Portrait showing Dr. Maria Sulimma in front of a book shelf and a computer screen.
Dr. Maria Sulimma


Dr. Maria Sulimma

University of Duisburg-Essen
Institut für Anglophone Studien
R12 S02 H05
Universitätsstr. 12
45141 Essen

Room R12 S02 H05
E-mail maria.sulimma@uni-due.de
Phone +49 201 183-3918

Office hours

No regular office hour scheduled. Contact me for an appointment if needed.

Biographical Information

Maria Sulimma completed her M.A. degree at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in 2012 with majors in English Philologie/North American Studies and Political Science. She received her doctorate in North American Studies from the Freie Universität in 2018 and is currently revising her PhD project "Serial Gender, Gendered Serialities: Practices of US-American Television Narratives in the 21st Century" for publication. Before joining the faculty of Duisburg-Essen, Maria Sulimma was the administrator (wissenschaftliche Koordinatorin) of the Popular Seriality Research Unit (DFG-FOR 1091: "Populäre Serialität: Ästhetik und Praxis") and a faculty member of the Department of Culture at the John F. Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies (Freie Universität Berlin). From December 2018 onward, she works as a Post Doc Researcher in the Kolleg "Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures: American Models, Transatlantic Interventions." Her current project carries the working title "Trivial Pursuits: The Practices and Politics of Prioritization in Postindustrial Urban Spaces. "

Alongside her work in academia, Maria has served as Equal Rights Representative (Gleichstellungsbeauftragte) and public educator with a thematic focus on Gender Roles, Gender and Media, Beauty Norms, Sexual Orientation, Critical Whiteness, Diversity, Intersectionality, Anti-Discrimination, Women's Suffrage, etc.

Research Interests

  • American Literature and Culture
  • Feminist Media Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Television Studies
  • Seriality and Popular Culture
  • Politics and/in Media
  • Urban Studies
  • Gentrification in Literature
  • The City in Literature of the 19th century
  • Science Fiction and Afrofuturism
  • Climate Fiction and Environmental Humanities



Gender and Seriality: Practices and Politics of Contemporary US Television. Edinburgh: University Press, 2021.

Die anderen Ministerpräsidenten – Geschlecht in der printmedialen Berichterstattung über Berufspolitik. Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2014. [Review by Simone Winkens: Portal für Politikwissenschaft: http://pw-portal.de/rezension/37821-die-anderen-ministerpraesidenten-44901 (2014)]


"Recursive Cities: Seriality and Literary Urban Studies." In: Companion of Literary Urban Studies. Ed. Lieven Ameel, Routledge (in preparation).

"Scripting Urbanity through Intertextuality in N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became: I’m Really Going to Have to Watch Some Better Movies about New York." (under review/in preparation).

"The Grit and the Grind: Literary Forms of the City and Coffee in the 19th Century. " Ed. Rieke Jordan. American Studies Journal (forthcoming).

"Wieviel Hitze verträgt ein Trinkwasserspender? Zur gegenderter Kanonbildung, Legitimität und einer kritischen Sphäre des Fernsehens.“ In: Realität in Serie: Realitätsbehauptungen und -effekte in Fernsehserien. Eds. Katja Kanzler, Stefan Schubert, and Sophie Spieler. Wiesbaden: Springer VS (forthcoming).

“Defined by Distance: The Roadtrip and Queer Love in Alice Isn’t Dead.” Ed. Julia Hoydis. Gender Forum 77 (2020), Special Issue: Feminism, Gender, and Podcast Studies: 69-89. (access at http://genderforum.org/)

"Why Feminist Storytelling/Storytelling Feminism Matters: Sorting through Cabinet with Clare Hemmings." In: Culture Squared. Eds. Frank Kelleter and Alexander Starre Santa Barbara, CA: Punctum Books (forthcoming).

"Surviving the City: Zombies, Run! and the Horrors of Urban Exercise." In: Playing the Field II: American Studies, Video Games, and Space. Ed. Dietmar Meinel. Berlin: De Gruyter (in preparation).

"The Plane, the City, the Chase: Killing Eve and European Aviation Culture." Dossier "Contemporary US Television and/in the Banal Anthropocene. " Eds. Diane Negra and Julia Leyda. Dossier "Contemporary US Television and/in the Banal Anthropocene." Screen 6.4 (forthcoming).

"’Sir, she can hear you’: The Mute White Woman as Cinematic Meditation on Gender, Communication, and Heterosexual Romance." In American Counter/Publics. Eds. Ulla Haselstein, Frank Kelleter, Alexander Starre and Birte Wege. Heidelberg: Winter, 2019, 325-341.

with Julia Havas. "Through the Gaps of my Fingers: Genre, Femininity, and Cringe Aesthetics in Dramedy Television." Television & New Media, June 2018, doi.org/10.1177/1527476418777838.

"Lena Dunham: Cringe Comedy and Body Politics." In Hysterical! Women in American Comedy. Eds. Linda Mizejewski and Victoria Sturtevant. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2017. 379-401.

"Simultaneous Seriality: On the Crossmedia Relationship of Television Narratives." In Serial Narratives. Ed. Dr. Kathleen Loock. Special Issue of Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (2014): 127-143.

with Bettina Soller. "'It's a great time to be a woman in politics!' - Serielle Verhandlungen von Politikerinnen als Protagonistinnen von US-Fernsehserien." Indes – Zeitschrift für Politik und Gesellschaft 4 (2014): 78-88.

"'Did you shoot the girl in the street?' – On the Digital Seriality of The Walking Dead." Digital Seriality. Special Issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture. Eludamos 8 (2014): 83-100. http://www.eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/issue/view/vol8no1/showToc

with Bettina Soller. "'I can't identify myself as a woman! People can't know that!' – Female Protagonists in Current Political Drama and Comedy". Theme Week "Representing Democracy." In Media Res, 04. Nov. 2014. http://mediacommons.org/imr/2014/10/27/i-cant-identify-myself-woman-people-cant-know-female-protagonists-current-political-drama

"The Fanboy next Door: Whedon and his Appeal to self-professed Geeks." Theme Week "Much Ado About Joss Whedon." In Media Res, 02 Oct. 2013 (re-published on 30. Dec. 2013 as Retrospective Staff Selection for 2013). http://mediacommons.org/imr/2013/09/23/fanboy-next-door-whedon-and-his-appeal-self-professed-geeks

"Ein Aufschrei ohne Konsequenzen? " Blog contribution for the Göttinger Institut für Demokratieforschung. Crosspost: Cicero Online – Magazine für politische Kultur. March 8, 2013. Published: Politische Kultur in der Krise. Jahrbuch des Göttinger Instituts für Demokratieforschung 2013. Eds. Alexander Hensel, Roland Hiemann, Daniela Kallnich, Robert Lorenz, Katharina Rahlf. ibidem: Stuttgart 2014. 275-277. http://www.demokratie-goettingen.de/blog/ein-aufschrei-ohne-konsequenzen


Schubert, Stefan. Narrative Instability: Destabilizing Identities, Realities, and Textualities in Contemporary Popular Culture. Heidelberg: Winter, 2019. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik (forthcoming).

Cenamor, Rubén, and Stefan Brandt, eds. Ecomasculinities: Negotiating Male Gender Identity in U.S. Fiction. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019. Anglia - Journal of English Philology 138.1 (2020): 207-211.

Kohlenberger, Judith. The New Formula For Cool: Science, Technology, and the Popular in The American Imagination. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2015. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 65.2 (2017): 231-234.

Lotz, Amanda. Cable Guys: Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century, Amanda Lotz. In: Serial Narratives/Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 47.1-2 (2014): 212-213.

Podcast Review Cable Guys: Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century, Amanda Lotz. Critical Studies in Media Communication Podcast Series, März 2015. Link: https://audioboom.com/boos/2944592-cable-guys-television-and-masculinities-in-the-21st-century

Conference Report "'Popular Seriality' – Internationale Konferenz der DFG Forschergruppe 'Ästhetik und Praxis populärer Serialität', 6.-8.6.2013." Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft Online (Aug. 2013): www.zfmedienwissenschaft.de/index.php?TID=93

Bach, Annika and Katharina Fritsche, Margreth Lünenborg. Migrantinnen in den Medien -Darstellungen in der Presse und ihre Rezeption. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011. Femina Politica – Zeitschrift für feministische Politikwissenschaft 2/2012 198-200.

In the Press

Interview by Anne Lenhardt. Die Rhein Pfalz Zeitung. Jan. 6, 2018.  "Lange von Weißen Männern geprägt: Mediathek-Interview mit Maria Sulimma."

Interview by Verena Fücker. PULS – Das junge Programm des Bayrischen Rundfunks. Apr. 15, 2017. "Spielwiese: Flashbacks auf der Couch: Warum Serien so besessen sind von der Vergangenheit." http://www.ardmediathek.de/radio/Spielwiese/Flashbacks-auf-der-Couch-Warum-Serien-s/PULS/Audio-Podcast?bcastId=5923772&documentId=42170394

Interview by Christian Forberg. Deutschlandfunk Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften. Mar. 6, 2014. "Schwerpunktthema: Frauen an der Macht." http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/schwerpunktthema-frauen-an-der macht.1148.de.html? dram%3Aarticle_id=279194

Interview by Dorothee Barsch. ER MAG – Geschichten über Männer (Konrad Adenauer Foundation). Nov. 7, 2013 "Besorgte Versorger – die neuen alten TV-Väter." http://ermag.de/

Conference Papers and Invited Talks

"Needs to Be More Explicit about the Methodologies…: Reluctance, Collaboration, and Vulnerability in Research Processes." To be presented at annual conference of the German American Studies Association/DGfA in Heidelberg, June 2021.

"The White Postfeminist Trivial of Lena Dunham(, Sylvia Plath, and Philip Roth)." Englisches Seminar, Leibniz University Hannover, Dec. 14, 2020

"Is that how Lovecraftian Horror Works Now?!: On Gentrification, Cultural Homogeneity, and Dichotomies of Consumerism in N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became." Presented at Symposium "Representing Urban Change: Gentrification and Displacement in Literature and other Media" at Uppsala University, Aug. 21, 2020. Available online: https://media.medfarm.uu.se/play/kanal/697/video/12920.

"Unmittelbare Stadt." Presented in the lecture series "Kernbegriffe für die Stadt der Zukunft" at the TU Braunschweig, July 7, 2020. Available online: https://www.uni-due.de/cityscripts/events

Talk and interview with actor Jasmin Tabatabai for "Focus Feminist Heritage: Bandits (1997)" at the Berlin Feminist Film Week, March 7, 2020.

"Of Trivial Things, Leisure, and Cities. " Presented at Symposium "Spending Time With/In the Nineteenth Century" at Goethe-University Frankfurt, Feb. 3, 2020.

"Killing Eve… and the Planet – One Flight at a Time: Popular Culture and Aviation." Presented in the lecture series "Popular Culture, Media, and Politics in the US" at the John F. Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Dec. 11, 2019.

"Seriality and Gender: The Politics and Practices of American Television. " Presented at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies, University of Heidelberg, Oct. 24, 2019.

"Barista, barista, (anti-)capitalista?: White Masculinity, Coffee Connoisseurship, and the Urban Café." Presented at conference “Metropolitan Masculinities: Narratives of Gender and Urban Space” at RUB Bochum, Nov. 29-39, 2019.

“Play by Paratext: Television Narration, Seriality, and Interactivity.” Presented at ISSN Narrative Conference in Pamplona, Spain, June 1, 2019.

“Surviving the City: Zombies, Run! and the Horrors of Urban Exercise.” Presented at conference “Playing the Field II: Video Games, American Studies, and Space” at Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI) and University of Duisburg-Essen, May 17, 2019.

“Simultaneity versus Seriality: The Conflicting Temporality and Locality of Television’s Urban Chase.” Presented at Symposium of the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS): “Simultaneity in the City,” University of Duisburg-Essen, Feb. 15, 2019.

"I am. I am. I am." – HBOs Girls zwischen distanzierten Blicken, Qualitätslabels, und geschlechtlicher Universalität." Invited Lecture, Deutschamerikanisches Institut Freiburg on Jan. 31, 2019.

"'You’d be the first to die.' – Death, Gender and Serialized Survivalism in The Walking Dead Franchise." Presented at "Console-ing Passions – International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism" at Bournemouth University, UK, July 15, 2018.

"Sir, she can hear you": The Mute Woman in Popular Culture." Presented at annual conference of the German American Studies Association/DGfA in Berlin, May 26, 2018.

"The Ur-Feminist Voice of a Generation?: Reading HBO's Girls and its 'Critical Sphere.'" Presented at "Reading American TV Series: An Interdisciplinary Conference" in Saarbrücken, Oct. 5, 2017.

"Ongoing: Gender and Seriality in Contemporary US-American Television Narratives," Institute of English and American Studies, TU Dresden, Apr. 10, 2017.

"No Place like Home?: The Apartment Shares of Contemporary Female TV Protagonists." Presented at annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies SCMS in Chicago, Mar. 23, 2017.

"Dead yourself?: Serialized Survival and Fanagement in The Walking Dead-Franchise," Seminar of English Studies, University Siegen, Nov. 29, 2016.

"More Cringe than Comedy?  The complicated Humor of HBO's Girls." Presented at annual conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies /AAAS "America Through the Small Screen: Television and Its Transformations" in Innsbruck, Austria, Nov. 12, 2016.

"Some of the Spoilers… will not be Spoilers": Crossmedia Franchises between Simultaneity, Adaptation, and Transmedia Storytelling." Presented in Workshop "New Media Writing," John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, June 15, 2016.

"Will this Gender ever be Televised? On the Challenges of Seriality and Gender Studies." Presented at conference "Seriality Seriality Seriality: The Many Lives of the Field That Isn't One" in Berlin, June 22-24, 2016.

"2015: Simultaneous Seriality and The Walking Dead." Presented at ISSN Narrative Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 16-18, 2016.

"Beyond the Double Bind? Professional Femininities and 'Uniform' Desires." Presented at annual conference of the German American Studies Association/DGfA in Osnabrück, May 21, 2016.

"Not That Kind of Girl: Television's Troubled Relationship with Academia and TV Criticism." Presented at biennial conference of the European American Studies Association /EAAS in Constanta, Romania, Apr. 23, 2016.

"Investigating Gender and Seriality in HBO's Girls: The Hauntings of Television's Critical Sphere," Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dec. 7, 2015.

'I don't WANT to kill any of you' - Gendered Discourses of Authority and Authorization," Project Narrative/Department of English, the Ohio State University, Nov. 23, 2015.

"'She is not your mother anymore': The Walking Dead and the Attraction of Serial Survival." Englisches Seminar, Leibniz Universität Hannover, July 24, 2015.

with Bettina Soller. "'You Know, Government Isn't Just a Boys' Club Anymore:' Female Protagonists in Contemporary US-American Political Drama and Comedy Series." Presented at "Console-ing Passions – International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism" in Dublin, Ireland, June 18-20, 2015.

"Quality TV? Die neuen amerikanischen Fernsehserien: The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad: Expertengespräch zum amerikanischen Fernsehen mit Frank Kelleter, Maria Sulimma und Felix Brinker," (Podium Discussion) John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, June 13, 2015.

"Negotiating Serial Flow: The Walking Dead as Transmedia Phenomenon." Presented at conference "Transmedia Storytelling and Its Reception: Economies and Politics of Participation" in Hanover, Feb. 26, 2015.

"'Everybody Makes it Until They Don't' - Serial Television and Zombies in The Walking Dead," invited lecture at German-American Institute, Tübingen, Dec. 11, 2014.

"Gender and Serial Television Narratives," Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Oct. 3, 2014.

"It happened in Salem, not surprisingly - On (Not) Trying Witches in Buffy the Vampire Slayer," University of Göttingen, Jan. 18, 2014; and University of Konstanz, Feb. 1, 2014.

"Doing Gender in Crossmedia Serial Narratives." Presented at the 11th Congress of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore in Tartu, Estonia, July 1, 2013.

with Uta Scheer. "Once Upon a Time... Neue Geschlechterbilder in Polit-Medien und TV-Serien – Wahrheit oder Märchen? " Lecture Series G-Reihe organized by the Equal Opportunity Commissioners of the Faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities (Gleichstellungsbüros der sozialwissenschaftlichen und philosophischen Fakultäten), Göttingen, Jan. 16, 2013.

Organized Conferences

Student symposium. "Postfeminism(s) and Popular Culture" in Berlin, July 6, 2018 (with Dr. Kathleen Loock).

Conference "Seriality, Seriality, Seriality: The Many Lives of a Field that isn't One." John F. Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies, Berlin, June 22-24, 2016 (with Frank Kelleter).

Grants and Research Honors

  • Rolf-Kentner-Dissertation Prize in American Studies 2019, awarded by the Heidelberg Center for American Studies
  • Scholarship Recipient, Fulbright American Studies Institute: "Love and Rage: The 1960s and Contemporary U.S. Culture and Politics," San Francisco State University, California, 2018.
  • Elsa-Neumann-Scholarship of the State of Berlin, 2017-2018.
  • DAAD-Travel grant, 2017.
  • Travel grant awarded by the Graduate School of Humanities (GSGG), Göttingen, 2013.

Courses Taught

Period Title
Summer 2020
  • "Americans in Europe: Urban Tourism and Travel in Literature," Bachelor Seminar at Department of Anglophone Studies, University Duisburg-Essen
Winter 2019
  • "The Contemporary Short Story in Science Fiction and Horror", Master Seminar at Department of Anglophone Studies, University Duisburg-Essen.
Summer 2018
  • "Postfeminism(s) in Popular Culture," Master Seminar with Kathleen Loock, at John F. Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies, Berlin.
Winter 2016/17
  • "Understanding North America," Lecture Series with Prof. Dr. Mary-Ann Snyder-Körber und Prof. Dr. Sebastian Jobs, at John F. Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies, Berlin.
  • Colloquium Literature/Culture (MA Level), at John F. Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies, Berlin.

Summer 2013

  • "Postmodernism, New Ethnic Literatures, Recent Developments," Bachelor Seminar (1st /2nd semester students), North American Studies, Göttingen.
  • "Introduction to American Cultural History I," North American Studies, Göttingen.

Winter 2012/13

  • "One Modernity, Many Modernisms: U.S. Literature from the Armory Show to the Second World War," Bachelor Seminar (1st /2nd semester students), North American Studies, Göttingen.
  • "One Modernity, Many Modernisms: U.S. Literature from the Armory Show to the Second World War," Bachelor Seminar (5th /6th semester students), North American Studies, Göttingen.

Summer 2012

  • "Realism, Naturalism, Early Modernism: U.S. Literature from the Civil War to the Armory Show," Bachelor Seminar (3rd /4th semester students), North American Studies, Göttingen.
  • "Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Television Studies, and Feminist Media Studies," Bachelor Seminar, North American Studies, Göttingen.