Personal Homepage Hagen, Katharina, MA

I am a PhD student of British Literary and Cultural Studies at University of Saarland in Germany. My research interests are intertextuality and intermediality with a strong focus on popular culture. My PhD project focuses on the constructedness of present-day American and British pirate fiction. Drawing on Foucaultian thought, I investigate how maritime violence is turned into utopian fiction which serves escapist purposes (see a short abstract below). My most recent research article focuses on one of William Blake’s illuminated books and the respective re-interpretation by British singer and songwriter Bruce Dickinson. I have also written the “Behind the Scenes” section of the blog article accompanying the release of the issue, talking about the long and difficult process that was needed to obtain print permission for the lyrics. Apart from that I have published a research article on James Bond inventor Ian Fleming’s use of the pirate motif and a review of a Bondian spy thriller. Next to my academic skills I also speak three languages on varying levels; I have gained knowledge on a foreign culture by living in the UK for three months in total; I was working as a language teacher and I hold a certificate in basics to online marketing provided by Google Zukunftswerkstatt.

Work Situation

I am currently not working as I am about to finish my PhD thesis. Priorly I was teaching English to adults one-to-one as a side-job in a private language school which gave me the opportunity to gain teaching experience and to get insight into a world which is outside of the academic context and more business-orientated. I am proud to say that I have successfully prepared a candidate for the C1 Cambridge Certificate.


I have been living in Edinburgh, Scotland, for three months in total. I attended a language school myself during my first stay, learning as much about language as language teaching. Returning after another term at my German university, I worked in a café as a volunteer. I did not only have the advantage of working on High Street, but I also had the opportunity to get more accustomed to British culture. Working in a high-pressure surrounding in a foreign language was of great benefit to me.


Next to English I speak German which is my mother tongue, French (my own estimation: A2), and I have attained the internal qualification for Latin of University of Saarland.

Additional Qualifications

I hold the certificate Grundlagen des Onlinemarketings (basics of online marketing, my translation) of Google Zukunftswerkstatt. I thus have basic knowledge on homepage optimisation to improve organic search results via SEO; parameters responsible for optimal SEM to increase the conversion rate using adverts displayed in search results; interpretation of analyses of keywords, click rates, conversions etc.; the strategies of re-targeting and display advertisement; aspects to be considered when expanding to a foreign market; content marketing via e-mail newsletters and social media. This additional qualification helps me to not only write content, but to also promote it.


Abstract of PhD Project (Work in Progress)


Prof Dr Astrid M. Fellner

Prof Dr Alexandra Ganser-Blumenau

‘I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans.’ Despite its belonging to another context, this quote by British poet and artist William Blake sums up the ideals which form the backbone of pirate fiction. Pirates create their own system, a democracy ruled by pirate articles, to escape the prevailing system of hegemonic monarchies. Murder and robbery are transformed into rebellion and a fight for freedom to embody present-day cravings. The pirate is created by his creating his own system.

This PhD project focuses on the utopian nature of present-day American and British pirate fiction. Drawing on the Foucaultian notion of discourse I will show that the pirate motif consists of elements which are either illogical in themselves or contradictory. I argue that its constitutional elements are kept together by the concept of architextuality and the objective of escapist fantasy. Foucaultian thought, focusing on how language constructs reality and how power relations prescribe normativity, enables me to shed further light on this highly instrumentalised motif. In doing so I can delve into the functionality of fiction. Why does fiction focused on criminals offer material for day-dreaming?


Master of Arts in Comparative and General Literature at Ruhr-University Bochum

Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literatures and Languages, World English: Literatures and Cultures, and Iconography of Visual Arts at University of Saarland

Other / Leisure

I run an uncommercial non-profit hobby blog on literary and historical references in the lyrics of the British band Iron Maiden and a solo album by Bruce Dickinson inspired by William Blake. Read it here. I am also a guest-author for “Zoamorphosis. The Blake 2.0 Blog: William Blake in art, music, film, and literature.” Read it here. This helped me to develop a writing routine; to gain journalistic experience, such as target audience orientated writing and balancing information and entertainment; to get insight into website statistics and to improve my familiarity with issues concerning German media law as well as copyright and (digital) reproduction of images.


Follow me on Twitter: @Kath08384789

Send Me a Message

Featured Image and Photo © Katharina Hagen


Katharina Hagen

Steinhübel 13

66424 Homburg


katharina.hagen at

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