Seminar für Englische Philologie

PD Dr. Birgit Spengler

Research Interests


  • American Literature and Culture
  • 19th-Century American Women Writers
  • Visual Culture
  • Gender Studies
  • Intertextuality



University Education and Degrees

2013Habilitation, Goethe-University Frankfurt
2006Dr. phil. American Studies at Goethe-University, summa cum laude
2001First State Examination for Teachers (English and German)
2000M.A. in American Studies, English Literature and German Literature at Goethe-University (Studies at Goethe-University and the University of Edinburgh)


Professional Employment

10/2014-Assistant Professor of American Studies, Goethe-University
04/2013-09/2014'Vertretungsprofessur' American Studies, Georg-August-University, Göttingen
2006-2013Assistant Professor of American Studies, Goethe-University
2001-2006Instructor of American Studies, Goethe-University



Academic Awards


  • Cornelia Goethe Prize 2007 for the doctoral dissertation Vision, Gender, and Power in Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing, 1860-1900. The Cornelia Goethe Prize is awarded annually for outstanding academic research in Women's and Gender Studies
  • Graduate Student Prize for the Best Paper Presented at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Conference 2003




Grants and Research Abroad

2011-2012Research Grant by the German Research Foundation (DFG, 18 months)
2009Travel Stipend by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to participate in the 2009 annual conference of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association
2001Travel Stipend granted by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for an Internship with The Feminist Press, New York City, June-August 2001
July-August 2012Stanford University, Palo Alto
March 2005, Sept. 2004, May 2004, Sept.-Oct. 2003, Sept. - Oct. 2002New York Public Library and Columbia University, New York City


Academic Administration

2003-2011Services as Study Abroad Advisor, Social-Aide Advisor, Faculty Member in Hiring Committees (American History, American Literature and Culture, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Old German Literature), Co-Development of the B.A. Program American Studies, Co-Development of the Faculty's Women's Support Plan
2002-2011Member of Board of Directors, Institute for English and American Studies
2005-2007Member of Faculty Assembly, Faculty of Modern Languages
2003-2005Vice-Women's Representative, Institute for English and American Studies


Memberships


  • German Association for American Studies (DGfA)
  • Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW, board member since 2012)
  • Cornelia Goethe Center for Women's and Gender Studies (CGC), Goethe-University (Associate Member)
  • Center for North American Studies (Zenaf), Goethe-University
  • Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society
  • Calliopean Society, Institute for English and American Studies, Goethe-University
  • German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV)




Publications

Monograph:


  • Vision, Gender, and Power in Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing, 1860-1900. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008.



Edited Volume:


  • Guest Editor of Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing. Spec. Issue of Amerikastudien / American Studies 54.1 (2009).



Journal and Book Articles


  • "Art as Engagement: Violence, Trauma, and the Role of the Reader in Edwidge Danticat's The Dew Breaker." Contemporary Women's Writing. Forthcoming.
  • "American Jane Eyres: Transatlantic Dialogues in 19th-Century Women's Writing." Transatlantic Women: Essays on 19th-Century American Women Writers in Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe. Eds. Beth L. Lueck, Brigitte Bailey, and Lucinda Damon-Bach. Durham: University of New Hampshire Press, 2012. 417-453.
  • "Geiselnahme, Schwarzfahren oder einfach nur Trampen? Literary Spinoffs, Originalität und geistiges Eigentum." Plagiate. Eds. Jochen Bung, Malte-Christian Gruber, and Sebastian Kühn. Berlin: trafo Wissenschaftsverlag, 2011. 139-156. Beiträge zur Rechts-, Gesellschafts- und Kulturkritik. Bd. 10.
  • Introduction. Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing. Spec. Issue of Amerikastudien / American Studies 54.1 (2009): 5-11.
  • "Visual Negotiations and Medical Discourses in Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing." Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing. Spec. Issue of Amerikastudien / American Studies 54.1 (2009): 35-58.
  • "Gendered Vision(s) in the Short Fiction of Harriet Prescott Spofford." Legacy 21.1 (2004): 68-73.
  • "Michael Cunningham Rewriting Virginia Woolf: Pragmatist vs. Modernist Aesthetics." Woolf Studies Annual 10 (2004): 53-81.




Conference Papers and Invited Lectures


  • "Rewriting Moby-Dick: Imagining the Community through Melville and Naslund," Conference of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Denver, October 10-13, 2012.
  • "Literary Spinoffs," Ernst-August-Universität Göttingen, May 15, 2012.
  • "Rewriting the Canon, Reconsidering Intertextual Theory: Literary Spinoffs and the Cultural Implications of Intertextual Engagements," Rewriting, Remixing, and Reloading: Adaptations Across the Globe, Berlin, October 1, 2010.
  • "Literary Spinoffs: Rewriting the Canon, Revisiting the Nineteenth Century," Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, June 29, 2010.
  • "Rewriting the Genre: Detection in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing," Conference of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Philadelphia, October 22-24, 2009.
  • "Dis-membering and Re-membering: Violence and Storytelling in Edwidge Danticat's The Dew Breaker," Conference of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Snowbird, Utah, October 8-10, 2009.
  • "Geiselnahme, Schwarzfahren oder einfach Trampen? Literary Spinoffs, Originalität und geistiges Eigentum," Plagiarism, Frankfurt am Main, July 17-18, 2009.
  • "Medical Gazes, Gender, and the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing," Visual Cultures – Transatlantic Perspectives, 11th Academy Conference of the Bavarian American Academy, Munich, July 2-4, 2009.
  • "American Jane Eyres: Transatlantic Dialogues in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing," Transatlantic Women: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers in Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe, Oxford, July 16-19, 2008.
  • "If Looks Could Kill: The Politics of Vision in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, " Invited Lecture in the Series Gender-Science-Literature organized by Prof. Dr. Susanne Scholz and Martina Sehring, Goethe-University, June 11, 2008.
  • "Female Scopic Desire at the Interstices of Race and Class: Elizabeth Stoddard, Louisa May Alcott and L. E. Lee," Conference of the American Literature Association, San Francisco, May 25-28, 2006.
  • "Art, Vision, and Gender in Harriet Prescott Spofford's Early Fiction," Conference of the American Literature Association, San Francisco, May 27-30, 2004.
  • "The Silver Canvas and the Easel: Visual Cultures in the Short Fiction of Harriet Prescott Spofford," Postgraduate Forum, Bremen, Germany, November 7-8, 2003.
  • "Gendered Vision(s) in the Short Fiction of Harriet Prescott Spofford," Conference of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Fort Worth, Texas, September 24-27, 2003.
  • "Intertextual Interrogations: Michael Cunningham's Dialogue with Woolf," Conversation in Woolf's Works, Montpellier, France, June 13-14, 2003.



Organization of Conference Panels and Workshops


  • "Rewriting the Classics, (Re-)Writing the Imagined Community: Intertextual Negotiations of Citizenship and Belonging," Panel at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Conference, Denver, October 10-13, 2012. (Co-Organizer)
  • "Hardboiled Women: Women Writing Crime Stories and Roman Noir," Panel at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Conference, Philadelphia, October 22 -24, 2009. (Chair)
  • "Religious Discourse and 'Gendered' Voices in Nineteenth-Century Literature," Workshop at the German Association for American Studies Conference, Dortmund, May 31-June 3, 2007. (Co-Organizer and Co-Chair)
  • "Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing," Panel at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Conference, Philadelphia, November 8-11, 2006.
  • "Women Writing Across the Ocean: Nineteenth-Century Literary Negotiations," Workshop at the German Association for American Studies Conference, Frankfurt am Main, May 18-21, 2005. (Co-Organizer and Co-Chair)




Teaching Experience

Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany, Summer Semester 2013 - Summer Semester 2014


  • A Cultural History of American Literature: From the Early Republic to the Late Nineteenth Century (Lecture, SoSe14)
  • Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers (Hauptseminar, SoSe14)
  • Nineteenth-Century Visual Cultures (Proseminar, SoSe14)
  • Directed Reading Course: From the Early Republic to the Late Nineteenth Century (SoSe14)
  • A Cultural History of American Literature: From Exploration and Settlement to the Early Republic (Lecture, WS 13/14)
  • Moby-Dick and the American Cultural Imagination (Hauptseminar, WS 13/14)
  • Imagining the Other: The 'Orient' in American Literature and Culture (Proseminar, WS 13/14)
  • Introduction to Literary Studies (WS 13/14)
  • A Cultural History of American Literature: Postmodernism, New Ethnic Literatures, Recent Developments (Lecture, SoSe13)
  • Photographic Discourses in/and Nineteenth Century America (Hauptseminar, SoSe13)
  • Sleuthing America: American Detective Fiction from Poe to Auster (Proseminar, SoSe13)
  • Recent Ethnic Fiction (Proseminar, SoSe13)



Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Introductory Courses


  • "Introduction to American Literature and Literary Theory," Spring 2009, Fall 2007, Spring 2007, Spring 2006, Fall 2003, Spring 2002
  • "Introduction to American Culture and American Cultural Studies I & II," Fall 2012, Spring 2010, Fall 2009, Spring 2005



Undergraduate Level


  • "Re-Reading Huckleberry Finn," Fall 2012
  • "Women and the Civil War," Fall 2008
  • "American Short Stories," Spring 2008
  • "U.S. Orientalisms: The 'Orient' in American Literature and Culture," Spring 2007
  • "Recent Ethnic Fiction," Fall 2006
  • "Imag(in)ed Landscapes and People: Visual Representation and Nineteenth-Century Narrative," Fall 2005
  • "Transcultural Interrogations: Intertextual Relations Across the Atlantic," Fall 2004, Team-Teaching with English Studies Faculty Colleague Christine Vogt-William
  • "Secret Glances, Public View: Looking and Story-Telling in 19th-Century Fiction," Spring 2003



Graduate Level


  • "The Return of the Repressed? The Nineteenth Century in Contemporary American Literature," Fall 2010
  • "Trauma and Violence in Contemporary American Literature," Spring 2010
  • "Arab Americans Before and After 9/11", Fall 2009
  • "American Photography, 1839-1920," Spring 2009
  • "Intertextuality in Contemporary Fiction," Spring 2008
  • "American Detective Fiction," Fall 2007, Fall 2008
  • "Edith Wharton," Fall 2006
  • "Contemporary Fiction," Spring 2006, Team-Teaching with American Studies Faculty Colleague Prof. Dr. Susanne Opfermann



Birkbeck College, University of London

  • Graduate Workshop "Gendered Perspectives in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction," Erasmus Teaching Exchange, March 2010.