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 Marie Loeffler 

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Marie Loeffler



 

 Bio

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the American Studies Department, and am currently doing research as a visiting scholar at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. During my doctoral studies, I have also spent time as a visiting scholar at the English Department of the University of California, Berkeley. I earned my M.A. in American Studies and Art History from the University of Leipzig in 2006, and during my master’s studies spent time abroad at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

 
Teaching
 
My interest in teaching began during my studies for my M.A., when I tutored high school students in English. I have since taught two undergraduate courses at the American Studies Department—an introductory course on American literature and culture, and an upper-level undergraduate seminar on neo-slave narratives. Teaching these very different courses has given me experience in the varied approaches needed for teaching students at different academic levels. It’s rewarding for me to see students engaged in the material, and I try to pique their interest in American literature and culture by bringing different forms of media into the classroom to display the many facets of the field.
 
 
Research
 
My interests straddle numerous academic fields, including African American Studies, Critical Whiteness Studies, Gender Studies, and Popular Culture Studies, focusing primarily on the constructions of whiteness in contemporary African American literature, neo-slave narratives, vampire literature, and theories of motherhood. In my dissertation, I have turned to a body of literature that is still largely neglected both within African American Studies and Popular Culture Studies: contemporary African American women’s vampire fiction. Within texts by Jewelle Gomez, Octavia Butler, and J.M. Jeffries, I’m particularly interested in the construction of interracial relations structured around the fantastic trope of the vampire, analyzing these authors’ complex fictional explorations and re-conceptualizations of the multifaceted racial, gendered, and sexual dynamics that have conventionally determined interracial maternal, paternal and sexual bonds.
 
 
Community Service
 
Both as a master’s and Ph.D. student, I have been involved in a number of organizations that have focused on education and intercultural communication in Leipzig, including human rights education at Leipzig schools with the local student chapter of Amnesty International and my work at WILMA (a welcome initiative for international students at the University of Leipzig). I am also a member of various academic associations, such as the DGFA (German Association for American Studies), the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, and the Collegium for African American Research.
 

Selected Publications
 
  • “Review. Ingrid Thaler, Black Atlantic Speculative Fictions.” Amerikastudien/American Studies. Forthcoming.
  • “‘She Would Be No Man’s Property Ever Again:’ Vampirism, Slavery, and Black Female Heroism in Contemporary African American Women’s Fiction.” The Hip and the Atavistic: Images of the Modern Vampire. Eds. Barbara Brodman, and James E. Doan. Forthcoming.
  • With Florian Bast. “Bites from the Margins: Contemporary African American
Women’s Vampire Literature.” Kultur und Geschlecht 8 (2011). <http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/genderstudies/kulturundgeschlecht/aktuell.html>
  • “‘Why white people feel they got to mark us?’—Bodily Inscription, Healing and Maternal Plots of Power in Jewelle Gomez’s ‘Louisiana 1850.’” The Black Imagination: Science Fiction, Futurism, and the Speculative. Eds. Sandra Jackson, and Julie E. Moody-Freeman. New York: Peter Lang, 2011. 146-65.
  • “‘All We Ever Remember Is Their Scars’—African American Speculative Fiction’s Dismantling of the Foundations of Home.” Constructions of Home: Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture, Law, and Literature. Ed. Klaus Stierstorfer. New York: AMS Press, Inc., 2010. 339-52.
  • “Of Vampire Born: Interracial Mothering in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction.” Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies 10 (2009). <http://www-copas.uni-regensburg.de/articles/issue_10/10_02_text_loeffler.php.>
  • “‘Children Aren’t Everything:’ Maternal Ambivalences in Nella Larsen’s Fiction.” Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies 9 (2008). <http://www-copas.uni-regensburg.de/articles/issue_09/09_02_text_loeffler.php>
 
Selected Talks

  • “Interracialism in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling.” Presentation. American Literature Association, San Francisco, USA. 5 May 2012. 
  • “The Re-Imagination of Interracial Intimacy, Romantic Love, and the Nuclear Family in Recent African American Women’s Vampire Fiction.” Presentation. International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, USA. 21 March 2012.
  • “Contemporary African American Women’s Vampire Fiction: Constructing ‘Plots of Power.’” Presentation. Northeast Modern Language Association, Rochester, USA. 17 March, 2012.
  • “‘Do you love me Shori, or do I just taste good?’—Reconfigurations of Romantic Love and the Nuclear Family in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling.” Presentation. Black States of Desire: Dispossession, Circulation, Transformation. Bi-Annual Conference of the Collegium for African American Research. Paris, France. 8 April, 2011.
  • Fledgling.” Presentation. Postdoctoral Seminar at the Introduction to the Humanities Program. Stanford, USA. 3 March 2011.
  • “‘We are not deviants, we are the wave of the future:’ Vampirism in Contemporary African American Women’s Fiction. Presentation. Letting the Vampire In. Bochum, Germany. 9 December 2010.
  • “Reconfigurations of Interracial Desire in Contemporary African American Women’s Vampire Fiction.” Presentation. Inaugural Conference of the (German) Association for Research in the Fantastic. Hamburg, Germany. 1 October 2010.
  • “Vampirism, Slavery, and Interracial Maternal Relationships in Contemporary Black Women’s Speculative Fiction.” Presentation. ‘Diaspora Table’ of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Stanford, USA. 9 March, 2010.
  • “Re-defining Home: Exile and Displacement in Recent African American Speculative Fiction.” Presentation. Constructions of Home: Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture, Law and Literature. Münster, Germany. 27 November 2008.
  • “Of Vampire Born: Jewelle Gomez’s ‘Louisiana 1850.’” Presentation. Postgraduate Forum of the German Association for American Studies. Münster, Germany. 1 November 2008.
  • “Slavery, Motherhood, Quicksand: Nella Larsen’s Reclamation and Revision of the American Female Slave Narrative.” Presentation. Postgraduate Forum of the German Association for American Studies. Erlangen, Germany. 3 November 2007.
 
Honors, Awards, Distinctions
 
  • Ph.D. Scholarship (Promotionsstipendium), Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, 2007-2010
  • Master’s Scholarship (Studienstipendium), Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 2005-2006
  • Academic-Year Ambassadorial Scholarship of the Rotary Foundation, 2003-2004
  • Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement (Dean’s List), University of Massachusetts, Amherst, College of Humanities, 2003, 2004
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