Dr. Katrin Althans

Dr. Katrin Althans

Expertise Summary

Katrin Althans's research focuses on Postcolonial Studies and British cultural studies, and she is particularly interested in the fields of Law & Literature, Australian and Indigenous studies, literary and cultural theories such as spatial theories and theories of migration as well as gender, film, and game studies. Although she focuses on contemporary literature, she also has a keen interest in the 19th century. Katrin is a board member of GASt, the German Association for Australian Studies and regularly participates in conferences and events hosted by GAPS and IGA.

As a DFG-funded research fellow, Katrin is writing her second book, Narratives of Flight and Migration in Law and Literature (working title), for which she analyses the representations of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in literature and the ways in which they interrogate the narrative authority of the law.


Katrin Althans studied English Literature and Language, German Literature and Language as well as Communication Studies at the University of Münster, Germany. She received her Master's degree in 2005 and also holds a German Law degree (Erstes Staatsexamen). In 2010, Katrin published her dissertation Darkness Subverted: Aboriginal Gothic in Literature and Film and received her PhD from the University of Bonn, Germany. After having worked as a teaching and research fellow at the Universities of Münster and Düsseldorf, she worked as lecturer in postcolonial studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and as lecturer in Australian studies at the University of Cologne (Germany). After a second maternity leave, she held a position as a teaching and research fellow at the University of Düsseldorf from October 2016 to 2018, funded by the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer and the Equal Opportunities Officer.



Darkness Subverted: Aboriginal Gothic in Black Australian Literature and Film. Bonn UP-Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010. Link

Nominated for the Walter McRae Russell Award for Literary Scholarship 2011

Althans, Katrin. Darkness Subverted: Aboriginal Gothic in Black Australian Literature and Film. Bonn UP-Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht, 2010. Abstract. English and American Studies in German 1.1 (2012), pp. 69-71.

Mudrooroo. "Gothic Imagination or Maban Reality?" Review of Darkness Subverted: Aboriginal Gothic in Black Australian Literature and Film by Katrin Althans. Australian Women’s Book Review  22.2 (2010). www.hecate.communications-arts.uq.edu.au/files/402/AWBR_150_print.pdf.
Review of Darkness Subverted: Aboriginal Gothic in Black Australian Literature and Film by Katrin Althans. Reference & Research Book News 25.3 (2010), p. 269.



"Lying and Truth in Literary Fiction and Law: The Case of Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White." Lying and Related Fictions, edited by Monika Fludernik and Stephan Packard, Ergon, 2021, in preparation.

"Aboriginal Jurisprudence in Philip McLaren’s Lightning Mine." Mabo’s Cultural Legacy: The Mabo Decision, 25 Years On, edited by Eva Bischoff and Geoffrey Rodoreda, Anthem P, 2020, under review.

"Negotiating the Mabo Decision: Philip McLaren's Mabo." A Companion to Philip McLaren, edited by Patricia Plummer, 2020, under review.

"Australian Representations of Refugee Experiences: Poverty or Bare Life?" Representing Poverty in the Anglophone Postcolonial World, edited by Verena Jain-Warden and Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, Bonn UP-Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019, forthcoming.

"Defying the 'Ecological Indian': The Urban Ecopoetry of Samuel Wagan Watson." Ecocritical Concerns and the Australian Continent, edited by Beate Neumeier and Helen Tiffin, Lexington Books, 2019, pp. 251-62.

"Aboriginal Gothic." Twenty-First-Century Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion, edited by Maisha Wester and Xavier Aldana Reyes, Edinburgh UP, 2019, pp. 276-88. Link

"Singing Brisbane into Being: A Geocritical Approach to Samuel Wagan Watson's smoke encrypted whispers." Nature and Environment in Australia, edited by Boris Braun, Victoria Herche, and Beate Neumeier, WVT, 2018, pp. 209-20. Link

"Stories of the Intervention: The Narrative Power of the Law." 'And there’ll be NO dancing': Perspectives on Policies Impacting Indigenous Australia since 2007, edited by Elisabeth Baehr and Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, Cambridge Scholars, 2017, pp. 185-97. Link

"Die kulturelle Bedeutung des Dreaming.'' Text + Bild, vol. 2, 2017, pp. 34-7.

"Forgotten Voices: The Female ANZAC and Male National Identity." Gender Forum no. 53, 2015, www.genderforum.org/gender-down-under-issue-53-2015. Accessed 22 May 2018. (Peer Reviewed) Link

"De-Commodifying the Gothic: The Strange Case of the Two-Faced Kadaitcha." Dissections vol. 10, 2014, www.simegen.com/writers/dissections/Dissections%202014/dissections_page_09.html. Accessed 22 May 2018. (Peer Reviewed) Link

"'And in my dreaming I can let go of the spirits of the past.' Gothicizing the Common Law in Richard Frankland's 'NoWay to Forget'." Decolonizing the Landscape: Indigenous Cultures in Australia, edited by Beate Neumeier and Kay Schaffer, Rodopi, 2014, pp. 255-73. Link

"White Shadows: The Gothic Tradition in Australian Aboriginal Literature." A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature, edited by Belinda Wheeler, Camden House-Boydell&Brewer, 2013, pp. 139-54. Link

"Playing the Buffyverse, Playing the Gothic: Genre, Gender, and Cross-Media Interactivity in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds." Game On, Hollywood!: Essays on the Intersection of Video Games and Cinema, edited by Joseph M. Sommers and Gretchen Papazian, McFarland, 2013, pp. 20-34. Link

"Nightmares in the Dreamtime: On Aboriginal Australian Weird Fiction." Studies in Australian Weird Fiction, no. 2, 2008, pp. 163–71. (with Gerry Turcotte)

"Re-Biting the Canon: Indigenous Gothic in Mudrooroo's Vampire-Trilogy." Acolit, no. 57, 2005, pp. 27-8.



Rev. of Contemporary Women's Gothic Fiction: Carnivals, Hauntings and Vampire Kisses, by Gina Whisker. Anglistik, vol. 29, no. 1, 2018, pp. 169–71.



"Mabo in Literature: The Ratio Decidendi of Philip McLaren’s Lightning Mine." Mabo’s Cultural Legacy: The Mabo Decision, 25 Years On. Interdisziplinärer Workshop, Universität Stutgart. 18.11.2017.

"The Literary Geography of Brisbane in Sam Wagan Watson’s Poetry." Nature and Environment in Australia. International GASt-Conference, Universität zu Köln. 30.09.2016

"Stories of the NT 'Intervention': The Narrative Power of the Law." The "Intervention" and its Consequences. Internationale Konferenz, Universität Bonn. 09.10.2015.

"Transgression als Mittel der Rechtskritik in der Indigenen Literatur Australiens." Grenzüberschreitung und Exzess. Ringvorlesung Diversityforschung, Universität Duisburg-Essen. 02.07.2015.

"Australian Immigration: Spatial Representations of Poverty." Representing Poverty in the Anglophone Postcolonial World. Internationale Konferenz, Universität Bonn. 20.06.2015.

"Jack Maggs Reconsidered: The Legal Fictions of Great Expectations." Symposium, Universität Duisburg-Essen. 12.06.2015.

"The Kadaitcha Revisited: Justice and Cultural Identity in a Post-Mabo World - The Case of Nicole Watson's The Boundary." Postcolonial Justice. Joint ASNEL/GASt-Conference, University of Potsdam. 29.05.2014.

"Law and Film: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Philip McLaren’s Mabo." Indigenous Australian Literature in Context, 1993-2013. International Symposium, University of Duisburg-Essen. 13.04.2013.

"Can Literature Learn from Law? Methodological Considerations." Münster Symposium on Law and Literature, University of Münster. 21.05.2012.

"De-Commodifying the Gothic: The Strange Case of the Split Kadaitcha." Gothic limits / Gothic Ltd. IGA Conference, University of Heidelberg. 04.08.2011.

"Gothicizing the Law: Legal Issues in The Kadaitcha Sung." Indigenous Knowledge: Issues of Cultural Transfer and Transformation. Symposium, University of Cologne. 06.07.2011.

"Translating Transgression: How Black Australian Artists Translate the Gothic." Translating Cultures: Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. EASA Conference, University of Roskilde. 29.10.2007.

"Re-Biting the Canon: Indigenous Gothic in Black Australians' Cultural Expressions." Word and Image: Under Construction. GNEL/ASNEL Conference, University of Koblenz. 26.05.2006.



Panels "Justice after Mabo I & II." Co-Chair with Patricia Plummer. Postcolonial Justice. Joint ASNEL/GASt-Conference, University of Potsdam. 29.05.2014.

Workshop "The Complex Relation between Culture and Law: Methods, Concepts, Approaches." Co-Chair with Martin Zeilinger. Culture, Rights, Identity. International Summer Institute for the Cultural Study of the Law, University of Osnabrück. 07.08.2012-17.08.2012.


Peer Reviews

History of Intellectual Culture

Journal of Postcolonial Writing

Tillburg Law Review

Transnational Literature

LIMINA: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies