American Literature


Essay Prize 2020: Winner!

Essay Prize 2020 - Winner

We warmly congratulate our student Ulrike Golz and happily announce her paper as the winner of the Essay Prize for Papers in English and American Literatures 2020! Ms. Golz's paper "The Creation of Black Female Identity in Maya Angelou’s Poem 'Still I rise'" is deservedly awared with the prize for its most careful poetological analysis of Angelou's poem. Well done! We are happy to present Ms. Golz with a 30 Euro gift certificate for Buchhandlung Peterknecht and thank our sponsor for their support.

Nov. 23rd: Guest Lecture on "The Brownies' Book: Deconstructing Children's Literature as White Privilege"

Guest Lecture by Dr. Sirpa Salenius: "The Brownies' Book: Deconstructing Children's Literature as White Privilege"


We cordially invite to an online guest lecture by Prof. Sirpa Salenius (University of Eastern Finland). The lecture will take place via Webex on November 23rd at 2 p.m. Link to the Webex room:

Please contact Dr. Verena Laschinger for details. 

A Note on Classes in the Winter Term 2020/21

A Note on Classes in the Winter Term 2020/21



Dear students, 

as we are still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, please note that we moved most of our courses online to keep you and us safe. Please check with the course descriptions as well as with the official course catalog for details. Office hours will take place via videochat on webex. Please contact us via email, if you have further questions regarding such organizational aspects. 


New Article: "Rememorying Slavery: Intergenerational Memory and Trauma in Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) and Conceição Evaristo’s Ponciá Vicêncio (2003)"

Out Now: New Article by Luana de Souza Sutter

Rememorying Slavery: Intergenerational Memory and Trauma in Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) and Conceição Evaristo’s Ponciá Vicêncio (2003)

Abstract: This paper looks at parallels in the articulation of memory and trauma between Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the more recent publication Ponciá Vicêncio, written in 2003 by the Afro-Brazilian writer Conceição Evaristo. It examines the novels’ illustration of slavery trauma and the creative investment of descendants of slaves in re-presenting traumatic family history. With this concern, it proposes a comparative reading of Beloved and Ponciá Vicêncio, focusing, first, on their representations of the embodiment of trauma; second, on their respective concepts of rememory and memory-thoughts – or pensamentos-lembranças; and third, on the descendants’ engagement with the revision of narratives of family past, through the characters Denver and Ponciá

Article at Contemporary Women's Writing 11.3 (2019)

Online Lecture “(Too) Corrupted by Markets? The Future of Landscape Photography and Fiction" at SUNY, New Paltz

Online Lecture

“(Too) Corrupted by Markets? The Future of Landscape Photography and Fiction.” Invited Online Lecture by Verena Laschinger for Photography and Related Media I-III, SUNY New Paltz, USA, October 21, 2020.

Conference Talk: “Annotating Literary Texts on Conceptboard”

Online Conference Talk

On October 23, 2020, Verena Laschinger will give an talk on “Annotating Literary Texts on Conceptboard”  at ALIA LiLLT REN Online Symposium Taking Literature Online in Times of Crisis



New Book: Slavery and the Post-black Imagination


Out Now: Slavery and the Post-black Imagination

New Publication: Ilka Saal and Bertram D. Ashe (eds.). Slavery and the Post-black Imagination. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020.

From Kara Walker’s hellscape antebellum silhouettes to Paul Beatty’s bizarre twist on slavery in The Sellout and from Colson Whitehead’s literal Underground Railroad to Jordan Peele’s body-snatching Get Out, this volume offers commentary on contemporary artistic works that present, like musical deep cuts, some challenging “alternate takes” on American slavery. These artists deliberately confront and negotiate the psychic and representational legacies of slavery to imagine possibilities and change. The essays in this volume explore the conceptions of freedom and blackness that undergird these narratives, critically examining how artists growing up in the post–Civil Rights era have nuanced slavery in a way that is distinctly different from the first wave of neo-slave narratives that emerged from the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements.

Slavery and the Post-Black Imagination positions post-blackness as a productive category of analysis that brings into sharp focus recent developments in black cultural productions across various media. These ten essays investigate how millennial black cultural productions trouble long-held notions of blackness by challenging limiting scripts. They interrogate political as well as formal interventions into established discourses to demonstrate how explorations of black identities frequently go hand in hand with the purposeful refiguring of slavery’s prevailing tropes, narratives, and images.

 Publisher's Website


Administrative Coordinator for American Literature
(Seminar für Literaturwissenschaft)
Mitarbeitergebäude 1 / room 709


Visiting Address

Universität Erfurt
MG 1, 6th Floor
Nordhäuser Straße 63
99089 Erfurt

Postal Address

Universität Erfurt
Amerikanistik PF 69
Postfach 900 221
99105 Erfurt