- Border, refugee, and (forced) migration studies
- Post- and decolonial studies
- American studies
- Jewish studies
- Transnationalism, diaspora, citizenship
- Human rights and social movements
Jesper Reddig studied English, philosophy, and history, at Münster University, Concordia University Montreal, and Vienna University. Graduating with a thesis in intermedial American studies (“Filming The Scarlet Letter: From Nathanial Hawthorne to Wim Wenders”), he moved on to do his doctorate at Münster’s Graduate School “Practices of Literature.” His dissertation was titled “Performative Selves: The Americanization of Post-Soviet Jewish Women Writers,” and it explored migratory cultures as well as ethno-racial and gender negotiations in literature published by a recent generation of Soviet-born Jewish novelists living in the U.S. While working on this project, Jesper was awarded a scholarship by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and spent time as a Visiting Research Student at the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies (University of Michigan) and defended his thesis in 2014 (summa cum laude).
Next to his position at Münster University, where he has been teaching in the British, American, and Postcolonial Studies (BAPS) Program since 2016, Jesper devotes his time to intercultural community work and human rights activism. During and after high-school, he spent ten years volunteering in disability social work. More recently, he has entered a number of collaborations with local Arab and Persian communities. He has thus developed participatory middle-school structures in the Münsterland area, teaching German and foreign languages as well as practical philosophy in international and interfaith classrooms. In the same context, he co-directs an employment assistance project with young adults from Middle Eastern and African countries who study for vocational school. He also teaches German as a Second Language at AFAQ e.V. Münster, a migrant self-organization engaged in diversity projects with refugees. Jesper translates for Migration Control, a transnational network of anti-racist NGOs and research groups spanning countries from the EU as well as SWANA and Sub-Saharan regions, and he is an activist in a number of refugee rights initiatives, both Münster-based and nationally organized.
A lifelong student of the Socratic method, Jesper believes in dialogue as a prime mover of social change: a path to genuine knowledge formation, a bridge to traverse the ivory tower of theory toward the many realms of on-location praxis, and a potential key to cross-cultural exchange, ultimately geared to unlearn its own Eurocentric bias.
Reddig, Jesper (05/2022). “Acts of Citizenship, Jus Domicilii, Solidarity City: Recent Trends in German NoBorder Activism.” Communities of Engagement: 12th Biennial MESEA Conference. University of Central Lancashire (CYP).
Reddig, Jesper (02/2021). “A State of Exception? Refugee Encampment in the Time of Coronavirus.” Hotspots in Literary/Cultural Studies, Book Studies, and Linguistics: Lecture Series. Münster University.
Reddig, Jesper (01/2021). “Refugees and the Right to Have Rights: From the Borders of Europe through Contingent Belonging in Münster.” Hostile Terrains: Lecture Series. Münster University.
Numan, Hassan; Reddig, Jesper (01/2020). “Fortress Europe and the EU-German Border Regime: Global Interventions, Local Resistance.” Hotspots in Literary/Cultural Studies, Book Studies, and Linguistics: Lecture Series. Münster University.
Reddig, Jesper (03/2019). “Reclaiming Urban Citizenship: The German Solidarity Movement in Transnational Perspective.” Citizenship, Law and Literature: Villa Vigoni Talks for the German-Italian Cooperation in the Fields of Humanities and Social Sciences. Villa Vigoni, Loveno di Menaggio, Italy.
Reddig, Jesper (06/2018). “Domestic Sexual Violence in War: Sandra Uwiringiyimana’s Literary Self-Recreation in the Context of Gender, Race, and the UN Refugee Regime.” Ethnicity and Kinship: 11th Biennial MESEA Conference. University of Graz, Austria.
Reddig, Jesper (05/2017). “Post-Soviet Jewish American Fiction Writers and Their Engagement with Race.” American Colors across the Disciplinary Spectrum: 25th Biennial Conference of the Nordic Association for American Studies. University of Southern Denmark, Odense, DK.
Reddig, Jesper (07/2016). “Re-Framing the ‘Nation of Immigrants’ and the ‘Einwanderungsland’ in U.S.- and German-Based Post-Soviet Jewish Literature: Yelena Akhtiorskaya and Olga Grjasnowa.” Re-Framing American Jewish History and Thought: New Transnational Perspectives. Potsdam University.
Reddig, Jesper (10/2015). “The Jewish Origins of the American Self and the Case of (Post-Soviet) Jewish Migrant Fiction in the U.S. – and Beyond?” Transnational Perspectives on American Jewry. Potsdam University.
Reddig, Jesper (08/2015). “Into the Affiliative Post-Racial Future? The Problem of Adoption in Anya Ulinich’s Petropolis (2007).” Transnational and Transracial Adoption in North American Culture. University of Turku, Finland.
Reddig, Jesper (12/2014). “Re-Negotiating the Americanization of Tevye: Intertextuality and Meta-Fiction in Nadia Kalman’s The Cosmopolitans.” The New Wave of Russian-Jewish Cultural Production. Columbia University, New York City.
Reddig, Jesper (05/2014). “Eastern Europe Unbound? Tracing the Jewish American Debate over ‘the East’ in Post-Cold War Discourse.” Crossing Boundaries in a Post-Ethnic Era: 9th Biennial MESEA Conference. University of Saabrücken.
Reddig, Jesper (06/2012). “Multicultural Conservatives: Russian Jewish Women Writers Forge the Contemporary American Self.” 59th Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies. University of Mainz.
Reddig, Jesper (05/2011). “Race and the Politics of Representation: Reading Blackness in Petropolis.” 22nd Annual Conference of the American Literature Association. The Westin Copley Place, Boston, MA.
Reddig, Jesper (11/2010). “The Russian Jewish Female Voice Re-Visited: Shifting Homes in Petropolis, U.S.” Annual Conference of the Postgraduate Forum of the German Association for American Studies. Leipzig University.
Reddig, Jesper (10/2010). “Re-Visiting the Russian Jewish Female Voice: Finding Home in Petropolis, U.S.” Hotspots in Literary/Cultural Studies and Linguistics: Lecture Series. Münster University.
Reddig, Jesper (06/2010). “‘The Unbearable Whiteness of Being’: Negotiating Hybridity in Post-Soviet Jewish American Narrative.” Travel, Trade, and Ethnic Transformations: 7th Biennial MESEA Conference. University of Pécs, Hungary.
Reddig, Jesper (10/2009). “Extending the Transnational: Post-Soviet Jewish American Literature.” Hotspots in Literary/Cultural Studies and Linguistics: Lecture Series. Münster University.
- “Citizenship, Law and Literature”: Villa Vigoni Talks for the German-Italian Cooperation in the Fields of Humanities and Social Sciences (2019), Third-party funding: DFG
- “Literaturtheorie als Theorie der Gesellschaft”: Promotionskolleg WWU Münster (2012-2016), Third-party funding: Hans Böckler-Stiftung
- German Association for American Studies (GAAS)
- The Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas (MESEA)