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Chairs

Jens Bonk is a PhD candidate and research assistant in American Studies at the University of Osnabrück, Germany. His MA was completed in 2012 with a thesis on the modes of serialization in the video game series Halo. Currently Jens Bonk is working on a project tentatively titled Property and Authorship in Digital Culture. His research interests include comics studies, game studies, genre fiction, popular culture, seriality and transmedia storytelling, technology and culture, law and humanities, intellectual property, copyright and cultural representations of the law. 

Felix Brinker is a doctoral candidate at the John F. Kennedy Institute's Graduate School of North American Studies at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, as well as an associate member of the German Research Foundation's Research Unit "Popular Seriality: Aesthetics and Practice." His research interests include popular seriality, film and television, media studies, critical theory, and the politics of (American) popular culture. He is currently working on a dissertation project that examines contemporary televisual and cinematic takes on comic book superheroes - like the recent string of Marvel Studios' superhero movies, adaptations of DC comics properties like Man of Steel and the TV show Gotham, and a handful of other titles - in order to come to terms with the relationship between serial storytelling, the active engagement of audiences, and the political economy of popular culture. 

Svenja Fehlhaber studied history and American studies in Hannover (Germany) and Bristol (UK). In 2013, she completed her Master of Arts at the Leibniz University of Hannover with a thesis entitled Speed - Modernization - Acceleration: Literary Negotiations of Temporality. She currently holds a Georg-Christoph-Lichtenberg-scholarship in the interdisciplinary PhD program "Theorie und Methodologie der Textwissenschaften und ihre Geschichte" at the University of Osnabrück. As a doctoral candidate of American Studies, she is working on her PhD thesis that investigates the aesthetics and cultural (self-)position(ing) of an 'alternative modernist practice' that materializes on the conceptual margins of 'modernist literariness' in American prose during the 1920s. In the past, she has worked as a lecturer on memory and trauma studies; her article "The Anti-Experience as Cultural Memory: Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now and the Vietnam War" appeared in the graduate journal for American Studies aspeers in 2013. 

Julia Leyda is a visiting scholar at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, where she is affiliated with the DFG Research Unit "Popular Seriality: Aesthetics and Practice." Her current research interests include the financialization of domestic space in US screen culture, the aesthetics and affects of cuteness, and theories of post-cinema. Her publications include Interviews: Todd Haynes (UP of Mississippi, 2014) and Extreme Weather and Global Media (co-edited with Diane Negra, Routledge, forthcoming 2015). 

Bettina Soller is working on her dissertation that examines concepts of 'readers' and 'authorship' in relation to online crossover fan fiction writing (working title: "Fan Fiction Writing: Collaborative Processes and the Performance of Authorship. Towards a Conceptualization of Categories"). Her work looks at online writing practices, constructions of fan authorship in secondary literature, the performance of author identities by fans and the reciprocal influence of concepts of authorship and the medial environment of fan fiction online. Besides her investigation of writing and dissemination practices, she has recently worked on female protagonists of US political TV shows. She is a doctoral student at the John F. Kennedy Institute Berlin and an associated member of the DFG  Research Unit "Popular Seriality: Aesthetics and Practice." Currently, she teaches at the American Studies department of the Leibniz University of Hannover.