PD Dr. Kirsten Twelbeck

Koordinatorin Environmental Humanities
Wissenschaftszentrum Umwelt
Telefon: +49 821 598 - 3558
Raum: 206 (U)
Adresse: Universitätsstraße 1 a (innocube), 86159 Augsburg
Current Research Projects
  • Environmental Humanities: The Power of Wheat (from a transatlantic and transnational perspective) (WZU Augsburg Research Group)
Other Research Interests (American Studies)
  • Asian-American, Postcolonial, Diaspora Studies
  • Citizenship and Democracy from the 19th century to the present
  • Gender Studies (intersectionality approach)
  • Transatlantic Relations (with a focus on German-American cultural interactions)
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Literature and Medicine: Writing Doctors
  • American Literatures and Cultures from the 19th century to the present
  • Visual Culture (esp. painting, photography, performance art)


Kirsten Twelbeck grew up in Southern Germany and South Africa. She studied American Studies and Theater & Drama in Erlangen, Berlin, and Bloomington (Indiana, USA). She received her Ph.D. from the Free University, Berlin (John F. Kennedy Institute), focusing on cultural (self) representations of Korean Americans in the United States (No Korean is Whole, Wherever He or She May Be, 2002). She then worked, for over a decade, as assistant professor at the University of Hannover, where she did her habilitation (second book project) on the fears and desires of white Americans from the northern states (Beyond the Civil War Hospital, 2017). Since 2014, she has held visiting professorships at various German universities, where she lectured and taught many courses in American Studies and in the Environmental Humanities. She joined the WZU as coordinator of the Environmental Humanities section and as researcher in October 2019 and now works for the PhD program "Re-Thinking Environment. The Ecological Transformation of Society" in 2021. The program is an interdisciplinary cooperation between the University of Augsburg and Munich's Maximilians-University, and financed by the Elite Network of Bavaria. Kirsten Twelbeck is the coordinator of the program, part of the interdisciplinary advisory team, and belongs to the steering committee. Her current research at the intersection between Environmental Humanities and American Studies focuses on wheat, earthquakes, and the role of cultural artifacts in building optimism.







Habilitation (2nd book project) in American Studies (Leibniz University, Hanover).

Title: “Transcending the Civil War Hospital: Northern Reconstruction Writing and the 'Rules of the Democratic Game' (1861-1882).”

Advisors: Prof. Dr. Ruth Mayer (Hanover), Prof. Dr. Heike Paul (Erlangen-Nuremberg).




Ph.D. in American Studies (John-F.-Kennedy-Institute, Free University Berlin).

Title: “No Korean Is Whole - Wherever He or She May Be: Konstruktionen von Korean America seit 1965.”

Advisors: Prof. Dr. Winfried Fluck, Prof. Dr. Heinz Ickstadt (JFK, FU Berlin).





Magistra Artium in American Studies (John-F.-Kennedy-Institute, Free University Berlin).

Title: “Autobiographien von Immigrantinnen Perspektiven für einen multikulturellen Pluralismus?”

Advisors: Prof. Dr. Ulla Haselstein, Prof. Dr. Winfried Fluck (JFK, FU Berlin).


American Studies and Theater & Drama at Indiana University, Bloomington (IN).


American Studies (JFK, FU Berlin) and Theater & Drama.



English and American Studies, Theater & Drama, Spanish, Political Science (Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, B.A.)


Professional Experience


Coordinator of Environmental Humanities and Researcher at the WZU, Augsburg University.


Guest Professorships at the Universities of Augsburg and Regensburg


Student Life Director and lecturer at CIEE Global Institute Berlin.


Guest Professorships at the Universities of Göttingen, FU Berlin, Hanover.


Assistant Professor at Hanover University.


Researcher at the John-F.-Kennedy-Institute, Grant by the German Research Foundation.


Assistant Professor at Hanover University.


Assistant Professor (50%) at the John-F.-Kennedy-Institute, Free University, Berlin.



Radio journalism, Walter de Gruyter Publishing, head of the department of Asia-Berlin-relations at Berlin Partner.


List of Publications                        List of Presentations



Neu erschienen:

[transcript] Verlag

Kirsten Twelbeck

Beyond the Civil War Hospital:

The Rhetoric of Healing and Democratization in Northern Reconstruction Writing,

1861-1882 438 pages, transcript

Bielefeld, 2018

49,99 € (paperback or e-book)

ISBN: 978-3-8394-3465-9


Additional information about this publication can be found here: