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Melina Mandelbaum

Melina Mandelbaum

Department: German and Dutch

Supervisor: Professor Sarah Colvin

College: King's

AHRC Subject Area: Languages and Literature: German Studies

Title of Thesis: The Fictional 'Bürger': Citizenship in the German Novel


My academic background and interests lie at the intersection of literary, cultural, and political studies. I attained my BA in International Studies from Goldsmiths, my MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, and my MPhil in European Literature and Culture from the University of Cambridge. I also hold a Public Relations Diploma from the LCCI and have worked and interned at a number of public and academic institutions, including the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the UK Department for International Development, and a political science think tank.

Drawing on my interdisciplinary education and experience, my doctoral research at Cambridge explores representations of citizenship in the German language novel from the Imperial Era to the present day. An inherently contested concept, citizenship can be understood as a central determinant of many of today’s most pressing challenges, including matters of poverty and inequality, individual freedom, civic engagement, cultural identity and migration. In approaching these issues through the lens of creative fiction, I aim to promote a deeper understanding of how contestations over citizenship are staged not only administratively and physically, but also symbolically. My research is jointly funded by the AHRC and King’s College, and I also hold an honorary Vice-Chancellor’s Award.


Other academic interests

Modern and Contemporary Literature; International Relations; Migration Studies; Political Theory; Political Philosophy; Critical Theory; Thanatology and Necropolitics; Post-Colonialism