Prof. Dr. Olaf Stieglitz

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Prof. Dr. Olaf Stieglitz
Professor for American Cultural History
Room 3505 | Phone: (0341) 97-37335
Office Hours: During the semester break consultations on Zoom can be arranged; please email to make an appointment
BA ThesisMA ThesisStEx Thesis


Two academic institutions triggered and shaped my interest in North American History: first the University of Cologne, where I studied and later on received my Habilitation in 2012; and second Hamburg University, where I conducted my Ph.D. studies. In 2005, I spent one year at Florida State University in Tallahassee, researching and teaching with a grant from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation. After my Habilitation, I enjoyed the priviledge to hold visiting professorships at the universities of Münster, Erfurt, Cologne, FU Berlin, and finally Leipzig. I am very much looking forward and excited to dedicate myself now to the American Studies Institute here at Leipzig University.


In my BA classes, I teach North American (mainly United States) History from colonial times to the early years of the 21st century with a strong emphasis on social and cultural history. Moreover, I underline the many and often changing transfers and entanglements between North America and other regions of the world. Another important aspect is Memory Studies, bringing historical topics closer to contemporary society and culture by asking how the past is still a core argument within American discourse.

Memory Studies play an important role in my MA classes as well. Here, other main interests revolve around the history of bodies; around power realtions structured along the lines of class, race, gender, and (dis)ability; around North American border regimes; and around visual culture (esp. film and photography)


For some years now, I pursue my interest in the history of bodies through the lens of sports. My current book project: Modernity in Motion – Visualizing Athletic Bodies, 1890s-1940s, is a visual history of how athletic bodies have been charged with notions of modernity, how bodies in motion became a crucial signifier in negotiating modernity in North America and beyond. Other research interests deal primarily with gender and Hollywood films, especially from the mid-1960s into the 1980s.


Publications (selection):

a) Books

(with Jürgen Jürgen Martschukat eds.): race&sex. Eine Geschichte der Neuzeit. 49 Schlüsseltexte aus vier Jahrhunderten neu gelesen. Berlin: Neofelis Verlag, 2016.

Undercover. Die Kultur der Denunziation in den USA. Frankfurt a.M./New York: Campus 2012.

What Can a Body Do? Praktiken und Figurationen des Körpers in den Kulturwissenschaften. Ed. Netzwerk Körper in den Kulturwissenschaften. Frankfurt a.M./New York: Campus 2012.

(with Jürgen Martschukat), Geschichte der Männlichkeiten. Frankfurt a.M./New York: Campus 2008 / 2nd edition 2018.

„100 Percent American Boys“: Disziplinierungsdiskurse und Ideologie im Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 1999.

b) recent articles and book chapters

Kulturgeschichte des Körpers, in: Kristina Brümmer, Alexandra Janetzko u. Thomas Alkemeyer (Hg.), Ansätze einer Kultursoziologie des Sports. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2021, S. 115-133.

Swimming the Crawl to Educate the Modern Body: Visual Material and the Expanding Market for Participatory Sports in the USA, 1890s–1930s, in: Christian Bonah u. Anja Laukötter (Hg.), Body, Capital, and Screens. Visual Media and the Healthy Self in the 20th Century. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020, S. 159-179.

“Mentally superior children are born of physically superior people”: Bernarr Macfadden’s Physical Culture World and the Influence of Eugenic Thought in American Fitness Culture, 1900s-1930s, in: Amerikastudien / American Studies 64:2, 2019, S. 241-264.

„I feel the same way now. Only more so.“ The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) und die diffuse Angst der weißen USA nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, in: Johannes Hürter u. Tobias Hof (Hg.), Verfilmte Trümmerlandschaften. Nachkriegserzählungen im internationalen Kino 1945–1949. Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Band 119. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2019, S. 114-128.

Bordered Lands. Die Visualisierung des Grenzgebiets zu Mexiko im US-Kino der 1910er Jahre, in: Delia González de Reufels, Winfried Pauleit u. Angela Rabing (Hg.), Grenzüberschreitendes Kino. Geoästhetik, Arbeitsmigration und transnationale Identitätsbildung. Berlin: Bertz + Fischer, 2019, S. 62-70.