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Marlene Oeffinger


Marlene Oeffinger

My research is concerned with theories of self and subjectivity and the tensions that exists between theories of the transcendental and neurophysiological subject-self. I am particularly interested in the positionality of the subject-self manifested in its different positionalities of being body, being in its body, and being outside its body and their expression in and through poetry, from Romantic to Contemporary.

My project will investigate imagination and communicability (Mit-teilbarkeit) as means to mediate between physical and metaphysical levels of self through the development of an interdisciplinary literary methodology in conversation with philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, molecular biology, literary criticism, and poetics and attempt to define a notion of selfhood that draws on both a transcendental and neuro/biological subject-self in its lived world through a poeticized subject.

I hold an MA in English and Creative Writing-Poetry from Concordia, an MSc from the University of Vienna, and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh.

I am currently an affiliate and coordinator at Concordia’s Centre for Expanded Poetics, where I hope to explore “poesis as making” on a molecular level and co-organised the Expanded Dialogues Symposium on Self/Uncertainties with Fintan Neylan in collaboration with Concordia’s 4TH Space. I also teach composition, English literature, and science.

Besides my academic writing and research, I also write poetry concerned with different modes of self and their fragmentation into micro- and macromolecular forms, and my poetic work can be found in Headlight Anthology, The Minute Review, and in the collaborative collection X-Tracts published by Turret House Press in 2022.

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