Anne Krenz

Anne Krenz

Doctoral Candidate

I graduated from the Technical University of Dresden in German and English/American Studies in 2016. After having worked as a tutor for the Chair of North American Literature and the Chair of German Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture during my studies, I enhanced my pedagogical skills by teaching at a grammar school for one year. In October 2017 I joined the American Studies team of the Collaborative Research Centre 1285 as a research assistant. From 2018 to 2019 I represented the staff members of our research team as an elected member of its board. By exploring cultures of disparagement in contemporary US Reality TV, my dissertation project allows me to pursue my vivid interests in popular culture, media and television studies as well as strategies of narrativization and fictionalization.

Ranging from frequently utilizing verbal insults or displaying their participants’ reactions of shame in an exaggerating manner to establishing visual excesses of disgust, makeover shows (Queer Eye, What Not to Wear, Kitchen Nightmares, Dog Whisperer) have developed a formulaic repertoire of invective phenomena. It seems that throughout a thematically varied corpus invective structures are closely linked to the genre’s highly formulaic transformation stories, and, thus, to its discussion of US-American conceptions of the self.

My dissertation project is centered around the systematic examination of various forms of disparagement within this well-established reality TV genre - and asks about its invective poetics and politics. Tracing the textual patterns of the invective will include aspects like exploring the spectrum of dramatized invective forms, describing their performative dynamics as well as analyzing how they are intertwined with the narrative structure and realized through the means of the specific audiovisual medium. In addition to this, I am particularly interested in the affective dimension of the makeover’s invective dynamics. Although the shows follow a very carefully orchestrated grammar that seems to oscillate between the calculated release, escalation and control of affects, its invective moments bear the potential to irritate. Moreover, the study addresses how its invective dynamics shape the cultural work of the genre and inform the way the makeover offers opportunities for identification, negotiates social norms and handles socio-cultural differences in terms of categories like class, race, ethnicity and gender.

  • Workshop “Invektivität und kulturelle Differenz. Eine Forschungswerkstatt“. CRC 1285, TU Dresden, 20.7.2018. With subproject R.

  • “Die Kunst der Beleidigung. Ein interaktiver Parcours.” Contribution to “Lange[n] Nacht der Wissenschaft.” TU Dresden, 15.06.2018. With the LNdW-team of CRC 1285.

  • “Beschimpfen, Beleidigen, Beschämen.” Dresden Municipal Library, 12.04.2018. With the team of CRC 1285.

  • “Basic mechanisms of disparagement in What Not to Wear”, Summer Course in Narrative Study (SINS 2018), Sønderborg/ Aarhus University, 30.07.2018.