Gesine Wegner

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Gesine Wegner
Doctoral Fellow (SFB 1285: “Invectivity: Constella­tions and Dynamics of Disparagement”)
Room Room GWZ 3 3.11 | Phone: 0351 463 43852
Office Hours: by appointment


I studied English and American Studies as well as History and German Literary Studies at TU Dresden. Before I received my M.A. in 2014, I also spent a year studying Gender Studies and English at the Ohio State University. I am currently working on my doctoral thesis, which investigates negotiations of disability and trauma in different genres of contemporary US-American comics. I have been working at the Chair of North American Literature of TU Dresden since 2014 and just recently, in Febraury 2020, joined the Collaborative Research Centre 1285 “Invectivity. Constella­tions and Dynamics of Disparagement” as a research associate.


Over the last six years, I have taught a number of different literary studies classes at TU Dresden, all of which were targeted at first and second-year students. Many of my students study to become teachers. This fact encouraged me to increasingly think about how American literary studies in general and my own research interests in particular can be made (even more) productive in the context of teacher training. 

I am very engaged in making my classes as accessible as possible and love to engage in new ways of practicing and thinking about post-secondary education. My teaching practices are deeply inspired by several British and North American disability classes that I was fortunate enough to take part in during my M.A. and PhD studies. I am very interested in collaborative models of teaching and, due to my interest in accessibility, also started to use different eLearning formats to further increase access for people that can’t particpate in more traditional, classroom-based courses.


Identifying first and foremost as a literary studies scholar, I am interested in a wide range of “texts”, from films and television series, to comics and solely text-based books. My research interests include, most prominently, disability studies/crip theory, gender and sexuality studies, multimodality in US-American literature, trauma studies, and young adult literature. Since my work engages in the study of different media and a diverse set of topics, I decided (at least for now) to focus my research on 20th and 21st-century US-American literature and culture. Overall, I hope to translate my research into practice as much as is possible, for instance by engaging in community-based acitivities inside and outside of the university. 

Next to my PhD project, which is entitled “Becoming Disabled: Multimodal Mediations of Disability and Trauma in 21st-Century American Literature”, I am currently also pursuing a smaller research project in the field of higher education studies/didactics.

In addition, I am also a member of the DFG-Research Network “Narrative Liminality and/in the Formation of American Modernities” based at Leipzig university.

Recent and Upcoming Publications

  • “’[L]ess than accessible and seriously disheartening’ Unfolding Transatlantic Eugenics in Disability Scholarship.” Special Issue of Amerikastudien/American Studies (2019), guest-edited by Simon Strick. [forthcoming].  
  • With Mirjam Frotscher. “The Handmaid’s Tale zwischen Feministischer Erzählung und ‘Torture Porn‘: Eine intersektionale Kritik.” Ed. Anja Besand. Springer. [forthcoming].
  • With Cedric Essi, Paula von Gleich, Stephen Koetzing and Samira Spatzek (Eds.): “White Supremacy in the US.” Special Issue of Current Objectives of American Studies. [forthcoming].
  • “Erzählungen vom „Behindert werden“: Literaturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Behinderung.” Conference Volume, edited by David Brehme, Petra Fuchs, Swantje Köbsell, Rebecca Maskos, Carla Wesselmann, and Michael Zander. Juventa, 2019. [forthcoming].
  • “Reflections on the Boom of Graphic Pathography: The Effects and Affects of Narrating Disability and Illness in Comics” Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, 2020, pp. 57-74. 
  • “Puller, Lewis Jr. Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam Vet.” Disability Experiences: Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Other Personal Narratives, edited by G. Thomas Couser and Susannah B. Mintz. Macmillan Reference USA/Gale, 2019: 249-253. Print and Ebook available at
  • “Relocating the Freak Show: Disability in the Medical Drama.” Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, vol. 67, no.1, 2019, pp. 19-36.

Recent Talks

  • Carol (2015): Patricia Highsmith auf der großen Leinwand” [in cooperation with Wieland Schwanebeck]. Kino im Kasten [university cinema], Dresden, 17 December 2019. 
  • Panelist in non-paper session “Toward Open Access for All: Theory, Methods, and Practice” [remotely via Skype] Annual meeting of American Studies Association. Hawai’i Convention Center, 8 November 2019.
  • “To Be Continued? - Serializing Traditions of Cripping up on American Television” 8th Annual Conference of ALTER – European Society for Disability Research. University of Cologne, 5 September 2019.
  • “Open Science, Open Access(ibility)? – Why Free Online Collaboration Might (Not) Be the Key to Challenging Disability Avoidance in Academia,” International Conference “Disability and Disciplines: The International Conference on Educational, Cultural, and Disability Studies”, Liverpool Hope University, 4 July 2019. 
  • “When Literary Classics Meet Pop Culture: (Re)Imagining the American Literary Canon through Comics” Workshop “Popular Culture(s) in the Classroom” Annual Meeting of the GAAS. University of Hamburg, 14 June 2019.
  • “E Pluribus Unum: Überlegungen zum Inklusionsbegriff aus Amerikanistischer Perspektive” Lecture Series “Inklusion: Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven”. 10 January 2019.

Full CV (on TU Dresden website)

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