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Karolina Watroba

DPhil Candidate
Photograph of Karolina Watroba


Karolina Watroba is a DPhil candidate in Medieval and Modern Languages, interested in modern literature, film, and critical theory. In her DPhil thesis, on which she is working under the supervision of Prof. Ben Morgan and with support of the Clarendon-Merton Modern Languages Scholarship, she is looking at several novels and films that respond to, and creatively rework, Thomas Mann's modernist masterpiece, his 1924 novel "Der Zauberberg" ("The Magic Mountain"). This comparative project spans almost a century (from a 1927 Polish novel "Choucas" by Zofia Nałkowska to a 2015 Italian/British/French/Swiss co-production "Youth" directed by Paolo Sorrentino) and at least three continents (with texts originating from various European countries, the USA and Japan, and one set in South America).

Karolina grew up in Krakow, Poland, and moved to Oxford in 2011 to study Modern Languages at Magdalen College (2011-2015: BA in German, congratulatory first class; 2013-2014: Year Abroad at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, studying Spanish, Swedish and European Studies, funded by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes; 2015-2016: MSt in Comparative Criticism, distinction, funded by the Ertegun Graduate Scholarship in the Humanities). One of her biggest passions is learning languages: as well as English, German and her native Polish, she knows Spanish and Swedish, reads French, Italian and Latin, and plans to start learning Korean and Hindi.