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Schäfer, Stefanie  

PD Dr. habil. Stefanie Schäfer

Stefanie Schäfer
Privatdozentin Dr. Stefanie Schäfer

Ernst-Abbe-Platz 8, Raum 623
07743 Jena
Telefon: +49 3641-9-44523
Fax: +49 3641-9-44502

From April 2018 to March 2019, Stefanie Schäfer is visiting professor of American Studies at the Chair of American Studies (Prof. Heike Paul), Erlangen.

PD Dr. Stefanie Schäfer is assistant professor of American Studies at FSU Jena and, from April 2018 to April 2019, served as visiting professor of American Studies (especially Culture) at the Chair of American Studies at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg (held by Prof. Heike Paul).

Dr. Schäfer studied English and French in Trier and Minneapolis and received her M.A. and state teacher’s degrees from the University of Trier in 2005 with a thesis on Beat literature. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Heidelberg (2009) and a habilitation/venia legendi for North American Literature and Culture from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (2017). Her second book, "Yankee Yarns. Storytelling and the Invention of the National Body in 19th-Century American Culture" (currently under review), examines the performance of white American masculinity in the Yankee figure.

Stefanie Schäfer’s work centers on iconographies of power and on gendered figurations of the national in the US and Canada and draws from concepts from Transnational North American Studies, American and Canadian Studies, as well as Popular Culture and Visual Culture. Her research interests include auto/biographies and self-narration, cultural mobilities, gender and identity performance and popular culture in literature and film in the US and Canada. She has co-edited books on contemporary subjectivity, teaching 9/11 literature, and on impostors in North American Culture.

Dr. Schäfer is the recipient of a DAAD post-doc scholarship, a research fellowship at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, Washington DC and the FSU scholarship Pro Chance A1 for young female researchers, as well as a special mention (shortlist) of the FSU teaching award 2015.

In February 2019, she received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (EU Horizon 2020 program) for the project TACOMO (Transatlantic Cowgirl Mobilities), which will take her to the University of Vienna starting in March 2020.

Select Recent Publications

Yankee Yarns: Storytelling and the Invention of the National Body in 19th-Century US Culture (monograph, under review)


Geraldine Brooks.” The Encyclopedia of American Fiction 1980-2020. Ed. Patrick O’Donnell, Stephen Burn and Lesley Larkin. Blackwell/Wiley Online 2019 (in preparation).


Knots and Knowledges: The Canadian West, Settler Colonial Intimacies, and Aritha Van Herk’s Calgary Stampede”. ZKS Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien (accepted for publication)


Black Womanhood in Popular Culture”, Open Culture Studies (1) 2018, special issue, co-edited with Katharian Gerund.


Revisioning and Rewriting American History in Geraldine Brook’s March (2005), James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird (2013), and E.L. Doctorow’s The March: A Novel (2006).” The American Novel in the 21st Century: Cultural Contexts Literary DevelopmentsCritical Analyses. Eds. Michael Basseler and Ansgar Nünning, Trier: WVT 2018. (with Felix Haase, forthcoming)


Rebecca Solnit: Men Explain Things To Me. (Essays)." Kindlers Neues Literaturlexikon. 3rd rev. ed. Stuttgart [et al.]: Metzler, 2009. Update 2018.


„‘The Importance of Being the First‘: Bürgerrechte, black womanhood und die Ära Obama im Film Hidden Figures Unerkannte Heldinnen (2016).“ Der Fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch 153 (2018): 45-48. (with Charlott Falkenhagen)


Marooning James Bond: Cleopatra Jones, Blaxploitation and the Imperial Mystique.” Anglistentag 2017: Proceedings. Ed. Katharina Böhm, Jochen Petzold and Anne-Julia Zwierlein. Trier: WVT, 2018, 227-238.


Portrait: Die Calgary Stampede.” Länderbericht Kanada. Hg. Ursula Lehmkuhl. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2018.


(Re-Publication:) “‘Recognition Is a Form of Agreement:’ The Workings of Self-Narration in The Catcher in the Rye and Invisible Man.” (American Studies/Amerikastudien 57.4, ed. Winfried Fluck (2012). 603-636) will be republished in Harold Bloom (ed.), The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger. Modern Critical Interpretations, Chelsea House, 2017.


Phenomenal Woman: Michelle Obama’s Embodied Rhetoric and the Cultural Work of Fashion Biographies.” Amerikastudien/American Studies 60.2/3 (2015): 235-254, peer-reviewed.


The Calgary Stampede through a Cultural Studies Perspective: A Teaching Project.” In: Cultural Studies, Critical Methodologies 16.1 (2016): 48-57. Special issue on the Calgary Stampede, ed. Brian Rusted (with Caroline Rosenthal), peer-reviewed.


Plantation Spaces and the Black Body: Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained as Maroon Narrative.” Black Studies Papers 1.1 (2014): 167-187, peer-reviewed.


Research Interests

  • Gendered figurations of the national in North American Culture
  • Transnational and Comparative North American Studies
  • Gender in popular culture and film
  • Storytelling, self-narration, autobiography theory and narrative theory
  • 19th century literature and the writings of John Neal
  • Black femininities
  • North American Western myths
  • Student Excursion to the Calagary Stampede (Canada), July 2013
  • Teaching literature in the university classroom

Upcoming Talks

"Rethinking Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in Europe, 1887–1890". Panel chair and speaker, Western Historical Association Annual Conference 2019, Las Vegas (NV), Oct 16-19, 2019. (With Emily Burns, Auburn U)

Sektion “Funny Men:.Masculinities and Ridicule in Anglophone Cultures.” Workshop chair, Anglistentag 2019, Leipzig, Sept 22-25. (with Wieland Schwanebeck, Dresden)

"Black Womanhood in Popular Culture", Workshopchair, Annual GAAS Meeting 2019, Hamburg, June 13-15.

"'Growing up' Inuit: Indigenous Epistemologies in Aviaq Johnston's Young Adult Novel "Those Who Run in the Sky"." Guest lecture, University of Würzburg, May 6, 2019.

"America's Sweetheart Charms European Royals: Annie Oakley, Gun Culture, and Western Myths", Jan 8, 2019, University of Bamberg.

Podcast: „Michele Obama and FLOTUS Studies with Dr. Stefanie Schäfer“. The Transatlanticist, S2E1, Amerikazentrum Hamburg, April 2019:

So politisch kann Mode sein, Interview on Fashion and First Ladies on Deutschlandfunk Nova/Ab 21 (July 31, 2018, in German)

"Von Michelle zu Melanie. Mode, Feminismen und First Ladies  in den USA.", Podcast on Deutschlandfunk Nova/Hörsaal (July 08, 2018, in German)

Frontfrauen - Ein Tag zum Thema Frauen und Karriere, 2017
Thüringer Kolleg für Gleichstellung:
Pressemeldung FSU Jena

Teaching project "The Canadian West"/excursion to the Calgary Stampede 2013

"Jenaer Studenten forschen in Kanada", Ostthüringer Zeitung, 2013

„Jonathan Going South: The Yankee & the Making of American National Character”.
Library of Congress Kluge German Fellowship Lecture, February 2013.