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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Alrik Daldrup

Alrik Daldrup


Alrik Daldrup



Jesus College               



Prof Sarah Colvin

Research Topic

Companion Texts. Reorienting Normalized Knowledge about Violence in Contemporary German Literature


About Me       

Alrik holds a Master’s degree in German literature and political science at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel. He spent one semester at the University of Gothenburg, studying German, English, and History of Ideas. During his studies at Kiel, he supervised tutorial classes and served as a research and teaching assistant for Prof Timo Felber (Department of German Studies) and Prof Paula Diehl (Department of Political Science). Additionally, he guest-taught a session of an advanced undergraduate seminar on queer theory with Dr Daniel Eder.

At Cambridge, Alrik’s work is closely intertwined with the German Section’s Research Group Cultural Production and Social Justice and the international EU Horizon / UKRI research project, ‘The Cartography of the Political Novel in Europe’, which investigates how the political novel contributes to understandings of local and global politics, and how it may be used as a means of political experience, protest, and participation. 



Alrik’s research centres on non-voyeuristic and epistemically just approaches to violence in German contemporary literature. Drawing on feminist theory (Ahmed, Collins, Cvetkovich, Hartman), the project is concerned with works of fiction that change normalized knowledge about structural systems of violence. While the pornographic curiosity to gaze at the unseeable risks the danger of further dehumanization, ‘companion texts’ (Ahmed) count the losses, document acts of resistance, and require the recipient to stay awake with those who experience violence. As such, they express a refusal to comply with the world as it is. Among the writers Alrik is interested in are Antje Rávik Strubel, Sharon Dodua Otoo, Judith Hermann, Ulrike Draesner and Laura Leupi. The theoretical approach of his project is deeply grounded in a political notion of literature as a radical democratic venue of ‘epistemic interaction’ (Medina).

Alrik’s broader interests include literature and politics, social justice and cultural production, ecocriticism, queer and affect studies.



Cambridge Schröder Scholarship in German Studies 2023-2026

The German Quarterly Graduate Student Paper Award 2023

Prize for Gender-Sensitive Research of Kiel University (Faculty of Arts and Humanities) 2023

Erasmus Plus Scholarship 2022/23


Teaching interests:

  • German literature and film
  • Close reading
  • University-level writing
  • Political theory



Conference papers

She names it, she nails it. Echoes of Killjoy Activism in Antje Rávik Strubel’s Blaue Frau, ACLA, Panel on: Activist Writing / Activist Reading, Montreal, March 2024.

When Legal Justice Fails: Fantasies of Equality and Antje Rávik Strubel‘s Blaue Frau, Literature and the Rule of Law / Literatur und Rechtsstaat: Aesthetic Negotiations, University of Cambridge, January 2024.

Biopolitical Realism, Thinking with Lauren Berlant - Graduate Student Virtual Seminar, online, May 2023.

Truly a ‘Reflection of Our Times’? All Quiet on the Western Front and the War in Ukraine, Watching War: A Symposium on Edward Berger’s All Quiet on the Western Front, University of Warwick/UBC Vancouver, online, May 2023.

All about love. Räume des Möglichen in Sharon Dodua Otoos Adas Raum, Kultur-Sprache-Raum. Internationales Online-Symposium für Germanistik-Studierende am Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), online, December 2022.

Disruption, Dissensus, Temporality. The Aesthetics of Radical Democracy, Workshop on Simultaneity. Aesthetics, Ethics, and Social Justice, University of Cambridge (Dr Stephanie Galasso), guest: Dr Jessica Ruffin, November 2022.

Radikaldemokratische Möglichkeiten in Sharon Dodua Otoos Adas Raum, International Colloquium: The Literary and Essayistic Writing of Sharon Dodua Otoo, University of Cambridge, with the author in attendance, March 2022.

Book review: In the Ruins of Neoliberalism (Wendy Brown, 2020), Colloquium Political Theory, History of Ideas, and Political Culture, University of Kiel, online, January 2022.

Disrupting Violent Distributions of the Sensible. Modes of Dissensus in Sharon Dodua Otoo’s Adas Raum, Sichtbarkeit:en conference, University of Oxford, online, July 2021.

For those who have been in crisis. Das Politische in der Literatur Sharon Dodua Otoos, Digitale INternationale Germanistische Studierendentagung (DINGS) 2021, online, with the author in attendance, April 2021.



Queerness, Affekte und Eigensinn in Grimmelshausens Courasche, in: The German Quarterly 97 (forthcoming 2024).

Reorienting Knowledge About Structural Systems of Violence in Sharon Dodua Otoo’s Adas Raum and Antje Rávik Strubel’s Blaue Frau, in: Re-writing Identities in Contemporary Germany: Radical Diversity and Literary Intervention, edited by Selma Rezgui, Laura Marie Sturtz, and Tara Talwar Windsor, Camden House Publishing (forthcoming 2024).

Von der ‘Macht, Welt zu machen’: Radikale Demokratie in Sharon Dodua Otoos Adas Raum, in: German Life and Letters 77 (1), 2024: 125-145, Special Issue: The Literary and Essayistic Writing of Sharon Dodua Otoo, edited by Sarah Colvin and Tara Talwar Windsor (


Other activities and roles

Co-founder (together with Jeannette Oholi), Network and Colloquium for Critical German Studies in Germany

Co-editor, Augenblick: A Journal for Undergraduate German Studies, UBC Vancouver

Co-organizer (together with Sarah Colvin and Melina Mandelbaum), Seminar Series on Cultural Production and Social Justice

Moderation of readings, for example with Sharon Dodua Otoo and Cécil Joyce Röski