Dr Melanie Otto, M.A. (Mainz), Ph.D. (Wales)Assistant Professor
I did my first degree at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, majoring in English and minoring in Philosophy and Comparative Literature. I graduated with an MA in 1998. My dissertation focused on the novels of Ben Okri. I went on to do a PhD on the work of Kamau Brathwaite at Swansea University, which I completed in 2003. Between 1998 and 2003, I also worked as a German language assistant at Swansea University. Since 2003, I have been a lecturer in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin.
I teach at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. My teaching interests are in the areas of postcolonial literature and theory, African and Caribbean literature, postcolonial women's writing, and literatures of the Americas. Since 2007, I have been teaching on the MPhil in Literatures of the Americas.
My main research interest is in the area of Caribbean literature, in particular the work of Kamau Brathwaite, Jean Rhys, and Jamaica Kincaid, as well as the American writings of Lafcadio Hearn. In 2009, I published a monograph on Kamau Brathwaite's 'Sycorax video style' writing with Africa World Press. In September 2010, I organized a one-day international symposium on the work of Kamau Brathwaite.
Over the past few years, I have further developed my interest in New Zealand writers. One of my current research projects, which I hope to develop into a book, is on the work of Keri Hulme. I am particularly interested in Hulme's lesser known writing, such as her short fiction and poetry, which, unlike The Bone People, has received little or no critical attention.
I currently supervise PhD projects on the work of Elizabeth Bowen and Jean Rhys as well as Maeve Brennan.
I have contributed to the Evening Lecture series offered by the School of English with lectures on Jamaica Kincaid and Keri Hulme. I have also given lectures on Chinua Achebe and Derek Walcott to leaving certificate students.
In the past, I have collaborated with the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies at Trinity College Dublin on a number of occasions. In October 2007, the Director of the Centre, Dr Maryann Valiulis, and I conducted a public interview with the Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi.
I have held various administrative positions in the School of English, such as Head of Senior Freshman, School secretary, and Director of the MPhil in Literatures of the Americas. I am currently Co-ordinator of Visiting Students (incoming). Outside of the School, I have been Faculty representative on the IS Services committee and have acted as College tutor.
Dr Melanie Otto
Telephone: + 353 1 896 1355