Graduiertenkolleg Selbst-Bildungen


Theresa Kauder

Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118
26129 Oldenburg
Building A3, Room A3 1-102
Phone: +49 441 798-2351




On the one hand, I am interested in autobiographical writing that subverts traditional notions of autobiography and Cartesian-Kantian subjectivity – if we think of Foucault’s archaeological-genealogical subversion of the subject, the idea of autobiography and its genre (as described, for instance, by Georg Misch) is situated in anthropological knowledge that emerged around 1800 with the epistemological human being as an empirico-transcendental doublet. On the other hand, I am especially interested in theoretical writings of post-war France – which neither fit into traditional philosophical and academic writing, nor are purely poetic or fictional –, and how these texts can be read as a specific form of autobiographical writing. Foucault (as well as Nancy/Laclau-Labarthes) relates this to an anti-discourse that emerged during the romantic era at the same time as scientific objectivity gained ground. But this type of autobiographical writing does not fit into the tradition of autobiography that can be read with Foucault as a tradition of the subject of confession (Augustinus, Rousseau et cetera). In my reading, the autobiographical writings of Barthes, Derrida, Cixous, Kristeva, Kofman and others are not autobiographies, but rather ethopoetics. The notion of an “ethopoetic”, developed by the later Foucault based on hermeneutics of the self and referring to Plutarch, suggests a specific form of écriture de soi: a writing of one-self and writing for one-self that does not imply a self-awareness or confession towards a theological, scientific or biopolitical authority. In contemporary theories of autobiography, Doubrovsky’s autofiction carries great weight. In contrast to a reading as autofiction, the notion of ethopoetics allows us to read these texts in their production of narrative technologies of the self, which is what I propose to work out in my PhD project.

Brief Vita

Since 2016

PhD Student at “Globalization and Literature“, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, funded by “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” (DFG); associated PhD Student at „Self-Making: Practices of Subjectivation in Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspective“.


Student Research Assistant at Humboldt-University of Berlin, Department of Cultural Theory and History, Division for Aesthetics.


Tutor at Humboldt-University of Berlin; Reading Class on Contemporary Political Theory; organizer of lecture series “Subversion and Political Difference“ funded by „Humboldt-Universitäts-Gesellschaft“ (HUG).


M.A. Cultural Theory and History, Humboldt-University of Berlin.

2012B.A. Cultural Theory and History, Art History, Humboldt-University of Berlin.



“Ethopoetic as Critique: On later Michel Foucault”; conference: “Foucault revisited” at Wien University, Department of Political Science, hosted by Oliver Marchart.


“Feminine Desire in Writing: On Dreaming in Cixous, Derrida and Freud”; conference: “Literature and Dream” at Chemnitz University; hosted by Junior Comparative Literature Conference 2015.


“From Mirror to Stage: On Subject, Writing and Autobiography in Roland Barthes par Roland Barthes”; conference: “Barthes@100” at Cardiff University/Institut français Royaume-Uni; Department of Comparative Literature; hosted by Neil Badmington, cf.


(2014): Textile Subversionen. Zum Topos ›Mode und Geschlecht‹ in der literarischen Rezeption bei Thomas Meinecke. In: Chiara Juchem et al. (Hg.): Obszön. Variationen des Erregenden. Reihe SYN. Magazin für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft. Bd. 9. Berlin, Münster, Wien, Zürich, London. LitVerlag. S. 17-30.