Florian Wagner, M.A.


since 09/2022

Co-Editor of COPAS (Current Objectives in Postgraduate American StudiesExterner Link)

since 09/2018

Research Associate in American Studies, FSU Jena
PhD Project: “Revisiting the Environmental Imagination: Planetary Poetics in Contemporary Canadian Poetry” (working title)


Student Assistant and Tutor (Introduction to Literary Studies II), Institute of English and American Studies, FSU Jena 


M.A. North American Studies, FSU Jena
"Liberating One's Species-Being in the Anthropocene: An Analysis of Gary Snyder's Turtle Island"

2013-2016 B.A. English/American Studies and Digital Humanities, JMU Würzburg
"Losing Touch: Contemporary Black Cultural Identity and the Culture Industry" 

Publications and Research Interests

  • Publications


    • Wagner, Florian. "Neo-Cosmopolitan Tidalectics as Planetary Poetics in Kaie Kellough's Magnetic Equator." Canada and Beyond: A Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies 11 (2022), 149-166. 
      https://revistas.usal.es/index.php/2254-1179/article/view/30684Externer Link
    • Wagner, Florian and Jaime Hyatt. "Editorial: Embracing the Loss of Nature: Searching for Responsibility in an Age of Crisis." Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies / COPAS 22.1 (2021). 
    • Wagner, Florian. “Towards the Reinhabitation of the Soil: On Becoming Earthbound in Gary Snyder’s Turtle Island.” In: Gina Comos und Caroline Rosenthal, eds. Anglophone Literature and Culture in the Anthropocene. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019, 83-96. 
      https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-5275-3107-9Externer Link

    Special Issues: 


    Editorial Work:

    • Falkenhagen, Charlott, Hermann Funk, Marcus Reinfried und Laurenz Volkmann, eds. Sprachen lernen integriert – global, regional, lokal. Dokumentation zum 27. Kongress für Fremdsprachendidaktik der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Fremdsprachenforschung (DGFF) Jena, September 2017. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren, 2019.

    • Falkenhagen, Charlott and Laurenz Volkmann, eds. Musik im Fremdsprachenunterricht: Theorien, Konzepte, Modelle. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto, 2019.

    • Comos, Gina and Caroline Rosenthal, eds. Anglophone Literature and Culture in the Anthropocene. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019. 

    • Gruber, Eva and Caroline Rosenthal, eds. Gained Ground: Perspectives on Canadian and Comparative North American Studies. Rochester: Camden House, 2018.

    • Rosenthal, Caroline, Laurenz Volkmann and Uwe Zagratzki, eds. Disrespected Neighbo(u)rs: Cultural Stereotypes in Literature and Film. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018.
  • Talks & Guest Lectures
    • "Disrupting the Global: The Planetary Poetics of Kaie Kellough's Magnetic Equator." 18th Triennial Conference of the European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (EACLALS), Paris, June 6-10, 2023. 
    • “Facets of Literature in the Anthropocene.” (Guest Lecture, Ecocriticism Research Collective), Nature Writing and Ecocriticism (Lecture; Prof. Dr. Caroline Rosenthal), FSU Jena, 12.01.2023. 
    • “Reconfiguring Indigenous Apocalypse: Survival, Resilience, and Community Through the Lens of the Viral”  44th Annual Conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries (GKS), Grainau, March 3-5, 2023. (cancelled due to illness)
    • "'Along the Seam between Worlds': Planetary Poetics in Kaie Kellough’s Magnetic Equator" Green Utopia Now! A Transdisciplinary Symposium, University of Ferrara, November 30, 2022. (invited talk)
    • “The Anthropocene in Art and Literature.” (Guest Lecture, Ecocriticism Research Collective). Romantic Thought in the Epoch of the Anthropocene (Seminar; Prof. Dr. Caroline Rosenthal), FSU Jena, 03.05.2022.
    • "Revisiting the Environmental Imagination: Planetary Poetics in Contemporary Canadian Poetry." Emerging Scholars Colloquium, 43rd Annual Conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries (GKS), February 17-19, 2022. http://www.kanada-studien.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/gks22_colloquium-booklet_final.pdfExterner Link
    • "'Keep Your Solar Plexus Shining Brighter Than Your Necklace': Female Empowerment and Holistic Spirituality in Environmentally Conscious Hip Hop" Hip Hop Ecologies- A Workshop, University of Konstanz, February 18-20, 2021. 
    • “Ecopoetry and Planetary Thinking” (Guest Lecture), Nature Writing and Ecocriticism Lecture Series, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, February 04, 2021.
    • "Journey of Hope / Die Reise der Hoffnung (Xavier Koller, 1990), Screening and Discussion." Summer Cinema Series on Zoompng, 573 kb, (IM)Mobilities and Migration, Centre de Recherche des Études Littéraires et Culturelles sur la Planétarité, Université de Montreal, August 11, 2020.  
    • "Revisiting the Utopian Imaginary: Of Species-Being(s), the Multitude and Sympoietic Worlding in Times of Ecological Crisis." Historical Materialism Annual Conference 2019, SOAS London, November 07-11, 2019. (DAAD Travel Grant; fully funded)
    • "Through the Broken Mirror: Hauntology and Lost Futures in Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch." Annual GAAS Meeting 2019, Hamburg, June 13-15, 2019. 
    • "The Species-Being in the Anthropocene: Finding Companionship and Collectivizing Struggle in Gary Snyder’s Turtle Island." Historical Materialism Athens 2019, Panteion University, Athen, May 02-05, 2019. 
  • Research Interests
    • Planetarity, Planetary Thinking 
    • Ecocriticism, Ecopoetry, and Ecofiction
    • The Anthropocene in Literature and Culture
    • (Post-)Marxist and Post-Capitalist Criticism, Critical Theory
    • Postcolonial and Decolonial Theories and Literatures 
    • Biopolitics, Posthumanism


    • German Association of American Studies (DGfA/GAAS)
    • Nachwuchsforum der Gesellschaft für Kanada-Studien 
  • Teaching

    Poetry and Globalization (SoSe23)     

    This seminar looks at the role of contemporary poetry in responding to and reflecting on the effects of globalization. Our seminar follows Jeff Derksen’s suggestion that contemporary poetry reflects a transnational turn in literary studies and that there is ”a growing body of poetry in North America that is critically and intensively engaged with the politics and the restructuring brought by neoliberalism” (58). Building on this observation, this seminar examines how contemporary poets have responded to the challenges of globalization, and how poetic language and form reflect on and often resist the forces of neoliberal globalization.  We will for instance explore how different poets have grappled with issues such as migration, displacement, economic inequality, etc. We will also examine how poetry can serve as a site of resistance to dominant discourses and power structures, and how it can create alternative modes of expression and meaning-making in a globalized world. After a thorough introduction to the trajectory of poetry in North America, we will read two recent volumes of poetry – Rita Wong’s forage (2007) and Kaie Kellough’s Magnetic Equator (2019). 

    Resisting Canada: Decolonization and Indigenous Futurities (WS22/23) 

    In this course, we will look at Canada’s troubled settler-colonial history and question its nation-building narratives from the perspectives of contemporary Indigenous writers. We will see how different writers reckon with Canada’s past and attempt to imagine just and decolonial futures. We will read Cherie Dimaline’s (Métis) novel The Marrow Thieves (2017) and watch Danis Goulet’s (Cree-Métis) film Night Raiders (2021), which both deal with Canada’s residential school system, as well as read Waubgeshig Rice’s (Anishinaabe) novel Moon of the Crusted Snow (2018), which focuses on notions of resilience and community building during a global apocalypse. At the same time, we will also include Native feminist, Indiqueer, and Two-Spirit perspectives by looking at selected excerpts from the writings of Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg) and Billy-Ray Belcourt (Driftpile Cree) among others.

    Echoes of the Middle Passage (SoSe22) 

    In A Map to the Door of No Return, Dionne Brand describes the ‘door of no return’ as “that place where our ancestors departed one world for another; the Old World for the New. The place where all names were forgotten and all beginnings recast. In some desolate sense it was the creation place of Blacks in the New World Diaspora at the same time that it signified the end of traceable beginnings” (5). The ‘door of no return’ then represents the Middle Passage as the physical space where enslaved people were brought from Africa to the New World but also as a metaphor for the loss of origins, identity, and subjectivity. As Brand writes, it is “a place, real, imaginary, and imagined” (19). Situating the rupture of the Middle Passage within contemporary debates about Canadian multiculturalism, this course primarily focuses on the works of black Canadian writers (such as Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip, Tessa McWatt, Austin Clarke, Lillian Allen, Kaie Kellough, etc.) and their conceptions of blackness and diasporic belonging. We will read a broad mixture of theoretical texts, fiction, and poetry to look at the different ways writers engage with the psychic space of the Middle Passage to interrogate Canadian multiculturalism and the Canadian nation as such.

    Planetary Thinking and Decolonial Praxis (WS21/22)

    The last few years have seen a shift towards the planetary as a critical-theoretical model in the humanities and the social sciences. This course will look more closely at this recent shift and its critical potential for literary and cultural studies. We will explore different ways of conceptualizing the planet and its human and non-human inhabitants by looking at a variety of issues and topics that span and traverse multiple spatial and temporal scales, such as climate change and the Anthropocene, global (im-)mobilities and migration, the impact of neoliberalism and digital technologies, as well as the current pandemic among others. Throughout the semester, we will cover a wide variety of fictional and non-fictional texts, which will help shift our gaze to the material effects of these issues and render legible the abstract notion of the planetary

    Planetarity and Postcapitalist Desire (WS20/21) 

    Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe suggests that "ours is a time of planetary entanglement" (2019: 93). His suggestion is part of a larger epistemological shift that foregrounds visions of the planet and advances planetarity as a critical-theoretical model and a way of being, i.e., planetarity as praxis.

    The concept of planetarity originated in 1997 in a talk by the postcolonial theorist and literary critic Gayatri Spivak entitled "Imperatives to Re-Imagine the Planet." For Spivak, planetarity offers a necessary alternative to the totalizing paradigm of globalization, which is often thought of in terms of the universal abstractions of (neoliberal) capital. She writes: "Globalization is the imposition of the same system of exchange everywhere. […] The globe is on our computers. No one lives there. It allows us to think that we can aim to control it. The planet is in the species of alterity, belonging to another system; and yet we inhabit it on loan" (Spivak 72). Instead of conceiving of ourselves as ‘global agents’ within the neoliberal imaginary, Spivak suggests that we should instead imagine ourselves as ‘planetary subjects.’ This opens up a collective position of responsibility towards the planet and its inhabitants and calls for new modes of social and political interaction that take into consideration the complex histories of coloniality and global capitalism. 

    Throughout this course, we will try to theorize planetarity and devise and cultivate methods of planetary thinking. To do so, we will cover a broad range of theoretical texts ranging from postcolonialism (Gayatri Spivak, Achille Mbembe, Walter Mignolo, Catherine Walsh), ecocriticism (Ursula Heise), to visions of postcapitalism (Mark Fisher, J.K. Gibson-Graham), and look for possible applications. We will, for example, read Amitav Ghosh’s recent novel Gun Island (2019), which explores representations of global warming and cross-cultural mobility on a planetary scale, and (if possible) watch the feature film Vai (2019), which skillfully interweaves the personal stories of several Indigenous women across different Pacific nations connected by the common theme of water (‘vai’).  The seminar will close with a term paper or an equivalent.

    Mbembe, Achille. Necropolitics. transl. Steven Corcoran. Durham: Duke UP, 2019.
    Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. Death of a Discipline. New York: Columbia UP, 2003.

    Reflecting on the Human Condition: Biopolitics and Posthumanism in Science Fiction Movies (WS 2019/20) 

    What does it mean to be human today, and what are we in the process of becoming in the future? To answer these questions, we will look at two fundamental theoretical approaches—biopolitics and posthumanism—and apply these notions to the genre of science fiction. The central assumption of our seminar is that science fiction and its speculative discourses hold a privileged position as expressions of the human imagination, thus making them extremely suitable to reflect on these questions critically. The French historian and philosopher Michel Foucault first coined the term biopolitics in Part V of his book The History of Sexuality Vol. 1 (1976). Broadly speaking, the concept denotes the intersection of life (bios) and politics (polis). It is often also defined as the "power over life," meaning the different ways in which human lives are governed and controlled on the level of the individual subject and the population as a whole. Given the historically often exclusionary definition of the human and the lack of the non-human in the biopolitical schema, we will also look at the notion of the posthuman. Posthuman philosophy oscillates between both post-humanism and post-anthropocentrism by offering ways to understand the human not in terms of a dominant position. Instead, posthumanism posits human beings within a network of multiple connections, thus allowing for an ”integral redefinition of the notion of the human” (Ferrando 1). At the same time, posthumanism allows us to ”think critically and creatively about what we are in the process of becoming” (Braidotti 11) in times of technoscientific progress, rapid globalization under late capitalism and possibly impending ecological disasters as the result of the former. This seminar will thoroughly engage with the two theoretical notions while at the same time retaining a strong focus on their practical applications.

    Braidotti, Rosi. The Posthuman. London: Polity, 2013.
    Ferrando, Francesca. Philosophical Posthumanism. London: Bloomsbury, 2019.

    Introduction to Literary Studies II (SoSe 2019, SoSe 2020, SoSe 2021)

    The second part (Teilmodul II) of the Introduction to Literary Studies focuses on the analysis of literary texts. The knowledge that students have acquired in the lecture course (Teilmodul I) serves now as a basis for a hands-on approach to literature: participants will develop the skills required to analyse poetry, narrative fiction and drama. The class also introduces into methods of research.

    Beginning Theory (WS 2018/19)

    This seminar offers an overview of some of the most important cultural theories and concepts used in American Studies. In this seminar, we will discuss texts by authors such as Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Fredric Jameson, Edward Said, Judith Butler, and Kimberle Crenshaw among many others. Students are required to closely read and engage with the texts in order to actively participate in class discussions and group work. However, instead of just reading theory, a large part of the seminar will also focus on the application of these theories. 

Florian Wagner
Florian Wagner
Foto: Anne Günther (Universität Jena)