Vanessa Klomfaß, M.A.

Universitätsstr. 105
44789 Bochum
Room: UNI 105, 3/28

Phone: +49 (0) 234/32-27279


Title of the Dissertation

This is a scrapbook of you + me”. Documentary Practices in Multi-Modal Literature. (Working Title)

Project Description

While today texts are read increasingly via electronic devices, greater interest is also developing in the materiality of books as objects. Hand in hand with this counter-movement, the contemporary literary landscape has seen a rise in the number of printed works that clearly accentuate their status as such, consisting of a specific combination of literary and visual or decidedly material forms.

This doctoral thesis in the field of media studies and literary criticism examines a selection of these works, which I describe as multimodal – in opposition to monomodal, i.e. purely text- or word-focused literature – and analyses their specific visual and material design, paying particular attention to (self-)documentary practices. The study is informed by the observation that a number of multimodal works display their own status as a book or album and also increasingly reflect the (re)-discovery or reconstruction of lost or damaged documents. The corpus of texts and materials selected (including Nick Bantock’s seven-volume Griffin&Sabine cycle (1991–), Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005) and J. J. Abrams’ and Doug Dorst’s S. (2013)) display both (media-)philological operations and their underlying cultural techniques of collecting, storing and presenting.

One aim of this research project is to exploit and reflect on the intersection between the documentary and the pseudo-documentary and their intertwinement manifest in multimodal literature.

Scholarly Career

  • Since October 2019: researcher (doctoral candidate) in the DFG post-graduate programme “The Documentary. Excess and Withdrawal”, Ruhr University of Bochum
  • 04/2016 to 02/2019: Master’s degree in Comparative Literature and Media Studies, Ruhr University of Bochum
  • 10/2012 to 03/2016: Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature & Media Studies, Ruhr University of Bochum
  • 10/2010 to 09/2013: Bachelor’s degree in German Studies & Culture, the Individual and Society, Ruhr University of Bochum


  • Wie Postkarten eine Existenz (v)erfassen. Ein medienkomparatistischer Blick auf Nick Bantocks Trilogie ›Griffin & Sabine‹, in: Sprachkunst. Beiträge zur Literaturwissenschaft, Vol. 48, 2017 (Postkarten und Literatur), pp. 99-119.

University Courses

  • Winter term 2016/17: Seminar: »Kämpfen – Kochen – Küssen – Männlichkeiten im Fernsehen« (im Rahmen des MA-Projektmoduls Screening the Male), Institute of Media Studies, Ruhr University Bochum


  • »›This is a scrapbook of you + me‹. Dokumentarische Praktiken in multimodaler Literatur«, talk presented as part of the Summer Academy Media Philology, Rutgers University, New Jersey, 27.08.2019
  • »Wahnsinnig oder von der Muse geküsst? – Ein medienkomparatistischer Blick auf den Protagonisten der Griffin&Sabine-Postkartentrilogie«, talk presented as part of the student lecture series HERMAION, Ruhr University Bochum, 30.05.2018
  • »Nick Bantocks Postkartentrilogie ›Griffin&Sabine‹ – Zur Inszenierung eines literarischen Texts mittels Intertextualität und Intermedialität«, talk presented as part of the World congress of the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA), University of Vienna, 23.07.16


  • Member of the German Society for General and Comparative Literature Studies (DGAVL)