Isabelle studied German and History at the University of Zurich, where she received her M.A. in 2016 with a thesis on Karl Philipp Moritz’s Anton Reiser. It traces the entanglement of Moritz’s prose with universal hermeneutics, focusing on the latter’s literary characteristics. During her studies, Isabelle taught German and History at a Gymnasium in Switzerland. Before coming to Columbia, she received an exchange scholarship to spend one semester at NYU’s German Department.
At Columbia, Isabelle plans to further develop her interest in a fundamental discrepancy underlying some late 18th century novels, namely the clash between a world view based on Leibniz’s harmonia praestabilita, on the one hand, and a shattering confrontation with bottomless despair of transcendental homelessness on the other. She is also interested in the constitutive role of imagination at the precarious interface between pathological affliction and vital necessity.