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03Oct 2018

The Neural Wunderkammer

The poster presentation was accompanied by a hands-on cabinet of curiosities (Wunderkammer) and a short film describing the methodology of neural networks and their impact on the project.
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20SEP 2018

Revolutionary or "Radical Crank"? The Political Utopias of Thomas Spence

Viewed as a political radical by his contemporaries, Thomas Spence advocates the socialization of land on his virtual islands of Crusonia (1782) and Spensonia (1803). Despite his rejection of land ownership, which is dismissed as nothing but a communist utopia avant la lettre, he developed a concept which is widely discussed in contemporary society and was the topic of a referendum in Switzerland in 2016 - the idea of an unconditional basic income. This contribution is going to present the basics of Spence's Utopias and examine their validity in terms of an 'alternative social formation' as well as its impact on contemporary thought on social change.

Interdisciplinary Conference  “Imaginationen des Sozialen. Narrative Verhandlungen zwischen Integration und Divergenz (1750-1945)", Universität zu Köln, 12-14.12.2018.
01DEC 2017

The Fast and the Curious: The Role of Curiosity in the Gothic Heroine's 'Grand Tour of the Mind'

In the eighteenth century, the gender bias against female curiosity marginalises it with the stigma of “gossip”. Situating Radcliffe’s Gothic novels in discourses of knowledge, this article offers a new reading of female curiosity as a positive side-effect of the heroine’s “mobility”, regardless of whether her state of being in motion is the result of invitation, flight or abduction. Simultaneously, the female Gothic heightens their implied readers’ curiosity without actually satisfying it. This technique creates a self-reflexive process ridiculed in Catherine, the “virtual reader” of Gothic adventures in Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Thus the female Gothic creates a “Grand Tour of the Mind” which enhances the transmogrifying power of female curiosity by dispensing knowledge either forbidden or unavailable at the beginning of the journey.


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PD Dr. Simone Broders is a member of academic staff at the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Office Hour:

  • Off-term: by appointment
  • Winter term 2018/19:
      Wed 11.00-11.45, C3A3


Publication: “The Fast and the Curious – The Role of Curiosity in the Gothic Heroine’s ‘Grand Tour of the Mind’”. English Studies, 2017.


Conference Contribution: German National Conference in English Studies, University of Bonn. Workshop “The Digital in English Philology”, Anglistentag 2018, Bonn, 23.-26.09.2018.

Conference Contribution: “‘She Broke Your Throne, and She Cut Your Hair’ – An Iconography of Hair and Masculinity in English Literature and Culture”. De/Constructing Masculinities? Critical Explorations into Affect, Intersectionality, and the Body. International and Interdisciplinary Conference. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 22.-23.06.2018.