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PD Dr. Birgit Spengler


Institutional mailing address

Institut für Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Keltologie
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Regina-Pacis-Weg 5
53113 Bonn





Office phone & email

Phone: 0228-73-1879
Fax: 0228-73-7948

Office hours

Room 2.019, Regina-Pacis-Weg 5

During the semester break:
Tue, August 15, from 14:00 (Genscherallee 3)
Tue, September 5, from 15:00 (Genscherallee 3)
Tue, September 26, from 12:00 (Regina-Pacis-Weg 5)

Please register by e-mail!


Current research projects

  • States of Exception, Bare Life, and Precarious Being in Contemporary Literature and Media
  • Regimes of Vision in Turn-of-the-Century Women's Photography of the American West

Research interests

American Literature and Culture from the 19th Century to the Present; American, Canadian, and British Women Writers; Gender Studies; Visual Culture; Intertextuality and Intermediality; Ethics and Aesthetics; Ethnicity; American West(s); Narratology


  • 2013: Habilitation, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main
  • 2006: Dr. phil, summa cum laude, American Studies, Goethe University
  • 2001: Erstes Staatsexamen English and German
  • 2000: Magistra Artium (American Studies, English Studies, German Literature)
  • 1993-2000: Studies of American Studies, English Studies, German at Goethe University and the University of Edinburgh

Professional experience

  • since winter semester 2016: Associate Professor, University of Bonn
  • winter semester 2015-summer semester 2016: Interim Professor of American Studies, Goethe University, Frankfurt
  • summer semester 2013-winter semester 2014: Interim Professor of American Studies, University of Göttingen
  • summer semester 2011-winter semester 2012: Scholarship, German Reesearch Foundation
  • winter semester 2001- summer semester 2015: Assistant/Associate Professor, Goethe University, Frankfurt




  • Literary Spinoffs: Rewriting the Classics – Re-Imagining the Community. Frankfurt a. M.: Campus, 2015.
  • Vision, Gender, and Power in Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing, 1860-1900. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008.

Edited volumes:

  • Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing. Spec. issue of Amerikastudien 54.1 (2009).


  • "Women Photographers in Montana at the Turn of the Century." Montana: The Magazine of Western History. In preparation.
  • "The Body-That-Is-Not-One: Exception and Belonging on the U.S.-Mexican Border in The Bridge." Arizona Quarterly 72.4 (2016). In print.
  • "States of Exception: Liminality and Community in Arab American Women's Poetry After 9/11." American Women Writers and Liminality. Ed. Miranda Green-Barteet und Kristin J. Jacobson. In print.
  • "Elizabeth Stoddard's The Morgesons." The Nineteenth-Century American Novel. Ed. Christine Gerhardt. Berlin: De Gruyter. Handbooks of English and American Studies: Text and Theory (Series editors: Martin Middeke, Gabriele Rippl, and Hubert Zapf). In print.
  • "A Tale Told Thrice: Hawthorne, Doctorow, and the Intertextual Imagination." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 41.2 (2015): 48-82.
  • "Art as Engagement: Violence, Trauma, and the Role of the Reader in Edwidge Danticat's The Dew Breaker." Special Issue: The Body. Contemporary Women's Writing 8.2 (2014): 189-205.
  • "American Jane Eyres: Transatlantic Dialogues in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing." Transatlantic Women: Essays on 19th-Century American Women Writers in Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe. Ed. Beth L. Lueck, Brigitte Bailey, and Lucinda Damon-Bach. Durham: University of New Hampshire Press, 2012. 417-53.
  • "Geiselnahme, Schwarzfahren oder einfach nur Trampen? Literary Spinoffs, Originalität und geistiges Eigentum." Plagiate: Beiträge zur Rechts-, Gesellschafts- und Kulturkritik. Vol. 10. Ed. Malte Gruber, et al. Berlin: trafo Wissenschaftsverlag, 2011. 139-56.
  • "Introduction." Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing. Spec. issue of Amerikastudien 54.1 (2009): 5-11.
  • "Visual Negotiations and Medical Discourses in Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing." Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing. Spec. issue of Amerikastudien 54.1 (2009): 35-58.
  • "Gendered Vision(s) in the Short Fiction of Harriet Prescott Spofford." Legacy 21.1 (2004): 68-73.
  • "Michael Cunningham Rewriting Virginia Woolf: Pragmatist vs. Modernist Aesthetics." Woolf Studies Annual 10 (2004): 53-81.