Dr. Elena Furlanetto


Dr. Elena Furlanetto

University of Duisburg-Essen
Institut für Anglophone Studien
R12 V01 D02
Universitätsstr. 12
45141 Essen

Room R12 V01 D02
E-mail elena.furlanetto [at] uni-due.de
Phone +49 201 183-4126
Fax +49 201 183-4372

Office hours

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Biographical Information

Born and raised in Italy, Elena Furlanetto earned her doctorate in Transnational/Transatlantic American Studies from the Technical University of Dortmund in July 2015. She is the author of Towards Turkish American Literature: Narratives of Multiculturalism in Post-Imperial Turkey (2017).

Elena Furlanetto is writing her postdoc in the framework of the DFG Research Unit on “Ambiguität und Unterscheidung: Historisch-kulturelle Dynamiken,” based at the University of Duisburg-Essen. (https://www.uni-due.de/gesellschaftswissenschaften/profilschwerpunkt/ambiguitaetundunterscheidung.php). Her project centers on dynamics of ambiguation and disambiguation in the Americas up to the 19th century. She specifically looks at neophytes, renegades, and creoles as ambiguated figures. Elena Furlanetto is the coordinator of the DFG-funded research network "Voices and agencies: America and the Atlantic, 1600-1865".

Research Interests

  • Early American Studies
  • Postcolonial Literatures
  • Comparative Empire Studies
  • Turkish American Literature
  • Sufism in America
  • Greek mythology in American literature
  • Post 9/11 Literature and Cinema
  • Poetry



Elena Furlanetto and Dietmar Meinel, editors. A Poetics of Neurosis: Narratives of Normalcy and Disorder in Cultural and Literary Texts. Bielefeld: transcript, 2018.

Towards Turkish American Literature: Narratives of Multiculturalism in Post-Imperial Turkey. Interamericana: Interamerican Literary History and Culture. Peter Lang, 2017.

Articles and Book Chapters

“Very Familiar Things: Captivity and Female Fierceness in Stranger Things.” Captivity Narratives Then and Now: Gender, Race, and the Captive in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Literature and Culture, special issue of NANO New American Notes Online, vol. 14, 2019. https://nanocrit.com/issues/issue14/Very-Familiar-Things-Captivity-and-Female-Fierceness-in-Stranger-Things

“Mystic Poetry Across the Ocean: Reconciling the Selves of Persian Sufi Poetry and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.” Poem Unlimited, edited by Timo Müller and David Kerler. De Gruyter, 2019.

“Declensions: Conceptual Migrations across Empires.” Doing and Undoing Comparisons: ‘Practices of Comparison’ in the Americas from Colonial Times to the Present, special issue of Forum for Inter-american Research (FIAR), 2019. http://interamerica.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/furlanetto.pdf

Barbara Buchenau and Elena Furlanetto. “Nation and Empire in Northern Atlantic History.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History. 17 Oct. 2019. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199730414/obo-9780199730414-0316.xml  

“Disintegrated Selves: Dissociative Disorders and Colonial Anxiety in Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book.” A Poetics of Neurosis: Narratives of Normalcy and Disorder in Cultural and Literary Texts, edited by Elena Furlanetto and Dietmar Meinel. Transcript 2018, pp. 55-74.

Elena Furlanetto and Dietmar Meinel. “Kind Dragons and Skinny Vikings: Post-Heroism and the White Savior in How to Train your Dragon.” Imago: Film and Media Studies/Studi di Cinema e Media, edited by Christian Uva and Paul Wells, vol. 16, 2018, pp. 119-130. 

 “Walt Whitman’s ‘Sea Drift’ Cluster: The Encounter of Sufi and American Selves at Paumanok.” Harbors, Flows, and Migrations: The USA in/and the World, edited by Donatella Izzo, Cambridge Scholars, 2017, pp. 95-110.

“‘Resident Aliens’: Locating Turkish American Literature beyond ‘Hyphenated’ American Fiction.” Turkish American Literature, edited by Verena Laschinger, AmSt, vol. 61, no. 2, 2017, pp. 181-202. 

“No Country for Women Artists.” Twelve Ten, no. 2, January 2016, http://vonreuth.com/2016/01/12/twelve-ten-no-2/. Accessed 23 February 2016.

“‘As Rare as Rubies’: Did Salman Rushdie Invent Turkish American Literature?” Under Construction: Postcolonial Gateways and Walls. Cross/Cultures. Edited by Janet Wilson and Daria Tunca, Brill, 2016, pp. 21-40. 

“‘Imagine a Country where we Are All Equal’: Imperial Nostalgia and Ottoman Utopia in Contemporary Turkish Literature.” Post-Empire Imaginaries? Anglophone Literature, History, and the Demise of Empires. Cross/Cultures. Edited by Barbara Buchenau and Virginia Richter, with Marijke Denger, Brill, 2015, pp. 159-180.

“‘Safe Spaces of the Like-Minded’: The Search of a Hybrid Post-Ottoman Identity in Elif Shafak’s The Bastard of Istanbul.” Commonwealth Essays and Studies, vol. 36, no. 2, Spring 2014, pp. 19-31.

“The ‘Rumi Phenomenon’ between Orientalism and Cosmopolitanism: The Case of Elif Shafak’s The Forty Rules of Love.” European Journal of English Studies (EJES). Special Issue Myths of Europe, East of Venice, edited by Aidan O’Malley and Stephanos Stephanides, Taylor & Francis, 2013, pp. 201-213.

 “Voices from Anglophone Turkey: The Reasons for English in Contemporary Turkish literature.” Literature in an Intercultural Perspective, edited by Nives Zudič Antonič. Univerzitetna Založba Annales, 2010, pp. 109-128.


“The American Discourse on Sufism: On the Resilience of Mystical Islam in American Culture.” Sufism and Global IR, edited by Deepshikha Shahi. Rowman & Littlefield [Forthcoming].

Poetry & Creative Writing

“untitled,” “tango,” “tango 4,” Turning Pages, edited by Cecile Sandten and Mandy Beck, 2019,

“Wonders of the Invisible World,” White Wall Review, 3 May 2019.

“23102015.1,” “23102015.3,” “04122015,” “19022016 haunted house,” “06032016 berlin,” “12102013.” Twelve Ten 3 (April 2016). https://vonreuth.com/2016/04/12/twelve-ten-no-3/

“Happy Place.” Twelve Ten, no. 14, 12 January 2019. https://vonreuth.com/2019/01/12/twelve-ten-no-14/

[exiles], [house.19062017], [berlin.5.26122017], [berliners.26122017], [tempelhof.29112016]. Funky Little Journal, vol. 1, no. 1, (2018), pp. 50-53.

 “12102013,” “02032014,” “noble savage.” White Wall Review, no. 40, 2017.

Third place “Salvatore Quasimodo” International Poetry Prize. Rome, 2016.

“12102013,” “02032014,” “Noble Savage.” White Wall Review 40 (2016). Print.

“Il Difficile.” Parole in Fuga 9: Antologia di Poeti Italiani. Roma: Aletti, 2013. Print.

“Manhattan 2.” Parole in Fuga 8: Antologia di Poeti Italiani. Roma: Aletti, 2012. Print.

Selected Talks and Invited Lectures

Joint Annual Conference of GAPS and IACPL
“Postcolonial Oceans – Contradictions and Heterogeneities in the Epistemes of Salt Water” University of Bremen, 30 May-2 June, 2019
Paper Title: “Traveling with Renegadoes: Declensions of the Word ‘Renegade’ across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic”

Workshop “Transatlantic Conversations: New and Emerging Approaches to Early American Studies”
Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies and the Society of Early Americanists, Mainz (DE), October 4-6, 2018.
Paper Title: “Declensions of Creolness in Early America”

“Early American Transnationalism? Philip Freneau’s ‘Paracolonial Ambivalence’”
University of Regensburg (DE), November 23, 2017.

“Orientalism in Hollywood: The Aesthetics and Politics of American Cinema after 9/11”
Radboud University, Nijmegen (NL), November 16, 2016.

“Un Impero Oltre L’Impero: Il Passato Ottomano nella Letteratura”
(An Empire Beyond Empire: The Ottoman Past in Literature)
Carlo Bo University, Urbino (IT), March 29, 2017.

“Turkish American Culture: An Introduction”
Carlo Bo University, Urbino (IT), March 29-31, 2017.

MLA International Symposia: Translating the Humanities
“Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations”
Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf (Germany), 23—25 June, 2016.
Paper Title: “‘Why Does Every City Have to Be in the Rain?’ Stereotyping and Cultural (Mis)Communication in Woody Allen’s ‘European Trilogy’.”

“Neurosis & Social Transformations”
University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen (Germany), February 18—19, 2016.
Presentation Title: “Shared Shames, White Masks: A Fanonian Reading of Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book.

AISNA 23rd Biennial Conference
“Harbors: Flows and Migrations of Peoples, Cultures, and Ideas – The U.S.A. in/and the World” University of Naples “L’Orientale,” Naples (Italy), September 24—26, 2015.
Presentation Title: “Walt Whitman’s ‘Sea Drift’ Poems: The Encounter of Sufi and American Selves at Paumanok.”

“Poem Unlimited: New Perspectives on Poetry and Genre”
International Conference, Augsburg, October 1—3, 2015.
Presentation Title: “‘Wonderfully like the Orientals’: Borderless Selves in Sufi Poetry and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

“Introduction to Turkish American Studies Inaugural Workshop”
Boğaziçi University, Istanbul (Turkey), June 6—7, 2014.
Presentation Title: “An Implausible Juncture? Locating Turkish American Literature in an American Frame.”

MESEA 9th Biennial Conference
“Crossing Boundaries in a Post-Ethnic Era: Interdisciplinary Approaches and Negotiations.” Saarland University, Saarbrücken (Germany), May 29 –June 1, 2014.
Presentation Title: “An Intriguing Binomial: Dispelling Suspicion about Turkish American Literature.”

“Inside-Out: Negotiating Multiple Identities in a Globalized Postcolonial World.”
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, Paris, November 17, 2012.
Presentation Title: “Safe Spaces of the Like-Minded: The Search of a Hybrid Post-Ottoman Identity in Elif Shafak’s The Bastard of Istanbul.”

Organized Conferences

RUDESA Spring Academy
“Grounding American Transnational Studies in Euro-American Contexts”
Radboud University Nijmegen – University of Duisburg Essen
Nijmegen (NL) and Essen, 25–29 March 2019.

Young Researchers’ Workshop “Neurosis & Social Transformation”
University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, 18–19 February 2016.
In collaboration with the Main Research Area “Schwerpunkt Wandel von Gegenwartsgesellschaften.”

3rd GAPS Postgraduate Forum “Postcolonial Narrations”
“Empire and Neurosis”
Essen, 8—10 October 2015.

RUDESA Spring Academy
“Grounding American Transnational Studies in Euro-American Contexts”
Radboud University Nijmegen – University of Duisburg Essen
Nijmegen (NL) and Essen, 12–17 March 2018.

RUDESA Spring Academy
“Grounding American Transnational Studies in Euro-American Contexts”
Radboud University Nijmegen – University of Duisburg Essen
Nijmegen (NL) and Essen, 16–20 March 2015.

“Ruhr PhD Forum 2014”
Dortmund and Essen, 30–31 January 2014.

Courses Taught at the UDE

  • A Survey of American Literature
  • American Studies: Areas, Approaches, Methods
  • Greek Mythology and Postmodern America
  • Grundkurs Literaturwissenschaft (Introduction to Literary Studies)
  • Introduction to American Civilization
  • Survey of American Literature
  • The Personal is Political: Feminist Conversations
  • 'With Them was my Home': The Captivity Narrative in American Literature and Film
  • "Wonderfully like the Orientals": The Influence of Islamic Mysticism on American Romantic Literature
Internationales Logo der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft mit englischem Schriftzug "funded by".


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

"Voices & Agencies: America and the Atlantic, 1600-1865" is a UDE-based Network on early American literature, conceptualized by Elena Furlanetto (UDE) and Ilka Brasch (Leibniz University Hannover). The Network, funded by the DFG, brings together a group of European and American scholars for a series of five workshops and one final conference in the course of three years (2021-2024). The projects involved are anchored around a North American focus but include a larger Atlantic space, interlocking theories of Postcolonial and American/transatlantic Studies.

The five workshops and final conference engage with previously neglected authors, texts, and cultural phenomena, asking who is allowed to speak or be spoken to/of, hear or be heard, write or be written to/about, silence or remain silent, and what is not yet ready to be spoken. It aims to replace a static understanding of ‘in-dividual’ narrators with ‘dividual’ ones in order to reflect on forms of communal, multivocal, and marginal agency. The Network strives to formulate a "methodology of introspection" as a means to counteract the presentism and the violence that are often implicit in attempts to ‘give a voice’ to silenced actors of an archived past.

For more information on the Network's activities please contact elena.furlanetto@uni-due.de