Maren Walinski is a research assistant and PhD student of Prof. Greta Olson. Her main research interests lie in gender and feminist studies, body studies – fat studies in particular – and critical media studies. Her PhD project, which developed out of her MA thesis on representations of ‘fat’ bodies in the television series Drop Dead Diva and Mike & Molly, combines all of these areas as it investigates representations of ‘fat’ men in US American television series. It shall explore how these representations contribute to or challenge cultural assumptions of what it means to be a ‘fat’ man, and how intersectional categories such as race, class, or sexual orientation affect these notions. The project will also consider the impact of form and genre on the formation of ‘fat’ masculine identity, with objects of investigation ranging from early situation comedies such as The Honeymooners (1952–1957) to recent drama series like The Sopranos (1999–2007) or Daredevil (2015–).
Since January 2016, Ms. Walinski has been working as coordinator of the “Women Students Database for Gender Research,” and has given workshops on academic writing and publishing in academia for participants of the database. Before, she worked as coordinator of the network “Women of FB 05”. As a feminist, she appreciates that both projects allowed her to actively support women in academia and beyond, and to put into practice some of the theory she has been engaging with throughout her academic career.