TACOMO: Transatlantic Cowgirl Mobilities

Stefanie Schäfer, Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

TACOMO examines cowgirls and female performers at Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Austria and Germany and integrates their performance in contemporary popular cultures and European Western myths. It explores how showwomen explored cowboydom and American girlhood, how they interacted with European gender norms, and how they built the figure of the cowgirl.

I am a scholar of North American Studies and like to work at the nexus between Literary, Feminist and Gender Studies, Visual and Popular Culture, and Mobility Studies. I hold a PhD in English (Heidelberg, 2009) and a venia legendi in North American Literature and Culture (Jena, 2017) and have worked as visiting professor of American Studies at Erlangen-Nürnberg and Augsburg, Germany.

My interest in cowgirls stems from my village girlhood (enriched by some riding and no shooting!) and from excursions to Rodeo and Western spectacles in Canada and the US. My research interests cluster around figurations of the national, including First Lady Studies, Feminisms, and the Yankee in American culture. My second book, Yankee Yarns, was published in  May 2021 with Edinburgh UP's Critical Studies in Atlantic Literatures and Cultures Series.

...follow me on Twitter @SchaeferStef

Affiliations and academic networks

  • Centre for Canadian Studies, Uni Vienna (https://canada.univie.ac.at/)
  • Interdisciplinary research platform Mobile Cultures and Societies (https://mobilecultures.univie.ac.at/)
  • The Global Sentemenatlity Project (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg), associated member
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien (DGfA)
  • Gesellschaft für Kanada-Studien (GKS)
  • Deutscher Anglistenverband (DAV)
  • BAA (Bayerische Amerika-Akademie), Munich
  • C19 The Society of 19th-Century Americanists

Activities: Conference talks

  • “Epistemologies of Needlework: Art, Activism, and Resistance in the Transnational Public Sphere.” ’The Public Sphere in Agony’ – Re-Thinking the Dialogical, Performative Assembly, and Civic Culture - International Conference, Cath. University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, June 2022.
  • “Teaching Critical First Lady Studies”. ASA American Studies Association annual meeting, San Juan (PR), October 14, 2021.
  • ”Utterly Inconsolable! Mary Todd Lincoln, FLOTUS, and the Affective Labors of National Mourning.” Intercontinental Crosscurrents “Transatlantic Women at Work: Service in the Long Nineteenth Century”: Virtual Conversations (June through July 2021).
  • “Killjoy Comedy? Feminism, Affect, Cringe.” International Symposium “Painful Laughter: Media and Politics in the Age of Cringe. Hannover, October 14-16, 2020.
  • “Im Osten nichts Neues? German American Studies in East and West Germany.“ Panel co-organised with Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez, DGfA/GAAS annual meeting 2020 (postponed to 2021).
  • “History reloaded? Eternal girlhood in the afterlives of Annie Oakley.“ Guest lecture, Mainz, January 31, 2020.
  • “Cowboys all! Settler colonialism and the invention of tradition at the Western spectacle.“ Guest lecture, Mainz, January 30, 2020.
  • “Between “Flintenweib” and “Fräuleinwunder”: Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in Germany and Austria.“ Western Historical Association Conference 2019, Las Vegas, October 16-19, 2019.r />

Activities: Select Publications (recent and forthcoming)

  • monograph: Yankee Yarns: Storytelling and the Invention of the National Body in 19th-Century US Culture. Edinburgh University Press 2021.
  • “Jackie (Pablo Larraín, 2016).” The Lexicon of Global Melodrama. Ed. Heike Paul, Sarah Marak, Katharina Gerund and Marius Henderson. Bielefeld: transcript.(forthcoming)
  • “The Donald, FLOTUS, and the Gendered Labors of Celebrity Politics at 1600, Pennsylvania Avenue.” Amerikastudien/American Studies, special issue “Common Grounds? Transatlantic Perspectives on the State of American Democracy”, ed. Cedric Essi, Heike Paul, and Boris Vormann, 66.1 (2021): 302-307.
  • “Geraldine Brooks.“ Blackwell Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Fiction, 1980-2020, ed. Patrick O’Donnell, Stephen Burn, und Lesley Larkin, 2021 (forthcoming).
  • “Washington Irving.” De Gruyter Handbook of the American Short Story. Ed. Erik Redling and Oliver Scheiding. Berlin: De Gruyter 2021: 103-118 (forthcoming).
  • “Funny Men. An Introduction in Three Jokes.” Anglistik 31.2 (2020): 69-76. (with Wieland Schwanebeck).
  • “Esi Edugyan: Washington Black“. in: Kindlers Neues Literaturlexikon, Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. 3., rev.ed., Stuttgart [et al.]: Metzler, 2009, online update 2020.
  • “Knots and Knowledges: The Canadian West, Settler Colonial Intimacies, and Aritha Van Herk’s Calgary Stampede.” Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien ZKS 70 (2020): 163-178.