Aleksandra Prica | Faculty Profile
Medieval and Early Modern German Literature and Culture, Media Studies, Poetology and Hermeneutics, Historical Processes, Aesthetics, Literary Theory, Philosophy
I studied German Literature and Theology at the University of Zürich in Switzerland and at Humboldt University in Berlin. I received my Ph.D. degree in Medieval German Literature from the University of Zürich in 2010. Before spending two years on a postdoctoral grant in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago I was a Senior Research Associate (Oberassistentin) of Medieval German Studies in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Zürich. I joined the faculty of UNC in January 2016.
In my scholarship I seek to merge two main academic interests and methodological approaches to literature: on the one hand, my interest is historical and focuses on medieval and early modern literary texts and their cultural contexts. On the other, my perspective is theoretical and stresses the relationship between literature and philosophical and theoretical discourses, including theories of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This synthesis ultimately serves the goal of rethinking the aesthetic significance of medieval and early modern literature beyond its perception as a (oft-neglected) prehistory to literature of the modern era. I experiment with new ways of meaningfully relating aesthetics to the study of cultural practices, historical concepts and the philosophical examination of the human condition.
One core issue of my research is the study of concepts of time. In my dissertation entitled Heilsgeschichten. Untersuchungen zur mittelalterlichen Bibelauslegung zwischen Poetik und Exegese (Zürich: Chronos, 2010) I investigated the relationship between time, exegesis and the mediality of salvation history. My current book project Decay and Afterlife. Reading Ruins, Time and History (1100-1900) is concerned with time and the experience and the aesthetics of ruin. My future project will be dedicated to speculative thinking insofar as it is directed towards a realm of the unknown, of possibilities, imagination and future expectations. I have co-edited a volume on the mediality of time (Wiederkehr und Verheissung, Zürich: Chronos, 2011).