Universität Erfurt

American Literature

News Archive




Guest lecture by photographer J. Henry Fair. Wed, 24. Oct. 2018, 6-8 pm. All welcome!

Ilka Saal published the article "Songs of Social Significance: Theatre of the Depression Era" in The Cambridge Companion to American Literature of the 1930s. Ed. William Solomon. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2018. Publisher



An Evening of 1920s American Folk & Blues Music featuring THE AMERICANS

Thursday, 1 November 2018 | 6 to 8 pm | KIZ, HS 2 

An event organized by the programs in American Literature and British Literature, the Music Department, and the International Office at the University of Erfurt. More info at www.theamericansmusic.com



Study Group Workshop 2018 "Women Frontstage: Female Polemics and the American Revolution": Verena Laschinger presented a talk on “’What a pity it is she is Mahometan’: Orientalism in Rowson’s Slaves in Algiers” at University of Salzburg, Austria, 13 September 2018.




Reading event with author Bert Ashe: He read from his memoir Twisted. My Dreadlock Chronicles on June 20, 2018, 6-8 p.m. at Campuscafé Hilgenfeld. 



On Monday, June 11, Alexandra Hartmann (U of Paderborn) gave a guest lecture on "Stylizing Blackness from Frederick Douglass to Childish Gambino" as part of the seminar "Literature in Images: Graphic Novels." 12-14 p.m. (c.t.) in LG1/323.

"Theatricality & Affect: Performing Slavery at the Turn of the Millennium" is the title of the keynote address that Prof. Ilka Saal presented at the "American Dramaturgies for the Twenty-First Century" Conference, which was held at Université Paris-Sorbonne from March 14-16, 2018.

At the Teacher Training "Aspects of American Culture 2018" (Muhlenberg Center for American Studies, Halle-Wittenberg), Verena Laschinger offered a lecture on "The Anthropocene and American Photography."



We were happy to invite our students and colleagues to join us for a special screening of the film Detroit (2017), organized by Dr. Verena Laschinger on  Jan. 19, 2018, 10 a.m. at Cinestar Erfurt



Winter Term 2017/18: The programs in American Literature and North American History offered the joined StuFu seminar "work!", which examined the evolution of modern concepts of work from the 20th to the 21st centuries. The seminar featured a series of guest lectures by renowned specialists in the field.



From October 5 - 7 we were happy to welcome the participants of the graduate conference "Memory and Media: The Making of Postcolonial Memories" (organized by Antonia Purk and Kerstin Howaldt) to Erfurt.


On September 21, Prof. Saal gave a talk on "Collusions of Fact and Fiction: History in the Works of Suzan-Lori Parks and Kara Walker" at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario. 




On September 22, 2017 Verena Laschinger gave a talk about “Writing Race for Children: The Construction of Family in The Brownies’ Bookat the Nineteenth-Century American Literature Study Group Workshop, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland.

From July 5 to July 8 Verena Laschinger attended the conference "Border Crossings: Translation, Migration, & Gender in the Americas, the Transatlantic, & the Transpacific" in Bordeaux and spoke about "Border Crossings in the Life and Work of Turkish-American Writer Elif Shafak". 




On June 21 Prof. Gillian Harkins gave a talk about "Literature and the Prison Industrial Complex" at the University of Erfurt.



On June 7, 2017 at 12 pm Prof. William Merill Decker from the Oklahoma State University spoke about "Fugitive Geographies: The Slave Narrative and the Myth of American Space" in LG 1 / HS4.



On June 1st, 2017 Verena Laschinger held a lecture on "Seeing the Bigger Picture? On Photography in the Anthropocene" within the scope of the lecture series "Narratives of Crisis: Anglophone Literature and Culture in the Anthropocene" at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.

Ilka Saal's article "On the Portability and Meanings of Blackness in Young Jean Lee's The Shipment (2009)" has been published in the Journal of Contemporary Drama in English and is now available online at https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jcde.

On May 19 Antonia Purk is going to talk about “Texere: The Handcrafting of the Past in Jamaica Kincaid’s See Now Then’’ at the conference "The Art and Craft of Grafting in Jamaica Kincaid's works" in Paris.



Tom Drury, Picador Guest Professor for Literature at Leipzig, author of five novels and numerous short stories, reads from his writings at the University of Erfurt on May 11 2017 from 6 to 8 pm at Café Hilgenfeld on campus!

On March 24 Verena Laschinger held a presentation at the Teacher Training Seminar "Aspects of American Culture" 2017 on "Detroit: Representation of the Postindustrial City in American Popular Culture".



A special issue of American Studies dealing with Turkish-American Literature, edited by Dr. Verena Laschinger was published in 2017. Contents of the issue.

Ilka Saal's essay "Post-National American Dreaming in Joseph O'Neill's Netherland: The Adversity of Hans van den Broek" has been published as an ahead-of-print article in the journal Canadian Review of American Studies. Abstract



We are happy to welcome Dr. Joshua Parker (University of Salzburg) for a guest lecture on "Tales of Berlin in American Literature up to the 21st Century." Wednesday, Dec. 21st, 2016, 4-6 p.m. (c.t.). LG 1/219. Open to all! Dr. Parker's latest book: Publisher Website



Guest Lecture by Prof. Sirpa Salenius (University of Eastern Finland) on "Space and Sexuality." Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, 10 a.m - 12 p.m. (c.t.). LG 4/ D08. All welcome!



We would like to invite you to a guest lecture by Dr. Dietmar Meinel from the University of Duisburg-Essen. The subject will be Post 9/11 Animation Films: "How to Train your Dragon" (2010) and the War in Iraq. Join the lecture on Dec. 15th from 6 to 8 pm in LG 1/135.



On Friday, Oct. 14th, Ilka Saal talks about "Collusions of Fact and Fiction: A Historiopoetic Approach to Slavery in the Works of Suzan-Lori Parks and Kara Walker" at the Munk School of Global Affairs (University of Toronto). Announcement



Essay Prize: Winner!

We warmly congratulate our student Janne Lilkendey!  Her paper on "The origin of King Lear’s power" was found best among those submitted for the 2016 Essay Prize Competition. Ms. Lilkendey will be formally awarded at the annual Christmas Reading in December.

In October, Verena Laschinger will talk about “Dropping Out, or Dropping Dead: Detectives in Nineteenth-Century Women’s Fiction by Metta Fuller Victor and Harriet Prescott Spofford” at the International Conference on Harriet Spofford "From Romanticism to Realism," organized by the EAAS Study Group on 19th-Century American Women Writers and the Research Group CLIMAS, held in Bordeaux Oct. 6-7, 2016. Conference Program

Out now: Call for Articles for Theatre Annual. A Journal of Theatre and Performance of the Americas. For the 2017 issue the journal invites contributions on The Americas in Transnational Performance. Articles should be submitted by Dec 15, 2016 to the editor Ilka Saal. Full Call

Antonia Purk published her article "A Photo Album of History: Ekphrasis in Jamaica Kincaid's My Garden (Book):" in America After Nature. Democracy, Culture, Environment. Publisher



We cordially invite you to a guest lecture with Prof. Michael Grimwood (North Carolina State University) on "Walt Whitman on the Eve of Civil War." Friday, 1 July, 12-2 p.m., LG 3 / HS 5.

Ilka Saal published the article "Theatricality in Contemporary Visual and Performance Art on New World Slavery" with Oxford Handbooks Online (June 2016). Article  

In June, Antonia Purk delivered her paper "In Defiance of Chronology: Writing History in Jamaica Kincaid's Works" at the tenth biennual conference of the Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas on "Cultural Palimpsests: Ethnic Watermarks, Surfacing Histories." June 22-24, 2016, University of Warsaw, Poland.

Verena Laschinger talked about "Negotiations of Turkish-Americanness in Joseph O’Neill’s Postethnic Literature" at the Turkish-American Studies Symposium, organized by The Cultural Studies Association of Turkey and the Istanbul Office of the American Research Institute in Turkey. 3-4 June 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ilka Saal talked about “How post is the new black? On the portability of blackness in Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment (2009)” at CDE: Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English, Eichstätt, Germany, 28 May 2016. Conference Website

Ilka Saal gave a paper on "Recent Artistic Engagements with New World Slavery: Kara Walker’s Ludic Interventions in History" at Humboldt Kolleg on 'Time', Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Canada, 6 May 2016.




Listen to a radio interview with Prof. Crister Garrett, who gave a guest lecture on "The Presidential Election 2016: Trade and the Rise of Transatlantic Populism" (27 April 2016) at the University of Erfurt. MP3-Download  Radio UNIversal Website

On 29 April 2016, Antonia Purk presented her findings on "Visual Engagements with History in Jamaica Kincaid’s Works" at the Regional Colloquium of the American Studies in Central Germany at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

Verena Laschinger presented on “Clairvoyance, Hunches, and the Lizard Brain: Intuition and the Criminal Case from The Dead Letter (1866) to Dexter (2006-13)”at the EAAS Conference 2016, Constanta, Romania. April 22 – 25, 2016.

At the EAAS Conference 2016, Verena Laschinger chaired the “10th Anniversary Panel: European Study Group of Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Literature.” Constanta, Romania. April 22 – 25, 2016. EAAS Conference Website Study Group

Verena Laschinger offered a workshop on American Reality Television at the Fachtag Englisch des Thillm - Aspekte der Didaktik und Methodik des Englischunterrichts. Weimar. April 9, 2016.

On 29 February 2016, Ilka Saal gave a guest lecture on "The Most Wonderful Thing": Melodrama and Realism in Ibsen's Doll's House" at  English Department, York University, Toronto, Canada. 

Prof. Ilka Saal will be on research leave as a Feodor Lynen Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Toronto from October 2016 till January 2017. We are happy to welcome Dr. Markus Heide at the University of Erfurt. Dr. Heide will join us as interim professor of American Literature starting with the fall term 2015.

We warmly congratulate our student Lara-Sofie Scheele, who was awarded the Essay Prize for Scholarly Papers in American and English Literature 2015 for her outstanding work on "Harriet Jacobs’ Use of Sexuality and Motherhood in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to Argue against Slavery." The prize was presented at the annual FSR Christmas Reading on December 15th.

Verena Laschinger gave a talk on "Teaching American Reality Television" at the Teacher Training "Current Issues in the EFL-Classroom" organized by the University of Halle-Wittenberg at Wittenberg, November 27, 2015.

We proudly announce that Ilka Saal was appointed Associate Editor of the Theatre Annual.Journal of Theater and Performance of the Americas. Prof Saal will assume full editorship in 2017. Journal Website

At the 2015 annual convention of the American Studies Association (ASA) in Toronto, Canada, Ilka Saal gave a talk on "Misery & Affect: Slavery and Sexuality in the Works of Suzan-Lori Parks and Kara Walker" on 8 October 2015. Conference Website

Verena Laschinger gave two talks - "Publish or Perish" and a "Career and Peer Coaching" - at Empire and Neurosis, the 2015 conference of the Future Forum: Postcolonial Narrations in Essen, 8-10 October 2015. Conference Website



"Science, Suspects, and Surveillance in American Detective Fiction" - on September 3 and 4, 2015, Erfurt hosted the ninth annual meeting of the European Study Group of Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Workshop on Metta Fuller Victor's The Dead Letter (1866) and Anna Katherine Green's The Leavenworth Case (1878). Workshop Website

In July 2015, Ilka Saal spoke about "Slavery and Theatricality: Kara Walker's Marvelous Sugar Baby" at "Interdisciplinary Crossroads: Performance Studies in Transnational American Studies (23.-25. July 2015) - the opening conference of the DFG network "Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies" in Regensburg Conference Website



Verena Laschinger and Silke Witzsch's "Talking in Pictures  – A Visual Conversation," Photography Series II and III was on display at Offene Ateliers 2015, June 26 - 28, Atelierhaus Baumstraße (Baumstr. 8b/Klenzestr. 85) in Munich.




Dr. Jason Stevens from the University of Pittsburgh gave a guest lecture on  "The Hard-boiled Writer in Hollywood: Raymond Chandler, Post-war Los Angeles, and Film Noir." July 3rd, 2015, 10 am – 12 pm at LG 1/HS 3.



On July 1st, Trinidadian poet Lauren K. Alleyne read from Difficult Fruit, her first collection of poems. You are cordially invited to joins us for the event at the Kleine Synagoge, 7 - 8.30 pm. Author's Website

In June 2015 Ilka Saal and Antonia Purk presented their research at the biennial conference of the Collegium for African American Research in Liverpool with their joint paper on "New Memories of Slavery: Historiopoiesis in Suzan-Lori Parks and Jamaica Kincaid." Conference Website

Ilka Saal's "The Taste for Whiteness: Kara Walker’s Marvelous Sugar Baby (2014)" - a blog entry on Kara Walker's recent installation in New York is now online Blog

Verena Laschinger spoke about "Teaching American Reality Television" at the Teacher Training organized by U.S. Embassy Berlin, Muhlenber Center for American Studies, Thüringer Institut für Lehrerfortbildung Thillm, and Landesinstitut für Schulqualität und Lehrerbildung Sachsen-Anhalt at Jena, March 21-22, 2015.

On January 30th, 2015 the Erfurt American Literature Department was pleased to host the 2015 Regional Colloquium of American Studies for doctoral students and postdocs. Program

Ilka Saal's article "Performing the Manifest: Don DeLillo, 9/11, and the American Temporality of Crisis" is now available in print: Manifeste: Speerspitzen zwischen Kunst und Wissenschaft. Eds. Ralph J. Poole and Yvonne Kaisinger. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2015. Print. Wissenschaft und Kunst 25. Publisher

We are proud to announce that Ilka Saal was awarded the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers to pursue research at the University of Toronto.



Arlene Keizer, Associate Professor for African American Studies (UC Irvine), visited Erfurt and gave a lecture: "Emancipated, and On Tour': Black Feminist Postmodernism in Drama, Visual Art, and Performance" on January 13, 2015 as part of her Lecture Tour through Central Germany.



The Paternity Test: On Fathers, Gay Marriage and Jewish Identity: A reading event with Michael Lowenthal (Picador Guest Professor for Literature at Universität Leipzig). December 4, 2014 -- 8 - 9.30 pm -- at Kleine Synagoge Erfurt. 

This event is sponsored by Amerikanistische Literaturwissenschaft der Universität Erfurt and brought to you in cooperation with the Institut für Amerikanistik der Universität Leipzig.

On Wednesday, 12 November 2014, Erik Redling, Professor of American Literature at Martin-Luther University Halle, spoke on "Jazz in the Harlem Renaissance." 4-6 pm, LG 4, D06. 

Antonia Purk's article "Writing Possiblitites of the Past: Jamaica Kincaid's Mr. Potter" is now published in the latest issue of Discourse. Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 36.1 (2014). The article on Project Muse

We are proud to annouce that the paper series "Gender Studies at the University of Erfurt - Excellent Papers on the Subject" edited by Sabine Schmolinsky and Verena Laschinger was launched on August 28th, 2014. The first paper of the upcoming series is by Jennifer Hartha: "'We Real Cool': The Performance of Black Masculinity in American Hip Hop and the Re-Signification of White America’s Stereotypical View on the Black Male"
Paper Series

At the 2014 conference of the graduate forum Postcolonial Narrations in Frankfurt (September 21-23), Antonia Purk presented her paper "Windows to the Past: Photographic Portraits in Jamaica Kincaid’s Novels" Conference Website: Reading Across Cultures - New Comparative Approaches in a Globalized World



At the art exhibit "Camouflag," Verena Laschinger presented her paper "Unsichtbar sichtbar" on the representation of blindness in literature and art in Munich, September 4, 2014.

Antonia Purk presented her paper "Products or Productions of History? Jamaica Kincaid's Use of Photography" at the Summer Institute (18 - 22 August 2014, Mexico City) of the "Slavery Memory Citizenship" - research initiative hosted by the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas.

Verena Laschinger's arcticle "The Function of Photography in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth" is forthcoming with Bucharest University Annals in Summer 2014



On July 3-4, 2014, Ilka Saal and Giulia Palladini convened the international workshop "The Labor and Leisure of Performance" at Speicher, Erfurt (Waagegasse 2)  Workshop Website and Program


Verena Laschinger presented on "Expedient Revenue: The Tourist's Playful Performance of Leisure" at the international workshop "The Labor and Leisure of Performance" in Erfurt on July 4, 2014.

Verena Laschinger in cooperation with Eva-Sabine Zehelein conducted the workshop “Shock and awe, beauty and despair - it’s all there”: Eco-Photography’s Views on the Transnational Landscape at the annual convention of the German Association of American Studies in Würzburg, June 2014. Workshop Information

In June 2014, Antonia Purk gave her paper "From the Text to the Photo Book: Jamaica Kincaid’s Technique of Ekphrasis" at the annual convention of the German Association of American Studies in Würzburg.

At the 2014 EAAS conferences at The Hague, Netherlands, Ilka Saal conducted a workshop on "Teatrum Belli: Theater in Times of Spectacular Warfare" in April 2014.  Conference Website

In March 2014, Ilka Saal presented a paper on "Slavery! Slavery! Kara Walker’s Theatrical Cuts in History" at the "Staging American Memory" conference at Toulouse II University, France.

Ilka Saal gave her paper "Making Up Some History: Historiopoiesis in Third-Generation Narratives of Slavery" at the seminar "The Black Atlantic Revisited: Culture, Conjuncture, Conviviality" held at the  ACLA conference at New York University in March 2014.  Conference Website

Antonia Purk gave the presentation "'The future must remain capable of casting a light on the past such that in my defeat lies the seed of my great victory': Jamaica Kincaid's Poetic Productions of History" at the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of the African Peoples at York University, Toronto in March 2014




On December 19, 2013, Prof. Tong Lam, Associate Professor at the
Department of History, University of Toronto and Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg
zu Berlin 2013-2014, gave a lecture on "Detroit and Xiancun: A Tale of Two Dystopias." 12 - 2 p.m. Building LG 4, Room D06. Plakat


Verena Laschinger presented her paper "The Amazing Race: Utopia in the Age of Global Capitalism" at the 40th AAAS Conference “American Utopias” in Salzburg, Austria, November 8-10, 2013. Conference Website

Antonia Purk presented her paper "From Literature to History: Jamaica Kincaid's Autobiographical Writing as Historiopoiesis" at the annual conference of the Postgraduate Forum of the German Association for American Studies in Erlangen on October 26, 2013. Conference Program

Verena Laschinger presented "Sick in/of the City? Transnationalism in Elif Shafak`s The Flea Palace" at the Annual Conference of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) "Global Positioning Systems", Toronto, Canada, April 2013. Conference Program

Verena Laschinger gave her paper "Beijing Imaginations: A Case Study on the A/Effects of Tourist City Photographs"  at the Popular Culture Association Annual Conference (PCA/ACA) in Washington D.C., USA, March 2013. Conference Program




Nutzermenü und Sprachwahl