Kate Roy

Kate Roy

Adjunct Professor, Literature and Culture / Modern Languages and Literatures (German)

Ph.D., University of Manchester, UK
M.A., University of Otago, New Zealand
B.A. (Double Hons), University of Otago, New Zealand

Office: Kaletsch Campus, Office 8
Phone: +41 91 986 53 20
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Kate Roy holds a BA (Double Hons) in German and French and an MA in German Literature from the University of Otago, and completed her PhD, a comparative project focusing on a Deleuzian reading of the works of Turkish-German writer Emine Sevgi Özdamar and French writer Leïla Sebbar, at the University of Manchester in 2008. Before joining Franklin University Switzerland, she was a postdoctoral researcher and recipient of small grants from the Universities of London (School of Advanced Studies), Tübingen and Innsbruck, and from the DAAD, the Berlin State Library and the Leverhulme Trust, the latter a Visiting Fellowship at the University of Liverpool, where she also co-taught a module on Turkish-German writing and film. From 2013-2014 she was a Lecturer in German at the University of Leeds, where she taught modules on contemporary literature, and she maintains a link with Leeds as an Honorary Research Fellow of their School of Languages, Cultures and Societies. Her research interests include diasporic writing, especially Turkish-German and Arab-German writing, postcolonial traces in (and of) the former German East Africa, translation, rewriting, and the strategic manipulation of difference, literary challenges to Orientalism, Deleuzian theory, text/image assemblages, and comparative studies in postcolonial literatures and cultures.


Journal articles:

Roy, Kate. '"Unsere Schatten mischten sich mit Totenschatten, Ameisen setzten sich auf unsere Beine": Narrative and narrator as a Body without Organs in Emine Sevgi Özdamar's Das Leben ist eine Karawanserei', 'Emine Sevgi Özdamar at 70', ed. by Frauke Matthes and Elizabeth Stewart, Oxford German Studies, forthcoming 2016.

Roy, Kate. 2015. 'Only the "outward appearance" of a harem? Reading the Memoirs of an Arabian Princess as material text', Belphégor. Littérature Populaire et Culture Médiatique, Volume 13, Number 1 ('Distinctions that Matter: Popular Literature and Material Culture', ed. by Anthony Enns and Bernhard Metz): http://belphegor.revues.org/611.

Roy, Kate. 2013. '"So ähnlich könnte es gewesen sein, aber […]": Unethical narrations of Emily Ruete's "Große Wandlungen"', Edinburgh German Yearbook, 7 ('Ethical Approaches in Contemporary German-Language Literature and Culture', ed. by Frauke Matthes and Emily Jeremiah): 115-138.

Roy, Kate. 2010. 'In der Mitte fließt es immer schneller: Grenzen und ein "politisierter Ortsbegriff" in den Werken Emine Sevgi Özdamars und Leïla Sebbars', Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, Volume 129, Special Issue (Grenzen im Raum - Grenzen in der Literatur/ Topographical Borders - Borders in Literature, ed. by Eva Geulen and Stephan Kraft): 147-159.

Roy, Kate. 2009. 'Writing Back: Letters Home, "European Impressions" and Discourse Subversion in Emily Ruete and Zeyneb Hanoum', International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Number 11: 61-70.

Roy, Kate. 2007. 'Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Leïla Sebbar: Mapping Global Intertexts in "Local" Texts', International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 4, Number 8: 73-82.

Book chapters:
Roy, Kate. "Hinter dem eisernen Gitter ihres Fensters": the harem window as active frame in nineteenth-century narratives of Emily Ruete's "Entführung,"' in The Window. German and Austrian Art and Literature from the Middle Ages to the Present, ed. by Heide Kunzelmann and Anne Simon (Munich: iudicium), forthcoming 2016.

Roy, Kate. 2013. '"Das Herz läßt [...] die Verfasserin mehr sprechen, als es den Leser zu fesseln vermag": Emily Ruetes Memoiren einer arabischen Prinzessin als gezielter Tabubruch', in Zwischen Ritual und Tabu: Interaktionsschemata interkultureller Kommunikation in Sprache und Literatur, ed. by Ernest W.B. Hess-Lüttich, Aleya Khattab and Siegfried Steinmann (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), 265-285.

Roy, Kate. 2011. 'Yadé Kara, Cafe Cyprus: New Territory?', in Emerging German-Language Novelists of the Twenty-First Century, ed. by Lyn Marven and Stuart Taberner (Rochester, NY: Camden House), 195-213.

Roy, Kate. 2011. 'Die U-Bahn als "unterirdisches Babel" im London von Yadé Karas Cafe Cyprus sowie im Paris von Leïla Sebbars Métro: Instantanés', in Metropolen als Ort der Begegnung und Isolation: Interkulturelle Perspektiven auf den urbanen Raum als Sujet in Literatur und Film, Cross Cultural Communication Vol. 20, ed. by Ernest W.B. Hess-Lüttich, Nilüfer Kuruyazıcı, Şeyda Ozil and Mahmut Karakuş (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), 473-489.

Roy, Kate. 2010. 'Re-membering heterogeneous histories: how the writing of Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Leïla Sebbar re-inscribes the Other in a "European" past', in The Poetics of the Margins: Mapping Europe from the Interstices, ed. by Rossella M. Riccobono (Oxford: Peter Lang), 101-117.

Grant, Alyth, and Kate Roy. 2010. 'Between Mother Tongue, Grandfather Tongue and Foreign Tongue: A Turk in Translation', in Cultural Transformations: Perspectives on Translocation in a Global Age, ed. by Vijay Devadas, Henry Johnson and Chris Prentice (Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi), 73-103.

Roy, Kate. 2009. 'German-Islamic Literary Interperceptions in Works by Emily Ruete and Emine Sevgi Özdamar', in Encounters with Islam in German Literature and Culture, ed. by James Hodkinson and Jeffrey Morrison (Rochester, NY: Camden House), 166-180.

Roy, Kate. 2009. 'A Multiple Otherness: Beginning with Difference in the Writing of Leïla Sebbar', in Alienation and Alterity: Otherness in Modern and Contemporary Francophone Contexts, ed. by Helen Vassallo and Paul Cooke (Oxford: Peter Lang), 265-288.

Magazine articles:
Roy, Kate. 2015. 'Feridun Zaimoglu: Wordsmith', New Books in German, Issue 38, 3. (http://www.new-books-in-german.com/english/1948/440/440/129002/design1.html)

Roy, Kate. 2011. '"What transformations I'd been through over the years…": Memoirs of an Arabian Princess turns 125', New Books in German, Issue 30, 36. (http://www.new-books-in-german.com/english/940/312/312/129002/design1.html)

Online exhibition:
'Von Sansibar nach Berlin und weiter: 125 Jahre Emily Ruetes Memoiren einer arabischen Prinzessin' / 'From Zanzibar to Berlin and beyond: 125 years of Emily Ruete's Memoirs of an Arabian Princess.' Co-curator (with Ursula Jäcker, Berlin State Library) http://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/recherche/fachgebiete/germanistik/emily-ruete/

Mohafez, Sudabeh. 2012. 'Desert Sky, Land of Stars', trans. by Kate Roy, Comparative Critical Studies, Volume 9, Number 1: 114-118.

Çırak, Zehra. 2011. 'Books', trans. by Kate Roy, no man's land Issue 6 (http://www.no-mans-land.org/).

Mohafez, Sudabeh. 2009. 'Sediment', trans. by Kate Roy, no man's land Issue 4 (http://www.no-mans-land.org/).


Kate Roy's current research project (working title: '1001 Re-tellings: Emily Ruete's Memoiren einer arabischen Prinzessin in a literary context') focuses on the transnational figure of Emily Ruete, born Sayyida Salme, daughter of the Sultan of Oman and Zanzibar, who lived for much of her life in Germany. Ruete's Memoiren einer arabischen Prinzessin (Memoirs of an Arabian Princess), written in German, were first published in 1886, and are considered to be the earliest full and extant autobiography by an Arab woman. The project's pertinence lies in its investigation of the 'translation' of Ruete's life story for various audiences through space and time, its re-reading of the memoirs as literature, and its analysis of their retellings and translations in order to map the transformations of Orientalist discourse down to the present day. Taking a Cultural Studies approach, the project investigates the interplay of 'book' and 'world', interrogating the ways in which the textual and paratextual dynamics of the memoirs (and their retellings and translations) interact with their colonial, Orientalist and postcolonial contexts.