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 "Operational Detection: Crime Serials and the American Cinema, 1910-1940" (Dissertation, finished)
Dr. Shane Denson, "Figuring Serial Trajectories" (Habilitation)
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 Svenja Fehlhaber)
Ruth Mayer, "Serializing Mass Culture: Popular Film Serials and Serial Structures in the United States, 1910-1940" (research project with Ilka Brasch, part of the research unit "Popular Seriality: Aesthetics and Practice," Free University Berlin)
Dr. Christina Meyer, "Modern Mass Entertainment: The Serial Unfolding of the Yellow Kid" (Habilitation, finished)
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)
Alessja Zapadenska, "Post-cinematic Forms in Transnational Contemporary Cinema"
PD Dr. Kirsten Twelbeck, "The Story of the Wheat" (Research Project)
Jana Wachsmuth, M.A. "Re-Reading Desire, Consumption, and Taste in American Novels, 1900 vs. 2000" (Dissertation)