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PD Dr. Simone Knewitz

Senior Lecturer (Akademische Oberrätin)

Institutional mailing address

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

Office phone & email

Phone: 0228-73-4964
Fax: 0228-73-9676

Office Hours

I am currently offering in-person as well as Zoom office hours. If you want to schedule an appointment, please contact me via email.




Just published:

The Politics of Private Property: Contested Claims to Ownership in U.S. Cultural Discourse. Lexington Books, 2021.

Research interests

Cultural Rhetoric and Aesthetics, Private Property, Populism, Television and Digital Culture, Economic Criticism, Literature and Consumption, Critical White Studies; Modernism/Modernity, Poetry and Poetics.

Current projects

  • The Poetics of Political Protest: Collective Agency in 21st Century Poetry and Protest Movements

  • The Politics of Whiteness and the Powers of Language: Social Positioning in the Contemporary Culture Wars

  • War of Memes: Populism, Protest Movements, and Digital Popular Culture

Education and grants

  • July 2018, Habilitation, Bonn University, venia legendi: Anglistik/Amerikanistik: Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft

  • Sep 2013 - June 2014, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, DAAD
  • June 2011, Fulbright American Studies Fellowship 2011-12, awarded by the German-American Fulbright Commission and the German Association for American Studies

  • 2010, Ph.D., American Studies, Bonn University, Dissertation: "'A poet is flesh and blood as well as brain': Amy Lowell, William Carlos Williams, and the Modernist Poetics of the Material Body"

  • 2006 - 2008 Dissertation Grant, State of North Rhine-Westphalia

  • July - Oct. 2007 Research Stay at Harvard University, funded by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the German Academic Exchange Service

  • May 2005 M.A. degree from Bonn University. M.A. Thesis: "Making Progress: Pragmatism and Utopia in the Works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and John Dewey"

  • 2002 - 2003 Studies at University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA, direct exchange program with Bonn University

  • 1999 - 2005 Studies at Bonn University. Major: North American Studies, Minors: Philosophy, Political Science


Professional experience

  • as of Oct 2018: Senior Lecturer (Akademische Oberrätin auf Zeit) at the North American Studies Program, Department of English, American and Celtic Studies, Bonn University
  • Oct. 2021 - March 2022: Interim Professor of American Studies as the University of Hamburg
  • Oct. 2020 - March 2021: Deputy Chair of American Studies at the University of Münster
  • Dec 2008 - Sep 2018 Lecturer (wiss. Mitarbeiterin) at the North American Studies Program, Department of English, American and Celtic Studies, Bonn University
  • Sep 2013 - June 2014 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Feb-Apr and Aug-Sep 2012 Fulbright American Studies Fellow at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

  • Fall 2008/09 and 2006/07, Spring 2006 Lecturer, Department of English, American and Celtic Studies, Bonn University

  • June - Sept. 2006 Lecturer (wiss. Mitarbeiterin) at the North American Studies Program, Department of English, American and Celtic Studies, Bonn University

  • 2005-2010 Lector for, German online magazine for IT and Consumer Electronics

  • Sept. 2002 - May 2003 Assistant, German Culture Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA


Monographs and Editions

  • The Politics of Private Property: Contested Claims to Ownership in U.S. Cultural Discourse. Lexington Books, 2021.
  • Knowledge Landscapes North America. Ed. Christian Kloeckner, Simone Knewitz, and Sabine Sielke. Heidelberg: Winter, 2016.
  • Modernist Authenticities: The Material Body and the Poetics of Amy Lowell and William Carlos Williams. Heidelberg: Winter, 2014.
  • Beyond 9/11: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Twenty-First Century U.S. American Culture. Ed. Christian Kloeckner, Simone Knewitz, and Sabine Sielke. Frankfurt: Lang, 2013.

  • Making Progress: Pragmatism and Utopia in the Works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and John Dewey. London: Turnshare, 2006.


  • “White Fragility and White Shame: Liberal Performances of Anti-Racism and the Politics of Vulnerability in the U.S.” Vulnerability: Real, Imagined, and Displayed Fragility in Language and Society. Hg v. Silvia Bonacchi, Carsten Junker, Ingo H. Warnke, Hanna Acke und Charlotta Seiler Brylla. V&R (forthcoming).
  • "‘Singing the Epiphanic Song’: Post-Language Lyric as Oppositional Practice in Juliana Spahr’s That Winter the Wolf Came.” Special Issue “Capitalist Crisis Poetry”, hg. v. Stefan Benz, Marcel Hartwig, und Hannah Schoch, Amerikastudien/American Studies (forthcoming).
  • “Modernist Materialities: Objects in Poetry.” Handbook of American Poetry. Ed. by Sabine Sielke. De Gruyter (forthcoming).
  • “The Politics of White Rage and the War of Memes: Authoritarian Populism and Far-Right Online Culture in the Trump Era.” Popkultur und Populismen: Interdisziplinäre und internationale Perspektiven. Ed. by Mario Anastasiadis and Charis Goer. Bielefeld: Transcript (forthcoming).
  • “Longing for Appalachia: Poverty, Whiteness, and the Aesthetics of Nostalgia in Hillbilly Elegy.” Special Issue “Depicting Destitution across Media”, Journal for Literary and Intermedial Crossings, vol. 7, no. 1, 2022, f1-26.
  • “Reimagining the Cold War: Capitalist Realism, Anticommunism, and Nostalgia in Twenty-First Century TV and Streaming Series.” Journal of Popular Television, vol. 10, no. 1, 2022, 79-94.
  • “Life on the Collar Line: Discontent, Nostalgia, and the Professional-Managerial Class in 1950s Fiction.” Fictions of Management: Efficiency and Control in American Literature and Culture. Hg. v. James Dorson and Jasper Verlinden. Heidelberg: Winter, 2019. 189-212.
  •  “Creating an Ownership Society? Social Security Reform and the Temporalities of Libertarian Rhetoric.” Finance and Society 4.1 (2018): 60-75.
  • “White Middle-Class Homelessness: Nostalgia from Babbitt to Mad Men.” Nostalgie/Nostalgia: Imaginierte Zeit-Räume in globalen Medienkulturen/Imagined Time-Spaces in Global Media Cultures. Hg. v. Sabine Sielke. Frankfurt: Lang, 2017. 85-104.
  • mit Sabine Sielke und Christian Kloeckner. “Knowledge Landscapes North America: Introduction.” Knowledge Landscapes North America. Hg. v. Christian Kloeckner, Simone Knewitz und Sabine Sielke. Heidelberg: Winter, 2016. 7-19.
  • "American Modernist Poetry: Wallace Stevens's 'High-Toned Old Christian Woman' and William Carlos Williams's 'The Red Wheelbarrow." A History of American Poetry: Contexts - Developments - Readings. Ed. Oliver Scheiding, Clemens Spahr, and René Dietrich. Trier, WVT, 2015.

  • "'The fading memory of those flowers': Metaphorical Lineages and Poetic Selves in William Carlos Williams’s Later Poetry." Recovery and Transgression: Memory in American Poetry. Ed. Kornelia Freitag. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, 2014.

  • "The Aesthetics and Economics of Television Series in the Age of Digital Media" Media Economies: A Reader. Ed. Marcel Hartwig and Gunter Süß. Trier: WVT, 2014. 27-42.

  • "'Try My Tivoli': Conspicuous Consumption in William Dean Howells's A Modern Instance." Literature and Consumption in Nineteenth-Century America. Ed. Nicole Maruo-Schröder and Christoph Ribbat. Heidelberg: Winter, 2014. 133-52.


Encyclopedia Article

  • "Jean Toomer." Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. [online publication; to be launched in 2015]
  • Alternative Right.“ Political Violence in America: Historical Flashpoints and Modern-Day Trends. Ed. by Lori Cox Han and Tomislav Han. ABC-CLIO (forthcoming 2021).



  • Rev. of American Bonds: How Credit Markets Shaped a Nation, by Sarah Quinn. H-Soz-Kult., 2021.
  • Rez. v. A Poetics of Global Solidarity: Modern American Poetry and Social Movements, von Clemens Spahr. Anglia 135.3 (2017): 608-11.

  • Rez. v. Future-Founding Poetry: Topographies of Beginnings from Whitman to the Twenty-First Century, von Sascha Pöhlmann. Amerikastudien/American Studies 62.2 (2017).
  • Rez. v. Unexpected Chords: Musico-Poetic Intermediality in Amy Lowell's Poetry and Poetics, von Regina Schober. Amerikastudien/American Studies 58.2 (2013): 316-18.
  • Rez. v. American Economies, hg. v. Eva Boesenberg, Martin Klepper und Reinhard Isensee. Anglia 131.2-3 (2013): 463-67.
  • Rez. v. Pursue the Illusion: Problems of Public Poetry in America, von Astrid Franke. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 64.2 (2011): 201-03.