Sonja Dickow

Jewish exile literature and transnational literature of the 21st century.

In the course of writing my PhD thesis on the poetics of the house in contemporary Jewish literatures, I am currently a visiting research fellow at Da’at Hamakom Center for the second time (first fellowship: March – June 2015).
My research interests combine Jewish exile literature and transnational literature of the 21st century. I am interested in narratives of belonging as well as literary discourses on transgenerational trauma and modes of remembrance in the ‘third generation’.
In 2014 I began working on my PhD thesis at Hamburg University with a scholarship from the Ernst-Ludwig-Ehrlich foundation and affiliated to the Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center for Exile Literature. My comparative thesis explores the literary chronotope of the house in Hebrew, English, and German fictional texts from the early 21st century. Against the backdrop of the multilayered Hebrew term ‘bayit’ I focus on architectural metaphors and spatial representations of concerns of home, belonging, and remembrance. The theoretical frames are the spatial turn in Jewish studies, research on transnationality as well as theories on trauma and postmemory.
After I completed my Master’s degree in 2013 I was working as scientific assistant in the department of German literature at Hamburg University, taught a seminar on “Jewish Renaissance” and assisted teaching a seminar on “Christ as a Jew in texts of German-Jewish writers”. The same year I was working on an archival project at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem, as part of the project Traces of German-Jewish History, a cooperation between Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center of the Hebrew University and Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach.
During my M.A. I did internships at the Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem and completed an intensive Hebrew language course.

Selected Publications

Sandra Narloch and Sonja Dickow, “Das Exil in der Gegenwartsliteratur“, in: Politik und Zeitgeschichte 42 (2014), pp. 15-21.

Sonja Dickow, “Jüdische Exiltraditionen in der Lyrik von Nelly Sachs“, in: Doerte Bischoff, Miriam N. Reinhard, Claudia Röser, Sebastian Schirrmeister (ed.), Exil Lektüren. Studien zu Literatur und Theorie, Berlin, Neofelis, 2014, pp. 44-54.

Sonja Dickow, “‘Überleben als sprachliches Wesen‘: Eine Lektüre von Irena Brežnás Die undankbare Fremde“, in: exilograph: Newsletter der Walter A. Berendsohn Forschungsstelle 22 (2014), pp. 17-18.

Sonja Dickow and Sandra Narloch, “Die Gegenwart des Exils. Zur Konjunktur von Exilerzählungen in der neueren Literatur“, in: exilograph: Newsletter der Walter A. Berendsohn Forschungsstelle 21 (2014), pp: 1-2.