Professor Dr. Silvia Schultermandl

Professorship of American Studies (Prof. Schultermandl)

Johannisstraße 12-20, Room ES 228
48143 Münster
T: +49 251 83-24296
Silvia.Schultermandl@uni-muenster.de

Consultation hours

Tuesdays, 14:00-15:30

Please register in advance via e-mail: silvia.schultermandl@wwu.de.

    • Call for Papers!

      SERIES TITLE: Palgrave Studies in Mediating Kinship, Representation, and Difference
      SERIES EDITORS: May Friedman, Associate Professor, Ryerson University (Canada); Silvia Schultermandl, Professor, University of Muenster (Germany)

      For more information, please look at our series page: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/15789

      This book series brings together analyses of familial and kin relationships with emerging and new technologies which allow for the creation, maintenance and expansion of family. We use the term “family” as a working truth with a wide range of meanings in an attempt to address the feelings of family belonging across all aspects of social location: ability, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, gender identity, body size, social class and beyond. This book series aims to explore phenomena located at the intersection of technologies including those which allow for family creation, migration, communication, reunion and the family as a site of difference. The individual volumes in this series will offer insightful analyses of these phenomena in media, social media, literature, popular culture and corporeal settings.

      Possible book topics include:

      • the use of technology and migration and family composition and disjunction; the ways that technologies may both push and pull kin together/apart;
      • the range of technology use across literal and figurative space including intersections of geography, race, age, poverty, gender and beyond;
      • the impact of technological absence: the ways that technologies may be taken for granted in particular environments (privileged nations; privileged subject positions) and may be denied or inaccessible in other spaces or places;
      • technologies of family creation and maintenance: the use of alternate reproductive technologies; the use of communication technologies to share information;
      • discussions of race and racialization in the context of kinship relationships and intersected with connections to technologies; hypervisibility of racism including police brutality; activist circles as forms of kinship;
      • queer family creation and representation through technology; making queer family visible through traditional, popular and social media; alternate family connections including non-normative parenting arrangements (more than two parents, multiple different shades of parenting); “new” family through donor sibling relationships;
      • technologies of class mobility, including the impact of smartphone technology on mediating/curtailing aspects of the digital divide; shifting family relationships through generational moves in class status;
      • fat family: the ways that narratives of obesity have had impacts on the creation and representation of family (for example: obese women who are denied reproductive technologies or access to international adoption); the ways these rhetorics have shifted differently in different jurisdictions; representation of fat family; intersection of fat and working class identities in popular culture;
      • trans families: both in terms of gender identity but also in terms of other families that “confound”— families that do not “match” one another, or that otherwise transgress normative models;
      • technologies of disability: the use of technology to enhance or bolster independence, the ways that disabled people are seen as incapable of parenting; on the other hand, the technologies which come into play around parenting children with disability, both prenatally and once children are born; representation of disability and family (fetishization and the perceived martyrdom of parents).


      Please send inquiries to: may.friedman@ryerson.ca AND silvia.schultermandl@uni-muenster.de

    • Information for Students

      IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS!

      In the interest of streamlining our correspondence and avoiding mis-communication, please take note of the following:

      * If you are interested in writing your BA or MA thesis with Prof. Dr. Schultermandl, please reach out beforehand to receive information on the process.

      * If you need a letter of recommendation, please include your CV, your letter of motivation, the full postal address of the agency to which you apply. Please reach out 4-6 weeks before your application deadline.

    • Research Interests

      • American fiction and life writing, from the 18th century to the present
      • Literary theory
      • Transnational American Studies
      • Family and kinship studies
      • Transnational Feminism
      • Social media
    • Current Projects

      • Transoceanic Kinship (special issue for Atlantic Studies: Global Currents, together with Dr. Katharina Fackler, Uni Bonn)

      In the context of the recent “oceanic turn” (DeLoughrey 2016), the world’s oceans have not only been (re-)valued as objects of study, but they have inspired a range of formative new theories and methodologies in literary and cultural studies. On the metaphorical level, the oceans’ watery ways provide models for “nonlinear or nonplanar thought” (Blum 2013: 152), placing notions of circulation, fluidity, mobility, and mingling at the center of attention. Thereby, they also beckon a (re-)consideration of “transoceanic connections” (Burnham 2016: 154) between different bodies of water, their cultures, and histories (e.g. DeLoughrey 2007). Increasingly venturing below the ocean’s surface, scholars immerse themselves in the sea’s material and nonhuman dimensions, inquiring into the realm of the biological, the geophysical, and the ecological (e.g. Steinberg 2013).

      This special issue sets forth from Hester Blum’s argument that we may “find capacious possibilities for new forms of relationality through attention to the sea’s properties, conditions, and shaping or eroding forces” (2013: 152), investigating its particular applicability to questions of kinship. More specifically, it uses the notion of kinship as a critical idiom and conceptual lens to examine the oceanic turn’s potential for rethinking forms of (human and nonhuman) belonging. In other words, it considers kinship a particularly salient concept through which to explore the new concepts and ideas coming from oceanic studies.

      • Palgrave Studies in Mediating Kinship, Representation, and Difference

      This book series brings together analyses of familial and kin relationships with emerging and new technologies which allow for the creation, maintenance and expansion of family. We use the term “family” as a working truth with a wide range of meanings in an attempt to address the feelings of family belonging across all aspects of social location: ability, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, gender identity, body size, social class and beyond. This book series aims to explore phenomena located at the intersection of technologies including those which allow for family creation, migration, communication, reunion and the family as a site of difference. The individual volumes in this series will offer insightful analyses of the representations of these phenomena in media, social media, literature, popular culture and corporeal settings.

      • Gender – Affect – Politics:  A Three-Part Radio Series

      In this series, the Intimate Readings Research Group discusses how narratives in different media establish a sense of identity and community through shared emotional experiences, how they mobilize publics and counterpublics, and how they create potential affective worlds that allow readers and audiences to question dominant ideas of gender and sexuality.

      The 3-part series “Gender, Affect, and Politics” is a feature for the monthly queerfeminist magazine “genderfrequenz” (Gender Frequency) at the Graz-based free radio station Radio Helsinki (92,6 MHz). You can stream the episodes on Sundays at 5 p.m. or listen to them later on the website of the Cultural Broadcasting Archive (CBA).

      Episode 1 | Feb. 21st, 2021 | Public Feelings and How to Study Them
      Episode 2 | March 21st, 2021 | Literature, Social Media, and Affective Worldmaking
      Episode 3 | April 18th, 2021 | “Feeling Bad? It Might Be Political!” – Interview with Ann Cvetkovich

      Streaming:
      https://helsinki.at/program/shows/gender-frequenz-sozialpolitisch-feministisch-unbeugsam
      https://fellowship-geschlechterforschung.uni-graz.at/en/symposia/gender-affect-and-politics-a-3-part-series-by-the-intimate-readings-research-group/

       

    • CV

      ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

      Since 2021 Professor and Chair of American Studies
      University of Münster
      2019–2021 Associate Professor of American Studies
      Department of American Studies, University of Graz
      2012–2018 Assistant Professor of American Studies, tenure track;
      Department of American Studies, University of Graz
      Fall 2014 Fulbright Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies
      Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts
      2007–2012 Assistant Professor, non-tenure-track;
      Department of American Studies, University of Graz
      2006–2007 Lecturer, English Department
      University of Tennessee, Knoxville