Lectures in American Studies: New Trends and Developments

Guest Lectures

The lecture series is generously supported by the Dean's Office at KU Eichstätt and the Bavarian American Academy in Munich.

Upcoming Talks

Winter Term 2022

SCOTT ZUKOWSKI (Graz University)

Freedom’s Journal and the Reimagining of Human Hierarchies around the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic”

February 1, 2023, 10:30 am, KGA-102.

This project studies various genres of texts of Freedom’s Journal (the first Black-owned and operated newspaper in the US) that challenged racial, gendered, and geographic hierarchies prevalent in early nineteenth-century Euro-American culture. I analyze poetry, fiction, excerpts, witticisms, travel narratives, letters, and historical meditations—sometimes printed specifically for the Journal and sometimes reprinted from other sources—studying the way that the paper’s editors strategically anthologized writings from a variety of genres, countries, continents, cultures, and contexts, in order to present a radically different view of race, gender, and humanity: one that challenged and critiqued the customary Western hierarchy that identified white Euro-Americans as superior to people of color and other marginalized peoples.


PROF. DR. DANIEL STEIN (Siegen University)

 Confronting Monstrous Pasts in Walker, Brown, and Greene’s Comic Book Series Bitter Root

December 9, 2022, 2 pm, UA-141.

Issues of Black history and representation have been at the forefront of US literature for many decades, but in the realm of comic book production, they were largely ignored for the longest time. This began to change with the publication of Tom Feelings’ haunting series of silent images about the Atlantic slave trade, The Middle Passage: White Ships, Black Cargo (1995) and with the mainstream appeal of Kyle Baker’s biography of the slave revolutionary, Nat Turner (2008), and Jeremy Love’s exploration of the Southern gothic in Bayou (2009/2010). Based on these early attempts to visualize the Black past, this talk analyzes the graphic depiction of African American history in the contemporary series Bitter Root (Walker, Brown, and Greene, Image Comics, 2018-2021), where racist hatred manifests itself in the creation of monsters. I will argue that the series plays into comic book tropes of monstrous superhuman creatures and adapts elements from African American folklore to interrogate the traumatic legacies of anti-Black violence. In reshaping comic book graphics and discourse, Bitter Root is an important contribution to the creation of Afrodiasporic interventions into US popular culture.


Guest Lectures 2013-2021

Summer Term 2021

PROF. SOYICA DIGGS COLBERT (Georgetown University)

"'To Be Young, Gifted and Black': Lorraine Hansberry and Nina Simone's Friendship"

16. Juni 2021


PROF. STACIE McCORMICK (Texas Christian University)

“Contemplating and Complicating Freedom in Contemporary Black Drama”

8. Juni 2021, 4.15 pm


Summer Term 2019

PROF. NASSIM BALESTRINI (University of Graz)

"'White holes' and Invisible Native American History: Being Located and Locating Oneself in
Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas"

10. Juli 2019


Winter Term 2018/19

PROF. MARTIN PUCHNER (Harvard University)

"Weltliteratur: Die kuriose Geschichte einer deutsch-amerikanischen Idee"

6. Februar 2019


PROF. ANNETTE J. SADDIK (American Studies Guest Professor 2018 / City University of New York)

"The Comic Grotesque in Tennessee Williams' Late Plays" 

December 18, 2018


BETTINA LOCKEMANN (Fotografin und Kunstwissenschaftlerin, Köln)

"Stadt und Land. Fotoprojekte aus dem amerikanischen Süden"

--in Kooperation mit der Kunstgeschichte--

27. November 2018


PROF. YAEL SCHACHER (Guest Professor, American Studies, KU/University of Texas at Austin, USA)

"A Peril or a Promise?: Flashpoints in the History of Asylum in the United States"

--in cooperation with the Zentrum für Flucht und Migration--

November 13, 2018


PROF. JÖRG DÜNNE (Humboldt Universität Berlin)

"Spaces/scapes. Ein Vorschlag zur Rekonzeptualisierung literarischer Räumlichkeiten"

31. Oktober 2018


Winter Term 2017/18

SABINE N. MEYER (University of Osnabrueck, Germany)

"The Discourse of Human Rights and the Native American Historical Novel of the 1990s"

January 10, 2018


Summer Term 2017

Prof. ERICA FRETWELL (SUNY Albany, NY, USA/FRIAS, University of Freiburg, Germany)

"Body Images: Phantom Limbs, Spirit Photography, and the Civil War"

June 14, 2017


JESSICA CONRAD (University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA/University of Graz, Austria)

"Polluted Luxuries: Consumer Resistance, the Senses of Horror, and Abolitionist Boycott Literature"

May 17, 2017

Winter Term 2015/16

Prof. ANSELM HAVERKAMP (New York University/Gastdozent "Aisthesis. Historische Kunst- und Literaturdiskurse" KU Eichstätt)

"Undone by Death? Umrisse einer Poetik nach Darwin: Dante, Eliot, Kafka"

--im Rahmen des Fakultätskolloquiums der SLF und in Zusammenarbeit mit Aisthesis--

October 21, 2015


 Summer Term 2015

Prof. TOBIAS BÖS (University of Notre Dame, IN, USA)

„Der größte Schriftsteller unserer Zeit“ – Thomas Mann im Amerika der Zwischenkriegsjahre

--in Kooperation mit der Germanistik und den Europastudien--

June 9, 2015


Prof. LAURA MURPHY (Loyola University New Orleans, LA, USA)

"Will the New Frederick Douglass Please Stand Up: Modern Slavery and the New Slave Narrative"

June 2, 2015


Prof. HAL CRIMMEL (Weber State University, UT, USA)

"Writing Water in the American West"

May 5, 2015


Summer Term 2014

Prof. ED FOLSOM (The University of Iowa, IA, USA)

"'Whoever you are holding me now in hand': Walt Whitman's Invention of the Erotics of Reading" - Guest Lecture and Workshop

July 28, 2014


Prof. MICHAEL KIMMAGE (The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., USA)

"Monumental America"

June 17, 2014


Prof. TAYLOR HAGOOD (Florida Atlantic University, FL, USA)

"Disability, Identity, and the United States South"

May 20, 2014


Winter Term 2013/14


Prof. UDO HEBEL (President, University of Regensburg, Germany)

"American Visual Culture Studies, Interpictoriality, and the Power of Iconic American Pictures"

January 28, 2014


Prof. JULIA LEYDA (Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan/Free University Berlin, Germany)

"Breaking Bad, Social Media, and Fan-Generated Texts"

December 10, 2013


Prof. GEORGE BLAUSTEIN (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

"On the Genealogy of Jokes: Humor and History in Mark Twain"

November 28, 2013


Summer Term 2013

Prof. BILLY STRATTON (University of Denver, CO, USA)

"Buried in Shades of Night: Contested Voices, Indian Captivity, and the Legacy of King Philip's War"

July 3, 2013


Prof. MICHAEL WUTZ (Weber State University, Ogden, UT, USA)

“Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth and the Archaeology of the Postcolonial”

June 5, 2013


Prof. KIRBY FARRELL (University of Massachusetts/Amherst, USA)

“The Magic Circle and the Beyond: Psychic Topography and the Structure of Texts”

--in cooperation with English Literature--

June 4, 2013


Dr. JAN D. KUCHARZEWSKI (University of Hamburg, Germany)

“The Capacity for Wonder: Science and Fiction in the Novels of Richard Powers”

May 29, 2013


Prof. BARRETT WATTEN (Wayne State University, Detroit, USA)

“dOCUMENTA 13 as Global Archive”

May 22, 2013


Prof. PHIL TIEMEYER (Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, USA)

“Plane Queer: What We Can Learn From the Male Flight Attendant”

May 15, 2013