I received both my undergraduate (B.A. American Studies) and graduate (Staatsexamen für höheres Lehramt) degrees from the University of Leipzig. My master thesis – the results of which were published in the 2019 issue of aspeers – focused on “Narratives of Intersex in Contemporary US-American Literature.” Broadly speaking, my research revolves around the idea that (literary) texts work as cultural shorthands affecting people’s perception of reality, and I see my work as a process of interpretation and translation. Over the course of my studies, I have worked at American Studies Leipzig in different positions, as lecturer in B.A. courses and as a teaching assistant. From March 2019 until February 2020, I was granted a Pre-Doc Award from the Research Academy Leipzig which allowed me to conceptualize a PhD project and apply for further funding. My dissertation, supervised by Prof. Dr. Katja Kanzler, investigates negotiations of sexual(ized) violence in contemporary US-American literature and culture with a focus on the transmediality of current narratives. Since July 2020 my work is funded by the Hans-Boeckler-Foundation.
Originally trained in literary studies, my primary research interest lies in US-American literature of the 20th and 21st century, especially works from authors who – because of their race, class, and/or gender – have traditionally been more marginalized than others. Over the course of my studies, and owing especially to experiences abroad at Rice University (Texas) and Bangor University (Wales), I developed an interest in gender studies and (queer) feminism. More recently, I started to investigate the concept of transmediality, trying to reconcile research from media studies and narrative theory with the cultural work approach and the “politics” of texts.
- “Transmediale Verhandlungen sexueller Gewalt: Der Fall Elva und Stranger.” Interdisziplinäre Beiträge zur Geschlechterforschung, edited by Ann-Christin Kleinert et al, Verlag Barbara Budrich, 2021.
- “Science Fiction Imagines Intersex: Melissa Scott’s Shadow Man (1995).” GenderGraduateProjects V, edited by Stefan Horlacher et al, Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2021. [Forthcoming]
- “Transmedial Negotiations of Gender-Based Violence in Contemporary US-American Literature and Culture.” Research poster. Research Academy Leipzig, 2020.
- “Of Pregnant Kings and Manly Landladies – Negotiating Intersex in Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.” aspeers: emerging voices in american studies, vol. 12, 2019, pp. 117-138.
- Peña, Daniel. Interview by Mascha Helene Lange. “Interview with Daniel Peña.” R2 Rice Review, 2018, pp. 16-24.
- “Vulnerable Worldmaking in Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You.” New Perspective in American Studies: AYA Spring Colloquium and Writing Workshop for Emerging Scholars in American Studies. Innsbruck. 6-7 May 2022. Conference Presentation.
- “Chanel Miller’s Know My Name and (the Art of) Vulnerable World Making.” Real, Imagined, and Displayed Fragility: Vulnerable Positions and Positioning in Society. Bremen-Turku-Warsaw-Stockholm Series on Studies in Discourse and Contradiction #3. Warsaw. 25-27 Mar. 2021. Online Conference Presentation.
- “Can a Rapist Be Trusted? The Transmedial Negotiation of Sexual Violence, Trauma, and Regaining Trust in the Elva-Stranger Case.” Authority and Trust: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Conference of the DFG-funded research training group “Authority and Trust in American Culture, Society, History, and Politics,” Heidelberg Center for American Studies. 16 Oct. 2020. Online conference Presentation.
- “Transmediale Verhandlungen sexueller Gewalt in gegenwärtiger US-amerikanischer Literatur und Kultur.” (Re-)Präsentationen, Positionen und Perspektiven der Geschlechterforschung. Conference of the Gender Studies Graduate School of the University of Vechta. Berlin. 11 Feb. 2020. Conference Presentation.
- “Transmedial Negotiations of Gender-Based Violence in Contemporary US-American Literature and Culture.” Posterkonferenz der Philologischen Fakultät der Universität Leipzig. 28 Jan. 2020. Poster Presentation.
- “Intersex Narratives.” 5. Dresdner Nachwuchskolloquium zur Geschlechterforschung. Dresden. 11 Dec. 2019. Conference Presentation.
- “‘The Story That You Know… Is The Lie’ – Transmedial Negotiations of Sexual Violence in When They See Us.” Postgraduate Forum of the DGFA/GAAS 2019. Passau. 5 Dec. 2019. Conference Presentation.
- “Transmedial Negotiations of Sexual Violence in Contemporary US-American Literature and Culture.” Regional Colloquium at the Muhlenberg Center for American Studies. Halle (Saale). 25 Oct. 2019. Conference Presentation.
- Erasmus Stipend (2013/14, exchange semester at Bangor University)
- DAAD Promos Stipend (2017, exchange semester at Rice University)
- Pre-Doc Award, Research Academy Leipzig (2019-2020)
- Hans-Boeckler-Foundation PhD-Scholarship (2020-2023)
I am a member of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA/GAAS), the American Studies Leipzig Alumni Association (ASLAA e.V.), and the Zentrum für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung (FRAGES) of the University of Leipzig.
I joined Amnesty International when I came to Leipzig in 2012, and since then have been active in local Amnesty International groups. Most noteworthy, I served as spokesperson of Leipzig University’s Amnesty International student group from 2014-2015, supervised their facebook page between 2014-2017, and served as spokesperson for the Amnesty International human rights education chapter Leipzig between 2019-2020. As a human rights educator, I have visited numerous local schools to conduct workshops on human rights issues under Amnesty International’s patronage. This work is particularly important to me because I regard education as a key to a democratic society. From February 2021 until June 2022, I served as spokesperson for the local group of stipend-holders from the Hans Boeckler Foundation.