Damla Özkan

BACKGROUND:

Prior to the GRK, I completed my Master of Education in English, Philosophy, and Political Sciences at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. My main focus, however, has always been on American literature and cultural studies. In 2015, I spent an academic year at Austin College in Texas where I was able to broaden my cultural, linguistic, and personal understanding of American Studies which shaped my curiosity for the field and the decision to pursue a career apart from school teaching.

 

THE GRK IS... a foundation that allows academics from diverse backgrounds and fields to meet and gather ideas and perspectives. This interdisciplinary approach allows the members of the GRK to step beyond the limits of their discipline and gain new insights through exchanging thoughts.

 

MY GOAL IS… to cross boundaries and gain interdisciplinary insights, in order to fill gaps in current discourses on mental illness narratives that American Studies alone cannot master.

MY PROJECT... focusses on the development of diagnostic assessment of mental illnesses by shedding light on the co-construction of the diagnosis between patient and physician/psychiatrist. The project does not only aim to discuss the future of mental illness diagnostics, but also strengthen medical and psychological perspectives in literary studies. Hence, from the literary perspective, the project allows a rethinking of historic diagnoses of mental illnesses such as hysteria and neurasthenia in literature.