PhD candidate Belinda Kleinhans has successfully defended her dissertation Mit Texttieren jenseits der Grenze des Schweigens sprechen.
In her nearly 300-page long work Ms. Kleinhans explores the discourse of (gendered) man and animal in the post-war works of writers Wolfdietrich Schnurre, Günter Eich and Ilse Aichinger. These authors use animals both as metaphors and as subjects, and in response Ms. Kleinhans has developed an animal poetology that includes a thorough critique of human language with regard to power structures. Prof. Dagmar Lorenz (University of Illinois at Chicago) is the external examiner of the dissertation, and Prof. Alice Kuzniar (Waterloo), whose own book Melancholia's Dog: Reflections on Our Animal Kinship met with critical success when published in 2006, is the supervisor.
Ms. Kleinhans orginally attended the University of Waterloo as part of the MA exchange program with the Universität Mannheim, and returned to Waterloo to undertake doctoral studies in 2008. In 2010 she was awarded the University of Waterloo Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Graduate Student, the last humanities graduate student to have received that distinction.