Susann Kupke (Köhler), M.A.

Research Interests

  • History and Theory of Photography
  • The Post-Industrial City, Urban Studies
  • Cultural Memory Studies
  • US-American Literature of the 20th Century
  • Presence and Tacit Knowledge in American Literature and Culture

Current Project (Ph.D.)
Picturing the Rustbelt: Deindustrialization, American Ruin, and Urban Change in Postindustrial Photography

Professional Experience

since 04/2015Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin/Assistant Professor, English Department/American Studies, University of Göttingen

2012-2015PhD studies
Scholarship / Research Group "Präsenz und implizites Wissen", DFG Graduiertenkolleg 1718, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuernberg
2011Magister Artium (M.A.)
Theater and Media Studies & American Literary and Cultural Studies; Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg


  • "Picturing Ruin in the American Rustbelt: Andrew Borowiec’s Cleveland: The Flats, the Mill, and the Hills (2008)." Ruin Porn and the Obsession with Decay. Ed. Siobhan Lyons. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 119-33.
  • with Andrew S. Gross. "Afterword: Conservatism and the Liberal Tradition: Reflections of Peter Viereck." American Studies Journal. 65 (2018).
  • with Andrew S. Gross, eds. American Studies Journal. 65 (2018).
  • "'Still Standing Like Timeless Islands’: The Presence of Postindustrial Spaces in The Ruins of Detroit (2010)." (Extra-)Ordinary Presence: Social Configurations and Cultural Repertoires. Eds. Markus Gottwald, Kay Kirchmann, and Heike Paul. Bielefeld: transcript, 2017. 121-34.
  • "Growing Food and Justice in Detroit: Urban Gardens, Social Activism, and the Use of New Media." America: Justice, Conflict, War. Eds. Amanda Gilroy and Marietta Messmer. Heidelberg: Winter, 2016. 231-46.

  • Talks and Conference Papers

    • "A City at Work: Blue-Collar Masculinity in Clyde Hare’s Pittsburgh Photography." International Conference "Metropolitan Masculinities", Bochum, 29-30 November 2019.
    • "'Down the Rugged Canyon Route': Barry Goldwater’s Landscape Photography of Arizona." Annual Conference of the Austrian Association of American Studies "Mediating Mountains", Innsbruck 22-24 November 2019.
    • "Documenting Places, Tracking Time: Camilo J. Vergara’s Rustbelt Photography and the Urban Fabric of Postindustrial Cities." CEALS Workshop, Munich 3-4 May 2019.
    • "'No Picturesque Lyricism Here': Industrial Wastelands in Lee Friedlander’s Factory Valleys (1982)." Framing Environmental Dimensions in American Art, Research Workshop Terra Foundation for American Art Paris Center, April 05, 2018.
    • "'He saw the region in terms of images': Barry Goldwater and the American Southwest."Research Colloquium American Studies, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, July 04, 2017.
    • "Breakfast at Tiffany: Truman Capote und konservative Kultur in den USA."Frühstück bei Tiffany", Theatertagung Evangelische Akademie Hofgeismar, March 24-26, 2017.
    • "Barry Goldwater and the Conservative Picture of the West." International Conference "Cultures of U.S.-American Conservatism"; Georg-August-University Göttingen, February 09-12, 2017.
    • "After the Flood: Hurricane Katrina and the Politics of Ruin Photography." Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies "America After Nature: Democracy, Culture, Environment"; Workshop: Disaster Discourses (Wuerzburg, June 12-15, 2014).
    • "Growing Food and Justice: The Media Portrayal of Detroit's Urban Gardens." EAAS 60th Anniversary Conference "America: Justice, Conflict, War"; Workshop: Street Justice - Activist Urban Cultures of the 21st Century (The Hague, Netherlands, April 3-6, 2014).
    • "'A State of Paradoxical Sleep': Post-Industrial Landscapes and the Narrative of Loss in The Ruins of Detroit (2010)." Guest Lecture. American Studies Department University of Regensburg (Regensburg, December 5, 2013).
    • "Images of US-American Ruins: Contemporary Aesthetics and Memory in Photography." Fifth International Summer Academy of the BAA "American Studies in a Transatlantic Perspective: Critical Regionalism in Politics and Culture" (Munich/Nuernberg, May 20 - June 3, 2013).
    • "Places of Dereliction and Decay: US-American Ruins in Contemporary Photography." Postgraduate Forum (PGF) of the German Association for American Studies (Marburg, Nov 2-4, 2012).

    Conference Organization/Workshops/Panel Chairs

    • PhD Workshop "Northern Network of North American Studies," November 29, 2018, Georg August-Universität Göttingen (organized in cooperation with Florian Zappe)
    • Panel Chair "Languages-Circulation-Markets," International Conference Glocal Places of Literature: Production/Distribution/Reception, June 28-30, 2018, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
    • Panel Chair "Weird Visual Cultures," International Conference The American Weird: Ecologies & Geographies, April 12-14, 2018, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
    • International Conference "Cultures of U.S.-American Conservatism," February 09-12, 2017, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (organized in cooperation with Andrew S. Gross)
    • Student Forum, International Conference "Surveillance/Society/Culture," February 26-28, 2016, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (organized in cooperation with Marleen Knipping)

    • Teaching

      Current Course

      • Advanced Cultural History & Rhetoric: (Anti-) Urbanism in America (WiSe 18/19)

      Past Courses

        University of Goettingen
      • “Writing with Light”: Literature and Photography in the 19th Century (Proseminar, Edinburgh Sommer School 2018)
      • Working-Class Literature in the U.S. (Proseminar, WiSe 17/18)
      • Advanced Cultural History and Rhetoric: Industrial America (SoSe 17)
      • Advanced Cultural History and Rhetoric: American Conservatism (WS 16/17)
      • 1930s America in Fiction and Photography (Proseminar, SoSe 16)
      • 20th Century American Drama (Proseminar, WS 2015/16)
      • Ruin Photography and the Post-Industrial City (Proseminar, SoSe 15)
      • Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg
      • Introduction to American Photography (WS 2013/14)