Prof. Dr. Josef Raab
to our colleague, advisor, and mentor Josef Raab, who sadly passed away on November 10, 2019 after a long and brave battle against terminal illness. Josef Raab was the chair of American Literary and Media Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He paved the way for the discipline of Inter-American Studies, significantly shaping its core debates. As a champion and supporter of the Ruhr Center for American Studies, he was also a pivotal figure for the establishment of our City Scripts research group. Josef Raab was a fighter of the good fight, never shy of supporting his students and of positively endorsing as well as tackling his colleagues. He never eschewed an argument he believed in. While he had to take a step back from in-person participation in recent months due to his illness, he was with us in thought and during our research. We lose a professor and mentor, who has accompanied and supported some of us since our bachelor’s degree, a colleague, who challenged us in academic discussions, and most of all a sincere and warm human soul.
All that is left for us to say now is, thank you and safe travels.
Josef Raab has been the Chair of American Literary and Media Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen since 2004. His main fields of research include U.S. Latina/o literature and culture, inter-American relations, ethnicity, American film and television. Individual authors on whom he has worked range from Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson to Elizabeth Bishop, Tony Kushner, August Wilson, Toni Morrison, Ana Castillo, José Antonio Villarreal and Luis J. Rodriguez.
After his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Catholic University of Eichstätt (with studies abroad in Birmingham, London, Bordeaux and Granada), Josef Raab lived in Los Angeles from 1986 to 1993. He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California in 1993 and completed his post-doctoral degree at Eichstätt in 2000 before accepting a professorship at the University of Bielefeld. From 2009 to 2018 he served as Founding President of the International Association of Inter-American Studies.
Josef Raab is the co-editor of two book series: Inter-American Studies | Estudios Interamericanos (WVT and Bilingual Press) and InterAmerican Research: Contact, Communication, Conflict (Routledge). In terms of urban studies, his main interest is in ethnicity and interculturalism, which are the focus of his essays “Latinos and Otherness: The Films of Gregory Nava,” “Contrary Approaches to Difference: Ethnicity and Identity Politics in the Americas,” “From Spic to Spice: Latinas and Latinos on U.S. Television,” “Barrio Spaces as Alter-Narratives: Luis J. Rodriguez’s Always Running and The Republic of East L.A.” and “Megacity Mazes: Tangles and Violence in Cidade de Deus, Amores perros, and Crash.”
For further information on his academic activities and publications click here.