Research Profile

Transnational U.S. Literature: Transitions of Sense in Globalized Space.

The research team around Prof. Dr. Freitag deals with the leading question: How to acknowledge the changes in U.S. literature and in its canonizing strategies since the 1970s with special regard to the effects of contemporary globalization (as, e.g., the new flows of people) and/or earlier globalizing processes (as, e.g., the slave trade or results of U.S. annexation politics). The focus of the general project is on defining and theorizing the obvious changes occurring in literary texts that make life "in a world fundamentally characterized by objects [subjects and bodies] in motion" (Arjun Appadurai) a topic, without restricting the field and research to ethnic literature and postcolonial theory or ethnic studies. Hence the research profile of the chair fosters the investigation of concepts like Globalization, Transnationalism, the Postcolonial, or Cosmopolitanism, as well as close readings of literary texts. A major aim of American Studies in Bochum is to develop readings of "ethnic" and "non–ethnic" texts that concentrate on their transnational qualities and unearth parallels and junctions that have yet remained invisible and repressed in today’s national canon. This runs against the current tendency to divide literary texts along the lines of ethnic groupings, a strategy that – while helpful as descriptive tool – has much too often strong (d)evaluative overtones. American Studies in Bochum approach this trend critically and strive to counter and/or supplement it with transnational ( Evangelia Kindinger  , Selma Bidlingmaier), cosmopolitan (Dennis Mischke), techno-medial (Matthias Zucker), corporeal (Heike Steinhoff) as well as cultural–dialogical analyses.


  • Prof. Dr. Kornelia Freitag
    Lehrstuhl für American Studies
    Universitätsstraße 150
    D-44780 Bochum
    GB 5/133
  • Secretariat:
    Hildegard Sicking
    Tel.: 0234/32-28051
    Fax.: 0234/32-14418
    GB 5/129