Sakine Weikert

Mediated Things. The Excess of Things between Photography and Text  (Comparative Literature)

Sakine Weikert

Doctoral Candidate

Address Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Room JK 33/133
14195 Berlin
Email sakine.weikert@fu-berlin.de

Office hours

appointment via email

Sakine Weikert received her M.A. in German Literature (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin), Media Studies and German as a Foreign Language (Freie Universität Berlin) in 2010 with honours. Her thesis on language and violence in the discourse of the German terrorist group Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF) was published in 2012. In 2004 she held a teaching position at Deutsches Haus at New York University, funded by a DAAD grant. She has been working in fields such as guided museums tours (HKW Berlin), conceptual planning, event organization (Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin). Her current research interests include material culture, photography-text-narratives, artist books and the poetics of lists. Since October 2011 she has been a Ph.D. candidate at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, receiving a 3 years research grant by the DFG. Project supervisor: Prof. Dr. Hartmut Böhme.

Courses taught at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature, Freie Universität Berlin:

Courses taught at Deutsches Haus@New York University:

  • Spring 2004: German (Level 1)
  • Spring 2004: German (Level 1): Co-Teaching

How do we perceive things? How are they taken into view artistically? How do they construct playful narratives?

Sakine Weikert’s dissertation on “Mediated Things” analyzes the staging of things through text and photography. The seemingly mundane everyday thing has not only evolved as a focus of artistic interest but also as a topic of interdisciplinary research. Things have been charged with meaning and value through discourses about magical objects such as fetishes, museum collectibles and memorabilia or consumer goods.

Through different aspects of image-text-mediation and genre-hybridity - a let's say excessive framing -  things are highlighted and appear as the driving force of the narration. Even though we look at "Mediated Things" - for example in works by Sophie Calle or Leanne Shapton -, we experience an excess of meaning and a certain thingly quality.

The study looks at artist books and emerging alternative modes of (digital) narration and reading. It contributes to a dynamic and interdisciplinary theory building as it aims to integrate material culture studies into literary studies as well as the itinerancy of the photographic image.



„entweder schwein oder mensch“ - Sprache und Gewalt in Texten der RAF ("Language and violence in texts of the Red Army Fraction“). KWD 28. Institut für kulturwissenschaftliche Deutschlandstudien, Universität Bremen 2012 (http://www.deutschlandstudien.uni-bremen.de/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Kurz-Abstract-Weikert1.pdf).


 „Spurensuche: Absenzen und biographische Risse in Sophie Calles Die Entfernung“ (“Absences and biographical interruptions in Sophie Calle's artwork The Detachment“). In: Katharina Alsen, Nina Heinsohn (Hg.): „Bruch – Schnitt – Riss. Deutungspotenziale von Trennungsmetaphorik in Literatur und Kunst, Philosophie und Theologie.“ Reihe: Hamburger geisteswissenschaftliche Studien zu Religion und Gesellschaft. Berlin: Lit-Verlag 2015 (http://www.lit-verlag.de/isbn/3-643-11686-4). 

Presentations / Invited Talks:

2017 (forthcoming)

  • "Dinge aufzählen. Das sprachliche Abtasten alltäglicher Dinge in James Joyces Ulysses und Gertrude Steins Tender Buttons" ("Lists of Things. The sensual exploration of the Everyday in James Joyce's Ulysses and Gertude Stein's Tender Buttons"). Joint Graduate Workshop (University of Cambridge - University of Chicago - Freie Universität Berlin): "Epiphane Wirklichkeiten:
 Sprachen der Dinge in Literatur und Künsten". Forthcoming: FU Berlin, 16.-18. Februar 2017.


  • "I was blind but now I see. Poetische Interventionen als Verflechtungen von Literatur und Fotografie in Teju Coles blindspot" ("I was blind but now I see. Poetic interventions as entanglements of literature and photography in Teju Cole's blindspot")Jahrestagung der Friedrich Schlegel Graduiertenschule für literaturwissenschaftliche Studien "téchnē. Techniken und Technologien des Literarischen". Forthcoming: ICI Berlin, Institute for Cultural Inquiry, 11.-12. November 2016.  


  • "Fotografierte Dinge. Anmerkungen zu Materialität und Medialität" ("Photographed Things. On materiality and mediality"). Workshop "Mediated Objects. Das unbedingte Objekt? Von der Mittelbarkeit und der Mitteilbarkeit des Materiellen". International Graduate Center for the Study of Culture, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen 27.-29. November 2014 (https://www.uni-giessen.de/faculties/gcsc/gcsc/research/research-areas/research-area-4-visual-and-material-culture-studies/events/Mediated%20Objects).
  • "Visuelle Archive. Auktionslose, Inventare, Bibliothekskataloge" ("Visual Archives. Auction lots, inventories, library catalogues"). Studientage der Friedrich Schlegel Graduiertenschule für literaturwissenschaftliche Studien, Freie Universität Berlin 10. Oktober 2014.


  • "Leanne Shapton's telling objects of a collection". Hauptseminar 17395 "Literary and Cultural Theories: Material Culture Studies". Institut für Englische Philologie, Freie Universität Berlin 29. November 2012 (auf Einladung von Prof. Dr. Sabine Schülting). 
  • "Why surface and symptoms matter. Assembling methods to read Image-Text-Interweavings." Joint Graduate Workshop (University of Cambridge - University of Chicago - Freie Universität Berlin) "Surface Reading. What we Do to Texts and Other Media". Magdalene College, University of Cambridge 5.-7. Juli 2012.
  • "Fiktionales Erzählen in zeitgenössischer Fotografie. Von Dingen, Menschen und ihrer Umgebung" ("Fictional narratives in contemporary photography. Demand, Wall, Sugimoto“). Gastvortrag im Proseminar "Literatur & Fotografie". Institut für Deutsche Literatur, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 7. Februar 2012 (auf Einladung von Dr. Alexandra Tacke).


  • "Epistemische Spiegelbilder des Menschen? Fotografierte Dinge in der Gegenwartskunst" (“Mirror images of man? Photographed things in contemporary art“). Interdisziplinäre Tagung "Materialitäten. Herausforderungen für die Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften". Universität Mainz 19.-20. Oktober 2011 (http://www.materialitaeten.socum.uni-mainz.de/vortragende/index.html).
  • "Sprache und Gewalt in Texten der RAF sowie im medialen Diskurs über die RAF" ("Language and violence in 
    texts of the Red Army Fraction as well as in the medial discourse about the RAF“). Workshop des Netzwerks Terrorismusforschung "Terrorismus und / als / vs. Kommunikation". Universität Hildesheim 22.-23. Juli 2011.
  • "Absenzen und biographische Risse in Sophie Calles ‚Die Entfernung’" (“Absences and biographical interruptions in Sophie Calle's artwork The Detachment“). Interdisziplinäre Tagung der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes "Bruch - Schnitt - Riss. Deutungspotentiale von Trennungsmetaphorik". Aby-Warburg-Haus Hamburg 1.-3. Juli 2011 (http://www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-16723).

Organized Conference Panel:

Research Visits:

  • Princeton University (Fall 2013)
  • University of Chicago (Spring 2013)