Welcome to the American Studies Program at the University of Duisburg-Essen!

Joining the American Studies Team in Summer 2021

Péter Kristóf Makai

Péter Kristóf Makai recently finished a Crafoord Postdoctoral Fellowship in Intermedial and Multimodal Studies at Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden, where he studied how evolutionary theory is being communicated across media borders. He earned a PhD in English Literature from the University of Szeged, Hungary, where he wrote a dissertation on how cognitive literary theory, clinical psychology, disability studies, and contemporary English and American middlebrow novels represent autism spectrum conditions and fictional mental functioning.

Péter is excited to join the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut to continue studying how theme parks are transmediated into digital and board games. As a KWI International Fellow, he will investigate how digital and cardboard media use the principles of theming and theme park design to deliver memorable experiences, how themes serve and inspire gameplay mechanisms, how theming is used to mediate narratives, and what different media modalities contribute to the process of meaning-making. Previously, his work on theme parks and games was featured in ApertúraTime and Temporality in Theme Parks (2017, Wehrhahn Verlag), and Transmediations: Communication across Media Borders (2020, Routledge).

His professional interests include fantasy and science fiction studies, evolutionary and cognitive literary theory, game studies, postmodern and contemporary literature. He is an avid hiker, cyclist, and wine aficionado (WSET Level 3).

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Phillip James Grider

Phillip Grider received his MA in American studies from the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2021. In his thesis, he uncovered how the 19th century Louisiana author George Washington Cable’s deployment of botanical imagery represents the synthesis of a distinctly American culture of hybrids and transplants in post-Purchase Louisiana. During his MA studies, he worked as a student assistant in the DFG research unit "Ambiguität und Unterscheidung: Historisch-Kulturelle Dynamiken."
Currently, he is preparing his PhD project, which will build on the research pursued in his MA thesis.

In the summer term 2021, Phillip is substituting for Wiebke Engel during her parental leave.

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Professors of American Studies

American Literary and Media Studies Prof. Dr. Florian Freitag

Office Manager
Ines Fricke-Groenewold
Office R12 S04 H14
Phone +49 201 183-3411
E-mail ines.fricke-groenewold [at] uni-due.de
Monday, Wednesday, and every second Friday 13.30-14.30, and on appointment

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American Studies at Duisburg-Essen is dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of North America,

its manifold and often conflicting cultural geographies, literary and cultural production, and multi-ethnic urban and rural societies. Major fields of inquiry include early modern, colonial, romantic, and contemporary literature and history, ethnicity, border cultures, interculturalism, hemispheric and transatlantic relations, urban spaces and places, religion, film, and television. We are particularly interested in the interconnections between U.S. American and Canadian, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures and literatures as well as in the imaginary and actual crossings of multiple borders in North America from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century.

Our program organized the 2010 inaugural conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies,

it is a member of the Ruhr Center of American Studies, the MERCUR research project "Spaces – Communities – Representations: Urban Transformations in the U.S.A." (2012-2015) and it participates in the university’s Main Research Areas "Urban Systems" and "Change in Contemporary Societies." In collaboration with our international partners we engage in interdisciplinary research and teaching on topics ranging from migration narratives, aesthetic approaches to the American city, the history of American music, the German presence in the United States, and cosmopolitan networks for the production, distribution, and reception of North American literature, film, art, and performance to cultural hybridity, politics of diversity, Native American cultures, U.S. Latinas/os, an inter-American culture industry, and a trans-border consumer culture.

All classes in UDE's American Studies Program are taught in English.

Using a variety of teaching methods (including electronic media and interactive platforms), about twenty instructors offer basic courses in literary analysis, American literary history, and American civilization geared toward students in their first three semesters as well as seminars and lectures on more specialized topics, allowing students to choose their own areas of specialization beginning with their fourth semester in any of our department's B.A. programs. Our master's program in American Studies includes courses on academic writing, literary and cultural theory, methodologies of American Studies, individual authors, interculturalism, media, and a variety of research topics.

How to find us


​​Lp Campus Essen
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Mailing Address

University of Duisburg-Essen
American Studies
Universitätsstr. 12
45141 Essen

News & Events

New DFG Network
"Voices & Agencies: America and the Atlantic, 1600-1865"

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Is English for Me?

Is English for me?​We would be very pleased to welcome every student to our department, yet we understand that studying English is not for everyone. Apart from taking a closer look at our website and catalog of courses, we devised a test that should help you answer the question: "Is studying English for me?" This test will not be graded and your answers will be anonymous. The test, however, will provide you with feedback about how well you would fit in one of our degree programs: the academic Bachelor in English or the teacher-training Bachelor in English.

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Office Hours

of  Instructors of the Department of Anglophone Studies.

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Prof. Dr. Josef Raab verstarb am 10. November 2019 nach langer schwerer Krankheit.

10. November 2019 Wir trauern um Prof. Dr. Josef Raab

Josef Raab war akademischer Wegbereiter und Wegbegleiter; er war Türöffner, Förderer, Ermunterer - ein Netzwerker, Initiator, kritisch-konstruktiver Dialogpartner und schließlich mit Leib und Seele Amerikanist. Als solcher sah er immer über den Tellerrand, profilierte national wie international das von ihm mitbegründete Feld, war neugierig und aufgeschlossen, begeistert und begeisternd in Forschung und Lehre. Aber Josef Raab war nicht nur das, sondern auch ein liebenswerter Mensch, in dessen Nähe man gerne war - weil er mit Geduld zuhörte, gemeinsam nachdachte, Witze machte und Witzen zuhörte, über sich selber lachen konnte. Herzlich, ganz herzlich, und herzhaft war Josef Raab zu und mit seinen Mitmenschen, denen er Respekt, Geduld und eine vernünftige Portion Widerstand entgegensetzte. Im Institut und im wissenschaftlichen Feld fehlt nun mit ihm ein Ruhepol und eine Waage – eine Person, die die Dinge irgendwie gelassener sieht als die meisten um sie herum; eine Person, die Ausgleich zu schaffen vermag.

Wir verlieren unseren einmaligen Denker, der verständnisvoll, empathisch, aber zugleich mit Leidenschaft und charmantem Nachdruck für die Dinge eintritt, die ihm am Herzen liegen.

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