Dr Isabelle Hesse

PhD (York, UK)
Lecturer

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 6859

Biographical details

Isabelle Hesse researches and teaches in the area of modern and contemporary world literatures. Her work is situated at the nexus of postcolonial, Jewish, and Middle Eastern studies and has been published inThe Journal for Cultural Research, Textual PracticeandPostcolonial Text. She also has a forthcoming article in New Formations. Her first book The Politics of Jewishness (2016) addressed a significant shift in cultural perceptions of Jewishness by examining how the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine has extended ideas of Jewishness conflated with diaspora, marginality, victimhood, and the Holocaust. Through close analysis of literary productions from different geopolitical contexts – from post-war Germany to postcolonial writing to Palestine and Israel – this book demonstrates that constructions of Jewishness have taken a ‘colonial’ turn in the contemporary period, as world literature increasingly situates Jewishness in relation to Zionism and colonialism, positing Jewish identity as a means of questioning received ideas about victimhood and power. Listen to Isabelle speaking about the book here.

Research interests

Isabelle is interested in postcolonial literature and theory, Palestinian and Israeli literature and film, the intersection between postcolonial and Jewish studies, and the cultural memory of colonialism and the Holocaust in Europe. Her current book project, entitled Conflicted Narratives: Imagining Israel and Palestine in Contemporary British and German Culture, considers the ways in which tropes associated with Israel and Palestine are circulated in British and German literature and film after the first Palestinian intifada, especially in light of Britain and Germany’s contemporary politics in the Middle East and their respective commemorative practices of the Holocaust. This project examines the aesthetic and narrative strategies that authors and directors use in fiction, travelogues, memoirs, and documentaries to represent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its history to contemporary audiences and asks to what extent these imaginings of Israel and Palestine challenge contemporary political and cultural discourses in Germany and the UK.

Teaching and supervision

Teaching
In 2017, Isabelle is tutoring and lecturing on ENGL1026 Constructing the Fictive Self, ENGL6103 Approaches to Global English Literatures, ENGL1013 Global Literatures in English and guest-lecturing on ENGL2654 Novel Worlds.

Supervision
Isabelle welcomes enquiries from students interested in working in the area of postcolonial and/or world literature and theory, especially Palestinian and Israeli literature and film; the intersection between postcolonial, Jewish, and Middle Eastern studies; and the politics of remembering the Holocaust and colonialism in Europe.

Current research students

Project title Research student
Relational Poetics Dashiell MOORE

Associations

Awards and honours

  • 2014, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, University of York, UK
  • 2012, Fellow. DAAD Conference, University of Birmingham, UK
  • 2012, Fellow. Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization, Holocaust Research Centre, RHUL, UK and Holocaust Educational Foundation, USA

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2017

  • Teaching Literature and Writing in the Digital Age; Hesse I, Rooney B, Johinke R, Yahp B, Lee F, Lilley K; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Hesse, I. (2016). The Politics of Jewishness in Contemporary World Literature: The Holocaust, Zionism and Colonialism. London: Bloomsbury. [More Information]

Book Chapters

  • Hesse, I. (2016). German Empire. In Sangeeta Ray, Henry Schwarz (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies, (pp. 647-651). Malden: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

Journals

  • Hesse, I. (2017). Sensory siege: dromocolonisation, slow violence, and poetic realism in the twenty-first century short story from Gaza. Journal for Cultural Research, 21(2), 190-203. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2014). Colonizing Jewishness? Minority, Exile, and Belonging in Anita Desai's 'Baumgartner's Bombay' and Caryl Phillips's 'The Nature of Blood'. Textual Practice, 28(5), 881-899. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2014). From Colonised to Coloniser: Reading the Figure of the Jew in Edgar Hilsenrath's Der Nazi und der Friseur and Jurek Becker's Bronsteins Kinder. Postcolonial Text, 9(4), 1-16. [More Information]

Edited Journals

  • Hesse, I. (2014). The Parapostcolonial: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and New Approaches. Postcolonial Text, 9(4).

Reference Works

  • Hesse, I. (2014). Sahar Khalifeh. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 6.1.1: Israeli and Palestinian Writing and Culture. The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2014). Shulamith Hareven. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 6.1.1: Israeli and Palestinian Writing and Culture. The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2013). Caryl Phillips's 'The Nature of Blood'. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 1.2.1.09: Postwar and Contemporary English Writing and Culture , 1945-present. The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2013). David Grossman. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 6.1.1: Israeli and Palestinian Writing and Culture. The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. [More Information]

2017

  • Hesse, I. (2017). Sensory siege: dromocolonisation, slow violence, and poetic realism in the twenty-first century short story from Gaza. Journal for Cultural Research, 21(2), 190-203. [More Information]

2016

  • Hesse, I. (2016). German Empire. In Sangeeta Ray, Henry Schwarz (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies, (pp. 647-651). Malden: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Hesse, I. (2016). The Politics of Jewishness in Contemporary World Literature: The Holocaust, Zionism and Colonialism. London: Bloomsbury. [More Information]

2014

  • Hesse, I. (2014). Colonizing Jewishness? Minority, Exile, and Belonging in Anita Desai's 'Baumgartner's Bombay' and Caryl Phillips's 'The Nature of Blood'. Textual Practice, 28(5), 881-899. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2014). From Colonised to Coloniser: Reading the Figure of the Jew in Edgar Hilsenrath's Der Nazi und der Friseur and Jurek Becker's Bronsteins Kinder. Postcolonial Text, 9(4), 1-16. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2014). Sahar Khalifeh. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 6.1.1: Israeli and Palestinian Writing and Culture. The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2014). Shulamith Hareven. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 6.1.1: Israeli and Palestinian Writing and Culture. The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2014). The Parapostcolonial: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and New Approaches. Postcolonial Text, 9(4).

2013

  • Hesse, I. (2013). Caryl Phillips's 'The Nature of Blood'. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 1.2.1.09: Postwar and Contemporary English Writing and Culture , 1945-present. The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. [More Information]
  • Hesse, I. (2013). David Grossman. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 6.1.1: Israeli and Palestinian Writing and Culture. The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. [More Information]

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