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Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sarah Heinz

Literature and other kinds of cultural texts, products, and practices are a central part of our societies and ways of life. In my research and teaching, I have been interested in the specific role that literary and cultural texts have in shaping our sense of self and our perception of the world and others. Literatures and cultures provide us with scripts and ideals of who (and how) to be and lead our lives, but they can also question norms that we often take for granted.

In that sense, the literary and cultural studies can be an arena in which we can critically engage with how we see, experience, and change the world, ourselves, as well as our relations to others.


Since July 2017: Full Professor for English and Anglophone Literatures at the English Department, University of Vienna, Austria

Apr. 2016-June 2017: Parental Leave

Apr. 2015-March 2016: Guest Professor at the English Department, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany

Jan.-Apr. 2015: Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

May 2014: Oral Habilitation Presentation, granting of the venia legendi "Anglistische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft" [English Literary and Cultural Studies]

2013: Submission of Habilitation at the School of Humanities, University of Mannheim, Germany

Title of Habilitation Treatise: "The Relative Skin: Whiteness in Contemporary Irish Literature and Film"

2009-2014: Juniorprofessor for British Literary and Cultural Studies at the School of Humanities, University of Mannheim

2008-2009: Juniorprofessor for English Literature/Cultural and Media Studies at the School of Humanities, University of Passau, Germany

2006-2008: Instructor at the Department of British Literary and Cultural Studies (Chair of English Literature and Culture, Anglistik II, Prof. Dr. Meinhard Winkgens) at the University of Mannheim

2003-2006: PhD in English Literature (summa cum laude)

Title of Doctoral Thesis: "Die Einheit in der Differenz: Metapher, Romance und Identität in A.S. Byatts Romanen" [Unity in Difference: Metaphor, Romance and Identity in A.S. Byatt's Novels]

1997-2003: Master of Arts in English, Linguistics, and Media and Communication Studies at the University of Mannheim

Born 1978 in Groß-Gerau, Germany

Teaching and Supervision

Among others, I have held lectures, facilitated seminars, and organised workshops in the following areas:

  • Contemporary British drama and narrative literature
  •  The contemporary Anglophone novel
  • Theories of intersectionality and race, specifically whiteness
  • Theoretical and narrative conceptualisations of transcultural encounters
  • Filmic, dramatic, and narrative representations of race, gender, class, and nation from Shakespeare to today
  • Cultural discourses of identity, normality, and normalisation

For a full list of my courses, course evaluations, and my teaching dossier, see my personal homepage.

I welcome supervision proposals in all these areas. If you are interested in doing a thesis project with me, please come to my office hours and bring any material that you might find helpful to outline your idea and research plan.

Research Interests

  • Postcolonial Theory, specifically Critical Whiteness Studies, Intersectionality, and Critical Race Theory
  • Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, specifically the Contemporary Novel
  • Transnational Discourses of Home and Homeland in Contemporary British and Anglophone Literature and Cultural Production
  • British Drama and the Novel since 1800
  • Contemporary Irish Literature, Film, and Culture in the Context of Postcolonial Studies and Globalisation
  • Intermediality, Intertextuality, and Adaptation
  • Theories of Identity and Subjectivity

Selected Publications and Presentations

In my publications and presentations, my focus has been the connection between literature, the self, and the cultures we live in. I am interested in the contingent and shifting subject positions that a cultural context can construct for us and in the ways in which such identities can be represented, contested, and developed by literary texts.

For a full list of publications and presentations, see my personal homepage.

Selected Books and Edited Work

Kuster, Nora, Stella Butter, and Sarah Heinz, eds. Subject Cultures: The English Novel from the 18th to the 21st Century. Tübingen: Narr, 2016.

Butter, Stella, and Sarah Heinz, eds. Special Issue "Focus on Community in Contemporary Cultural Production." Anglistik 26.1 (Spring 2015).

Heinz, Sarah. Die Einheit in der Differenz: Metapher, Romance und Identität in A.S. Byatts Romanen. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 2007. [Unity in Difference: Metaphor, Romance and Identity in A.S. Byatt's Novels]

Selected Journal Articles

Heinz, Sarah. "Sharing, the Gift, and the Search for Community in Darragh Burne's Film Parked." Special Issue "Focus on Community in Contemporary Cultural Production." Anglistik 26.1 (Spring 2015): 25-34.

Heinz, Sarah, and Mark Schmitt. "Blighted Past - Lost Future? Denaturalising Narratives of Rural Irishness in Leonard Abrahamson's Garage and Patrick McCabe's The Holy City." Special Issue "Cultural Remediation: The Role of Literary and Visual Representations in Reshaping Cultural Narratives in Contemporary Ireland." NIS: Nordic Irish Studies 13.1 (2014): 77-93.

Heinz, Sarah. "Not White, Not Quite: Irish American Identities in the US Census and in Ann Patchett's Novel Run (2007)." Amerikastudien / American Studies 58.1 (2013): 79-100.

---. „Cú Chulainn Down Under: Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang and the Ambivalences of Diasporic Irish Identity Construction in Australia." Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies April (2013): online.

Selected Book Chapters

Heinz, Sarah. "Celtic Tiger Ireland and the Politics of Disgust: White Trash in Leonard Abrahamson's Film Adam and Paul and Sebastian Barry's Play The Pride of Parnell Street." Narrating Ireland in Different Genres and Media. Ed. Katharina Rennhak. Trier: WVT, 2016. 133-149.

---. "The Ambivalent Bourgeois: Sherlock Holmes and late Victorian Subjectivities in Detective Fiction." Subject Cultures: The English Novel from the 18th to the 21st Century. Eds. Nora Kuster, Stella Butter, and Sarah Heinz. Tübingen: Narr, 2016. 155-191.

---. "Drama after Postmodernism: Martin Crimp's Attempts on Her Life and Patrick Marber's Closer." A History of British Drama: Genres - Developments - Interpretations. Eds. Sibylle Baumbach, Birgit Neumann and Ansgar Nünning. Trier: WVT, 2011. 399-412.

---. "The Age of Transition as an Age of Transgression? Victorian Poetry and the Taboo of Sexuality, Love and the Body." Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present. Eds. Stefan Horlacher, Stefan Glomb and Lars Heiler. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 159-176.

---. "If you think you know Shakespeare, think again: Julie Taymor's Titus and the Art of Adaptation." Cultural Shakespeare - Shakespearean Culture. Eds. Jürgen Kamm and Bernd Lenz. Passau: Stutz, 2009. 149-167.

Selected Book Reviews and Shorter Articles

Conference Report "‘Theatre and Mobility'. 25th Annual Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE)." The ESSE Messenger Online (2017).

"A.S. Byatt." Kritisches Lexikon zur fremdsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur. Hg. Sebastian Domsch et al. München: edition text + kritik. 89. Lieferung, 3/2013. 1-14, A/1-D/4.

Book Review "Andrea Ochsner. Lad Trouble: Masculinity and Identity in the British Male Confessional Novel of the 1990s." JMMS 5.1 (2011): 26-28.

Omnibus Review of Publications on Web Communities "Debra Ferreday. Online Belongings; and Alexander Tokar. Metaphors of the Web 2.0." MEDIENwissenschaft 4 (2010): 518-522.

"Der rosarote Panther." Filmgenres Komödie. Ed. Heinz-B. Heller and Matthias Steinle. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2005. 319-321.

Selected Presentations and Invited Talks

"The Immobilized Family: Home and Homeland in the Nigerian Novel." Symposium "Mobilizing Home(s): New Approaches to the Study of Home in Contemporary Literature and Culture." AIAS Aarhus, Denmark. 14-15 Sept. 2017.

"Unhomely Spaces and Improper Houses: Representations of Whiteness and Class on British Television." Anglistentag 2015 Paderborn, Germany. 23-26 Sept. 2015.

"'What's it like to be white?': Representations of Whiteness in Contemporary Irish and Anglophone Literature." Lunch Talk at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, University of Michigan, USA. 12 Feb. 2015.

Organiser of the Panel "Recent Ireland: Visions and Revisions of Irishness from the 1990s to Today." (with Katharina Rennhak, Michaela Schrage-Früh, and Anton Kirchhofer). Anglistentag 2012 Potsdam, Germany. 19-21 Sept. 2012.

Presentation of the Project "The Colour of Power." Invited Talk at "Challenging Institutional Whiteness in Postcolonial Times: International Conference of the White Spaces Network." Leeds, Great Britain. 10-12 Sept. 2012.


Room: 3G-O2-31
(2nd floor)

T: +43 1  4277-42461

Office hours during
semester break:
Wed, 7 Feb., 10-12 am
Mon, 19 Feb., 10-11 am

If there are no registrations for these office hours, the professor will not be in.

Office hour:
Mon 12:30-2:00

Please use the list posted on my door for pre-registration of specific time slots.


Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik /
Department of English
Universität Wien
Campus d. Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4/Hof 8.3
1090 Wien

T: +43-1-4277-424 01
F: +43-1-4277-9424
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