Isabell Sluka

UConn Graduate Assistant

Isabell Sluka is a PhD candidate (ABD) in German Studies. In addition to a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies (Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany), she holds graduate certificates in Media Studies and Gender Equality (University of Oslo, Norway). Isabell’s interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching is deeply informed by social justice, especially in regard to class, race and ethnicity. She is one of the co-founders of the “Decolonizing Area Studies” initiative. Her main research interests are 20th-21st century German Literature and Culture, Media Culture and Participation, Intercultural Literature, and Human Rights. Before coming to UConn, Isabell worked as a German instructor and academic advisor at the Universidad Paraguayo Alemana in San Lorenzo, Paraguay. Currently, she is pursuing graduate certificates in Human Rights and Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity and Politics (IREP). 


In her dissertation titled “From a Postmigrant Society to Radical Diversity: (Re)Negotiating Germanness in the Digital Realm,” Isabell combines research in media studies with questions of how to define Germanness, (national) identity and belonging. Based on the thesis that traditional mass media, and especially linear television, narrate Germanness in a very narrow and therefore exclusionary way, she argues that the digital realm, and specifically social media sites, provide the necessary platforms and tools to question this narrative and to (re)write conceptions of Germanness. 


Most recently, Isabell was selected as a participant in the Emerging Scholars Workshop “New Pathways for Black German Studies” which will take place at the 46th German Studies Association Conference in Houston, Texas.


Recent articles and presentations:

2022. “From Nation States to Communities of Interest: Solidarity and Human Rights Declarations in Wolfgang Fischer’s Styx.” Postcolonial Interventions: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Vol. VII, Issue 1, 167–205. 

2021. “From Double to Quadruple: A Du Boisian Reading of Olivia Wenzel’s 1000 Serpentinen Angst.” Symposium on “Narratives of Selfhood and Ambivalence,” Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London. (1:59:57-2:18:33)


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