Stephanie Sommerfeld

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Stephanie Sommerfeld
Lehrkraft für besondere Aufgaben (Lecturer for American Studies)
Office Hours: via Zoom by appointment


While studying English, French, and German at Göttingen University to become a teacher, I spent an academic year at UC Santa Barbara. I started teaching North American literature and culture at the English Department in Göttingen once I had completed my First State Exam. In the following years, I worked as a wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin at both Göttingen and Oldenburg University. Following my parental leave, I resumed teaching at Göttingen University in 2016 and am happy to join the ASL team this semester to substitute for my highly esteemed colleague Sebastian Herrmann.


In the classes on US American literature, culture, and media which I am teaching, my focus is on encouraging critical thinking and making some of the webs of significance that US American culture is made of visible. Fostering media literacy and raising awareness of how cultural and aesthetic practices are embedded in systems of power are two of my main goals. Motivating students to reflect on the discourses and theoretical frameworks that shape their thinking has been another aim of my classes and the undergraduate and graduate conferences that I (co)organized. In my teaching, I have focused on topics such as antebellum culture, the African American Gothic, conceptions of nature and the wilderness, object agency, commodification and gender, the sentimental novel, trauma, cyborgs, transmediality, seriality, and detective fiction. While I keep returning to antebellum literature, I also enjoy working on early national, post/modernist and contemporary media and culture.


Some of my main research interests include the functions and politics of sublimity in US American literature, the cultural work of Edgar Allan Poe’s fiction, the intersections of race and gender, literary self-reflexivity, remediation, and posthumanism.

Selected Publications

“Katya Apekina, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish.” and “Tommy Orange, There There.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (Online Supplement). Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2020.

Rev. of The Portrayal of the Grotesque in Stoddard’s and Quantin’s Illustrated Editions of Edgar Allan Poe (1884): An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Relations between the Visual and the Verbal by Fernando González-Moreno and Margarita Rigal-Aragón. Revista de Estudios Norteamericano 22 (2018): 359-363.

“The Posthumanist Technological Sublime as Cultural Technique: Poe’s ‘The Man That Was Used Up.’” Cultural Technique and Literature. Ed. Susanne Bayerlipp, Ralf Haekel, and Johannes Schlegel. Spec. issue of Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik: A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture 66.2 (2018): 181-196.

“The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.” Handbook of the American Novel of the Nineteenth Century. Ed. Christine Gerhardt. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2018. 230-247.

“Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (Online Supplement). Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2018.

“Miranda July, The First Bad Man.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (Online Supplement). Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2017.

“Marilynne Robinson, Lila.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (Online Supplement). Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2015.

with Mark Bischoff, “Dramentext, Theatertext, Film: Kritisches Inszenieren, Media Literacy und Konkretisierungsprozesse in Inszenierungen von Susan Glaspells Trifles (1916).” Handbuch Dramendidaktik und Dramenpädagogik. Ed. Wolfgang Hallet und Carola Surkamp. Trier: WVT, 2015. 241-266.

“Mat Johnson, Pym.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (Online Supplement). Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2014.

“Jeffrey Yang, An Aquarium.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (Online Supplement). Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2014.

“From the Romantic to the Textual Sublime: Poesque Sublimities, Romantic Irony, and Deconstruction.” Deciphering Poe. Ed. Alexandra Urakova. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh UP, 2013. 75-85.

“Post-Kantian Sublimity and Mediacy in Poe’s Blackwood Tales.” Theory Mad Beyond Redemption. Ed. Sean Moreland, Devin Zane Shaw, and Jonathan Murphy. Spec. issue of The Edgar Allan Poe Review 13.2 (2012): 33-49.

“Nature Revisited: Postironic Sublimity in Dave Eggers.” The Sublime Today: Contemporary Readings in the Aesthetic. Ed. Gillian B. Pierce. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012. 67-101.

“Sherlock Bond, the Deerstalker and Remediation.” Film Remakes, Adaptations and Fan Productions: Remake/Remodel. Ed. Kathleen Loock and Constantine Verevis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 45-66.

“The Sublime’s Invasion of Ellisonland.” Edgar Allan Poe: Doscientos años después. Ed. Beatriz González-Moreno and Margarita Rigal-Aragón. Cuenca: Ediciones de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 2010. 141-154.