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Luvena Kopp

Luvena Kopp, M.A.

kopp ©tim wolfResearch Associate & Doctoral Candidate
Department of North American Cultural Studies | Lemke

☎ +49 761 203-3347

R 4049 | KG IV


Luvena Kopp is a doctoral candidate at the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (University of Bonn). She was previously a research associate in North American Cultural Studies at the University of Freiburg, a research fellow at the Collaborative Research Center 923 "Threatened Orders" and an academic associate in American Studies at the University of Tübingen. Her research is situated at the intersection of cultural studies, film studies, African American studies, and sociology. She frequently serves as a public commentator on race relations and the black liberation movement in the U.S. Luvena Kopp has been a peer reviewer for k:ON – Kölner Online Journal für Lehrer*innenbildung. Her dissertation, tentatively titled Fight the (Symbolic) Power: Domination and Resistance in the Films of Spike Lee, explores mechanisms of power and possibilities for their subversion in the films of Spike Lee. 


  • Power Relations
  • Relational Sociology
  • State Violence/Social Inequality
  • (African) American Film
  • African American History, Literature, and Culture



Luvena Kopp holds a Magistra Artium degree in American Studies and Theater, Film, and Media Studies from Goethe University Frankfurt. She was a Fulbright Fellow at the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis (Africana Studies) and Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She also participated in the 2016 Fulbright American Studies Institute entitled "Why Black Lives Matter: Race and Politics in the U.S." at San Francisco State University.


  • Conference Grants | (Re)Reading Ralph Ellison: Symposium at Goethe University Frankfurt, 07.2017
    Proposals co-authored with Stephan Kuhl and Nicole Lindenberg
    Granted by: 
      • The Ralph and Fanny Ellison Charitable Trust,
      • Frankfurt Humanities Research Center (Forschungszentrum Historische Geisteswissenschaften),
      • Association of Friends and Supporters of Goethe University Frankfurt (Vereinigung von Freunden und Förderern der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt),
      • Dr. Bodo Sponholz-Stiftung für Wohlfahrt, Kunst und Wissen.
  • Fulbright Fellow at the American Studies Institute | The German American Fulbright Commission
    09. – 10.2016
  • Ph.D. Grant by The German American Fulbright Commission
    01. – 10.2012
  • Ph.D. Grant by The Konrad Adenauer Foundation
    10.2011 – 05.2014




  • With Mahmoud Arghavan, Nicole Hirschfelder, and Katharina Motyl. Who Can Speak and Who Is Heard/Hurt: Facing Problems of 'Race,' Racism and Ethnic Diversity in the Humanities in Germany. transcript, 2018.


  • "Towards a Black Prophetic Critique of Neoliberal State Violence: Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and the Death of Eric Garner." Violence from Slavery to #BlackLivesMatter: African American History and Representation, edited by Andrew Dix and Peter Templeton, Routledge, 2020, 175-192.
  • "Understanding Ferguson: Suburban Marginality and Racialized Penality in the Age of Neoliberalism." Power Relations in Black Lives: Reading African American Literature and Culture with Bourdieu and Elias, edited by Christa Buschendorf, transcript, 2018, 205-236.
  • "Der Fall Michael Brown: Polizeigewalt und kollektive Fantasie." Von Selma bis Ferguson: Rasse und Rassismus in den USA, edited by Michael Butter, Astrid Franke, and Horst Tonn, transcript, 2016, 261-286.
  • "Satirizing Satire: Symbolic Violence and Subversion in Spike Lee's Bamboozled." Post-Soul Satire: Black Identity after Civil Rights, edited by Derek C. Maus and James J. Donahue. U of Mississippi P, 2014, 214-227.


  • With Nicole Hirschfelder. "Black Lives Matter: Three Key Texts." Common Grounds? Transatlantic Perspectives on the State of American Democracy. Special Issue of Amerikastudien/American Studies, vol. 66, no.1, 2021, 307-312.



  • "Black Cinema and the Problem of Diversity"
    Speaker (invited by Prof. Dr. Carsten Junker)
    Diversity Chic? Popular Culture between Empowerment and Exploitation
    Workshop at Dresden University of Technology, 11.2021
  • "Afropessimism: Online Reading and Discussion with Frank Wilderson III"
    Panelist (invited by Dr. Cedric Essi)
    Law and Literature Series
    Lecture Series at the Collaborative Research Center 1385 "Law and Literature," University of Osnabrück, 11.2020
  • "On African American Humor"
    Guest Lecturer
     (invited by Dr. Magda Majewska)
    Cultural Theories of Humor and Comedy (Master seminar instructed by Dr. Magda Majewska)
    Goethe University Frankfurt, 06.2020 & 11.2021
  • "On the Politics of Spike Lee's Aesthetic"
    Conference Speaker (invited by Prof. Dr. Johannes Völz)
    The Return of the Aesthetic in American Studies
    Conference at Goethe University Frankfurt, 11.2018
    Post-Presentation Conversation with Christa Buschendorf
  • "Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing"
    Guest Lecturer (invited by Dr. des. Marlon Lieber)
    Christian Albrechts University Kiel, 06.2018
  • "Through the Lens of Spike Lee: The Case of Eric Garner and the Rise of the Penal State"
    Conference Speaker (invited by Dr. Nele Sawallisch)
    From Abolition to Black Lives Matter: Past and Present Forms of Transnational Black Resistance
    Conference at the Obama Institute, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 10.2017
  • "State Violence and Race Making in the Age of Neoliberalism"
    Speaker (invited by Prof. Dr. Mary Ann Snyder-Körber)
    Configurations of the Black Atlantic
    Interdisciplinary Symposium at the Free University Berlin, 02.2017
  • "Der Fall Michael Brown: Zur symbolischen Gewalt einer kollektiven Fantasie"
    Lecturer (invited by Prof. Dr. Michael Butter)
    Von Selma bis Ferguson: Die USA nach der Bürgerrechtsbewegung
    Studium Generale at the University of Tübingen, 01.2016
  • "Repression and Representation in U.S. Popular Culture"
    Guest Speaker (invited by Prof. Dr. Christa Buschendorf)
    Introduction to American Culture and Cultural Studies (Seminar instructed by Prof. Dr. Christa Buschendorf)
    Goethe University Frankfurt, 01.2013
  • "Notions of a 'Post-Racial' Society and the Viability and Usefulness of 'Post-Black' Forms of Expression"
    Panelist (invited by Prof. Derek Maus)
    Black History Leap Year
    Panel Discussion at SUNY Potsdam, 02.2012
  • "Introduction to Spike Lee's Bamboozled"
    Introductory Speaker (invited by Prof. Derek Maus)
    Black History Leap Year
    Film Screening at SUNY Potsdam, 02.2012



  • "Introduction: (Re)Reading Ralph Ellison in Contemporary Contexts"
    (Re)Reading Ralph Ellison: Symposium at Goethe University Frankfurt
    Goethe University Frankfurt, 07.2019
  • "Fighting Racialized State Violence in a Postindustrial Age: Spike Lee's 'Radio Raheem and the Gentle Giant'"
    32nd European Association for American Studies and 63rd British Association for American Studies Conference
    King's College London, University College London, Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, 04.2018
  • "On the Symbolic Production of Blackness in a 'Post-Black' Era"
    Biennal Conference of the European Association for American Studies
    Ovidius University Constanța, 04.2016
  • "The Imagination of Violence and the Violence of Imagination in Spike Lee's Inside Man"
    Violence and the American Imagination
    Loughborough University, 07.2015
  • "Permanence in Change: The Violence of Blackface Minstrelsy"
    Approaching Blackness. 13th Annual Students and Graduate Conference
    Humboldt University Berlin, 11.2014
  • "Satirizing Satire: Symbolic Violence and Subversion in Spike Lee's Bamboozled"
    "Who's Laughing Now": Humor as Resistance and Oppression in U.S. American Culture. 10th Annual Students and Graduate Conference
    Humboldt University Berlin, 11.2011



  • From Racial Polarization to Black Liberation
    Co-organized with Prof. Dr. Sieglinde 
    Online Symposium at the University of Freiburg, 02.2021
  • (Re)Reading Ralph Ellison
    Co-organized with Dr. Stephan Kuhl and Nicole 
    M.A. Symposium at Goethe University Frankfurt, 07.2019
  • "Representing Social Struggles: Riots and Racialized Violence in Visual Media"
    organized with Dr. des. Marlon Lieber and Dr. J. Jesse Ramírez
    Workshop at the 32nd European Association for American Studies and 63rd British Association for American Studies Conference at King's College London, University College London, Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, 04.2018
  • "Post-Black Aesthetics versus Black Lives Matter: Debating 'Race' in Contemporary American Society and Culture"
    Co-organized with Dr. Nicole Hirschfelder, Dr. Stephan Kuhl, Dr. Jiří Šalamoun, and Dr. des. Marlon Lieber
    Workshop at the Biennal Conference of the European Association for American Studies at Ovidius University Constanța, 04.2016



  • "US-Wahl 2020 – Die Nacht der Entscheidung"
    Panelist at ZDF Berlin, 11.2020
  • "Interview on the Current Anti-Racism Protests in the U.S. and Europe"
    Baden-Württemberg, Aktuell am Mittag mit Lena Sterr, 06.2020
  • "Das Erbe der Sklaverei – Wie rassistisch sind die USA?"
    Conversation with Dorothea 
    Hahn and Sebastian Jobs, moderated by Jürgen Heilig. SWR Forum, 08.2019
  • "Do the Right Thing"
    Introduction and Subsequent Discussion at Kino Rex Bern, 
    Switzerland, 12.2018
    Interview with Radio Bern
  • "Black Protest from the Civil Rights Movement to the Present"
    Black Protest Pop-Up 
    Exhibition. Panel Discussion at the Amerikahaus Munich, 07.2017
  • "#BlackLivesMatter: Warum schwarze Leben zählen"
    Lecture with Nicole Hirschfelder at the German American Center (DAZ) Stuttgart, 02.2017
  • "#BlackLivesMatter"
    Lecture with Nicole Hirschfelder at the German American Institute (DAI) Tübingen, 02.2017 
  • "Schwarze Sichtbarkeit im Zeitalter von Donald Trump"
    Storytelling Saloon, 
    Jugendkirche St. Peter, Frankfurt, 02.2017