Charleena Schweda studied English and American Studies as well as Comparative Literature at the Ruhr-University Bochum, including a semester abroad at the University of Limerick, Ireland. During her studies she worked as a journalist, lector and functioned as a student representative. Her research interests include Victorian studies – with a focus on GB and Ireland –, popular culture, gender studies, and queer studies.
Project: Female Monsters, Sentimental Monsters? The Portrayal of the Adolescent Woman as Monster and Monstrous in the Victorian Age and Late 20th to Early 21st Century (WT)
The project examines the interdependence of ‘womanhood’, monstrosity and sentimentalism in the portrayal of young women in horror literature and films. Contrary to the male monsters, the individualised female monster is always a gendered monster; the monstrosity of the adolescent woman lies in her body, its reproductive potential and functions, and the perception of her as woman – both by herself and by others. Her monstrosity is also closely associated with an increasing display of emotions and feelings and being heavily sentimentally coded. This is why the female monster functions as a screen onto which socio-historical anxieties, fantasies and taboos are projected. Using a comparative approach, the aim is to analyse recurring patterns in the characterisation of female characters as both monstrous and sentimental and the subsequential instrumentalisation of female sentimental monsters: in which ways are they utilised to discuss taboos and hidden fantasies, navigate their consequences, create sympathy for or against certain social, cultural, and political ideologies and subsequently (re-)affirm or challenge the hegemonic social order?
- „A Tale of Marriage and ‘Madness’: The Connection between Social Failure and Female ‘Madness’ in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.“ Bochum, 05.04.2019, Foucault & Cultural Studies (Student Conference)
- „Viktorianische Vampirinnen: Instrumente zur Darstellung kontemporärer Tabuthemen.“ Bochum, 14.06.2019, Literatur & das Böse (10. Studierendenkongress der Komparatistik)
- „‚[A] man with no interior, a man with no thoughts‘: (Un-)Certainties and the All-Encompassing Masculinity of The New York Trilogy.“ Bochum, 10.01.2020, Urban Masculinities (Student Conference)
- Schweda, Charleena. ‘‘Viktorianische Vampirinnen: Instrumente zur Darstellung kontemporärer Tabuthemen‘‘ Literatur und das Böse: Beiträge zum Studierendenkongress der Komparatistik 2019, edited by Lise Allirand et al., Ch. A. Bachmann, 2021.
- Allirand, Lise et al., editor. Literatur und das Böse: Beiträge zum Studierendenkongress Komparatistik 2019. Ch. A. Bachmann Verlag, 2021.