Dr. Antonia Purk

Postdoctoral Researcher



  • Recipient of the Christoph Daniel Ebeling-Fellowship (2022) for a 6-week research stay at the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA) to pursue archival work for the postdoctoral project "Cooking up Significations. Foodways and Racialization in 19th-Century American Literature."
  • Talk: "The Repertoire of Textual Foodways." Fellow’s Talk at American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA. November 8, 2022.
  • Talk: “The Cat, the Monkey, and Societal Outsiders. Mary Wilkins Freeman’s Animal Stories.” Workshop on Mary Wilkins Freeman. European Study Group of NineteenthCentury American Literature at Université de la Sorbonne, Paris, France. Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2022.
  • Talk: “Shipwrecking Frontier Romanticism: Anagnorisis in Constance Fenimore Woolson’s ‘Castle Nowhere’ (1875)." ACLA Annual Conference, National Taiwan University, Taipei, June 15 to June 18, 2022.
  • Talk: “Realismus wider Ritual. Das Aussetzen der Szene in Constance Fenimore Woolsons ‘Peter the Parson’ (1874).” Conference "Szenen des Politischen," University of Erfurt, May, 19-20, 2022.
  • Talk: "Eating Signs. Whiteness and Racialization in American Foodways." University of Erfurt, December 15th, 2021.

Research Projects

Research Interests

  • Literary Foodways
  • 19th-Century American Literature
  • Literature and History
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Anglophone Caribbean Literature
  • Visual Studies
  • Graphic Novels



  •  Jamaica Kincaid's Writings of History. A Poetics of Impermanence. De Gruyter (American Frictions series), to be published in 2023. Open Access


  • „A Photo Album of History: Ekphrasis in Jamaica Kincaid’s My Garden (Book):” America after Nature: Democracy, Culture, Environment. Eds. Catrin Gersdorf, Juliane Braun. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2016. 349-367.
  • “Writing Possibilities of the Past: Jamaica Kincaid’s Mr. Potter.” Discourse. Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 36.1 (2014): 71-86. Special Issue “After Glissant: Caribbean Aesthetics and the Poetics of Relation.”
  • “Multiplying Perspectives through Text and Time: Jamaica Kincaid’s Writing of the Collective.” COPAS – Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies 15.1 (2014).

Download: Full List of Publications and Conference Papers



  • Nature in American Poetry
  • Regionalism and Realism
  • Caribbean Migrations
  • Transatlantic Identities
  • Writing the Self
  • American Gothic
  • Literature in Images: Graphic Novels
  • Introduction to Literatures in English



Current Position: Academic Coordinator of the Research Group "Praxeologies of Truth"

Out now:

Jamaica Kincaid's Writings of History. A Poetics of Impermanence

About the book: Jamaica Kincaid’s works consistently explore how colonial history affects contemporary everyday lives. Throughout her novels, short fiction, and non-fictional essays, Kincaid’s texts engage with history through its medial representations, which are starkly determined by colonial perspectives. This study examines the entanglements of temporalities in current perceptions of the past and how literary text intervenes in historical consciousness. With a focus on the media text, image, and the human body, the chapters of this book demonstrate how Kincaid’s "poetics of impermanence" counter colonial representations of history with strategies of ambiguity, repetition, and redirection. Kincaid’s texts repeat and revise aspects of colonial history – a process that decenters the totality of historical colonial ideology and replaces it with self-determined versions of the past through a multiplication of perspectives and voices.

Open Access