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 Dr. Katja Kanzler 

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Dr. habil. Katja Kanzler
Associate Lecturer for American Literature
Room 3503 | Phone: (0341) 97-37337
Office Hours: on leave for academic year 2009/10

http://americanstudies.uni-leipzig.de/faculty/kanzler

 

Bio

I earned both my MA and my PhD degrees from the University of Leipzig. As many students enrolled at Leipzig's Institute for American Studies, I spent one year of my MA program in the United States, at a liberal arts college in Connecticut. My doctoral work focused on the science fiction franchise Star Trek, which I interrogated for its use of multicultural discourse. My Habilitation took me from the future into the past, to the 19th century, where I examined women’s writing about the kitchen and the factory. The most exciting part of my work on my Habilitation, which I recently completed, has been to ‘discover’ and revel in little-studied texts like 19th-century cookbooks, or the literary magazines written and edited by female factory workers in the 1830s and 40s.

  

Teaching

I am teaching a wide range of classes in the field of American literary studies, from introductory surveys to graduate seminars. I particularly enjoy teaching introductory classes for both our BA- and our MA-program ("Literature & Culture 1," "Methods and Theories of American Studies") because they allow me to support students when they begin to discover American studies. Whenever possible, I offer courses that integrate my own research interests, such as "Houses in American Fiction" or "Writing Food, Writing Culture."

  

Research

In my research, I like to combine an analysis of the cultural work that texts perform with an analysis of their textual operations. I have pursued this broad interest with a wide range of texts, from canonical literature to artifacts of popular culture, in contemporary as well as historical settings: in my dissertation (focusing on Star Trek and multiculturalism), my Habilitation (focusing on popular and canonical texts of the 19th century and their elaboration of the kitchen and the factory as feminine spaces), as well as in smaller research projects that centered on the transatlantic mobility of American popular culture. In my current project, I am looking at lawyer-characters in literary and media fictions from the 19th through the 21st centuries, exploring how these characters focalize different kinds of storytelling and narrative engagements of social issues.

  

Community Service

I serve as academic advisor for students pursuing American studies (Fachstudienberatung). I also work with colleagues in the Institute and beyond to help internationalize (and modernize) our academic program and to communicate that program to interested high-school students as well as to the interested public.

 

Selected Publications

  • "Architecture, Writing, and Vulnerable Signification in Herman Melville's 'I and My Chimney.'" Amerikastudien / American Studies (forthcoming).
  • With S. Herrmann, A. Koenen, Z. Kusmierz and L. Schmieding, eds. Ambivalent Americanizations: Popular and Consumer Culture in Central and Eastern Europe. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008. 

  • "Kansas, Oz, and the Magic Land: A Wizard's Travels Through the Iron Curtain." Ambivalent Americanizations: Popular and Consumer Culture in Central and Eastern Europe. Ed. Sebastian Herrmann et al. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008. 89-104.
  • "Sex in Outer Space: Star Trek." Screening Gender: Geschlechterszenarien in der gegenwärtigen US-amerikanischen Populärkultur. Hg. Heike Paul und Alexandra Ganser. Münster: LIT, 2007. 116-29.

  • "Texts, Commodities, and Genteel Factory Girls: The Textile Mill as a Feminine Space in Antebellum American Literature." Amerikastudien / American Studies 50.4 (2005). 555-73.
  • "The Kitchen and the Nation: Recovering the Public in Antebellum Women's Writing." USA v. Europe: Conflict v. Collaboration? Ed. Andrzei Mania et al. Krakow: Jagellonian UP. 2005. 27-36.
  • 'Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations': The Multicultural Evolution of Star Trek. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2004.
  • "Where Globalization Has Taken to the Stars: German Fans Reading Star Trek. Americanization - Globalization - Education. Ed. Sabine Broeck et al. Heidelberg: Winter, 2003. 125-35.
  • With Heike Paul, eds. Amerikanische Populärkultur in Deutschland: Case Studies in Cultural Transfer Past and Present. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2002.
  • "'Rettet die Brüder!' Uses of Science Fiction in 1950s East Germany." Amerikanische Populärkultur in Deutschland: Case Studies in Cultural Transfer Past and Present. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2002. 111-26.

 

Selected Papers and Presentations

  • "'To Sue and Make Noise': Civic Didacticism and Comic Spectacle in Boston Legal." Paper Held at Annual Conference of German Association of American Studies. Jena, 5 June 2009.
     
  • "Domestic Architecture and Writing in Herman Melville's 'I and My Chimney.'" Paper Held at Conferece "Constructions of Home: Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture, Law and Literature." University of Münster, 27 November 2008.
  • "'Christianity in the Kitchen': Religious Authority and the Writing of the Domestic in Mid-19th-Century Cookbooks." Paper Held at Annual Conference of German Association for American Studies. Dortmund/Bochum, 2 June 2007.

  • "The Kitchen and the Nation: Recovering the Public in Antebellum Women’s Writing." Paper Held at Conference "Of Fatherlands and Motherlands: Gender and Nation in the Americas." University of Bielefeld, 29 November 2006.
  • "Blurring the Boundaries: Antebellum Women’s Writing of the Kitchen and the Factory." Paper Held at American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, 21 September 2006.

  • "From Orion Slave Girls to Fully Functional Androids: Sex in Star Trek." Talk Given in Lecture Series "Sex in the City – und anderswo." Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, 23 May 2005.

  • "Republican Kitchens: Gender, Class, and Nation in 19th-Century U.S.-Cookbooks." Paper Held at Conference "Cooking Culture: Food and Consumption in the 19th Century." Institute of English Studies, University of London, 29 July 2004.
  • "'Where No Man Has Gone Before': Gender in Star Trek." Talk Given in Lecture Series "Gender: KulturPoetik der Geschlechterdifferenz." University of Hannover, 23 April 2003.

  • "Of Captains and Villains: Signifiers of Englishness in Star Trek." Paper Held at Biannual Conference of European Association for American Studies, Bordeaux, 23 March 2002.

      

Honors, Awards, Distinctions

  • Christoph-Daniel-Ebeling Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society & German Association for American Studies
  • Dissertation Fellowship, Joined Program by State and Federal Government

 

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