Storied Citizenship. Imagining the Citizen in American Literature. (Amerikastudien/ American Studies 65.4, Sarkowsky & Batzke 2020)

This special issue on "Storied citizenship" provides an overview of important issues and approaches that have shaped “citizenship” as an analytical category in American Literary Studies in the past fifteen years. Moverover, and particularly by focusing on the (largely neglected) systematic distinction between “citizenship” and “the citizen,” the individual contributions highlight the necessity of scrutinizing how literature imagines and narrates particular kinds of citizens and how such images tie in with, counter, or modify long-standing normative models of the citizen — in short, how literature “stories” citizenship and the citizen as potentially both normative and emancipatory concepts of political belonging and participation.


Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg




Undocumented Migrants in the United States. Life Narratives and Self-representations. (Batzke 2019)


Whilst many undocumented migrants in the United States continue to exist in the shadows, since the turn of the millennium an increasing number have emerged within public debate, casting themselves against the dominant discursive trope of the "illegal alien," and entering the struggle over political self-representation. Drawing on a range of life narratives published from 2001 to 2016, this book explores how undocumented migrants have represented themselves in various narrative forms in the context of the DREAM Act and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) movement.

By reading these self-representations as both a product of America's changing views on citizenship and membership, and an arena where such views can potentially be challenged, the book interrogates the role such self-representations have played not only in constructing undocumented migrant identities, but also in shaping social borders. At a time when the inclusion and exclusion of (potential) citizens is once again highly debated in the United States, the book concludes by giving a potential indication of where views on undocumented migration might be headed. This interdisciplinary exploration of migrant narratives will be of interest to scholars and researchers across American Literary and Cultural Studies, Citizenship Studies, and Ethnic and Migration Studies.


Routledge Taylor & Francis Group


Narrating Citizenship and Belonging in Anglophone Canadian Literature (Sarkowsky 2018)


This book examines how concepts of citizenship have been negotiated in Anglophone Canadian literature since the 1970s. Katja Sarkowsky argues that literary texts conceptualize citizenship as political “co-actorship” and as cultural “co-authorship” (Boele van Hensbroek), using citizenship as a metaphor of ambivalent affiliations within and beyond Canada. In its exploration of urban, indigenous, environmental, and diasporic citizenship as well as of citizenship’s growing entanglement with questions of human rights, Canadian literature reflects and feeds into the term’s conceptual diversification. Exploring the works of Guillermo Verdecchia, Joy Kogawa, Jeannette Armstrong, Maria Campbell, Cheryl Foggo, Fred Wah, Michael Ondaatje, and Dionne Brand, this text investigates how citizenship functions to denote emplaced practices of participation in multiple collectives that are not restricted to the framework of the nation-state.


Springer Verlag











Symbolism. An international annual of critical aesthetics. (Ahrens, Kläger, Stierstorfer 2018)

Special focus: "Cranes on the Rise" - Functions of Metaphor in Autobiographical Writing (Sarkowsky)


This special issue of Symbolism: An International Annual of Critical Aesthetics explores the various functions of metaphor in life writing. Looking at a range of autobiographical subgenres (pathography, disability narratives, memoirs of migration, autofiction) and different kinds of metaphors, the contributions seek to ‘map’ the possibilities of metaphor for narratively framing an individual life and for constructing notions of selfhood.


Verlag De Gruyter






Zones of Focused Ambiguity in Siri Hustvedt's Works: Interdisciplinary Essays (Hartmann, Marks, Zapf)

This collection comprises essays from various interdisciplinary perspectives – e.g. literary scholarship, intermediality, art history, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and medicine – to analyze and interpret the fictional and non-fictional works by Siri Hustvedt, an author whose reputation and public presence have been growing steadily in the 21st century and who is recognized as one of the most widely read and appreciated contemporary American writers. In her significance and stature as a public intellectual, she is not merely an American writer but a transnational, cosmopolitan author, who develops new forms not only of literary narrative but of interdisciplinary thought and writing, bringing together otherwise separated genres and branches of knowledge in a broad spectrum between literature and philosophy, historiography and art, psychoanalysis and neuroscience, narrative and medicine. The present volume is structured into the parts “Literary Creation and Communication,” Psychoanalysis and Philosophy,” “Medicine and Narrative,” “Vision, Perception, and Power,” and “Trauma, Memory, and the Ambiguities of Self” and closes with an interview of Siri Hustvedt by Susanne Becker in which Hustvedt elucidates her personal conception of her own creative processes of writing.


Verlag De Gruyter





Handbook of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology (Zapf)

This handbook series has been designed to offer students and researchers a compact means of orientation in their study of Anglophone literary texts. Each volume – involving a particular historical or theoretical focus – introduces readers to current concepts and methodologies, as well as academic debates, by combining theory with text analysis and contextual anchoring. It is this bridging between abstract survey and concrete analysis which is the central aim and defi ning feature of the series, bringing together literary history and interpretation, theory and text.At a time when students of English and American literary studies have to deal with an overwhelming amount of highly specialized research literature, such a handbook series is indispensable. However, this series is also catering to the requirements of scholars who would like to keep up with the current state of various fields within their discipline.Individual volumes in this Handbook series will typically provide:• knowledge of relevant literary periods, genres, and historical developments;• knowledge of representative authors and works of those periods;• knowledge of cultural and historical contexts;• knowledge about the adaptation of literary texts through other media;• knowledge of relevant literary and cultural theories;• examples of how historical and theoretical information weaves fruitfully into interpretations of literary texts.


Verlag De Gruyter


Literature as Cultural Ecology: Sustainable Texts (Zapf)


Drawing on the latest debates in ecocritical theory and sustainability studies, Literature as Cultural Ecology: Sustainable Texts outlines a new approach to the reading of literary texts. Hubert Zapf considers the ways in which literature operates as a form of cultural ecology, using language, imagination and critique to challenge and transform cultural narratives of humanity's relationship to nature. In this way, the book demonstrates the important role that literature plays in creating a more sustainable way of life. Applying this approach to works by writers such as Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Zakes Mda, and Amitav Ghosh, Literature as Cultural Ecology is an essential contribution to the contemporary environmental humanities.







Literary Visuality in Siri Hustvedt's Works: Phenomenological Perspectives (Hartmann)

Kurzinhalt: Within the last couple of years Siri Hustvedt has become one of the most productive contemporary American writers of fiction. Nevertheless, only slowly literary scholarship pays adequate attention to her complex narratives. This study aims to fi ll this gap by interpreting all her to date published novels from an approach termed “literary visuality,” a theoretical framework that combines concepts of intermediality and ekphrasis with a phenomenological perspective. Hustvedt’s novels are analyzed in a way that allows to draw conclusions concerning the development of Hustvedt’s prose oeuvre but also to locate her work in the context of contemporary American literature. The study argues that through Hustvedt’s stimulation of the visual sense by means of detailed descriptive passages, the texts acquire an aesthetic dimension that oscillates between the static and the dynamic. Moreover these descriptions serve as instructions for acts of visualization in the reader, one of the central reasons for the increasing appeal of Hustvedt’s novels.
Die Autorin Johanna Hartmann has taught American literature at the University of Augsburg since 2010. In her research she focuses on intermediality, literary visuality, and ekphrasis in contemporary American literature and American drama. Among her recent publications (both 2015) are the collected volumes Zones of Focused Ambiguity in Siri Hustvedt’s Works: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (DeGruyter, together with Christine Marks and Hubert Zapf) and Censorship and Exile (V&R Verlag, together with Hubert Zapf).


Königshausen & Neumann


Censorship and Exile (eds. Hartmann / Zapf)

This volume focuses on the interrelations between the experience of exile and mechanisms of censorship. In the phenomenon of censorship the intersections and reciprocal tensions of the cultural and political spheres become drastically apparent. Literature as a form of cultural expression reacts to and criticizes ideological premises of certain political contexts. It thus represents a counter-discourse to processes of canonization that are prescribed and violently put into action by oppressive political regimes. Within the respective political contexts, people who demanded liberties such as freedom of speech or artistic freedom often found themselves forced into exile or internal emigration. The present volume focuses on these continuities and discontinuities, on commonly shared features as well as the heterogeneous manifestations of exile literature(s) in the face of practices of censorship and the repression of free speech and artistic freedom in Germany, the US and beyond. The collection comprises contributions that shed light on the interrelation of censorship and exile from comparative, historical, political, and creative perspectives.


Zu einer Rezension des Sammelbandes gelangen Sie hier.









American Studies Today (eds. Fluck / Redling / Sielke / Zapf)

The volume explores the state of contemporary American Studies in the light of recent developments and currently emerging perspectives of research. Featuring contributions by leading American Studies scholars from the German-speaking world, the collection of essays represents a broad spectrum of thematic, theoretical and methodological approaches that constitute major research agendas within current American Studies. It also includes contributions by renowned colleagues from the U.S. which provide a transatlantic framework of scholarly debate. In line with the original, dialogic conference format, the volume is organized around central topics covered by main papers and shorter response papers. While the essays position American Studies in Germany in its transnational contexts, they also highlight its distinct contribution to the global field of American Studies in the early 21st century.


Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg

Forschungsnetzwerk "Environmental Crisis and the Transnational Imagination"

Unter Leitung von Dr. Timo Müller läuft 2015 ein vom DFG gefördertes wissenschaftliches Netzwerk an, das sich mit den Wechselwirkungen zwischen Umweltkrise und Transnationalisierung und vor allem mit der Rolle imaginativer Texte in diesen Zusammenhängen beschäftigt. Weitere informationen hier.

Zu weiteren Informationen, insbesondere des Lehrstuhlforschungs-schwerpunkts "Environmental Humanities" gelangen Sie auf unseren Forschungsseiten (in Englisch) oder auch (in deutsch).