Recent Publications

LWU Special Issue on “Serial Narratives”

The latest issue of LWU: Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht on the topic of “Serial Narratives” is out now. This special issue was edited by Kathleen Loock and explores narrative, cultural, and historical dimensions of serial narratives in an effort to come to terms with their changing forms and functions within the field of popular culture. Altogether thirteen essays from leading and emerging scholars in the fields of film and media studies, literary studies, cultural history, ethnography, and American studies address questions relating to the production and reception of serial narratives in the past and present. “Serial Narratives” aims to bring different, interdisciplinary perspectives to the analysis of serial narratives that will contribute to a deeper understanding of their forms and functions, and, more generally, to the ongoing research that is being done in seriality studies.

Extreme Weather and Global Media

In June, Julia Leydas and Diane Negras book Extreme Weather and Global Media was published by Routledge. "In the two decades bracketing the turn of the millennium, large-scale weather disasters have been inevitably constructed as media events. As such, they challenge the meaning of concepts such as identity and citizenship for both locally affected populations and widespread spectator communities. This timely collection pinpoints the features of an often overlooked yet rapidly expanding category of global media and analyzes both its forms and functions. Specifically, contributors argue that the intense promotion and consumption of 'extreme weather' events takes up the slack for the public conversations society is not having about the environment, and the feeling of powerlessness that accompanies the realization that anthropogenic climate change has now reached a point of no return. Incorporating a range of case studies of extreme weather mediation [...], Extreme Weather and Global Media generates valuable inquiry into the representational and social characteristics of the new culture of extreme weather."

Metamedia: American Book Fictions and Literary Print Culture after Digitization

Alexander Starre's book Metamedia comes out in August 2015 with the University of Iowa Press. Combining sustained textual analysis with impulses from the fields of book history, media studies, and systems theory, it explains the aesthetics and the cultural work of complex material fictions by Mark Z. Danielewski, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Safran Foer, and others. By fusing narrative and design, these writers have created reflexive fictions—metamedia—that invite us to read printed formats in new ways. “Starre’s Metamedia is a definitive achievement: lucid, searching, comprehensive, and repeatedly eye-opening.” –Garrett Stewart, author, Bookwork: Medium to Object to Concept to Art

Serial Agencies - The Wire and Its Readers

Frank Kelleter's book Serial Agencies: The Wire and Its Readers was published by Zero Books in September 2014. Here is a selection of reviews: Rita Felski (University of Virginia, author of Uses of Literature) writes: "Frank Kelleter's Serial Agencies is sharp, savvy, and sophisticated, offering a fresh angle of vision on a much-discussed TV drama. This is a must-read book for fans of The Wire as well as anyone interested in the relations between actor-network-theory and media studies." Jason Mittell (Middlebury College, author of Television and American Culture) describes the book in the following way: "Kelleter succeeds in letting us hear what The Wire says about itself, what its readers do in their reading practices, and how scholarship shapes its critical objects of serialized culture. In doing so, this engaging book does more than just illuminate this canonical television text; it provides an original approach to understanding serial media and its critical practices. Serial Agencies will hopefully prove to be a powerful actor on the future of media and cultural studies."

Kolumbus in den USA: Vom Nationalhelden zur ethnischen Identifikationsfigur.

In May 2014, Kathleen Loock’s monograph Kolumbus in den USA: Vom Nationalhelden zur ethnischen Identifikationsfigur was published by the German publishing house transcript. The book is the first to provide a comprehensive analysis of the commemorative constructions and deconstructions of Christopher Columbus in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Kathleen Loock investigates how Jewish and Italian immigrants exploited Columbus's popularity during and after the Quarter­cen­tenary celebrations in 1892 and 1893 for a political intervention in the immigration restriction debate. As a result, she argues, the national icon Columbus was ultimately trans­formed into an ethnic hero. She analyzes this process against both the historic background of Columbus's ascendance as a national icon in the revolutionary period and throughout the nineteenth century and the revisionism and public debates of the Quin­centenary in 1992 that have challenged the national origin myth, established commemorative practices, and traditional discourses about Columbus and the discovery of America.

Winfried Fluck (ed.) et al., American Studies Today

The volume explores the state of contemporary American Studies in the light of recent developments and currently emerging perspectives of research. Featuring contributions by leading American Studies scholars from the German-speaking world, the collection of essays represents a broad spectrum of thematic, theoretical and methodological approaches that constitute major research agendas within current American Studies. It also includes contributions by renowned colleagues from the U.S. which provide a transatlantic framework of scholarly debate. In line with the original, dialogic conference format, the volume is organized around central topics covered by main papers and shorter response papers. While the essays position American Studies in Germany in its transnational contexts, they also highlight its distinct contribution to the global field of American Studies in the early 21st century.

From Comic Strips to Graphic Novels

The essay collection From Comic Strips to Graphic Novels: Contributions to the Theory and History of Graphic Narrative, co-edited by Daniel Stein, and Jan-Noël Thon, has been published by De Gruyter. It examines the theory and history of graphic narrative as one of the most interesting and versatile forms of narrative beyond traditional literary texts. Analyzing a wide range of texts, genres, and narrative strategies from both theoretical and historical perspectives, its various contributors offer state-of-the-art research on graphic narrative in the context of an increasingly postclassical and transmedial narratology.

Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives

In March 2013, Bloomsbury has published Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads, an essay collection that is co-edited by Daniel Stein, Shane Denson, and Christina Meyer. Bringing together an international team of scholars, this book charts and analyzes the ways in which comic book history and new forms of graphic narrative have been impacted by aesthetic, social, political, economic, and cultural interactions that reach across national borders in an increasingly interconnected and globalizing world.

Film Remakes, Adaptations and Fan Productions

In October 2012, Palgrave Macmillan has published the essay collection Film Remakes, Adaptations and Fan Productions: Remake | Remodel. The book is co-edited by Kathleen Loock from the Research Unit and Constantine Verevis from Monash University (Australia). It contains 12 original contributions (also by members of the Research Unit) that investigate processes of cultural reproduction and serialization in film, television and new media.

Populäre Serialität: Narration-Evolution-Distinktion

The essay collection on popular seriality, Populäre Serialität: Narration-Evolution-Distinktion. Zum seriellen Erzählen seit dem 19. Jahrhundert, has now been published by the German publishing house transcript. Frank Kelleter has edited the volume that contains 18 essays. The book has emerged from the Opening Conference of the Research Unit in April 2011.

Music Is My Life

Daniel Stein's monograph Music Is My Life: Louis Armstrong, Autobiography, and American Jazz has just been published by the University of Michigan Press. The book is the first extended study of Louis Armstrong's writing practices, intermedial performances, and his role as an icon of American popular culture.