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Contact Information

Popular Music and Public Diplomacy, Edited Book, 2018.
Poetic Pilgrimage at TU Dortmund during the First Hip-Hop Education Week, 2017.
Participation at a Panel Discussion on the Bronx, City Museum of New York, 2016.
Popular Music and Public Diplomacy, International Conference, 2015.
Hip-Hop in Europe, International Essay Collection, 2013.
(Re-)Imagining Post-Industrial Urbanity, Film Festival at Weslean University, 2012.
Conference on Hip-Hop in the Ruhr Area, 2010.
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Office Hours

winter semester 2018/19
  • by appointment only

Courses in the WS 18/19


  • PhD, TU Dortmund. 2012.
  • M.A., Chemnitz University of Technology. 2005.
  • B.A., Trent University, Canada. 2002.

Teaching Philosophy

  • For more than 10 years, I have taught courses, seminars, and workshops at different universities in Germany, Israel, Poland, Russia, and the United States. Due to this international experience, I have developed my own teaching philosophy which is deeply influenced by leading lights in the critical pedagogy, including Paulo Freire, bell hooks, et al. Working through methodologies, I incorporate the experiences, memories, and resources students bring to the classroom and encourage them to create their own readings, interpretations, and textual approaches. Since most of my students will become future English teachers, finding their own voices is one of my central objectives.
  • My teaching strategies often reach outside the classroom setting because I think it is extremely important to break through the so-called ivory tower and translate academic debates to a wider public since, after all, universities in Germany are funded by the taxpayer. Students who attended the seminar Mapping Hip-Hop: The Ruhr (2016), for instance, compiled a blog in which they published the results of their interviews, site visits, and field research on hip-hop culture in the Ruhr Area. Likewise, students enrolled in the my summer 2017 seminar on hip-hop education will participate in a series of workshops, panel discussions, and concerts hosted by the British female rap group Poetic Pilgrimage. In 2013, graduate students of my seminar Bubbles, Crunches, Crashes: Cultural Representations of the Financial Crisis presented their approaches to the Great Recession in popular culture at the TU Dortmund’s Summer Fest, the university’s annual summer celebration, and at the Tag der offenen Tür, the university’s open house event. Both events are open to the public. Finally, undergraduate students organized “An Evening of Modernism” in the seminar on Modernism and Visual Culture (2009/10), in which they presented their creative responses to Modernist literature and culture.
  • Teaching a variety of seminars that range from literature and culture to music and media, it is my firm belief that instructors should allow students freedom to pursue their ideas while supporting them in the process. In this way, students become even more passionate and enthusiastic about learning. Judging from my own personal experience as a student and instructor, I know that they profit from this enthusiasm, passion, and motivation as future teachers when they educate our next generation.

Courses in Past Semesters

  • A list of courses in past semesters can be found here.

Tips and Tricks of Academic Writing

  • Before students start planning their final thesis, they should clarify the larger timeline of their project and possible deadlines with their advisors and the Prüfungsamt,etc. Here is a great six-phase guide on how to plan the final thesis.
  • The introduction starts more general and ends with specific information about your project: What are you doing? How will you do it? Why is it necessary to do it? What is the benefit of your study? Most importantly, you state and explain your argument in the introduction.
  • If you are writing about an audio-/visual text (film, TV show, graphic novel), make sure to include screeshots or scans in order to make your point.
  • The key component of your paper is the thesis statement as it explains the argument of your text: No thesis - no paper. It is also the most difficult part (if you ask me). If you do not know how to develop a thesis, the Dartmouth Writing Program has an excellent guide of how to develop the core of your study.
  • Be VERY, VERY careful in handling other scholars' ideas! Do not forget to put references of the sources used in the actual text and in the Works Cited list at the end of your paper. If you do not know how to do this, consult your instructor before finishing the paper. More on Plagiarism.
  • Writing essays is a hard piece of work. And it is a very slow process. The average writing pace is about 1.5 to 2 (usable) pages per day. So start calculating for the deadline of your next paper.
  • Exchange the texts with your fellow students. Nothing sharpens your writing skills than taking on the position of a peer proofreader.
  • Writing also includes revising your paper several times. It takes about 4 rounds of corrections until your paper is perfect for submission. Keep in mind that each round of revision takes time. Finish your paper ahead of the actual submission date and have students, friends ready to comment on your style, spelling, and argumentation.
  • Writers block. A very common problem when writing. Try to either do other work related to your project (e.g. compiling the bibliography, inserting figures or screenshots), or do something completely different. Returning to the desk after a nice experience helps to continue writing.
  • Use the spell check. Set the language to English. Very banal, but it helps to prevent unnecessary spelling errors.
  • Do not assume any knowledge of the audience about your research topic. Try to write as understandable and comprehensive as possible. Imagine yourself writing this paper for your grandmother who has no clue about modernity, metonymy, or misogyny.
  • If you have trouble organizing your thoughts, tell your friends about what you want to do. Speaking about a complex subject matter helps to organize your thought process. Alternatively, you can map your project on a blank page.
  • When writing a longer paper, try to develop an idea or a reading of a text, not just listing your "lab results".
  • One Paragraph equals one idea. Outline your idea in the opening statement, discuss your idea throughout the paragraph and conclude this idea in the last sentence of your paragraph.
  • "The first key to writing is to write - not to think!" Finding Forrester (dir. Gus Van Sant, 2000)
  • If you do not know how to structure an essay, the 10-80-10 rule might help. Dedicate 20 per cent of your text to the introduction and conclusion. The remaining 80 per cent constitute the main part of your essay (this usually includes a background chapter and your main analysis/es).

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