© Rita Maricocchi

Rita Maricocchi

English Department
Universität Münster
Johannisstr. 12-20
48143 Münster


Room: ES308
Phone: +49-(0)251-83-24523
Email: rmaricocchi@uni-muenster.de

Office Hour: Register here

Rita Maricocchi is a researcher and lecturer at the Chair of English, Postcolonial and Media Studies at the University of Münster, where she is completing a PhD thesis on representations of German colonial memory in contemporary anglophone and multilingual texts. She is a graduate of the MA National and Transnational Studies at the University of Münster, which she finished with the thesis project “(In)coherent Manifestations of German Identity in Birgit Weyhe’s Madgermanes.” She received her undergraduate degree in German, French, and Political Science at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Before coming to Münster in 2019, she spent one year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Dresden.

Her research is broadly interested in processes of translation, adaptation, and exchange of postcolonial and diasporic discourses across disciplinary boundaries, geographic and national contexts, and different forms of text and media. In her dissertation project, she studies how German colonial memory and postcolonial thought have been shaped by exchange with anglophone theories of postcolonial studies and comparative understandings of empire across Europe. By reading texts at the center of this exchange, she bares processes of remembering, revision, and repair that are being instigated in the German cultural context by anglophone texts that represent and reread German colonialism and its continuities across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her dissertation’s engagement with a transnational, transatlantic cultural archive also extends to her related research and teaching interests in museum studies, comics studies, Black transatlantic literary history, and multilingual literatures.

In 2022-2023 she co-organized the lecture series "Black German Studies: Transatlantic Perspectives" at University of Münster, which included seven talks by scholars, artists, and activists. For more information and written reflections on the series' lectures and events, see here.

  • CV


    since 2021        PhD candidate in English Literary and Cultural Studies at University of Münster 

    2019 – 2021     MA National and Transnational Studies: Literature–Culture–Language at University of Münster

    2018 – 2019     Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Grantee and visiting student at Technical University of Dresden

    2014 – 2018     BA German, French, and Political Science at Case Western Reserve University and University of Heidelberg


    since 2021        Research Associate, English Department, Chair of English, Postcolonial & Media Studies, University of Münster

    2020 – 2021     Student Research Assistant and Student Tutor, English Department, Chair of English, Postcolonial & Media Studies, University of Münster

    2018                  Student Research Assistant, Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University

  • Research Interests

    20th & 21st century anglophone and germanophone literatures
    Postcolonial and transnational studies
    Comparative literature and translation theory
    Literary multilingualism
    Memory studies
    Museum studies
    Black German & European studies
    Transatlantic studies
    Comics studies and intermediality
    Queer and feminist theory

  • Publications

    Edited Works

    Rita Maricocchi, Dorit Neumann, Oluwadunni Talabi, and Corina Wieser-Cox (Eds.). Queering Postcolonial Worlds. Special Issue, Gender Forum, 2024. Forthcoming.

    yashka Chavan, Felipe Espinoza Garrido, and Rita Maricocchi (Eds.). Queer Graphic Diasporas. In Focus Dossier, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Vol. 65, No. 3, 2026. Forthcoming.

    Rita Maricocchi, Dorit Neumann, Oluwadunni Talabi, and Corina Wieser-Cox (Eds.). Envisioning Queer Racialized Self-Representations in the Americas. Special Issue, AmLit - American Literatures, 2026. Forthcoming.

    Journal Articles

    "Reframing colonial amnesia: German colonialism and multilingual memory in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Afterlives." In Slavery and Colonialism in German Cultural Memory, edited by Heike Raphael-Hernandez and Pia Wiegmink. Atlantic Studies: Global Currents. DOI: 10.1080/14788810.2024.2328464.

    "Translation and Memory in the Humboldt Forum: The Alternative Museum Space in Priya Basil’s Film Essay 'Locked In and Out.'" In Modernities in the Contact Zone. Translating Across Unfamiliar Objects, edited by Priyam Goswami Choudhury & Florian Schybilski. Spec. Issue, Kairos: A Journal of Critical Symposium, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2023, pp. 89-107. https://kairostext.in/index.php/kairostext/article/view/163/125

    Book Chapters

    Langeveld, Eeva and Rita Maricocchi. "Narrating Entanglements of British Colonialism and German National Socialism: Barbara Yelin’s Irmina as a Disruptive History." In Ruptured Commons, edited by Anna Guttman and Veronica Austen. John Benjamins. Forthcoming.

    "Participation in Postcolonial Comics: Self-reflexive and Collaborative Narrative Strategies in Birgit Weyhe’s Madgermanes and Rude Girl." In Participation in Postcolonial Wor(l)ds, edited by Miriam Hinz and Christina Slopek. Forthcoming.

    “to unspeak the empire”: Haunting as Motif / Method / Form in Evelyn Araluen’s Dropbear." In Matters of Life and Death – The Poetics and Politics of Living and Dying in Postcolonial and Indigenous Narrations, edited by Peri Sipahi, Angela Benkhadda, Marie Berndt, and Lena Falk. Anglophone Postcolonial Studies book series, heiUP. Forthcoming.

    Conference Reports

    Maricocchi, Rita and Peri Sipahi. 2022 GAPS Conference Report: "Contested Solidarities: Agency and Victimhood in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures (Frankfurt)." https://g-a-p-s.net/past-conferences/conf2022/

    Public Writing and Essays

    Janna El-Daly, Eeva Langeveld, and Rita Maricocchi. “Zweisprachiger Lesekreis als postkoloniale/dekoloniale Praxis? A Collaborative Personal Reflection.” In Dem nicht Gesagten: Strategien zur Dekolonialisierung des Wissens durch künstlerische Wissenspraktiken, edited by Mariel Rodriguez and Amalia Barboza. Forthcoming.

    “From Farbe bekennen to Showing Our Colors: Re-reading German Postcolonial Studies.” Transatlanticism. Feb. 19, 2024. URL: https://transatlanticism.uni-muenster.blog/re-reading-german-postcolonial-studies/ DOI: 10.17879/67998735190.

    Brown, Timothy John, Eva Tanita Kraaz, and Rita Maricocchi. "Ein bequemer Selbstbetrug und seine schleppende Aufarbeitung: Rezension von Marie Luise Knotts 370 Riverside Drive." 54books. 4. Dec. 2022. https://www.54books.de/ein-bequemer-selbstbetrug-ueber-marie-luise-knotts-370-riverside-drive-730-riverside-drive/

  • Teaching

    Summer Semester 2024

    Museum Interventions

    On March 10, 1914, Mary Richardson broke the glass of and repeatedly slashed the painting “Rokeby Venus” at the National Gallery in London, an act she later explained by saying “I care more for justice than I do for art, and I firmly believe that when the nation shuts its eyes to justice and prefers to have women who are not only denied justice but who are ill treated and tortured, then I say that this action of mine should be understandable.” This intervention into the museum space was part of a larger movement of suffragette action under the Women’s Social and Political Union to demand rights for women in the first decades of the twentieth century. Richardson’s intervention clearly demonstrates how museums have been a site of social and political critique in the modern era. Indeed, in an attempt to welcome, if not in fact mitigate, critiques of the institution, museums are increasingly inviting guest curators and artistic interventions which comment on the politics of power and belonging within their institutions. Interventions, whether curated or uninvited, draw attention to the rules which inform museum spaces and expose the cultural and historical narratives created by museums to be less authoritative than they may appear at first glance. In engaging with this premise, the seminar will broadly orient itself around the following questions: How do museum spaces function? What constitutes a museum intervention? And how are museums used to make social and political critiques through various forms of interventions? We will look in particular at ways the museum itself can be read as an intervention (Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture), at invited queer feminist interventions in the museum space (“To Be Seen, Queer Lives 1900-1950” special exhibit at the NS Dokumentationszentrum Munich, Sonia Boyce’s “Six Acts” at the Manchester Art Gallery), at curated decolonial interventions (“Wayward Dust” performance at the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, “Das ist kolonial” exhibition at LWL Museum Zeche-Zollern Dortmund, “Collecting and Empire Trail” at the British Museum London), and at the recent series of uninvited climate activist interventions in European museums. Students will familiarize themselves with key concepts and secondary texts within the fields of museum studies and cultural studies, develop the ability to close read and critically evaluate exhibitions/interventions, as well as engage with contemporary debates on the functions of and challenges facing museums as cultural institutions. In examining both museums within anglophone contexts as well as paying particular attention to local museums in North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany more broadly, the course highlights the national and transnational contexts in which museums interventions are embedded.

    Übung Theory and Literature: Queer Graphic Diasporas

    The graphic narrative has exhaustively – and convincingly – been theorized as inherently disruptive, not least in the fields of diaspora studies and queer studies. For scholars of diaspora, migration, and of the transnational, graphic novels have become sites of “foregrounding colonial legacies and (re)scripting missing or misrepresented identities” (Mehta and Mukherji 2), often constructing “sophisticated counter-geographies and alternative, cross-national imagined communities” (Davies 127). For scholars of queer studies, graphic narratives have been understood as “a distinctly queer mode of cultural  production” (Scott and Fawaz 199) and as a form embedded with “queer temporal openings” which “provide a generative medium for queer world making” (McCullough 377). Against this backdrop, the following course is designed to critically engage with and apply concepts from diaspora studies and queer theory to the reading of select graphic narratives in order to explore how queer diasporic comics disrupt interdependent tensions of gender, sexuality, nation, and belonging. The first part of  the course will allow students to work closely with key texts in diaspora studies and queer theory and to think through these concepts by reading several poems from Logan February’s collection Mental Voodoo and engaging with the author during a public reading and discussion. This will be followed by a two-week workshop on how to read and analyze  comics. In the second part of the course, students will conduct close readings of select graphic narratives, including Messy Roots by Laura Gao, excerpts from Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som, and excerpts from Beldan Sezen’s Snapshots of a Girl.

    Winter Semester 2023/24

    Reading Postcolonially: Transit, Mobility, and Empire in Black European Texts

    This seminar will develop a mode of postcolonial reading particularly attuned to movement, borders, place, and traces of empire and colonialism. We will engage closely with the question of how (and why it might be relevant) to apply a postcolonial mode of reading to Black European writing and cultural production and explore how colonial legacies and histories inform mobility and transit in Europe today. Thinking through the intersections of postcolonial studies and mobilities studies, particularly as they apply to contemporary Europe, we will use concepts such as diaspora, waiting, borders, and “contingent belonging” (Espinoza et al. 2019) to analyze selected narratives of mobility and transit. The first several sessions will discuss understandings of the Black diaspora in Europe and construct a mode of postcolonial reading attuned to diaspora and mobility, which will then be applied to a diverse set of texts, including Olumide Popoola’s play Also By Mail (2013), Musa Okwonga’s novella In the End, It Was All About Love (2021), and Johny Pitts’ travelogue Afropean (2019) and photography and essay collection (with Roger Robinson) Home Is Not a Place (2022). 

    Indigenous Australian Literature: An Introduction

    Recently, Wiradjuri scholar and writer Jeanine Leane has drawn attention to the fact that in the Australian context largely white settler critics and academics decide “what is and isn’t Western literature” and that Indigenous writing is still treated as Australian literature’s “poor relation”(“Presencing” in The Cambridge Companion to the Australian Novel). It is, hence, the objective of this MA-level seminar to read texts by Indigenous Australian authors which use the English language to expand and resist these colonial and imaginative limits. Designed to give students an overview of contemporary Indigenous Australian writing, this course will cover selections of Indigenous poetry, prose, and art ranging across the 20th and 21st centuries. Particular attention will be paid to context and place, acknowledging the diversity and specificity of the First Nations cultures and histories that inform the texts. In addition, three different theoretical lenses will be used to approach the texts, namely 1) “speculative futures” to open questions about genre, its affordances, and the risks of applying western genre categories to Indigenous texts, 2) “revision” to explore how texts and other artistic expressions disrupt and erase the settler colony, 3) “shame, anger, and other colonial affects” as a means of interrogating the affective encounter of reading Indigenous literature from a settler/non-Indigenous positionality and the productivity of shame and anger in thinking through settler colonialism.

    Please note that this course is designed as a Blockseminar. It has a separate session at the start of term followed by three full day sessions for intense discussions and group work in the first week after the end of term. There will be sufficient breaks scheduled during the latter. Students should note that this is a reading intensive course and should be ready to approach the texts with curiosity and open-mindedness in order to challenge and rethink their own assumptions, and to engage with each other in a shared process of learning. Students are asked to complete the readings and participate actively in in-class discussions.

    Summer Semester 2023

    Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies II

    This course is designed to introduce second-semester BA students to the concept of genre and to prepare them to work with poetry, narrative, drama, and film in their studies of anglophone literatures and cultures. Primary texts include Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," Tsitsi Dangaremba's Nervous Conditions, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino. The course addresses questions such as: What are the characteristics of a "prototypical" poem/novel/drama/film? How does the form of a text influence content and vice versa? How does the interpretive act of determining a text's genre influence our reading of it? 

    Winter Semester 22/23

    Black German Studies: Transatlantic Perspectives
    (co-taught with Eva Tanita Kraaz and Tim Brown)

    Michelle M. Wright advocates a conception of Blackness as multidimensional as opposed to one solely tied to the violence and injustice of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in an attempt to give voice to Black discourses of belonging outside of the Americas. Through a transnational approach we seek to highlight this complex exchange as it presents itself in Black German Studies in both theory and literature. In this seminar we explore ways in which linear narratives of Blackness are intertwined with, but also decoupled from, canonical theories from the United States, which then challenge and revise a singular, static conception of Blackness in the world. We will investigate the undeniable intertextualities between Black Studies and literature in the US and that of Germany; however, we place the focus of this seminar on Black German Studies as a mode of cultural expression in its own right. In considering artistic endeavors from various cultural backgrounds and countries of origin, this course will highlight the complexities and benefits of knowledge exchange in identity building inside hegemonic discourses. The transatlantic voices of the Diaspora as they shape the Black German context play an important role in understanding the complexities of the Black/African Diaspora in our current moment. This course therefore seeks to familiarize students with contemporary debates within and about identity and belonging in Black German Studies as well as the vast networks of knowledge and community building within the emerging discipline.

    Please note: This course is being offered as a joint block seminar between the German and English departments. Readings will include German and English language texts and the course will be taught in a combination of German and English. Because this class will be taught in the block format, each session will require reading-intensive preparation.

    Academic Skills, co-taught with Ryan Durgasingh

    This course is designed to introduce first-semester BA students to a range of academic skills to prepare them for their studies at the English department. It covers topics such as academic reading and note-taking strategies, how to conduct academic research, MLA and APA citation styles, how to work with sources in academic writing, as well as presentation skills. In addition, it encourages reflection on reader and research positionality and citational politics.

    Summer Semester 2022

    Übung Theory and Literature: Contemporary Australian Literature and Culture
    (co-designed with Felipe Espinoza Garrido)

    This course situates Australia in discourses of transnationalism, migration, Indigenous studies, and Queer studies, thereby contesting any notion of the nation as a stable and homogenous entity in its introduction to contemporary texts and themes emerging from Australia. In engaging with works such as Melissa Lucashenko’s novel Too Much Lip, Shaun Tan’s silent graphic novel The Arrival, Evelyn Araluen’s poetry collection Dropbear, and Sophie Hyde’s film 52 Tuesdays, course participants  are exposed to narratives touching on topics of resistance, trauma, colonialism, and gender, and encouraged to situate them in an increasingly complex national framework for Australia. In working with a variety of media, the course places an emphasis on media-specific analysis, introducing students to terminology and methodologies from literary and cultural studies, comic studies, film studies, as well as spoken word and performance studies. These methodologies are paired with numerous theoretical frameworks from disciplines like Queer studies, migration studies, and Indigenous studies, allowing participants to build on and refine their knowledge from the Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies courses as well as set their own foci for written and oral evaluations.

    Postgraduate Class II (Literary and Cultural Studies)
    (co-taught with Deborah Nyangulu)

    Designed as a research colloquium to accompany MA National and Transnational Studies students' independent study module and preparations for the MA thesis, this course offers students a platform to present their research ideas and receive feedback from peers and the instructor. It also offers a space to help students develop their own practical research skills and research interests in the field of literary and cultural studies. Students are introduced to some current approaches/theories in literary and cultural studies, including an overview of literary theories and movements and an introduction to cultural analysis. In addition to reflecting on the concept of interdisciplinarity on the importance of historicizing, contextualizing and positionality in research, students will develop skills in writing annotated bibliographies, citation practices, and research proposals. Each student will document work they complete for Research Module I (Semester 1 & 2) in an academic portfolio to be handed in at the end of the term.

    Winter Semester 21/22

    Übung Theory and Literature: Multilingualism and Translation in Anglophone Texts

    With the motto “There is no such thing as a monolingual text!”, taken from Till Dembeck’s provocative 2017 article promoting a multilingual philology, this course intends to explore different ways that anglophone texts can be multilingual and the impact this has on how they are read and understood from an academic perspective. Through engagement with a wide variety of primary texts consisting of full length novels (Jhumpa Lahiri In Other Words, Ocean Vuong On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous), novel excerpts (Xialou Guo A Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart), essays (Alicia Elliott “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground”), poetry (Ocean Vuong Night Sky With Exit Wounds), and several activist projects (Weiterschreiben.jetzt, macht.sprache), course participants will craft readings of the texts that attend to their multilingual form and content and are informed by a variety of theoretical approaches, including postmonolingualism, postcolonialism, diaspora studies, and translation studies. In doing so, the course will engage with discourses that challenge notions of “the mother tongue”, national literary canons, and translatability, asking time and again whether and how it matters to read a text as “multilingual.”

  • Academic Activities

    • Organization of dissertation workshop “Current Research in Literary and Cultural Studies,” University of Münster, June 14, 2024.

    • Organization of faculty teaching workshop “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Classroom” with Dr. Mayannah Dahlheim, University of Münster, January 18 & 19, 2024.

    • Co-organizer of the Postcolonial Narrations Forum under the title: “Queering Postcolonial Worlds.” October 6-7, 2023 at University of Bremen.
    • Organization of Australian Studies Day 2023 and moderation of the panel “Student forum: your take on Australian Studies,” University of Münster, June 30, 2023.

    • Co-organizer of dissertation workshop “Current Research in Literary and Cultural Studies,” University of Münster, June 23, 2023.

    • Co-editor of Textpraxis: Digital Journal for Philology
    • Non-voting member of Fachbereichsrat, Fachbereich 09: Philology, University of Münster
    • Member of working group "Code of conduct and inclusive pedagogies," PTTS Chair, English Department, University of Münster.
    • Co-organizer of "Black German Studies: Transatlantic Perspectives" lecture series, WS 2022/23, University of Münster
    • Co-organizer of hybrid symposium "Comics, Popular Visual Culture, and Colonialism," 27 Jan. 2023, University of Münster
    • Co-organizer of Bilingual (DE-EN) Lesekreis, Arbeitskreis Postkolonialismus, AStA Autonomes BIPoC Referat, University of Münster, 2020-2022.
    • Member of Working group “Against racism and other forms of discrimination,” English Department, University of Münster, 2020-2021.
    • Hostile Terrain 94 Münster Project Contributor, 18-29 Jan. 2021, University of Münster


  • Talks and Moderations

    "'What happened to the winds that sent the slave ships?': Reading Violent Histories and Repair in Musa Okwonga’s In the End, It Was All About Love." Mnemonics Summer School: Violence and Repair, University of California Los Angeles. July 10, 2024.

    Moderation of reading with Francesca Ekwuyasi (Butter Honey Pig Bread) by Afrikanische Perspektiven, e.V. in Münster, 26 Jun. 2024.

    "Decolonizing Discourses and the Humboldt Forum." Invited guest talk in the BA seminar "Refusing the Colonial Gaze: Indigenous Literatures and 'the Museum,'" University of Potsdam. June 3, 2024.

    Co-moderation of "Queer Diasporic Forms": poetry reading with Logan February (Mental Voodoo) at the University of Münster, 30 Apr. 2024.

    “Self-Archivization in Birgit Weyhe's Rude Girl: Strategies and Affordances of Self-Reflexive Comics.” Recentring Form(s) in and of the Margins: The Politics of Self-Reflexivity, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. April 25, 2024.

    "Of amnesia and archives: Rereading the German colonial past in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Afterlives." Ringvorlesung Hotspots in Literary/Cultural Studies and Linguistics, University of Münster. December 6, 2023.

    Co-presented with Peri Sipahi. "Bodies of Water: Embodied Sites of Hydro-Colonialism and Indigenous/Aboriginal Displacement in 'Water' by Ellen van Neerven". Australian Mobilities, Annual Conference of the German Association for Australian Studies. University of Duisburg-Essen. October 21, 2023.

    “Reading and Translating the Postcolonial in Sharon Dodua Otoo’s Adas Raum.” Translation and the Archive, PhD Workshop, Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf. May 31, 2023.

    Co-moderation of a reading with Sharon Dodua Otoo (Adas Raum) as part of the “Black German Studies: Transatlantic Perspectives” lecture series at the University of Muenster, 26 Jan. 2023.

    "'Haunting back' in Evelyn Araluen's Dropbear." Postgraduate Forum "Postcolonial Narrations" - Postcolonial Matters of Life and Death, University of Bonn. October 20, 2022.

    "Participation and Performance in the Graphic Novel: Birgit Weyhe's Narrative Strategies." Participation in Postcolonial Wor(l)ds, University of Düsseldorf. September 29, 2022.

    Co-presented with Eeva Langeveld. "Narrating entanglements of British colonialism and German National Socialism: Barbara Yelin’s Irmina as a disruptive history". 19th Triennial ACLALS Conference: Ruptured Commons. Graduate Student Prize Panel 2. Ryerson University Toronto [Online]. July 11, 2022.

    "Anglophone-Germanophone Colonial Entanglements in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Fiction: Establishing Frameworks for German Postcolonial Studies in Afterlives". New Perspectives on Cultural Heritage and German Global History, Bonn Center for Slavery and Dependency Studies. July 8, 2022.

    "(Trans)national Memory and Implication in Priya Basil’s Video Essay 'Locked In and Out'". GAPS Annual Conference. Contested Solidarities, Goethe University Frankfurt. May 28, 2022.

    “Canon (Re)formation Through the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize: Sharon Dodua Otoo’s ‘Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin.’” 5th International Black German Heritage and Research Association Conference. All Black Lives Matter: Black Germany and Beyond, Rutgers University [Online]. February 17, 2022.

    “Translation and Memory in the Humboldt Forum: Priya Basil’s Video Essay ‘Locked In and Out’.” Postgraduate Forum “Postcolonial Narrations” – Modernities in the Contact Zone, University of Potsdam [Online]. October 22, 2021.

    “(In)coherent Manifestations of German Identity in Birgit Weyhe’s Madgermanes.” Gesellschaft für Comicforschung Annual Conference. Coherence in Comics, University of Salzburg [Online]. October 16, 2021.

    “Intermedial Manifestations of (white) German Identity via Transnational and Postcolonial Contexts in Birgit Weyhe’s Madgermanes and Ich Weiß.” GAPS Annual Conference. Science, Culture & Postcolonial Narratives, University of Oldenburg [Online], Under Construction section. May 14, 2021.