Seminar für Englische Philologie

Dr. Florian Zappe

Research Interests

  • Poststructuralism and Critical Theory
  • Cultures of Surveillance
  • The Philosophy of Atheism
  • Theory and History of the Avant-Garde
  • Popular Culture Theory
  • History of European and American Cinema (Focus on Genre, Independent, and Experimental Film)
  • 20th and 21st Century Literature (Focus on European and American Modernism, Sub- and Counter-Cultural Literature, Postmodern Fiction)

Current Project
The Threat of Atheism and Its Metaphors (Habilitation)

University Education and Degrees

2012Dr. phil./PhD in American Studies, John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, dissertation title: "'These are the times when we no longer have the myth of escape'" – Transgression und avantgardistisches Erbe bei Kathy Acker"
2007Magister Artium (MA) in North American Studies, Comparative Literature, and Modern History, Freie Universität Berlin

Academic Employment

since 04/2014Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter / Assistant Professor of American Studies, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen
WS 2013/14Lehrbeauftragter / Adjunct Lecturer in American Studies, Universität Hamburg
SoSe 2013 & SoSe 2014 Lehrbeauftragter / Adjunct Lecturer, "bologna.lab", Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Scholarships and Grants

2016 (Dec.)DAAD Travel Grant
2016 (Oct.)Visiting Scholar, Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw ("Erasmus+" Mobility Grant)
2014 (Aug.-Sept.)Fulbright American Studies Institute "Continuing Influence of the 1930s in the U. S." (San Francisco State University)
2008-2011Elsa-Neumann-Stipendium des Landes Berlin (Dissertation Scholarship)



  • Das Zwischen schreiben – Transgression und avantgardistisches Erbe bei Kathy
    . Bielefeld: Transcript, 2013.
  • 'Control Machines' und 'Dispositive' – Eine foucaultsche Analyse der Machtstrukturen im Romanwerk von William S. Burroughs zwischen 1959 und 1968. Frankfurt am Main et al.: Peter Lang, 2008. (= Europäische Hochschulschriften, Reihe XIV, Bd. 444).


  • "(Re)Framing the Disembodied Public Enemy: The 'War on Drugs' in Contemporary Narrative Screen Media." The Enemy in Contemporary Film. Eds. Martin Löschnigg and Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż. Berlin: De Gruyter. (forthcoming).
  • "Redeeming VICE(S)? – VICE Media als 'gemanagtes' Popkulturphänomen." Managing Popular Culture? Zur Entstehung des Populären zwischen Emergenz und Strategie. Eds. Lioba Foit and Martin Zierold. Berlin and Münster: Lit-Verlag. (forthcoming).
  • "The Addict's Ethics of Failure – Resistance to Ambition in the Photographic Work of Larry Clark." The Failed Individual. Eds. Katharina Motyl and Regina Schober. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2017. 205-222.
  • "'When Order is Lost, Time Spits': The Abject Unpopular Art of Genesis (Breyer) P-Orridge." Unpopular Culture. Eds. Martin Lüthe and Sascha Pöhlmann. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2016. 129-145.
  • "'The Caligarian Works of a New Film Discovery' – Das Echo des performativen Expressionismus im amerikanischen Experimentalfilm der 1920er und 30er Jahre." Expressionismus 2 (2015). 47-55.
  • "In the Generic Interzone – On the Liminal Character of William S. Burroughs' 'Routines.'" Liminality and the Short Story: Boundary Crossings in American, Canadian and British Writing. Eds. Jochen Achilles and Ina Bergmann. London: Routledge, 2015. 63-74.
  • "Vom Dilettantismus des Killers – Inkompetentes Töten als Quelle des Lächerlichen in Chris Morris' Four Lions und Takashi Miikes Visitor Q." Mord und Totlach. Eds. Christian Hoffstadt, Melanie Möller, Sabine Müller. Bochum and Freiburg: Projektverlag, 2014. 67-78.


Talks, Conference Papers and Panel Chairs

  • "The Parisian Spectre in Ferlinghetti’s Famously Nonfamous Novel Her", (6th Annual Conference of the European Beat Studies Network "Paris Interzone: The Transcultural Beat Generation (Collaboration, Publication, Translation)", September 20-22, 2017, The University of Chicago Center in Paris)
  • "'It all moves like a dance to unheard music' – Performative Expressionism and the First American Film Avant-Garde" & Chair of the Panel "Modern Women I" (Conference "Modernisms and Modernities East, West and South: Comparing Literary and Cultural Experiences", July 19-22, 2017, Fudan University, Shanghai)
  • "William F. Buckley, Jr. and the Question of Atheism", (International Conference "Cultures of US-American Conservatism", February 9-12, 2017, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
  • "Watching the Watchers Watch: Surveillance, Knowledge and the Epistemological Benefits of Art", (Internationale Vortragsreihe "Spaces of Surveillance – Überwachungsräume", January 16, 2017, Universität Flensburg)
  • "Surveillance Culture and the Lifelogged Self – A Critical Posthumanist Intervention", ("Surveillance, Form, Affect – An International, Multidisciplinary Conference", December 7-9, 2016, The Education University of Hong Kong)
  • "The Other Exceptionalism: A Transnational Perspective on the Question of Atheism in America" & Chair of the Panel "Pop Politics, Pop Economy, Pop Society: Representations of Social, Historical and Economic Issues in Popular Culture" (Annual Conference of the Polish Association of American Studies "Transnational American Studies", October 27-29, 2016, University of Warsaw)
  • "The Addict's Ethics of Failure – Reflections on the Photographic Work of Larry Clark", (Conference "The Failed Individual", November 12-14, 2015, Universität Mannheim)
  • Chair of the Panel "Mediality in Literature", (Conference "Literature and Media Theory: Mediality - Materiality - Cultural Technique", March19-21, 2015, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
  • "Lifelogging, Sousveillance and the Position of the (Post)human Subject",
    (Workshop "Posthumanist Interfaces of the Networked Self", 61. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien "America after Nature: Democracy, Culture, Environment", June12-15, 2014, Universität Würzburg)
  • "The Failure of Regression – Reading Pier Paolo Pasolini with Kathy Acker", (Conference "Pier Paolo Pasolini between Regression and Failure", May 9-10, 2014, Université Paris-Sorbonne)
  • "Redeeming VICE(S) – On the development of VICE media as a 'managed' popcultural Phenomenon",(Popkongress 2014 "Managing Popular Culture -- Zwischen Emergenz und Strategie" (6. Jahrestagung der AG Populäre Kultur und Medien der Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (GfM)), January 30 - February 01, 2014, Karlshochschule International University, Karlsruhe)
  • "Staging the Abject – The 'Unpopular' Art of Genesis Breyer P-Orrdige", (Conference "Unpopular Culture", October 31 - November 03, 2013, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
  • "In the Generic Interzone – On the Liminal Character of William S. Burroughs' 'Routines'", (International Conference "Liminality and the Short Story", March 07-10, 2013, Universität Würzburg)
  • "'Who gives a shit about how your mother died or if you have a real father' – The Radical Subversion of Oedipal Familialism in the Novels of Kathy Acker", (11th Annual Students and Graduate Conference "Playing House – Shifting Paradigms of Family and Kinship", November 15-17, 2012, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Conference Organization

  • International Conference "Surveillance | Society | Culture", February 26-28, 2016, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (organized in cooperation with Andrew S. Gross), Conference Homepage


  • German Association for American Studies (DGfA)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft (DGAVL) / German Association for Comparative Literature
  • Research Network "Surveillance"
  • AG Populärkultur und Medien in der Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (GfM)
  • European Beat Studies Network (EBSN)


Current Courses

  • "We've all got the disease" - The Cinema of David Cronenberg (PS, WiSe 17/18)
  • Warhol's Worlds (PS, WiSe 17/18)
  • Introduction to Film and Media Studies (WS 17/18)
  • Introduction to the Study of American Literature and Culture (WS 17/18)

Past Courses at the University of Göttingen:

  • "...but I've seen the film"-- Literary Works and their Cinematic Adaptations (PS, SoSe 17)
  • Cultural History and Rhetoric: The Roaring Twenties (SoSe 17)
  • Cinema's Sexualities: The Cultural Politics of Desire in American Film (PS, SoSe 17)
  • Pre-Code Hollywood: Cinema's Golden Age of Immorality (PS,WS 16/17)
  • Cultural History and Rhetoric: Counterculture(s) (WS 16/17)
  • Introduction to Film and Media Studies (WS 16/17)
  • Introduction to the Study of American Literature and Culture (WS 16/17)
  • Experimental Film (PS, SoSe 16)
  • Cultural History and Rhetoric: Skeptics in "God's own Country" - The History of Freethought in American Culture (SoSe16)
  • The American Short Story: From Poe to the Present (PS, SoSe 16)
  • Introduction to the Study of American Literature and Culture (WS 15/16)
  • Advanced Cultural History and Rhetoric: American Exceptionalism - A Cultural History of an Idea (WS 15/16)
  • Introduction to Film and Media Studies (WS 15/16)
  • Research and Professional Skills (SoSe 15)
  • Advanced Cultural History and Rhetoric: Radical Rhetoric(s): Political Extremism in America from the Revolution to the Present Day (SoSe 15)
  • Reading the City (PS, WS 14/15)
  • David Lynch - Multimedia Artist (PS, WS 14/15)
  • Advanced Cultural History and Rhetoric: American Avant-Garde(s) (WS 14/15)
  • The American Postmodern Novel (PS, SoSe 14)
  • Directed Reading Course: From the Early Republic to the Late Nineteenth Century (SoSe 14)

Past Courses at other academic institutes:

  • Punk, Porn, Postmodernism – The Literary World of Kathy Acker (WS 13/14; American Studies/English Department, Universität Hamburg)
  • 'Wir wollen immer artig sein...' – Subcultures in Berlin (SoSe 2013 & SoSe 2014; "bologna.lab", Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)