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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Ms Phyllis Koehler

Ms Phyllis Koehler

College: Jesus                   


Supervisor: Dr Charlotte Woodford

Research Topic: Early modern witchcraft and hermeneutics of the body



Phyllis holds a BA in Comparative Literature from UCL, and an MPhil in English Studies (Criticism and Culture) from the University of Cambridge. She spent two semesters at Sorbonne Université, studying French and Philosophy.


Teaching Interests

Supervisions and lectures for the modules “Sexuality and the Unconscious” and “Disruptive Narratives.”



Phyllis is interested in art that situates itself at the limits of signifying language: blank pages, gaps, the abstractions of asemic scribbles or anagrammatic formalisation, and the physical intensities of dance notation or the “body genre”. Her PhD engages with the surrealist poet Unica Zürn and her vast intertextual network, ranging from the medieval Melusine legend to Heinrich von Kleist, Herman Melville, Henri Michaux, Jacques Lacan, Hans Bellmer, and Catherine Binet. She is examining the ways in which Zürn proposes a language of the "real" that allows for an integral transmission of drives.



Schröder Scholarship, 2021-2024