Logo der Universität Wien
You are here:>University of Vienna >Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies>Department of English

Mag. Dr. Sandra Mayer

Research Interests

  • literary celebrity and authorship 
  • (Neo)Victorian author fiction
  • cultural transfer and reception
  • Decadence and the Fin-de-Siècle
  • British and Irish drama and theatre

Selected Publications 

  • "Portraits of the Artist as Politician, the Politician as Artist: Commemorating the Disraeli Phenomenon."http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/IRhVCdmDk3vIbik5VwSV/full Journal of Victorian Culture 21.3 (2016).
  • "The Art of Creating a Great Sensation: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)." Starring the Author: Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature. Ed. Gaston Franssen and Rick Honings. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  • "Disraeli's 'Spectre of Unfulfilled Ambition': Literary Celebrity in/and Political Office." Oxford University Podcast
  • "Pegasus and Carthorse: The Many Shades of Disraeli's Celebrity." Oxford University Podcast https://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/pegasus-and-carthorse-many-shades-disraeli-s-celebrity
  • "Disparate Images: Literary Heroism and the 'Work vs Life' Topos in Contemporary Biofictions about Victorian Authors." Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies 7.1 (2014): 25-51. (co-authored with Julia Lajta-Novak)
  • "Visions of Salome, Visions of Wilde: Critical Readings of Oscar Wilde's Salome in Early Twentieth-Century Vienna." Performing Salome, Revealing Stories. Ed. Clair Rowden. Farnham: Ashgate, 2013. 49-69.
  • “When Critics Disagree, the Artist Survives: Oscar Wilde, An All-Time Favourite of the Viennese Stage in the Twentieth Century.” The Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe. Ed. Stefano Evangelista. London: Continuum, 2010. 203-216.
  • "En-Nobeling Literary Celebrity: Authorial Self-Fashioning in the Nobel Lectures of Elfriede Jelinek and Harold Pinter." The Performance of Celebrity: Creating, Maintaining and Controlling Fame. Ed. Amber Anna Colvin. eBook. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013. 67-80.
  • Sandra Mayer, Julia Novak and Margarete Rubik, eds. Ireland in Drama, Film, and Popular Culture: Festschrift for Werner Huber. Trier: WVT, 2012.
  • Werner Huber, Sandra Mayer, and Julia Novak, eds. Ireland in/and Europe: Cross-Cultural Currents and Exchanges. Irish Studies in Europe 4. Trier: WVT, 2012.

Selected Lectures and Conference Papers

  • "'The Most Brilliant of Paradoxes': Benjamin Disraeli, Oscar Wilde and Cross-Field Migration." Third Celebrity Studies Journal Conference, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 28-30 June 2016.
  • "Disraeli's 'Spectre of Unsatisfied Ambition': Literary Celebrity in/and Political Office." Symposium "Art and Action: The Intersections of Literary Celebrity and Politics," The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), University of Oxford, 5 March 2016.
  • "A Romantic Legacy: Benjamin Disraeli and Early-Victorian Celebrity Culture." The British Association for Victorian Studies Conference "Victorian Age(s)," Leeds Trinity University, UK, 27-29 August 2015.
  • "Pegasus and Carthorse: The Many Shades of Disraeli's Celebrity." Symposium "The Many Lives of Benjamin Disraeli: Fame, Legacy, Representations," The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), University of Oxford, 24 March 2015.
  • "Following the Primrose Path: Intersections of Literary and Political Fame in Commemorations of Benjamin Disraeli." Seminar "The Author in the Popular Imagination," The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW), Wolfson College, University of Oxford, 14 November 2014.
  • "'The Starlight of Renown': Benjamin Disraeli Through the Lens of Celebrity Studies." Second Celebrity Studies Journal Conference, Royal Holloway University of London, UK, 19-21 June 2014.
  • "The (Not So) Secret Fall of Oscar Wilde: Literary Celebrity and its Afterlives in Contemporary Biofiction and Popular Culture." Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, NUI Galway, 11 February 2014.
  • "Literary Cosmopolitans and Agents of Mediation: Oscar Wilde and Fin-de-Siècle Viennese Artistic Networks." European Science Foundation Workshop "Re-valuing Aestheticism and Modernism," University of Montpellier 3, France, 2-4 October 2013.
  • "Disparate Images: The 'Work vs Life' Topos in Contemporary Biofictions of Victorian Authors" (with Julia Novak), AAUTE Conference 2013, Salzburg.
  • "The Importance of Commemorating a Literary Celebrity." Conference "Ireland and Popular Culture," University of Reims, France, 19-20 October 2012.
  • "London Dandy Meets Viennese Bonvivant: The Cultural 'Other' in Oscar Wilde's Society Comedies on Viennese Stages." IASIL Conference "Irish Literatures and Culture: Old and New Knowledges," NUI Maynooth, Ireland, 26-30 July 2010.
  • “When Critics Disagree the Artist Survives. Oscar Wilde: An All-Time Favourite of the Viennese Stage in the Twentieth Century.” Conference “The Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe,” 8-9 March 2008, Trinity College, Oxford, UK.


Sandra Mayer studied English and History at the universities of Graz, Sussex, and Vienna, where she received her doctorate in English Literature for a thesis on the reception of Oscar Wilde’s plays on twentieth-century Viennese stages as part of the Austrian Science Fund project Weltbühne Wien (World Stage Vienna). She is currently a Lecturer in English Literature and Culture at the University of Vienna's English Department. Before returning to Vienna, she spent 14 months as an Erwin Schrödinger Research Fellow at the University of Oxford's English Faculty and Wolfson College, where she researched the intersections of literature, politics and Victorian celebrity culture in the career of Benjamin Disraeli. She also holds a Visiting Scholarship at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (Wolfson College, University of Oxford), where she oversees the Centre's "Life-Writing and Celebrity" research strand. 

In the winter term of 2015/16 she hosted an international lecture series on "Cultures of Celebrity" and recently organised a day symposium on "Art and Action: The Intersections of Literary Celebrity and Politics" at the University of Oxford. Selected podcasts from the symposium are available here.

For her work she received the Young Scholars Award 2010, granted by the Austrian Association of University Teachers of English (AAUTE), the Dr Maria Schaumayer Prize (2012), the Honorary Award of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (2012), and the Doc.Award (2013), jointly granted by the City of Vienna and the University of Vienna. She was awarded her doctoral degree sub auspiciis praesidentis rei publicae.


Room: 3G-O2-27 (2nd floor)
T: +43 1 4277 424-84

office hour: by appointment



Weltbühne Wien

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
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0