Dr. Judit Minczinger
- Academic Writing Instructor
Academic English Vienna - Since 2017
- Research Assistant and Lecturer
Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for English Language and Literature - 2014-2016
Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for English Language and Literature - 2011-2013
- PhD in English Literature
Freie Universität Berlin, Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies
- Visiting Research Fellow
University of Cambridge - 2013
- Study abroad: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
- Professional development: Austrian Academy of Continuing Education (wba), BFI Wien, Die Wiener Volkshochschulen, Berliner Zentrum für Hochschullehre, Dahlem Research School
- Scholarships & grants: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Joint Study Grant of the Masaryk University, Erasmus mobility grant
- CELTA-certified English Teacher
- Certificate in Adult Education from the Austrian Academy of Continuing Education (wba)
I have spent the last fifteen years in higher education, first as a Bachelor's and Master's student of English, and later as a doctoral student and lecturer of English literary and cultural studies. During those years I have got to know numerous students and researchers, each with their own approach to writing. Beyond doubt, I have learnt a great deal by observing what my colleagues, friends and students find the most enjoyable or frustrating about the writing process.
I have taught undergraduate and graduate seminars and lectures on various topics, ranging from nineteenth-century literature and theories of gender to cultural studies and representations of urban space. As a lecturer I guided students through the writing process and helped them communicate their ideas by writing thoughtful and persuasive texts. As a PhD candidate I realised that there is a real need for honest discussions about what it entails to work on a dissertation or launch one’s career as an academic, and for instruction that demonstrates that the practice of writing can be a medium for discovery and exploration, rather than a chore to get out of the way. It was also as a doctoral candidate that I got interested in the sociopolitical realities of one’s status as an academic, and the wider framework within which academic writing, and specifically the dissertation, is produced and interpreted.
During these years, it was not only by observing and guiding others that I learnt about the process of writing. I have obviously written numerous texts myself, from short abstracts and essays to longer research papers and journal articles, and finally a doctoral dissertation. My own writing experience was far from seamless. Like most academics, I faced a variety of difficulties, including writer's block, procrastination and caffeine-induced sleepless nights before submitting a paper. Yet it is precisely because I am familiar with such obstacles and pitfalls that I can address other researchers’ struggles and frustrations with confidence.
In 2017 I moved to Vienna and founded Academic English Vienna in order to offer support to and share my knowledge with others who work at universities in this city. In my practice I draw on my own experience of working in various academic genres, my research into academic writing practices, my reading in pedagogy and critical theory, my participation in writing workshops, my various jobs of editing, proofreading and commenting on academic texts, and numerous conversations and collaboration with colleagues and friends across the disciplines. I am particularly interested in interrogating the ideology of ‘native-speakerism’, and widening the access people from 'non-traditional' backgrounds (working-class, minority, and mature students) have to academia by dismantling the structural and material barriers that work against their participation.
Other projects I have been involved in since moving to Vienna include working as a lecturer in an American university exchange program at the Austro-American Institute of Education, teaching English to young refugees and asylum seekers at StartWien Jugendcollege, and preparing adult women for their compulsory school leaving certificate at ABZ Austria.