Questions of identity

  • February 5, 2018
Questions of identity

Marie Kolkenbrock's new book explores one of the central conflicts of modernity.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has published a new book this week on what she sees as a central conflict of modernity: the desire to be both normal and special at the same time.

Marie Kolkenbrock’s book Stereotype and Destiny in Arthur Schnitzler's Prose: Five Psycho-Sociological Readings is published by Bloomsbury, 2018.

The book is based on her research for her PhD in German which explored the multiple relations between the encounter with a sense of destiny, on one hand, and the operation of social stereotyping, on the other, in the prose of the Viennese Modernist Arthur Schnitzler.

In addition to addressing questions of identity and subjecthood in Schnitzler's work, Marie’s book also shows how his texts inscribe themselves aesthetically in the literary tradition of Romanticism.  It has been described by reviewers Carl Niekerk (a professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Michael Minden (Reader Emeritus at Jesus College, Cambridge) as 'original', 'lucid', and 'elegant'.

Schnitzler wrote the book, Traumnovelle (Dream Story), which inspired Stanley Kubrick's 'Eyes Wide Shut'. The book deals with the thoughts and psychological transformations of Doctor Fridolin over a two-day period after his wife confesses having had sexual fantasies involving another man.

Schnitzler’s manuscripts are kept in the archive of the Cambridge University Library to which Marie had access for her PhD. Marie [2010] is currently a postdoctoral Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Vienna.

Marie Kolkenbrock

Marie Kolkenbrock

  • Alumni
  • Germany
  • 2010 PhD German
  • Trinity Hall

My PhD (2014) explored a conceptual and structural link between stereotypes of Jewishness, madness, Blackness, and femininity and the belief in the higher power of destiny in narrative writings by the Viennese Modernist Arthur Schnitzler. My general research interests are psychoanalysis, sociology of literature, Gender Studies, cultural history of science, history and theory of biography. I am now working on a scholarly biography of Arthur Schnitzler. Before returning to Cambridge for my current position as Research Associate, I worked as Lecturer and Post-doctoral Researcher at the University of Salzburg, Austria. I am now a member of both the Department of German in Cambridge and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Vienna.

Latest News

Provost wins top Royal Society award

Gates Cambridge Provost Professor Barry Everitt has been selected for the Royal Society’s premier award in the biological sciences. Professor Barry Everitt FMedSci FRS has been awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2021 for his research on the application of his findings on brain mechanisms of motivation to important societal issues, such as drug addiction. […]

Addressing energy injustice in the Global South

A new framework which uses artificial intelligence to analyse textual data on energy use and behaviour could help policymakers develop a deeper understanding of energy injustices in the Global South. The study, Grounded reality meets machine learning: A deep-narrative analysis framework for energy policy research, was led by Gates Cambridge Scholar Ramit Debnath [2018] and is published in the journal Energy Research […]

Scholar wins top German prize for PhD thesis

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has won a prestigious international award for her PhD dissertation on the relationship between offshore finance and state power. Dr Andrea Binder was named winner of the Körber Foundation’s German Dissertation Award 2020 for social sciences. The prize, one of the most highly endowed for young researchers from Germany, honours excellent PhD research which […]

Developing a farm for impact model

Shadrack Frimpong has not yet started his PhD, but already his and his team’s work has earned him awards from the Queen, the Clinton Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Foundation. The awards are for their outstanding work in creating a potential new development model for rural crop-growing communities starting from Shadrack’s own village in Ghana. […]