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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. She is a member of the DFG-research unit "Popular Seriality". Her book Serial Fu Manchu: The Chinese Super-Villain and the Spread of Yellow Peril Ideology appeared in 2013 with Temple University Press.