My research focuses on North American and Inter-American Literature and Culture. Particular interests of mine are:

  • Transnational and Post-Colonial U.S. American Studies
  • Travel Writing and Autobiography of the Americas
  • U.S. American Drama and Theater Culture
  • Black Diaspora and Latina/o Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Science and Nature Studies
  • Popular Culture


Monograph Project: Black Inter-American Mobility and Autobiography in the Age of Revolutions (1760-1860)

Funding by the European Research Council, 2019-2021

The interdisciplinary project explores different forms of mobility across the Americas exercised by people of African descent during the Age of Revolutions on the basis of autobiographies from the era (1760-1860). Drawing on the approaches of Inter-American Studies, Black Atlantic Studies, Mobility, and Autobiography Studies, it closes a research gap in the scholarship of the Americas and the Atlantic World. The project deepens our understanding of the Americas and their interactions with Africa and Europe. Due to the aesthetic innovation and socio-political relevance of this genre, the research on black mobilities in the Americas is based on a literary analysis of major types of black autobiography.


Postdoctoral Thesis (Habilitation): Lone Star Vistas: Constructions of Texas in Nineteenth-Century U.S.-American, Mexican, and German Travel Narratives, 1821-1861

Funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2011-2014

The project, analyses narrative con­structions of Texas from 1821-1861 in selected works of American, Mexican, and German travel writing. It addresses how these works addressed the region as a geographic, social, and cultural space. Through the lens of travel writing, the study looks at the ways the region’s major settler populations contributed to the public discourses on Texas  during the period. Studying different types of journey narratives, the project also engages with genre studies of the travelogue. The resulting monograph manuscript received the 2016 IAS Thesis Award – see also:

Ph.D. Dissertation: Stages of Agency: The Contributions of American Drama to the AIDS Discourse

Funded by a Ph.D. Scholarship of the Government of North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, 201-2003

The dissertation analyses the contributions American stage drama made to the dis­course on HIV/AIDS in the United States from 1985-1998. The study maps the diachronic development of this body of work in its increasing thematic, formal, and political heterogeneity. It analyses the strategies the plays employed to blend art with activism. In so doing, they established a counter-discourse to the mainstream public debate about AIDS and they provided social agency to the affected populations.


Research Network: Black Americas: Transdisciplinary Dialogues and Hemispheric Perspectives (since 2016)

The network reaches out to scholars, activists, visual and performing artists to generate a research resource and a platform for transdisciplinary perspectives and hemispheric dialogues on the African diaspora in the Americas. By connecting academic and non-academic actors and bridging different research areas, the project engages with the multiple types of border crossing that define the Black Americas.

CIAS: Center for InterAmerican Studies, Bielefeld University, Germany (since 2011)

CIAS is a cross-faculty institution at Bielefeld University. Its members include scholars of history, sociology, political science, theology, North American and Latin American studies, linguistics, cultural and media studies. Work at CIAS focuses on the comparative and transregional research in a variety of fields pertaining to the Americas.

Research Group: E Pluribus Unum? Ethni­c Identities in Trans­national Integration Processes in the Americas, Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld University (2007-2010)

The Research Group sought to increase our understanding of identity politics, changing concepts of ethnicity, and cultural practices of identity constructions in the Americas. Work of the group was divided into four thematic sections: 1. theoretical conceptualization of the field of identity politics; 2. media and ethnic identity (politics); 3. ethnicity in urban spaces; and 4. ethnicity, cultural hybridity, and plural identities. The group also organized nine conferences and workshops.

National and International Academic Associations