Florian Wagner, M.A.


since 09/2018

Research Associate in American Studies, FSU Jena
PhD Project: “Revisiting the Environmental Imagination: Making Place and the Necessity of Reinhabitation in North American Literature and Culture” (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 Inhalt einblenden
  • Wagner, Florian and Jaime Hyatt. "Editorial: Embracing the Loss of Nature: Searching for Responsibility in an Age of Crisis." COPAS Journal 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. 
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 Inhalt einblenden
  • "'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, 18.-20. February 2021. 
  • “Ecopoetry and Planetary Thinking” Guest Lecture, Nature Writing and Ecocriticism Lecture Series, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, 04.02.2021.
  • "Journey of Hope / Die Reise der Hoffnung (Xavier Koller, 1990), Screening and Discussion." Guest Moderator. Summer Cinema Series on Zoom [png, 573 kb], (IM)Mobilities and Migration, Centre de Recherche des Études Littéraires et Culturelles sur la Planétarité, Université de Montreal, 11. August 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, 07.-11. November 2019. (DAAD Travel Grant; fully funded)
  • "Through the Broken Mirror: Hauntology and Lost Futures in Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch." Annual GAAS Meeting 2019, Hamburg, 13.-15. Juni 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, 02.-05. Mai 2019. 
Research Interests Inhalt einblenden
  • Ecocriticism, Ecopoetry, and Ecofiction
  • The Anthropocene in Literature and Culture
  • Biopolitics, Posthumanism
  • Planetarity, Planetary Thinking 
  • (Post-)Marxist and Post-capitalist Criticism, Critical Theory
  • German Association of American Studies (DGfA/GAAS)
Teaching Inhalt einblenden
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
+49 3641 9-44513
Raum 613
Ernst-Abbe-Platz 8
07743 Jena
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