Julia Rössler©Photogenika

Dissertation Award 2024

Julia Rössler receives the Bavarian American Academy Dissertation Award 2024. The American Studies scholar from the Chair of North American Literary Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich receives the award for a doctoral thesis that examines innovative figurations and functions of mimesis in contemporary drama after postmodernism, which she submitted at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. She received the award during this year's BAA member's meeting, which took place on June 7, 2024, at Amerikahaus Munich.

In her dissertation, Julia Rössler traces the formation of a ‘neomimetic aesthetic’ that can be situated in between postmodernism and the return to the real in contemporary aesthetics. She proposes that these (re)figurations of the mimetic do not reflect a return to a traditional aesthetic of imitation but rather suggest a new understanding of mimesis as a self-reflexive ethical practice. Her study focuses on three central strategies of the mimetic in contemporary drama: the aestheticization of the real, the idea of aesthetic experience as an ethical event, and a figurative aesthetic that negotiates ethical questions such as positionality and accountability. These tendencies are examined in representative works of US-American and British theater by Suzan-Lori Parks, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Tim Crouch und debbie tucker green. Overall, the study opens up fresh perspectives on the theory, aesthetics, and periodization of contemporary drama since 2000.

Julia Rössler with Prof. Dr. Kerstin Schmidt @BAA

Julia Rössler is a Research Assistant at the Chair of North American Literary Studies at LMU Munich. She studied English and American Studies (MA) and Ethics of Textual Cultures (MA) at the University of Augsburg and was a member of the International Doctoral Program (IDP) MIMESIS at LMU Munich from 2017 to 2018. From 2018 to 2023, she was a lecturer at the Chair of American Studies at the Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and completed her dissertation in 2023. For her dissertation project “Drama after Postmodernism: New Aesthetics of Mimesis on the Contemporary Stage,” Julia Rössler was awarded a Post-Graduate Research Fellowship by the Bavarian American Academy at Harvard University in 2019 and in 2020 she was a visiting scholar at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY Graduate Center, New York.

The Bavarian American Academy Dissertation Award is annually awarded to recognize the outstanding achievement of a graduate student, whose dissertation engages with questions related to North America or inter-American topics and is situated within the Humanities. The award is endowed with 1.500 Euro.

The Bavarian American Academy's Board of Directors and the members of the BAA extend their warmest congratulations to Julia Rössler, wishing her the very best for the next steps in her academic career!