Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Rebecca Elena Mansfeld

American Studies of the University of Duisburg-Essen

Email to Rebecca Elena Mansfeld

Biographical Note

I am a doctoral student at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Campus Essen/department of Anglophone Studies) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Josef Raab. After one semester at the University of Giessen where I studied English and comparative literary studies, I enrolled at the University of Paderborn and received my B.A. in German, British and American literary- and cultural studies in 2006. In October 2008, I received my M.A. in American Studies as well as literature- and media studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen. I took a 4-weeks seminar at Illinois State University in 2005 and spend one semester at San Diego State University from January to June 2008. My research interest in Mexican American literature, culture & media is due to this time spend in Chicago and San Diego as well as to seminars I took in Essen. I wrote my Master's thesis about the archetypal female figure "La Llorona" and her transformation in contemporary feminist Chicana prose (A. Castillo, H. M. Viramontes, S. Cisneros) as well as the influence of this and other prevalent female archetypes on the formation of gender identities in the U.S.-Mexican realm.

Research Interests

Contribution to the Research Group

I am looking forward to contributing to the research group as a junior fellow by writing my dissertation about a topic that is closely related to the group's research interests. In my dissertation I am going to write about the construction of 'Latina'-identities, the interconnection of gender and ethnicity with regard to these Latina-identities, and the development from a Chicana-identity that was locally restricted towards a transnational and transcultural Latina-identity. I will do a close reading / analysis of the U.S. magazine 'Latina' by looking at different sorts of "texts" (journalistic genres) as well as "imagery" (commercials, photographs, comics, illustrations) to find out how this magazine contributes to the construction and mediation of a Latina identity. By applying models and theories which are developed and/or discussed in the course of the group work onto my topic which is a product of contemporary popular "ethnic" U.S. culture read by thousands of men and women who relate to the denomination "Latino/a", I will test the theoretical models' usability as research tools and can hopefully return insightful results back to the group.

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