This book is a revised version of my dissertation, which was accepted by the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Tübingen in September 2018.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my supervisors Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer and Prof. Dr. Angelika Zirker for their ongoing support not only during the writing of this book but for almost ten years now. Their passion for English literature has accompanied me since my time as an undergraduate student and has motivated me to begin this project. This book grew out of generous conversations with them, their ideas, as well as their continuous feedback and encouragement. I am also grateful to Prof. Dr. Burkhard Niederhoff for reviewing my dissertation and to Prof. Dr. Janet Gezari for her advice and the delightful week we spent together in Tübingen. Her visit, as well as my research stay at Chawton House Library and my attendance at conferences was financed by the RTG 1808: “Ambiguity – Production and Perception.”1 I am incredibly grateful to the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) who have funded this project.
I was lucky to enjoy the company and professional input of not only one but two sets of supportive colleagues. In the past few years, I have spent many hours with my colleagues at the chair of Professor Bauer talking about English literature, life as a PhD-student and many other topics besides. During numerous lunches, research notes and coffee breaks at the RTG 1808, we discussed everything from ambiguity to linguistic theories and the intellect of cats. Working with all of them has truly been a pleasure and the conversations we had have not only been extremely helpful but also inspiring and very entertaining. I would also like to thank Elias Güthlein and Asya Achimova, who have shared their offices and the best and worst of times during the writing of this book with me, to Curtis Runstedler for proofreading, and to Inken Armbrust, Eva Haag, and Sophie Priester for all their help.
Most of all, I would like to thank my partner Thorben Rudolf, my parents and my sisters Hannah and Leonie, as well as Susanne Riecker and Nicole Poppe. You managed to make me laugh during the most challenging times, proofread manuscripts, wrote Excel macros, made dinner when I had no time to cook, kept up my motivation, and provided much practical and emotional support besides. You have made this project possible.
The RTG 1808 – Ambiguity: Production and Perception is funded by the German Research Foundation (project number 198647426).