Antonia Kurz



Antonia Kurz
Contact details:
Associated member
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Frauke Berndt




Antonia Kurz studied German literature, history and art history at the University of Tubingen. In 2007, she studied at the Université de Provence (Aix-Marseille I) in Aix-en-Provence and at the University of Oregon in Eugene (USA) in 2009/2010. After her degree, she completed  a journalistic traineeship  and currently works as a copywriter in a PR agency. From 2015-2019, she investigated the history of the mandrake motive in literature and film from the 19th to the 21st century as her PhD project. From 2017-2019, Antonia Kurz was an associated member of the Gender Studies Doctoral Program.

Dissertation Project

Motivgeschichtliche Studien zur Literatur im langen 19. Jahrhundert


With this contribution to the history of reception of the mandrake, this dissertation project makes an important contribution to the history of the cultural imaginary. The myth is about how the root of the mandrake grows like a tiny person in an eerie way. The myth has repeatedly changed over thousands of years and became very popular in the literature of the 19th century. However, the fantastic has no stable reference. Instead, the knowledge of mandrakes depends on different historical discourses, which not only give the myth a view, but also give the figures fantastic bodies. In this dissertation project, the development of the motif in modernity is to be investigated at three interfaces of German-language literature and international film: in the romantic era, mandrakes signified initially psychological knowledge, whereas at the beginning of the century mandrakes were imaginations of threatening female sexuality (HH Ewers' Alraune).