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Sarah Koellner

Sarah Koellner is a Doctoral Candidate in the Germanic and Slavic Languages Department at Vanderbilt University. Currently she is working on the aesthetic evaluation of privacy in her dissertation “Reenvisioning Privacy in German Literature and Culture after 9/11”, which examines the value of privacy for the “self” under (post-)panoptical surveillance. Shaped by the remembrance of the police state of the GDR, German intellectuals, writers, and artists such as Ulrich Peltzer, Kathrin Röggla, Angela Richter, or Juli Zeh have developed a unique voice in the debate of privacy and contemporary surveillance. By focusing on the transatlantic debate on contemporary surveillance, Sarah’s dissertation envisions a “participatory” dimension of privacy, which she sees reflected in the “Right to be Forgotten,” that has gained prominence in a ruling of the European Union court of Justice in 2014. Through a focus on the intersection of aesthetics and politics, the examination of aesthetic narratives promises a deeper understanding of the double-sided nature of surveillance and the willingness to share data on the individual level, when it promises to simplify, give orientation, or facilitate everyday life in an information society. Sarah received her M.A. in German Philology, Book Studies, and Political Sciences in 2012 from the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz in Germany. In 2009 she was an Erasmus scholar in Book and Digital Media Studies at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.