathan Vance. ZKS: Zeitschrift für Kanadastudien 32.1 (2012): 119-120.
  • Rev. of Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, by Stephen Greenblatt with Ines Županow, Reinhard Meyer-Kalkus, Heike Paul, Pál Nyíri and Friederike Pannewick. ZAA. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 58.4 (2010): 397-398.

Dictionary Entries and Miscellaneous

  • with Joanna Kosmalska. "Irish-Polish Cultural Interrelations in Practice: Interviews with Chris Binchy, Piotr Czerwinski, Dermot Bolger, and Anna Wolf". Studi irlandesi. A Jounal of Irish Studies 5 (2015): 103-130. Download via:

Entries in Kindlers Literaturlexikon Online. Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2014:

  • Philip Hensher (Biogramm)
  • Philip Hensher, The Northern Clemency (2008)

Papers and Talks

Conference Papers & Talks


  • "Conformity and Contestation in English Women's Economic Thought of the 1790s: Domestic Economy and Married Women's Economic Dependence". The 21st Annual Conference of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought: Rationality in Economics. University of Antwerp, 19 May.
  • "Making Sense of Brexit: Key Issues & Concerns" and "Brexit and (Im)Migration". Lecture Series: Britain before/after Brexit: Cultural and Historical Contexts. Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, 3 May & 17 May.
  • "Re-Centring Female Epistemological Agency, or: How to Find Women Economists in the Period 1750-1850". Conference: Women, Money and Markets (1750-1850). King's College London, 11 May.
  • "Capitalism as a Panopticon? Making Sense of Global Capitalism and Its Crises in Recent British Fiction". Guest Lecture: University of Lodz, 28 March. [Info]


  • "Buland, Angoland, and the Land of Bajobongo: Polish Migrants in the UK and Ireland and Cultural (Self-)Translations". Guest Lecture: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, 5 December.
  • "Women's Economic Righting in Women's Economic Writing: Charlotte Brontë's Shirley (1849)". 2016 Brontë Bicentenary Conference: Charlotte Brontë and the Woman Question. The Brontë Society. Manchester, 19-21 August.
  • "Experts on Dough: Female Contributions to Economic Thought around 1800". Long Eighteenth Century Research in Progress Seminar. University of Oxford, 14 January.


  • "Die Ehe im England des 18. Jahrhunderts aus Sicht der Frau: Absicherung oder Risiko?" Conference: Kontinuität und Wandel von Vorsorgeregimen und Risikodebatten. Universität Freiburg, 20-21 November.
  • "Female Bodies and (the Lack of) Economic Rights". Conference: The 23rd Annual North American Society for the Study of Romanticism Conference: Romanticism & Rights. University of Manitoba & University of Winnipeg, 13-16 August.


  • "'Not More Than a Shilling the Swedish Mile': The Economic Dimension of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark". Conference: Getting & Spending: European Literature & Economics in the Long Nineteenth Century. KU Leuven, 10-12 December.
  • "Great Britain - Great Expectations: UK Poles in Contemporary Polish Novels, Music, and Film". Guest Lecture: Edinburgh Napier University, 12 November.
  • "Econotopic Representations of Polish Migrants in Ireland". Conference: Poles Away: Migrations in Literature. University of Lodz, 6-7 November.
  • "No City for Old Men? Remapping (Male) Ageing in Bernardine Evaristo's Mr Loverman (2013)". Conference: Literary London 2014: Ages of London. University of London, 23-25 July.


  • (with Nora Pleßke): "Britain and Migration: History and Recent Trends". Guest Lecture: Great Britain Update: Recent Changes in Politics, Society, and Culture. Akademie für Politische Bildung Tutzing, 25 November.
  • "'I Knew that Science Could Not Be Smuggled In Anonymously': The Dissemination of Economic Knowledge in Early Nineteenth-Century Publications by Women Writers". Guest Lecture: Technische Universität Dortmund, 5 November.
  • "Gender and the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge: Jane Marcet's Conversations on the Nature of Political Economy (1816)". Conference: Romanticism and Knowledge. LMU München, 10-13 October.
  • "Political Economistresses: Gender, Authority, and the Science of Political Economy". Conference: Anglistentag 2013, Universität Konstanz, 18-21 September.
  • "Money Matters: Female Economic Authority and Agency in Didactic and Literary Texts by English Women Writers, c. 1815-1835". Guest Lecture: Gender History Network, University of Edinburgh, 11 September.
  • "Zwischen Hauswirtschaft und Nationalökonomie: Die weibliche Teilhabe am ökonomischen Wissen in Großbritannien im frühen 19. Jahrhundert". Conference: Gender - Frauen - Wissenschaft, Universität Passau, 21-23 June.
  • "Looking for 'Eve Smith': Female Responses to (Political) Economy, c. 1810-1835". Guest Lecture, Universität Regensburg, 4 June.
  • (with Dorothea Will): "Let's Talk about Sex ...and Gender: (S)Explicit Content versus Implicit Norms in Coupling (BBC2 2000-2004)". Lecture Series: British TV Comedy: Cultural Concepts and Contexts, Universität Passau, 18 January


  • "'Me Emigrant. Me Fucked Up.' Econotopic Constellations in Recent Literature about Polish Migrants in Ireland". Conference: Anglistentag 2012, Universität Potsdam, 19-21 September.
  • "'I speak plain, because it is about those who cannot speak for themselves.' Narrating Precarious Lives in Harriet Martineau's Illustrations of Political Economy (1832-1834)". Conference: Narrating Precarious Lives: Dehumanisation, Survival and (Re)Constructions of the Self, Universität Freiburg, 1-3 June.
  • "Wealth and the Nation. Debates on Political Economy in Victorian Britain". Guest Lecture, Universität Würzburg, 25 January.
  • "Migration und Geschlechterrollen: Frauenbilder in der Literatur von und über polnische Migrantinnen und Migranten in Irland und Großbritannien". DAAD Seminar: Migration im Ost-West-Kontakt, Universität Passau, 18 January.


  • "Responses to Terrorism in Contemporary British Theatre". Guest Lecture, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, 15 September.
  • "'Londyn' Calling: Representations of London by Polish Migrants to the UK". Conference: Literary London 2011, University of London, 20-22 July.
  • "Talking to / as / about Terrorists: Representing Terrorism in Contemporary Drama". Conference: Representing Terrorism, Universität Passau, 24-25 June.


  • "Migrationsbewegungen in Europa: Polnische Migration nach Großbritannien, Irland und Deutschland – ein Fallbeispiel". Seminar sponsored by the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung: Die EU nach dem Vertrag von Lissabon, Studienzentrum für Ost-West-Probleme, Schleching, 22-24 October.
  • "'A Scattered Road of Bones'. The Sea of the Middle Passage in Fred D'Aguiar's Feeding the Ghosts (1997)". Conference: Navigating Cultural Spaces: Images of Coast and Sea, Universität Kiel, 1-3 October.


  • (with Dirk Uffelmann): "Can the Polish Migrant Speak? The Representation of Exploited Polish Migrants in Film, Literature and Music from Britain and Poland". Conference: Facing the East in the West: Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture, Universität Freiburg, 23-26 July.
  • "New Women Abroad? (Post-)Communist Gender Patterns in Contemporary Polish Migrant Literature from the UK and Ireland". Conference: The Ghosts of the Past: Everyday Life 20 Years after the Fall of Communism, University of East London, 11-12 June.
  • "Matka Polka and Her Daughters Abroad: Women in Polish Migrant Literature from Ireland and the UK". Conference: Contemporary Polish Migrant Culture in Germany, Ireland, and the UK, Universität Passau, 15-18 January.


  • "Life Course as a Ship’s Course. Wavering Biographies in Contemporary Sea Voyage Narratives". Conference: From the Cradle to the Grave: Life-Course Models in Literary Genres, Universität Salzburg, 13-16 November.
  • "From a Polish in Dublin to Polish Dublin: Retracing Changing Migratory Patterns in Two Recent 'Dublin Novels' by Polish Migrants". Conference: Polish-Irish Encounters in the New and Old Europe, Mary Immaculate College Limerick, 3-4 October.
  • (with Gerold Sedlmayr): "Berührung im Überfluss. Grenzregionen und Körperzonen in Ian McEwans On Chesil Beach (2007)". Lecture series: Grenzen: Konstruktionen und Bedeutungen, Universität Passau, 25 June.
  • "Seaing through History. Constructions of the Sea and Stories of the Past in Contemporary British Fiction". 18th Annual Conference of the German Association for the Study of British Cultures, Universität Salzburg, 22-24 November.


  • "Pro-Age oder immer noch Pro-Beauty? Zwei Beispiele der Darstellung des alternden weiblichen Körpers in den Medien". Kolloquium der Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen der Universität Passau zum Thema Medienkulturen, Universität Passau, 19-20 October.
  • "Is the Sea History? The Representation of Sea-Space in Three Contemporary Narratives". Conference: Defining Space, University College Dublin, 11-13 October.
  • "Shakespeare's History Plays. An Introduction". Lecture series: Shakespearean Culture – Cultural Shakespeare, Universität Passau, 26 April.