Deutsch Intern


Tobias Jetter (ed.).

Global Cultural Studies?

Würzburg: Würzburg University Press, 2023.

JMU Cultural Studies 1

Can cultural studies attend to the problems of our globalized world? Or is this project of “engaged scholarship” too deeply rooted in the parochial terrain of the national? This collection of essays – the first volume in the new JMU Cultural Studies publication series – attends to this vital yet difficult question. Based on joint seminars bringing together emerging scholars from Germany and India, the contributions confront “classic texts” from US-American, British, and Indian cultural studies with the specific concerns and contemporary perspectives of the authors. The collection thus tests the potentials of the tradition to speak to the transnational as well as the national environments of the very present. Emphasis is placed on Marxist and feminist legacies, which are then projected into the domains of contemporary disability, food, and film studies.

For more information see:

Gersdorf, Catrin, and Catriona Sandilands (eds.).

Gardening (against) the Anthropocene.

Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment 14.1 (2023).

For more information see:

Lena Pfeifer, Molina Klingler, Hannah Nelson-Teutsch (eds.).

Climate Changes Global Perspectives

Würzburg: Würzburg University Press, 2022.

Challenges of Modernity 1

Climate Changes Global Perspectives brings together creative approaches to representing environmental crises in a globalized world, which originated in an eponymous symposium hosted virtually by the University of Würzburg in August of 2021. This volume, and the unruly texts that claim space here, are written not only to question and challenge standardized patterns of representation, but also to contribute to undisciplining the genres and practices of traditional academic writing by exploring alternative representational form(at)s.
Climate Changes Global Perspectives is the first publication in the Challenges of Modernity series, which seeks to collect and make available projects of engaged scholarship in the humanities.

For more information see:

Bergmann, Ina (ed.).

Special Section: Region, Environment, and Community in American Literary Short Forms.

Journal of the Short Story in English/Les Cahiers de la Nouvelle 73 (2019): 19-152.

Presses Universitaires de Rennes

Regionalism and the practices of ecology emerged simultaneously in response to various upheavals of modernity and have since interacted. Following in the footsteps of the Chicago school of ecology, which promoted a view of nature rooted in cooperation and community, a growing body of scholarship argues that the natural environment is a critical component of community well-being and a stimulus for collaborative action. American short fiction, especiallystory cycles, frequently negotiates issues of nature, place, and belonging. For example, Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) connects issues of region, environment, and community with episodic structures and the short form. Furthermore, the topic of this special section is of obvious pertinence on a broader scale in an age of standstill or even regression in climate and nature protection, growing divide between rich and poor, cityand country, rising nationalism, democracy-threatening lack of sense of community, and increasingly selfish individualism.

The contributions mainly provide critical (re-)readings of regional and/or environmentally significant short texts. They likewise examine, to varying degrees, the dichotomies of nation and region, of individualism and community, and of the exploitation of natural resources and attempts at nature preservation. They also reflect on the short form as a medium for the representation of the linked foci of region, environment, and community.

This special section comes out of a symposium on "Region and the Short Form in American Literature" held at the University of Würzburg on July 26 and 27, 2018 in honor of Prof. Dr. Jochen Achilles, the former chair of American Studies at the University of Würzburg. It brings together some of his research interests with research trajectories currently followed in American Studies at the University of Würzburg and thereby also stresses lines of continuity in Würzburg American Studies.

For more information see:

Bergmann, Ina.

The Nineteenth Century Revis(it)ed: The New Historical Fiction.

New York: Routledge, 2021.

Routledge Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature.

The Nineteenth Century Revis(it)ed: The New Historical Fiction explores the renaissance of the American historical novel at the turn of the twenty-first century. The study examines the revision of nineteenth-century historical events in cultural products against the background of recent theoretical trends in American studies. It combines insights of literary studies with scholarship on popular culture. The focus of representation is the long nineteenth century – a period from the early republic to World War I – as a key epoch of the nation-building project of the United States. The study explores the constructedness of historical tradition and the cultural resonance of historical events within the discourse on the contemporary novel and the theory formation surrounding it. At the center of the discussion are the unprecedented literary output and critical as well as popular success of historical fiction in the USA since 1995. An additional postcolonial and transatlantic perspective is provided by the incorporation of texts by British and Australian authors and especially by the inclusion of insights from neo-Victorian studies. The book provides a critical comment on current and topical developments in American literature, culture, and historiography.

For more information see:

James Dorson, Florian Sedlmeier, MaryAnn Snyder-Körber, and Birte Wege (eds.)

Anecdotal Modernity. Making and Unmaking History

Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2020.

Modernity is made and unmade by the anecdotal. Conceived as a literary genre, a narrative element of criticism, and, most crucially, a mode of historiography, the anecdote illuminates the convergences as well as the fault lines cutting across modern practices of knowledge production. The volume explores uses of the anecdotal in exemplary case studies from the threshold of the early modern to the present.

For more information see:

Bergmann, Ina, and Dorothea Klein (eds.).

Kulturen der Einsamkeit.

Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2020.

Ringvorlesungen der Universität Würzburg 18.

Einsamkeit ist ein internationales und transhistorisches Phänomen und regt als anthropologische Konstante fortwährend zu künstlerischer Bearbeitung und wissenschaftlicher Betrachtung an. Die Beiträge dieses Bands beschreiben Kulturen der Einsamkeit von der Antike bis in die Gegenwart und von Europa über Amerika bis Asien. Kulturelle Repräsentationen von Eremiten, Einsiedlern und Einzelgängern geben Aufschluss darüber, wie Individuen durch ein Leben in Einsamkeit geprägt werden, und sie hinterfragen etablierte gesellschaftliche und kulturelle Praktiken. Einsamkeit kann frei gewählt oder erzwungen, vorübergehend oder endgültig sein, physische oder psychische Auslöser und Auswirkungen haben, in der Natur oder im urbanen Raum angesiedelt sein und als Befreiung oder Beschränkung empfunden werden. Aktualität erlangt die Kulturgeschichte der Einsamkeit durch ihre Relevanz für gegenwärtige soziale Herausforderungen sowie populäre Tendenzen in Lebensstil und -führung. Der vorliegende Band schärft den Blick für aktuelle Diskurse über Privatsphäre, Datenschutz, Überwachung, neue Technologien und soziale Medien, religiösen Fundamentalismus, Armut, Alter, Krankheit, Simplifizierung und Konsum- und Ökokritik. Sind Eremiten, Einsiedler und Einzelgänger Wegbereiter einer alternativen Zukunft oder Symptome einer pathologischen Gesellschaft?

For more information see:

Reviews in:
Scienzz, August 11, 2020, September 28, 2020
Zeitschrift für Germanistik, 31:2 (2021)

Middelhoff, Frederike, Sebastian Schönbeck, Roland Borgards, and Catrin Gersdorf (eds.).

Texts, Animals, Environments. Zoopoetics and Ecopoetics.

Freiburg: Rombach Verlag, 2019.

Texts, Animals, Environments. Zoopoetics and Ecopoetics probes the multiple links between ecocriticism and animal studies, assessing the relations between animals, environments and poetics. While ecocriticism usually relies on a relational approach to explore phenomena related to the environment or ecology more broadly, animal studies tends to examine individual or species-specific aspects. As a consequence, ecocriticism concentrates on ecopoetical, animal studies on zoopoetical elements and modes of representation in literature (and the arts more generally). Bringing key concepts of ecocriticism and animal studies into dialogue, the volume explores new ways of thinking about and reading texts, animals, and environments – not as separate entities but as part of the same collective.

For further information see:

Raphael-Hernandez, Heike, and Pia Wiegmink (eds.).

German Entanglements in Transatlantic Slavery.

London / New York: Routledge, 2018.

Germany has long entertained the notion that the transatlantic slave trade and New World slavery involved only other European players. Countering this premise, this collection re-charts various routes of German participation in, profiteering from, and resistance to transatlantic slavery and its cultural, political, and intellectual reverberations. Exploring how German financiers, missionaries, and immigrant writers made profit from, morally responded to, and fictionalized their encounters with New World slavery, the contributors demonstrate that these various German entanglements with New World slavery revise preconceived ideas that erase German involvements from the history of slavery and the Black Atlantic. Moreover, the collection brings together these German perspectives on slavery with an investigation of German colonial endeavors in Africa, thereby seeking to interrogate historical processes (or fantasies) of empire-building, colonialism, and slavery which, according to public memory, seem to have taken place in isolation from each other. The collection demonstrates that they should be regarded as part and parcel of a narrative that ingrained colonialism and slavery in the German cultural memory and identity to a much larger extent than has been illustrated and admitted so far in general discourses in contemporary Germany.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Atlantic Studies.

For more information see:

Blazan, Sladja, and Nigel Hatton (eds.).

Refugees and/in Literature.

Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2018.

LWU Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 2/3.2016. XLIX. Doppelheft.

S. Blazan / N. Hatton: Introduction: Refugees and / in Literature – K. Neumann: Abandoned in Limbo: The Predicament of Refugees in Renée Brand’s Niemandsland [Short Days Ago] and Herz Bergner’s Zwishn himl un waser [Between Sky and Sea] – N. Hatton: Post-Homeric Odysseys: Reimagining the Fictional Space Between Human Rights Advocates and the Poor, Dehumanized and Uprooted – S. Udayan: Negotiating Home and Belonging: Experiences of Displacement in Paola Pigani’s Venus d’Ailleurs – A. Ganser: Territorialities of Flight: The Refugee Narrative in Edwidge Danticat and Madeleine Thien – C. Deetjen: Growing up Displaced: Refugee Experiences in Anglophone Young Adult Literature about Flight from Afghanistan – S. Blazan: Literature and the Agency of the Refugee – An Analysis of Narrative Structures Employed in Elfriede Jelinek’s Die Schutzbefohlenen and Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Refugees – S. Klaas: “We Will Give Him a Family”: Economies of Race and Rescue in the Autobiographies of Young African Refugees – Appenidix: Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees – Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees

For more information see:

Balestrini, Nassim Winnie (Universität Graz & CIMIG), and Ina Bergmann (eds.).

Intermediality, Life Writing, and American Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2018.

Buchreihe der Anglia / Anglia Book Series 61

This collection of essays gathers innovative and compelling research on intermedial forms of life writing by an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars. Among their subjects of scrutiny are biographies, memoirs, graphic novels, performances, paratheatricals, musicals, silent films, movies, documentary films, and social media. The volume covers a time frame ranging from the nineteenth century to the immediate present. In addition to a shared focus on theories of intermediality and life writing, the authors apply to their subjects both firmly established and cutting-edge theoretical approaches from Cultural Narratology, Cultural History, Biographical Studies, Social Media Studies, Performance Studies, and Visual Culture Studies. The collection also features interviews with practitioners in biography who have produced monographs, films, and novels.

For more information see:

Review in Amerikastudien/American Studies 64.1 (2019)

Bergmann, Ina (ed.).

Special Cluster: Nature, Liminality, and the Short Story

ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 24:3 (Summer 2017), pp. 477-560.

Oxford University Press

From the beginnings of the genre in the United States, nature and liminality have been inextricably linked with the short story. To explore the particularly close intersections of nature, liminality, and the American short story is therefore a productive project. The special cluster “Nature, Liminality, and the Short Story” unravels the usefulness of interdisciplinary approaches for the understanding of literature. The contributions to the cluster probe into the particularly close intersections of the concepts of nature and liminality in the American short story.

For more information see:

Bergmann, Ina, and Stefan Hippler (eds.).

Cultures of Solitude: Loneliness – Limitation – Liberation.

Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2017.

This collection of essays comprises cultural analyses of practices of eremitism and reclusiveness in the USA, which are inseparably linked to the American ideals of individualism and freedom. Covering a time frame from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, the essays study cultural products such as novels, poems, plays, songs, paintings, television shows, films, and social media, which represent the costs and benefits of deliberate withdrawal and involuntary isolation from society. Thus, this book offers valuable contributions to contemporary cultural discourses on privacy, surveillance, new technology, pathology, anti-consumerism, simplification, and environmentalism. Solitaries can be read as trailblazers for an alternative future or as symptoms of a pathological society.

Open access:

Review in Amerikastudien/American Studies 63.4 (2018)

Raiford, Leigh (UC Berkeley), and Heike Raphael-Hernandez (eds.).

Migrating the Black Body. The African Diaspora and Visual Culture.

University of Washington Press 2017.

Migrating the Black Body explores how visual media-from painting to photography, from global independent cinema to Hollywood movies, from posters and broadsides to digital media, from public art to graphic novels-has shaped diasporic imaginings of the individual and collective self. How is the travel of black bodies reflected in reciprocal black images? How is blackness forged and remade through diasporic visual encounters and reimagined through revisitations with the past? And how do visual technologies structure the way we see African subjects and subjectivity? This volume brings together an international group of scholars and artists who explore these questions in visual culture for the historical and contemporary African diaspora. Examining subjects as wide-ranging as the appearance of blackamoors in Russian and Swedish imperialist paintings, the appropriation of African and African American liberation images for Chinese Communist Party propaganda, and the role of YouTube videos in establishing connections between Ghana and its international diaspora, these essays investigate routes of migration, both voluntary and forced, stretching across space, place, and time.

For more information see:

Gersdorf, Catrin, and Juliane Braun (eds.).

America After Nature. Democracy, Culture, Environment.

Heidelberg: Winter Verlag 2016.

In ‘Democratic Vistas’, a text that responds to the United States’s devastating experiences of the Civil War, Walt Whitman reminds his readers that the nation should continue to find its political ideals and cultural purposes in “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” His concept of nature was anchored in the ideas of eighteenth-century natural rights philosophy, but also in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition of nature “in the common sense” as a totality of essences unaltered by human labor and industry.

Whitman’s contention that nature provides the concepts and ideas at the core of America’s political, cultural, and social structure, and the current critical contention that nature's massive restructuring will not remain without consequences for modern culture(s), offer the conceptual and historical frame for the essays collected in this volume. They all investigate the social, political, ethical and aesthetic questions and controversies that are raised in the study of America in a so-called postnatural world.

For more information see:

Review in Journal of American Studies 7 (2018)

Gersdorf, Catrin (ed.).

Urban Ecologies. Thematic section.

Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment 7.2 (2016).

For more information see:

Achilles, Jochen, and Ina Bergmann (eds.).

Liminality and the Short Story: Boundary Crossings in American, Canadian, and British Writing.

New York: Routledge, 2015.

Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature.

This book is a study of the short story, one of the widest taught genres in English literature, from an innovative methodological perspective. Both liminality and the short story are well-researched phenomena, but the combination of both is not frequent. This book discusses the relevance of the concept of liminality for the short story genre and for short story cycles, emphasizing theoretical perspectives, methodological relevance and applicability.

For more information see:

Review in Amerikastudien/American Studies 62:2 (2017)

Review in Journal of the Short Story in English 69 (2017)

Hampf, M. Michaela, and MaryAnn Snyder-Körber (eds.)

Machine: Bodies, Genders, Technologies

Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2012.

Women’s work. Manning the machine. Bodies electric in an age of the mechanical. Such phrases highlight a crosshatched network of meaning-making in modernity. Technological developments in the concrete sense of devices and operations intersect with longer-standing conceptual architectures. The essay collection ‘Machine: Bodies, Genders, Technologies’ explores key interstices of this evolving techno-cultural imaginary through interdisciplinary dialogue. Literary and historical perspectives within American Studies are brought into conversation with Film, Gender, Media, and Transnational Studies. Contributions consider politics of the body from radical self-fashioning to infections of the body politic, the interrelation of gender and technology from the factory floor to the film screen, and imaginations of the technological between the mechanic and the machinic from nineteenth-century electroshocks to millennial avant-gardes.

For more information see:

Haselstein, Ulla, Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit, Catrin Gersdorf, and Elena Giannoulis.

The Cultural Career of Coolness: Discourses and Practices of Affect Contol in European Antiquity, the United States, and Japan.

New York: Lexington Books, 2013.

Cool is a word of American English that has been integrated into the vocabulary of numerous languages around the globe. Today it is a term most often used in advertising trendy commodities, or, more generally, in promoting urban lifestyles in our postmodern age. But what is the history of the term “cool?" When has coolness come to be associated with certain modes of contemporary self-fashioning? On what grounds do certain nations claim a privilege to be recognized as “cool?" These are some of the questions that served as a starting-point for a comparative cultural inquiry which brought together specialists from American Studies and Japanese Studies, but also from Classics, Philosophy and Sociology. The conceptual grid of the volume can be described as follows:

  1. Coolness is a metaphorical term for affect-control. It is tied in with cultural discourses on the emotions and the norms of their public display, and with gendered cultural practices of subjectivity.
  2. In the course of the cultural transformations of modernity, the term acquired new importance as a concept referring to practices of individual, ethnic, and national difference.
  3. Depending on cultural context, coolness is defined in terms of aesthetic detachment and self-irony, of withdrawal, dissidence and even latent rebellion.
  4. Coolness often carries undertones of ambivalence. The situational adequacy of cool behavior becomes an issue for contending ethical and aesthetic discourses since an ethical ideal of self-control and a strategy of performing self-control are inextricably intertwined.
  5. In literature and film, coolness as a character trait is portrayed as a personal strength, as a lack of emotion, as an effect of trauma, as a mask for suffering or rage, as precious behavior, or as savvyness. This wide spectrum is significant: artistic productions offer valid insights into contradictions of cultural discourses on affect-control.
  6. American and Japanese cultural productions show that twentieth-century notions of coolness hybridize different cultural traditions of affect-control.

For further information see:

Bergmann, Ina, and Norbert Lennartz (eds.)

"Section IV: Dickens and His Legacy."

Proceedings: Anglistentag 2011 Freiburg. Ed. Monika Fludernik und Benjamin Kohlmann.

Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2012, pp. 213-302.

As a prelude to Dickens’s bicentenary in 2012, the section “Dickens and His Legacy” at the Anglistentag 2011 in Freiburg probed the legacy of Charles Dickens at the turn of the twenty-first century. 200 years after his birth and 140 years after his death, the great British writer and his literary heritage seem to be flourishing more than ever. Dickens’s significance for the contemporary cultural scene in Britain, the USA, Canada, and Australia cannot be overestimated. The papers in this section investigate the particulars of the “Dickens Phenomenon,” foreground the appeal of Dickensian writing at the turn of the twenty-first century and explore the cultural implications of this trend from all potential angles.

For more information see:

Gersdorf, Catrin.

The Poetics and Politics of the Desert: Landscape and the Construction of America.

New York and Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009.

This study explores the ways in which the desert, as topographical space and cultural presence, shaped and reshaped concepts and images of America. Once a territory outside the geopolitical and cultural borders of the United States, the deserts of the West and Southwest have since emerged as canonical American landscapes. Drawing on the critical concepts of American studies and on questions and problems raised in recent debates on ecocriticism, The Poetics and Politics of the Desert investigates the spatial rhetoric of America as it developed in view of arid landscapes since the mid-nineteenth century. Gersdorf argues that the integration of the desert into America catered to the entire spectrum of ideological and political responses to the history and culture of the US, maintaining that the Americanization of this landscape was and continues to be staged within the idiomatic parameters and in reaction to the discursive authority of four spatial metaphors: garden, wilderness, Orient, and heterotopia.

For more information see:

Reviews in:

  • The Goose: A Journal of Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada, Issue 6 (Fall 2009)
  • ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment Vol. 17.2 (Spring 2010).
  • Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik (ZAA) 2/2010.
  • Journal of American Studies 44/2010.
  • Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment, Vol. 1.2 (2010).
  • PAN: Philosophy, Activism, Nature, Issue 7 (2010).
  • American Literary History, Vol. 24.1 (Spring 2012).

Achilles, Jochen, and Ina Bergmann (eds.).

Representations of Evil in Fiction and Film.

Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2009. Anglistik – Amerikanistik – Anglophonie.

This collection of essays examines representations of evil in the English-speaking world, especially in fiction and film. Some articles also touch upon evil in poetry, drama and political discourse. Though mainly centering on the nineteenth and twentieth century, this volume does cover a wide variety of phenomena, countries, genres, and media and may therefore function as an introductory survey to the phenomenon of evil in Anglophone literatures and cultures. The contributors try to elucidate the phenomenon of evil by approaching it from various angles, ranging from classic to popular cultural reflections in American, British, and Postcolonial Literatures. Individual essays discuss texts by William Shakespeare, Charlotte Brontë, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley, Anthony Burgess, J. M. Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Arundhati Roy, and Margaret Atwood, as well as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Richard Wright, N. Scott Momaday, Greg Sarris, Norman Mailer, Bret Easton Ellis, Joyce Carol Oates, Chuck Palahniuk, Stuart O'Nan, Caleb Carr, Matthew Pearl, Erik Larson, Hal Lindsey, Robert Van Kampen, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. The visual art form of movies is represented by discussions of films such as The Birth of a Nation, The Night of the Hunter, The Usual Suspects and, especially, David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Drive. Furthermore, the political speech of George W. Bush and Tony Blair is explored for its strategic use of evil.

For further information see:

Review in:

  • Eckart Voigts-Virchow. Anglia: Journal of English Philology 130.1 (2012).

Raphael-Hernandez, Heike.

The Utopian Aesthetics of Three African American Women (Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Julie Dash): The Principle of Hope.

Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2008.

The study argues that German Jewish philosopher Ernst Bloch’s utopian theory of hope and his concept of the not-yet is exemplified in the works of contemporary African American women writers.

For further information:

Gersdorf, Catrin, and Sylvia Mayer (eds.).

Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies: Transatlantic Conversations on Ecocriticism.

Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006.

Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies is a collection of essays written by European and North American scholars who argue that nature and culture can no longer be thought of in oppositional, mutually exclusive terms. They are united in an effort to push the theoretical limits of ecocriticism towards a more rigorous investigation of nature’s critical potential as a concept that challenges modern culture’s philosophical assumptions, epistemological convictions, aesthetic principles, and ethical imperatives. This volume offers scholars and students of literature, culture, history, philosophy, and linguistics new insights into the ongoing transformation of ecocriticism into an innovative force in international and interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies.

For further information see:

Raphael-Hernandez, Heike, and Shannon Steen (eds.).

AfroAsian Encounters: Culture, History, Politics.

New York: New York University Press, 2006.

With a Foreword by Vijay Prashad and an Afterword by Gary Okihiro.

How might we understand yellowface performances by African Americans in 1930s swing adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, Paul Robeson's support of Asian and Asian American struggles, or the absorption of hip hop by Asian American youth culture?

AfroAsian Encounters is the first anthology to look at the mutual influence of and relationships between members of the African and Asian diasporas. While these two groups have often been thought of as occupying incommensurate, if not opposing, cultural and political positions, scholars from history, literature, media, and the visual arts here trace their interconnections and interactions, as well as the tensions between the two groups that sometimes arise. AfroAsian Encounters probes beyond popular culture to trace the historical lineage of these coalitions from the late nineteenth century to the present.

A foreword by Vijay Prashad sets the volume in the context of the Bandung conference half a century ago, and an afterword by Gary Okihiro charts the contours of a “Black Pacific.” From the history of Japanese jazz composers to the current popularity of black/Asian “buddy films” like Rush Hour, AfroAsian Encounters is a groundbreaking intervention into studies of race and ethnicity and a crucial look at the shifting meaning of race in the twenty-first century.

For more info:

Gersdorf, Catrin, and Sylvia Mayer (eds.).

Natur, Kultur, Text: Beiträge zu Ökologie und Literaturwissenschaft.

Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2005.

Klimawandel, Umweltgerechtigkeit, Biotechnologie - am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts markieren diese Stichworte die wachsende gesellschaftliche Bedeutung von Ökologie- und Umweltfragen. Darüber hinaus rufen sie die Krise des Verhältnisses zwischen Kultur und Natur ins Bewusstsein. Angesichts dieser Tatsachen ist es dringend notwendig, die Funktion der Geisteswissenschaften, insbesondere der Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaften, neu zu bestimmen. Der vorliegende Band, der einen Einblick in das noch junge Feld ökologisch orientierter Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft bietet, will dazu einen Beitrag leisten. Die Herausgeberinnen gehen von zwei zentralen Prämissen aus: (1) unser Zugang zur Welt ist immer ein symbolisch bzw. diskursiv vermittelter und (2) das gegenwärtige, krisenhafte Verhältnis zwischen Natur und Kultur verweist auf eine Krise der Phantasie, der Imagination und des Denkens, mithin also auf eine ästhetische und epistemologische Krise. Die hier versammelten Aufsätze beleuchten historische, poetologische und konzeptuelle Dimensionen dieses Zustandes. Damit soll deutlich gemacht werden, dass die Lösung von Umweltproblemen, die Bewältigung der in ihrer Dimension letztlich globalen Krise und damit die Ökologisierung von Gesellschaften nur dann gelingen kann, wenn die kulturell formative Funktion von Texten in ihrer Relevanz erkannt und in den umweltpolitischen Diskussions- bzw. Problemlösungsprozess eingebracht wird.

For more information see:

Raphael-Hernandez, Heike (ed.).

Blackening Europe: The African American Presence.

New York: Routledge, 2004.

With a Foreword by Paul Gilroy.

Traditional Scholars have often looked at African American studies through the lens of European theories, resulting in the secondarization of the African American presence in Europe and its contributions to European culture. Blackening Europe reverses this pattern by using African American culture as the starting point for a discussion of its influences over traditional European structures. Evidence of Europe's blackening abound, form French ministers of Hip-hop and British incarnations of "Shaft" to slavery memorial in the Netherlands and German youth sporting dreadlocks. Collecting essays by scholars from both sides of the Atlantic and fields as diverse as history, literature, politics, social studies, art, film and music, Blackening Europe explores the implications of these cultural hybrids and extends the growing dialogues about Europe's fascination with African America.

For further info:

Bergmann, Ina.

And Then the Child Becomes a Woman: Weibliche Initiation in der amerikanischen Kurzgeschichte 1865-1970.

Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2003. American Studies – A Monograph Series.

Jugendliche Helden und ihre Initiationserfahrungen sind Hauptthemen der amerikanischen Literatur. Doch die Literaturwissenschaft widmete sich im Zusammenhang mit der Initiationsthematik bisher fast ausschließlich der männlichen Initiation. So blieb besonders die story of female initiation bis dato nahezu völlig unbeachtet. Diese Untersuchung geht , nach einigen grundlegenden Überlegungen zum Genre der Initiationsgeschichte allgemein, den Ursachen für diese Nichtbeachtung ebenso wie den Bedingungen von weiblicher Initiation in der Literatur nach. Den Hauptteil der Studie bildet die Interpretation von sechsundzwanzig Kurzgeschichten von Mary Virginia Hawes Terhune, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Ellen Glasgow, Katherine Anne Porter, Jessamyn West, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers und Flannery O'Connor.

For further information see:

Achilles, Jochen, Ina Bergmann, and Birgit Däwes (eds.).

Global Challenges and Regional Responses in Contemporary Drama in English.

Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2003. Contemporary Drama in English.

This volume collects the papers presented at the eleventh annual conference of the German Society for Contemporary Drama and Theatre in English (CDE) on “Global Challenges and Regional Responses in Contemporary Drama in English.“ It was organized by Jochen Achilles, Ina Bergmann, and Brigit Däwes, the faculty of the American Studies Division at Würzburg University, and was held at Burg Rothenfels, Germany, May 9-12, 2002. The conference was part of the Julius-Maximilians-University’s sexcentenary celebrations. It addressed the tensions and interrelations between globalizing and localizing tendencies in contemporary drama, between the economic and political drive towards uni(fromi)ty and standardization on the one hand and, on the other, the resistance to such homogenization by specific regional, ethnic, gender, or social groups.

For more information see:

Reviews in:

  • Kurt Müller. Amerikastudien/American Studies 50.1/2 (2005): 318-320.
  • Stefan Horlacher. Anglistik 16.1 (2005): 166-168.

Gersdorf, Catrin, and Ralph Poole.

Queering America/Queering American Studies.

Special issue of Amerikastudien/American Studies, Vol. 46, No. 1 (2001).

Fischer-Hornung, Dorothea, and Heike Raphael-Hernandez (eds.).

Holding Their Own:  Perspectives on the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the US.

Tübingen, Germany: Stauffenburg, 2000.

The essays collected in Holding Their Own reflect the scope of scholarship in the field of U.S. multi-ethnic literatures. Among the authors are eminent scholars such as Michel Fabre, Elaine Kim, Nellie McKay, and Daniel Walden, with additional contributions by scholars from seven European countries and the United States. These articles demonstrate the broad range and variety of approaches in the field, each chapter dealing with a fundamental question posed in contemporary ethnic literary studies: "double consciousness" as a model for ethnic awareness; the politics of location as reflected in space, place and home; the (un)translatability of culture among ethnic groups; aesthetics and oppositional poetics based on ethnicity; and the shifting categories of margin and center. Among the numerous authors treated here are, for example, Toni Morrison, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Bharati Mukherjee, Audre Lorde, Cynthia Ozick, Helena María Viramontes.

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For information on all of the team members' publications view their websites.