I am an Associate Lecturer at Leipzig University's American Studies Department. My interdisciplinary and interphilological education which included American and British Studies, Spanish and Latin American Studies and Translation Studies (U of Leipzig) was crucial in enhancing my interest in processes of cultural transfer and exchange, mobility and transculturation. I have a PhD in Translation Studies and a Habilitation in American Studies and have taught and researched at the Universities of Bielefeld, Bayreuth, Free University of Berlin as well as SUNY Binghamton and UC Berkeley.
My research as an American Studies scholar focuses on the multiculturality and diversity of American literature and on the processes which link American culture to other cultures or which are situated in between cultures. My recent and current research projects are in the fields of Ethnic and Intercultural Studies, Early American Studies, Transnational Studies, Popular Culture and Gender Studies. For a recent book project, I investigated the border zone between the United States and Mexico as a culturally productive space which plays an important role in redefining concepts of nation and national culture. My current book project which is situated at the intersection of Early American Studies, Transnational Studies, and Postcolonial Studies is concerned with the transnational contexts of national identity formation in the United States (1776-1840). Within the context of the research group, I will focus on the role of Canada in an inter-American framework. My future research will continue to explore the embeddedness of American national and cultural discourses in a transnational framework through a multi-disciplinary approach which links American Studies productively with other fields. In particular, I am interested in investigating the discursive repercussions of the contacts between the United States and its hemispheric neighbors with the goal to advance intercultural and transnational perspectives in the field of American Studies.
Canada in an inter-American perspective
My research aims to close a gap in the inter-American research which has focused predominantly on the links between the United States and Latin America. Proceeding from the observation that Canada has remained almost invisible in inter-American and post-national discourses in the United States, my project investigates the reasons for this neglect and argues that the definition of inter-American Studies without the inclusion of Canada is a limitation that obstructs the development of the field. Both the isolation of Canada in the Americas and the myth of Canadian multiculturalism have in recent years been addressed by Canadian ethnic writers of African-Canadian, Caribbean and Latino origin. I am particularly interested in visual representations of Canada and the Americas in art, performance and films produced by Canadian "ethnic" artists in relation to theories of identity politics, multiculturalism, and nationalism.