Research Interests

The Challenges of Modernity

Prof. Dr. Catrin Gersdorf

My research is located at the intersection of American Studies and the Environmental Humanities. I am particularly interested in conceptual links between literature, democracy, modernity, and ecology. Further areas of research and teaching include the literature and culture of the Anthropocene, space and landscape in American art and literature, the history and theory of the novel, contemporary poetry, and the literary and cultural history of emotions. 

Prof. Dr. MaryAnn Snyder-Körber

I am particularly interested in how modernization processes intersect with cultural production practices. Thus, my research and teaching look closely at media ecologies and the material forms (print, visual, and digital) that they foster. In addition to exploring American modernism in the context of Americanization and the anecdote as a key narrative mode of modernity in recent research projects, my areas of interest include articulation as a key analytical concept in cultural studies (and beyond), networked cultures from the nineteenth century to the present, gender discourses and feminism as well as aesthetics and practices of authorship. 

Prof. Dr. Ina Bergmann

In my research I seek to understand the dynamics underlying the relation between identity and community or identity in community in cultural representations. I am particularly interested in the ways in which literary and media genres such as the historical novel, the short story, life writing, movies, and musicals depict the developing, shaping, and transformation of individual and national identities and negotiate and question social and cultural practices. Further fields of interest include adaptation and appropriation, intermediality, liminality, and cultural memory.

PD Dr. Heike Raphael-Hernandez

In my research, I am interested in American Studies as Transnational and Global Studies. For this focus, I seek to understand how ideas, concepts, and ideologies have traveled to and from the Americas or have been influenced by transnational encounters. Therefore, my areas of research and teaching include historical and contemporary Black Atlantic Studies, Caribbean Studies, Global South Diasporas, German Involvement in Transatlantic Slavery and the Slave Trade, Early Colonial Studies, Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies, Arab American Studies, Social Protest Movements, American Poverty and Working Class Studies, Migration and Immigration, African Transnational Studies, Film Studies, Visual Culture, Popular Culture, and Gender Studies.

Dr. phil. Sladja Blažan

My research spans two seemingly unrelated fields: fictional representations of migrants and migration on the one hand and speculative fiction on the other. I am interested in understanding the ways in which we use fantasy and fiction in order to produce counterfactual narratives or express and make sense of current locally and temporally marked fears and desires.

Molina Klingler, M. A.

My research is located in the field of environmental humanities. In particular, I am interested in exploring the relation of knowledge, science and fiction through the lens of material ecocriticism and posthumanism. Further areas of interest include narrative theory, biopolitics and law, speculative fiction, and poetry.

Hannah Nelson-Teutsch, M. A.

Coalescing at the the nexus of the speculative, the aesthetic, and the material, I am interested in the ways in which we make meaning of places and spaces. With a particular focus on landscape, my research interests surface considerations of race, gender, and decolonial thought.

Lena Pfeifer, M. A.

My research interests are rooted in the Environmental Humanities and include fictional and non-fictional environmental writing of the 20th and 21st centuries, narratives and theories of the Anthropocene, the synergies between aesthetics and political theory as well as environmental ethics.

For more information on the team members' research view their websites.