North American Literary and Cultural Studies

North American literary and cultural studies at the department has a strong research focus on popular culture studies on the one hand and mobility and transnational American Studies on the other. Our research and teaching foci include:

  • transatlantic and settler colonial American Studies, narratives of expansion and territorialization and the changing frontiers of America, including astrofuturist discourses of planetary expan-sion; US exceptionalisms and myth criticism
  • critical race studies with a focus on structural racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, Black radical traditions such as Black Marxism and Afrofuturism, and Black feminisms; African Ameri-can literature from the 17th century to the 21st (e.g. Hip Hop)
  • (im)migrant and refugee literatures in the United States and Canada, including the Caribbean diaspora, such as intergenerational family narratives and settler colonial narratives of encounter from the 17th to the 21st century
  • ecocritical literature and culture, including climate fiction and maritime cultures in the context of the "blue humanities" (see also the book series "Maritime Literature and Culture" co-edited by Alexandra Ganser)
  • popular culture studies, e.g. celebrity culture, childhood and presidential studies; affect theory and popular culture; television studies and film studies, comics and graphic novels
  • gender & queer studies and critical kinship studies: representations of American families, gender across the centuries
  • indigenous literatures and cultures from the US to Canada

Research Cooperations

Our research cooperations include the research platform/doc.funds "Mobile Cultures and Societies," the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (IFK), the University of Innsbruck's Centre for Canadian Studies, the University of Graz's Center for Interamerican Studies, the European Network for Minor Mobilities in the Americas, the Center for Advanced Media Studies at Johns Hopkins University and many more. Our partner universities for student exchange include University of Ottawa, Carleton University, University of Toronto, Duke University, New York University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Trinity College. A full list can be found on the website of the International Office.

Centers & Research Projects

Colleagues working in this field