Wawrzinek Erfahrungsbericht

Jennifer Wawrzinek ist derzeit als Dozentin für Cultural Studies an unserem Institut tätig. Sie kommt eigentlich aus Australien und ist neben ihrer Lehrtätigkeit auch noch Autorin. Wir haben - zur Orientierung - den "Bericht" in verschiedene Stichpunkte untergliedert, die sich je einem anderen Aspekt widmen. Allgemein geht es darum einen Einblick in ihre bisherige berufliche Laufbahn zu erhalten. Falls ihr noch mehr über Jennifer Wawrzinek erfahren möchtet so schaut doch mal bei den Interviews der Dozenten und Dozentinnnen nach!



I think you need to be both flexible and multi-skilled as well as develop

a specific and profound knowledge in a few designated fields of interest.

Of course, the first and most importantly is having an open mind and an

inquisitive nature and then developing these attributes into solid

research skills (which will vary depending on your chosen field of study

and/or research). This means developing conceptual and creative skills in

order to come up with original and thought-provoking research, as well as

developing systematic and methodical research skills in order to develop

these ideas into a realizable end product (an essay or a book). As a

teacher, these skills are also important, but so is, equally, the

development of good communication skills – being able to communicate your

ideas effectively and clearly to others in a manner which is inspiring.

And naturally this applies to both oral and written skills, being able to

write in a manner that is both creative and engaging but simultaneously

develops a clear and decisive argument.



No, I didn’t plan my career, nor did I expect to be working in a research

position and beginning an “Habilitation” in Berlin! I was living in Paris,

working on a research project which was funded by an Australian research

award, and expecting to take an employment offer from one of the French

universities in Paris, when I was offered a research position with the

English department at FU. I think it is important to have some goals which

drive you towards achieving something, but that these need to be flexible.

Sometimes life presents us with unexpected opportunities (such as a

research position at FU, Berlin) which may not have been part of an

original plan, and being too fixed to prior conceptions means missing out

on the possibility of something better than previously imagined. I would

never accept an “opportunity” if it didn’t seem interesting to me, or if I

didn’t think it would somehow make my life better, more interesting, more




The university system is still, unfortunately, a male-dominated world (at

least from what I have seen from my experiences in Australia, France and

Germany) --- although it is true that affirmative action is going some way

to redress this. However, and more importantly, as a female academic, the

difficulty is perhaps one of taking up public space – of expressing an

opinion, developing research in a public arena and having the

self-confidence to put oneself forward. As a foreigner, I think it is more

difficult than this because academic pedagogical systems have developed

out of cultural values that are very country-specific and moving across

systems (from the Anglo-American to the German for example) is not such an

easy task, even in English departments. The most difficult adjustments for

me have been cultural ones, and the idea, as it seems, that the completion

of a doctorate carries less weight and less importance in the German

system than it does in the Anglo-American system. Whilst different

countries (especially in the EU) would like to encourage more movement

across international borders, the fact of the German Habilitation, or in

France the aggregation (which I have been told would be impossible for me,

as a foreigner to achieve), effectively makes such movement very

difficult. On the positive side, I have been lucky enough to find a

passage into the German system, and this is proving to be an enriching

experience because the very differences that frustrate me, are also the

differences which provide invaluable learning experiences both in my

research and my teaching --- so I cannot underestimate the importance of

struggling with cultural differences and readjusting to a new environment

in order to experience the benefits of difference.

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