Prof. Dr. phil. Ruth Mayer

© Felix Brinker
Prof. Dr. phil. Ruth Mayer
Office hours
Mittwoch 10-11 Uhr (ab 14.10.)
Königsworther Platz 1
30167 Hannover
© Felix Brinker
Prof. Dr. phil. Ruth Mayer
Office hours
Mittwoch 10-11 Uhr (ab 14.10.)
Königsworther Platz 1
30167 Hannover
Executive Board
Teaching Staff Representatives
Examination Board Advanced Anglophone Studies (Master of Arts)
Leitung American Studies
English Department Staff
Departmental Student Advisor
Representatives and Contact Persons for Students and Prospective Students, English Department


Ruth Mayer holds the chair of American Studies, teaching American literature and culture from the 17th century to the present time, with a strong focus on theoretical and formal questions. Her research focuses on aspects of popular culture (particularly seriality and serialization), media history, globalization, science studies, and cultural contact. Her book Serial Fu Manchu: The Chinese Super-Villain and the Spread of Yellow Peril Ideology appeared in 2013 with Temple University Press and in 2017 she co-edited Kurz & Knapp: Zur Mediengeschichte kleiner Formen (Transcript). She is currently directing the research project “Contingency and Contraction: Modernity and Temporality in the United States, 1880-1920."


  • Professional Career

    since 2001
    Chair of American Studies, Leibniz University Hannover 

    2016 - 2018
    Director of the English Department

    2005 - 2007
    Dean of Research, Faculty of the Humanities 

    2001 - 2004
    Director of the English Department

    2000 - 2001
    Chair of the English Department (substitute), Leibniz University Hannover

    1995 - 2000 
    Assistant Professor, American Studies, University of Cologne 

    Lecturer, John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, FU Berlin 

    Winter 1993/1994
    Lecturer, John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, FU Berlin

  • Education

    Habilitation (Second Book Project), University of Cologne (Title: "Artificial Africas. Images of Colonialism in the Times of Globalization") 

    Dissertation, American Studies, Free University of Berlin (Dissertation Title: "Selbsterkenntnis, Körperfühlen. Medizinische und philosophische Körperkonzeptionen und Romane Herman Melvilles und Nathaniel Hawthornes")

    Magister Artium, Free University Berlin (Thesis: "Leben im Tod – Tod im Leben. Edgar Allan Poe und medizinische Todeskonzeptionen im frühen neunzehnten Jahrhundert")

    Studies at the Free University Berlin 

    Studies at the University College London

    Stududies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich 

  • Memberships and Offices

    German Association of American Studies (DGfA/ GAAS)

    European Association of American Studies

    American Association of American Studies

    Deutscher Hochschulbund (German Association of University Professors and Lecturers) 

    Board Member, German Association of American Studies, 2000-2007

    Reviewer, Amerikastudien/American Studies, 2002-2009

    Reviewer, German Research Foundation, since 2003

  • Conference Organisation

    Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA/GAAS), Modernities and Modernization in North America, Leibniz University Hannover. Keynotes: Ulla Haselstein, Laura Horak, Michael North, Anita Patterson, Andreas Reckwitz. Juni 2017. 

    Summer School Inside/Outside: Queer Networks in Transnational Perspective. Co-organized with Anna-Lena Oldehus, sponsored by the VW-Foundation. Cultural Center Pavillon, Hannover, September 2016. 

    Symposium Kurz & Knapp: Erzählen und Wissen in kleinen Formen zusammen with Michael Gamper. Sponsored by the VW-Foundation, Konferenzzentrum Schloss Herrenhausen. Juli 2015.

    International Conference Managing Mass Culture: Serialization, Standardization, and Modernity, 1880-1940, co-organized with Ilka Brasch and Christina Meyer. Conference as part of the DFG-Project "Massenkultur in Serie". Speakers: Amy Borden, Michael Chaney, Sabine Haenni, Scott Higgins, Frank Kelleter, Rob King, Kathleen Loock, April 2015.

    International Conference Cultural Distinctions Remediated: Beyond the High, the Low, and the Middle, co-organized with Shane Denson, Florian, Groß, Vanessa Künnemann. Conference as part of the DFG-Project "Serielle Figuren im Medienwechsel". Keynotes: Jason Mittell and Lynn Spigel. Hannover, December 2011.

    International Conference Chinatowns. Myths and Realities of an Urban Phenomenon in the United States and Europe. Conference as part of the DFG-Reserach Project "Diasporische Selbstinszenierungen." Funded by the German Research Foundation and by Leibniz University Hannover. Speakers: John Kuo Wei Tchen, Yong Chen, Mary Lui, Lars Amenda, Thoralf Klein, Flemming Christiansen, Peter Kwong. Hannover, September 2008.

    International Conference Pacific Interactions. The USA, China, and the Chinese Diaspora in Historical Perspective. Conference as part of the DFG-Research Project "Diasporische Selbstinszenierungen". Funded by the DFG, DGfA, U.S. Embassy Berlin, NordLB and the Freundeskreis der Universität Hannover. Speakers: Xiao-huang Yin, Pheng Cheah, Thoralf Klein, Sebastian Conrad, Andrea Riemenschnitter et al. Hannover, November 2006.

    International Symposium Virus! co-organized with Dr. Brigitte Weingart (Kulturwissenschaftliches Forschungskolleg "Medien und kulturelle Kommunikation", University of Cologne) and Dr. Bernd Busch (Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle Bonn). Sponsere by the DFG and the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Bonn. Bonn, January 2002.

    International Symposium Mixed Up. Multiculturalism and Popular Culture, in cooperation with the British Council and the Amerika Haus Cologne. Sponsored by the DFG, Anglo-German-Foundation, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, USIS, DGfA, University of Cologne and more sponsors. Cologne, July 1996.

  • Scholarships and Visiting Professorships

    June 2008
    Lecturer, Dartmouth College, Summer Institute "The Futures of American Studies"

    Scholarship for a Second Book Project (Habilitation), German Research Foundation

    Visiting Scholar, New York University

    March 1998
    Fellow Salzburg Seminar, "The Contemporary Novel"

    August 1997
    Lecturer, Dartmouth College, Summer Institute "The Futures of American Studies"

    Scholarship, Postgraduate School "The Problem of Democracy in the USA", John F. Kennedy-Institute, FU Berlin

    Akademische Nachwuchsförderung des Landes Berlin nach NaFöG

    Research Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service, to pursue research at the Columbia University, New York, Harvard University and at the University of California at Berkeley