Dr. Katja Schmieder

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Dr. Katja Schmieder
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Junior Assistant Professor for American Literature)
Room 3502 | Phone: (0341) 973 7334
Office Hours: Summer Semester 2022: starting April 11 - on Modays, noon-1 pm - via Zoom (until further notice - please contact me in advance for a link)

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In 2008 I earned my doctorate degree at the University of Leipzig, where I had also received my M.A. in 2001. Born and raised in Germany, and still living here, I enjoy traveling – including study trips to the U.S., Italy, and Greece, or vacations in Russia and North Africa. My field of interests stretches from literature of every shade via art and art history to the natural sciences along with their history and philosophy. However, I am equally dedicated to cats, music, and movies.



My teaching activities largely coincide with my personal interests as they correspond to my research: They focus on American literature and literary theory, science, popular culture – and the manifold interdisciplinary relations between them. Therefore I have been teaching courses like “Psychoanalysis and Literature,” “Intertextuality and Intermediality,” and “Crime Fiction.”



In my doctoral thesis I explored the relevance of C. P. Snow’s statement about the allegedly unbridgeable gap between the “two cultures” – literature and science – and argued for their reconciliation in American crime novels of the late 20th century. Thus it comes as no surprise that – along with my regular participation in meetings and symposia in the field of American Studies – I attempt to engage in seemingly unrelated areas of research. In this context I attended conventions for forensic psychiatrists, assisted in post-mortem gynecological surgery, and participated in conferences of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. Due to a series of severe personal setbacks I missed a lot of opportunities, as I had to reject, among other things, an internship at the University of Montana in Bozeman during my graduate years and a dissertation fellowship from the University of Siegen. Still, I maintain inspiring contacts with international scientists and authors from diverse disciplines, such as a forensic biologist, a gynecological surgeon, a physicist, and a crime profiler.


Community Service

Related to my work in the public sector, it seems only natural - if not imperative - that I am engaged in a lot of voluntary projects and clubs: As a member of the steering committee of a children’s home I support homeless and abused children and adolescents, always nourishing hope that one day their lives will change for the better.

Serving a similar purpose, I counsel high school students who want to spend a year abroad with the student exchange association Carl Duisberg.

At the Leipzig student club Moritzbastei I help organize projects, music events, the famous Leipzig Fahrradrallye as well as the annual children’s Christmas party (with the organizers performing fairy tales - a must see).

Also, as a member of the local animal protection organization (Erster Freier Tierschutzverein Leipzig und Umgebung e.V.) I help whenever I can to support our local animal shelter and improve the conditions of abandoned cats and dogs.


For many years, I have been a member of the American Studies Alumni Association e.V. at our university, of the DGfA (German Association for American Studies), and of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts at the Johns Hopkins University.


Selected Honors, Publications, Papers and Talks

  • 2002 – Admission to the Leipzig Graduate Studies Program
  • 2002 – “Betrachtungen zur Rezeption amerikanischer Kriminalliteratur in Deutschland.” in: K. Kanzler and H. Paul (eds.). Amerikanische Populärkultur in Deutschland. Leipzig: Universitätsverlag. (review e.g.: http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/rezensionen/4630.pdf)
  • 2003 – Nominee for the Sächsische Landesstipendium
  • 2003 – “Science and Detective Fiction.” (Paper. Doktoranden- und Habilitanden-Symposium. Humboldt Universität/Berlin.)
  • 2004 –“Science as Constituting Element in Contemporary Crime Fiction.” (Published Conference Paper. International Conference of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. Cité Universitaire/Paris.)
  • 2005 – “Native American Life on the Waterhen Reservation in Canada.” (Public Talk. Translator for Norman Martell of the Cree Tribe. Grassi Museum/Leipzig.)
  • 2006 – “The Image of Science in Popular Culture.” (Conference Paper. International Conference of the British Society for Literature and Science. Imperial College/London.)
  • 2008 – “The Very Last Christmas. A Holiday ‘To Die For.’” (Annual Christmas Lecture of the ASAA. Villa Tillmanns/Leipzig.)
  • 2010 - “Weird Economies: Fictionalizing Reproduction, Medicalization, and Gender.” (Conference Paper. DGfA / GAAS Convention. Humboldt Universität/Berlin.)
  • 2011 - “'Do Not Cross' - TV Women Doctors Trespass on Male Territory.” (Conference Paper. International Conference on Literature and Medicine. Philipps-Universität/Marburg.)
  • 2011 - “Weird Economies: Fictionalizing Reproduction, Medicalization, and Gender.” in: Eva Boesenberg, Reinhard Isensee, and Martin Klepper (eds.). American Economies. Heidelberg: Winter.
  • 2011 - “'Crime Scene - Do Not Cross: Fernsehärztinnen erobern männliches Territorium.” (Talk. Center for Women's and Children's Health at the Medizinische Fakultät/Leipzig: http://americanstudies.uni-leipzig.de/blogs/30/asl-goes-truly-interdisciplinary)
  • 2012 – Current Project: Interdisciplinary project with members of the Medical Faculty at Leipzig University “Gynecologists as Criminals: Fictional and (F)actual Representations” (working title)
  • 2013 - “The Rhetorics of Space and Place in the Discourse on Abortion in Nineteenth-Century America.” (Conference Paper. DGfA/GAAS Convention. FAU/Erlangen.)
  • 2013 - “'Do Not Cross' - TV Women Doctors Trespassing on Male Territory.” in: Carmen Birkle and Johanna Heil (eds.) Communicating Disease: Cultural Representations of American Medicine. Heidelberg: Winter.
  • 2015 - “Re-/Presentations of Gynecology in Popular Texts.” (Conference Paper. DGfA/GAAS Convention. Universität Bonn.)
  • 2016 - “The Common Swift in Culture and Literature: Poland, Great Britain, Germany.” (Conference Paper. International Swift Seminars. Szczecin/Poland.)
  • 2016 - “Psychoanalysis and Beyond: Analyzing Hannibal Lecter.” in: Antje Dallmann, Eva Boesenberg, and Martin Klepper (eds.). Approaches to American Cultural Studies. London/New York: Routledge.
  • 2016 - “Forensik - Fakt und Fiktion.”(Public Talk. Science Slam. Werk 2/Leipzig.)
  • 2018 - “'The Coolest Bird': Cultural Differences Between American and British Swifts.” (Conference Paper. 5th International Swift Seminars. Tel Aviv/Israel.)