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Matthias Bickenbach studied German Literature, Philosophy and Art History at the University of Cologne. His Ph.D. thesis develops a history of reading with a focus on reading techniques (Von den Möglichkeiten einer 'inneren' Geschichte des Lesens. Tübingen 1999). As a postdoc he worked at the Centre of Advanced Studies "Media and Cultural Communication" (SFB/FK 427) in Cologne. After his professorial dissertation (Habilitation 2005) on the photographic impact on the representation of literary authors he has been reading German Literature at the Universities of Tübingen, Bonn and Cologne. His key research areas include the poetics of novels from the 18th to the 21st century, media history and cultural techniques.