Teaching and research at the Division of American Studies approach US-American literature and culture in tight conjunction. Literary texts and cultural artefacts are situated in their historical contexts and considered in their role as elements within a larger social field.
One important object of the Division's research are processes of political transformation and their relevance for conceptualizations of nationhood and nation formation. This research intersects with research in the realm of gender and sexuality and feeds into the gender studies program supported by the Division. A second major area of research is concerned with issues of mass and popular cultural formations, serialization, digitization, and fan cultures.
Current Research Projects
Dr. des. Ilka Brasch. "Book Culture and Places of Democracy in the Early Republic (working title)" (Habilitation/ second book project)
Felix Brinker, M.A. "Superhero Blockbusters: Seriality, Politics of Engagement, and the Spirit of 21st Century Popular Culture" (Dissertation)
Abigail Fagan, M.A. "Academy and Activism: Research, Teaching and Cultural Outreach in Transatlantic Perspective" (Research Project, with Ruth Mayer and Anna-Lena Oldehus)
Annabel Friedrichs, M.A. "Imagining Change: Visual and Textual Representations of Femininity in Mass and Avant-Garde Magazines, 1880-1920" (Dissertation)
Florian Groß, M.A. "Negotiating Creativity in Post-Network Television Series" (Dissertation)
Ruth Mayer, "Contingency and Contraction: Modernity and Temporality in the United States, 1880-1920" (research project with Felix Brinker and Annabel Friedrichs)
Bettina Soller, M.A. "Fan Fiction Writing: Collaborative Processes and the Performance of Authorship. Towards a Conceptualization of Categories" (Dissertation)
Anna-Lena Oldehus, M.A. "Queering Guilt: Love and Identities in Contemporary Literature" (Dissertation)
PD Dr. Kirsten Twelbeck, "The Story of the Wheat" (Research Project)