Hi, I'm Folkert.

If you'd like know more, read on.

I am a project manager at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. Prior to my current job, I have worked as a freelance communication skills trainer, and in my spare time I continue to offer seminars in that area. I hold a PhD in literary studies and  I've held posts as teaching and research assistant, lecturer and assistant professor at German universities. These days, however, my literary scholarship is something I do strictly on my own time.
At first glance, my professional biography probably does not appear to be a very straightforward one. During all stages of my career, however, analysing structures and patterns, trying to understand how these structures and patterns produce meaning, and sharing this understanding with others have been formative elements. Teaching has been a constant throughout my professional life in one way or another.

Education Project Management

In my current position I am concerned with teaching in an administrative capacity. As a project manager, I coordinate a team that supports the university's drive to continually develop and enhance the quality of its teaching and its study programmes. In this capacity, I benefit greatly from my own teaching experience. My duties include:

  • Coordinating a cross-departmental
    team
  • Facilitating inter-departmental exchange
  • Organising and facilitating thematic workshops
  • Project controlling and financial planning
  • Communication with stakeholders
  • Designing and implementing OPDCA-cycles on various organisational levels

Communication Skills Training

The question of how people communicate with each other for which purpose(s) has interested me since my student days. How to teach general communication skills became a relevant question when I was developing a training course for student tutors in 2008. Since then, I have been offering training courses for students and business professionals that deal with a broad range of topics:

  • Communication skills model
  • Conversational ability
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Targeted questions and active listening
  • Delegating tasks
  • Giving feedback
  • Analyzing problems
  • Self-confident communication
  • Negotiations and negotiation styles
  • Recognizing conflict situations
  • Intended and unintended messages
  • Emotions and impulsive communication
  • De-escalating communication
  • Transactional analysis
  • Influencing others
  • Styles of influence
  • Balancing goals
  • Literary Scholarship

    While I am no longer working as an academic, I continue to be passionate about my academic subjects and I do still consider myself to be a literary scholar, albeit a part-time and independent one. As such, critically engaging with all manners of literary texts and trying to understand how they create meaning in a cultural arena that is far-wider ranging than the written word, continues to hold at least as much pleasure for me as simply enjoying a good story. You can find a full list of my publications and selected papers here.

    Recent Talks and Conference Papers
    Year Title
    2018
    upcoming
    "Agricultural Futures: Agriculture, Science, and Speculative Literature." Annual Conference. British Society for Literature and Science. Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
    2017 "Eine Moralische Pornographie? Angela Carters The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman." Erotik in Literatur und Theater. University of Kassel, Germany
    2017
    "Breakthroughs and Catastrophes: Ethics and Science in Greg Egan's Science Fictions." Annual Conference. British Society for Literature and Science. University of Bristol, United Kingdom
    2015
    "Life, the Universe, and Everything: Spatial and Temporal Scales in Science Fiction." Annual Conference: SCALE. Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, Europe. University of Malta, Valletta, Malta
    2015
    "Age, Intersectionality, and Literature: Sketching a Framework for the Analysis of Age in Contemporary Fiction." Ageing: Histories, Mythologies, Taboos. University of Bergen, Norway
    Recent Publications
    Year Title
    2016

    "Ein Schimmern zwischen den Zeilen." Garten + Landschaft – Zeitschrift für Landschaftsarchitektur 126.3 (2016). 38-39. Print.
    2015 Dark Nights, Bright Lights: Night, Darkness and Illumination in Literature. Berlin: De Gruyter. Print. With Susanne Bach.
    2015
    "On Behalf of the Dark? Functionalisations of Light Pollution in Literature." Dark Nights, Bright Lights: Night, Darkness and Illumination in Literature. Eds. Susanne Bach and Folkert Degenring. Berlin: De Gruyter. Print.
    2015
    Intersektionalität und Forschungspraxis: Wechselseitige Herausforderungen. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot. Print. With Mechthild Bereswill and Sabine Stange.
    2015
    "'a man to whom everything in life had come easily': Eine intersektionale Skizze zu John Lanchesters Capital: A Novel." Intersektionalität und Forschungspraxis: Wechselseitige Herausforderungen. Eds. Mechthild Bereswill, Sabine Stange & Folkert Degenring. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot. 134-153. Print.

    Contact Me

    Do you have any questions? I'm looking forward to hearing from you!