My research is located at the intersection of American Studies and the Environmental Humanities. I am particularly interested in conceptual links between literature, democracy, modernity, and ecology. Further areas of research and teaching include the literature and culture of the Anthropocene, space and landscape in American art and literature, the history and theory of the novel, contemporary poetry, and the literary and cultural history of emotions.
I am particularly interested in how modernization processes intersect with cultural production practices. Thus, my research and teaching look closely at media ecologies and the material forms (print, visual, and digital) that they foster. Further areas of interest include gender discourses and feminism, cultural memory and mourning, aesthetics, and the gothic.
In my research I seek to understand the dynamics underlying the relation between identity and community or identity in community in cultural representations. I am particularly interested in the ways in which literary and media genres such as the historical novel, the short story, life writing, movies, and musicals depict the developing, shaping, and transformation of individual and national identities and negotiate and question social and cultural practices. Further fields of interest include adaptation and appropriation, intermediality, liminality, and cultural memory.
In my research, I am interested in American Studies as Transnational and Global Studies. For this focus, I seek to understand how ideas, concepts, and ideologies have traveled to and from the Americas or have been influenced by transnational encounters. Therefore, my areas of research and teaching include historical and contemporary Black Atlantic Studies, Caribbean Studies, Global South Diasporas, German Involvement in Transatlantic Slavery and the Slave Trade, Early Colonial Studies, Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies, Social Protest Movements, American Poverty and Working Class Studies, Migration and Immigration, African Transnational Studies, Film Studies, Visual Culture, Popular Culture, and Gender Studies.
My research spans two seemingly unrelated fields: fictional representations of migrants and migration on the one hand and speculative fiction on the other. I am interested in understanding the ways in which we use fantasy and fiction in order to produce counterfactual narratives or express and make sense of current locally and temporally marked fears and desires.
Coalescing at the the nexus of the speculative, the aesthetic, and the material, I am interested in the ways in which we make meaning of places and spaces. With a particular focus on landscape, my research interests surface considerations of race, gender, and decolonial thought.