Sarah Koellner’s research focuses on 20th and 21st Century German literature, media, and culture at the intersection of surveillance and migration studies.
The interplay between aesthetics and politics is central in Koellner’s work which grapples with German literary, media, and cultural expressions of the late 20th and 21st centuries. Questions of identity, community, transculturalism, and the conditions of artistic creation in the digital age connect her research interests in German, Surveillance, and Migration Studies. She has published her work in journals including Seminar, Gegenwartsliteratur, Variations, and Surveillance & Society. Her current book project “Participatory Privacy in Contemporary German Culture,” investigates how literature, film, theater, and digital art critique contemporary surveillance cultures and their practices. Through an examination of the works of Ulrich Peltzer, Juli Zeh, Sibylle Berg, Angela Richter, Hasan M. Elahi, and Hito Steyerl, her research points towards potential futures of privacy as a form of collaborative resistance against mass surveillance.
In addition to teaching in the German language and culture sequence, Koellner also teaches in Global Studies and in the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities. She is particularly interested in finding synergies between her research and teaching; her course “Global Surveillance Cultures” explores how surveillance imaginaries are circulated globally and the ways in which the arts offer an entry point to discuss cultural differences in attitudes towards information collecting, mass monitoring, and digital sharing cultures.