Sarah Sallmann studied English, Spanish and Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Durham and the Universidad de Sevilla, obtaining a master’s degree with a thesis on the picaresque in the novels of Salman Rushdie in 2009. From 2009-10 she worked as a junior research associate in the research project “Performances of cultural encounter: Early modern Anglo-Ottoman exchanges” of the research centre Cultures of the Performative and as a junior lecturer at the English Department of Freie Universität Berlin. She has been pursuing her Ph.D. as a scholar of the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies from 2010 to 2013, writing her dissertation The Picaresque Postmodernized.
Ever since the pioneering work of Frank Wadleigh Chandler and Fonger de Haan moved the picaresque novel into the focus of attention of literary studies at the turn of the 20th century, scholarship has been confronted with a genre which has stubbornly resisted any attempts of a taxonomical classification and disambiguation of its texts. The Ph.D. thesis “The Picaresque Postmodernized” applies itself to the systematic study of ‘picaresque’ novels with recursion to postmodernist and poststructuralist theories. It thereby sets itself the objective of transforming the traditional idea of the ‘picaresque’ genre into a performative concept in order to enable a disseminating re-reading of the texts with regards to the ambivalent narratives and careful self-stagings of their protean protagonists.