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Rabeb Ben Hania

PhD Candidate

Lansstraße 5-9
14195 Berlin


2016-present PhD Candidate at the Graduate School of North American Studies, John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
2010-2013 MA, American Literature, University of Sousse, Tunisia
2007-2010 BA in English language, literature and civilization, University of Sousse, Tunisia

Professional Experience

2015-2016 Fulbright Research Visiting Scholar at The College of Arts and Sciences, American University, Washington D.C.
2014-2015 English language moderator in Delta Center, Tunisia
2013-2015 Teaching assistantship in the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Mahdia, Tunisia 

2012- 2013 Teaching assistantship at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Sousse, Tunisia

From Postmodernist to Post-postmodernist Aesthetics in Contemporary Women Writings (Dissertationsprojekt)

Dissertation in Literatur

Mentoring Team:
First supervisor: Prof. Ulla Haselstein
Second supervisor: Prof. James Dorson
Third supervisor: Prof. Alison Gibbons

For more than half a century, postmodernism has been the dominant style in cultural production and criticism with its critical instances and subversive intents. It went from being a cultural variant with its deconstruction of notions of Truth, subjectivity, and humanism and destabilization of grand narratives to becoming a defining criteria of the post-war era. Skepticism towards language, constant questioning of the mechanisms of meaning-making and meaning-reception, and decentering of the self, have marked most of the literature produced in the sixties until the late eighties. Yet with the verge of the 1990s, many academic debates questioning postmodernism as a cultural practice started to gain force and to gradually announce its waning in favor of something still-undiscovered, yet new and existent.

A revivalism in the concepts of the human, self, community, affect found their way in most contemporary north American fiction. This project draws primarily on recently-published works by contemporary women writers: The Heart Goes Last and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, Gilead and Home by Marilynne Robinson, A Visit From Goon Squad by Jennifer Eager and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. My choice of these narratives is based on their common thematic concerns since they all share relatively close conception of the self, subjectivity and agency. These texts are, in fact penchant for re-investigating the value of the traditional and familial in addition to the social connections, of depicting the subject presence and challenges in contemporary contexts. They attempt at slowing down the pace of narrative in a hectic and culturally crowded time of short life circuits and to revive our pleasure in fiction as a cultural form drawing our attention to the provisional nature of all our surroundings. This choice intends also to broaden our circle of reference when it comes to contemporary fiction and to add to the usually referred to list of David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Franzen, Michael Chabon.