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Professor Lemke | Publications



  • Inequality, Poverty, and Precarity in Contemporary American Culture. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2016.
  • The Vernacular Matters of American Literature. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.
  • Primitivist Modernism: Black Culture and the Origins of Transatlantic Modernism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Cultural Studies Bibliography. John F. Kennedy Institute Working Papers. Berlin: Zentrale Universitätsdruckerei, 1996.


  • Class Divisions in Serial Television. Co-edited with Wibke Schniedermann. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2016.
  • Literary and Cultural Studies, Theory and the (New) Media. Co-edited with Monika Fludernik, Frankfurt: Schriftenreihe Peter Lang, 2015.
  • Aesthetic Transgressions: Modernity, Liberalism, and the Function of Literature: Festschrift für Winfried Fluck zum 60. Geburtstag. Co-edited with Thomas Claviez and Ulla Haselstein. Heidelberg: Winter, 2006.
  • Zora Neale Hurston. The Complete Stories. Co-edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: Harper Collins, 1995.


  • "Precarious Photojournalism: The Ethics and Aesthetics of the Unrepresentable." The Routledge Companion to Media and Poverty. Ed. Sandra Borden. London: Routledge, 2021. 43-53.
  • "A Transdisciplinary Cultural Studies' Approach to Inequality: What Can We Learn from Precarity Studies and Why Does Art Matter?" Equality: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Eds. François Levrau & Noel Clycq. New York: Palgrave, 2021. 321-46.
  • "Precarious Art and the Aesthetics of the Precarious Gaze." FRAME 30.2, 2017. 61-80.
  • "American Exceptionalism in the Age of Inequality." Towards a Post-Exceptionalist American Studies. Eds. Winfried Fluck and Donald Pease. Tübingen: Günter Narr, 2014. 359-73.
  • "Working Poverty in the U.S.: Barbara Ehrenreich's Bestseller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and its Countercultural Legacy." LISAA. Special issue on poverty: Representations of Poverty. Ed. William Dow. Paris: Minard, 2013. 22-34.
  • "Poverty and Class Studies." American Studies Today: New Research Agendas. Eds. Winfried Fluck, Erik Redling, Sabine Sielke and Hubert Zapf. Heidelberg: Winter, 2013. 71- 99.
  • "Liberty: A Transnational Icon." Re-Framing the Transnational Turn in American Studies. Eds. Winfried Fluck, Donald Pease and John Carlos Rowe. Hanover/New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Press, 2011. 193-218.
  • "Der Amerikanische Traum und die Lebensrealität der Amerikaner." Freiburger Universitätsblätter 139 (2011): 139-51.
  • "Facing Poverty: Towards a Theory of Articulation." Regarding the Poverty of Others, or: Beyond the Culturalization of Class. Eds. Michael Butter and Carsten Schinko. Spec. issue of Amerikastudien/American Studies 55.2 (2010): 95-122.
  • (with Felicitas Hentschke) "Tabuisierte Sexualität im Que(e)rschnitt der Filmgeschichte Hollywoods." Tabu. Eds. Claudia Benthien, Ortrud Gutjahr. München: Wilhelm Fink, 2008. 219-45.
  • "Du Bois: Of the Coming of John." The Oxford Companion to The Souls of Black Folk. Ed. Shamoon Zamir. Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • "Diaspora Aesthetics: Exploring the African Dispora in the Works of Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence and Jean Michel Basquiat." Exiles, Diasporas, and Strangers. Ed. Kobena Mercer. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007. 122-45.
  • "Aesthetics of Transgression: Awe, Alterity, and Apprehension in The Scarlet Letter." Aesthetic Transgressions: Modernity, Liberalism, and the Function of Literature: Festschrift für Winfried Fluck zum 60. Geburtstag. Eds. Thomas Claviez, Ulla Haselstein and Sieglinde Lemke. Heidelberg: Winter, 2006. 163-94.
  • "Vernacular Aesthetics." Cultural Interactions: 50 Years of American Studies in Germany. Eds. Berndt Ostendorf and Ulla Haselstein. Heidelberg: Winter, 2005. 139-59.
  • "Theories of American Culture in the Name of the Vernacular." Theories of American Culture: Theories of American Studies. Eds. Winfried Fluck and Thomas Claviez. Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 19. Tübingen: Narr, 2003. 155-74.
  • "Primitivist Modernism." Primitivism and 20th Century Art: A Documentary History. Eds. Jack Flam and Miriam Deutsch. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. 240-55.
  • “Response to Todd Gitlin and Susan Armitage.” Transnational America: The Fading of Borders in the Western Hemisphere. Ed. Berndt Ostendorf. Heidelberg: Winter, 2002. 231-37.
  •  “Transatlantic Relations: The German Du Bois.” German? American? Literature? New Directions in German – American Studies. Eds. Winfried Fluck and Werner Sollors. New York: Peter Lang, 2002. 207-16.
  •  “Trans-Culturalism.” Double-Crossings: Entrecruzamientos. Ed. Carlos Von Son. San  Diego: Ediciones Nuevo Espacio, 2001. 22-37.
  •  “Hybridity the Subtext of Modernism.” Crossover: Cultural Hybridity and Ethnicity, Gender, Ethics. Ed. Therese Steffen. Tübingen: Stauffenburg, 2000. 49-60.
  •  “Berlin and Boundaries: Sollen vs. Geschehen.” Boundary 2 27.3 (2000): 45-78.
  •  “Hamlin Garland.” Metzler Lexikon amerikanischer Autoren. Eds. Bernd Engler and Kurt Müller. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2000.
  •  “Joel Chandler Harris.” Metzler Lexikon amerikanischer Autoren. Eds. Bernd Engler and Kurt Müller. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2000.
  •  “James Weldon Johnson.” Metzler Lexikon amerikanischer Autoren. Eds. Bernd Engler and Kurt Müller. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2000.
  •  “Nella Larsen.” Metzler Lexikon amerikanischer Autoren. Eds. Bernd Engler and Kurt Müller. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2000.
  •  “Mapping the Harlem Renaissance.” Mapping African America: History, Narrative Formation and the Production of Knowledge. Eds. Maria Diedrich, Carl Pedersen and Justine Tally. FORECAAST 1. Hamburg: LIT, 1999. 119-28.
  •  “A Forgotten Legacy.” Lifting as They Climb: The History of the National Association of Colored Women. Eds. Elizabeth Lindsay Davis. Schomburg Library Series. New York: MacMillan, 1996. XV-XXXIII.
  •  “Blurring Generic Boundaries: Zora Neale Hurston: A Writer of Fiction and Anthropologist.” The Anthropological Turn in Literary Studies. Ed. Jürgen Schläger. Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 12. Tübingen: Narr, 1996. 163-78.
  •  “Josephine Baker.” Dictionary of American Negro Biography. Eds. Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston. New York: W.W. Norton, 1995. 233-4.
  •  “White on White Act 2.” Transition 64 (1994): 110-12.
  •  “White on White: When the West Represents the Rest, Who Comes off Worse?” Transition 59 (1993): 145-54.
  •  “Im Zeichen des FORDschritts”. Amerikastudien 38.38 (1993): 251-63.
  •  “Schwarze (Über-)Lebenskunst”. Perspectives on Multiculturalism in North America. Ed. Carol W. Pfaff. Materialien 33. Berlin: John F. Kennedy Press, 1992. 121-38.


  • Rev. of The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960 by Lawrence Jackson. “African American Literary Studies: New Texts, New Approaches, New Challenges”, Amerikastudien/American Studies 55.4 (2010).
  • Rev. of Einführung in die Amerikanistik / American Studies by Udo Hebel. “How to Introduce American Studies?”, Anglia 128.2 (2010).
  • Rev. of Gender–Voice–Vernacular: The Formation of Female Subjectivity in Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. ZAA XLIX 2.2 (2001): 197-8.

Newspaper Articles




  • "Economic Inequality and the Rising Death Toll as Decisive Factors"
    Freiburg University / Carl-Schurz-Haus | October


  • "Sex and Gender in the Age of Posthumanism"
    Gießen University | November
  • "Die Inszenierung von Kampfsportler*innen im Film"
    Freiburg University | October
  • "Armut betrachten: Eine kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektive"
    University of Erlangen–Nürnberg | May
  • “When Hollywood Sensationalizes Underdogs: Precarity and Precariousness in Slumdog Millionaire and The Hunger Games"
    University of Delhi, India | February
  • “Workshop: Global Poverty“
    Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, India | February
  • “Precarity Studies: An Interdisciplinary Research Field“
    Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, India | February


  • “Cultural Precarity Studies: The Making of a Transdisciplinary Field”
    University of Kerala, India | December
  • “Representing Refugees: A Response to Lewis Turner on the Image of the Entrepreneur and the Neoliberal Logic“
    Anton-Bergsträsser Institute, Freiburg | November
  • “Critical Media Literacy: Analyzing American Beauty“
    Gießen University | October
  • “Precarious Escapes: Hillbilly Elegy and Unorthodox"
    Conference Hamburg University | June
  • “On the Economy of Expenditure and Anecdotal Pleasure”
    Conference FU Berlin | February
  • “Precarious Representations vs. Representations of Precarity: On Hunger Games, Moonlight, and Hillbilly Elegy"
    Freiburg University | January


  • “American Art from 1930-1960"
    Paul Klee Exhibition, Bern | December
  • “Precarity Studies and Aesthetics: From Transdisciplinary Diversity Towards a Pentagonal Critical Framework“
    Conference GAPS, Univ. Bonn | May
  • "Class Matters in the Age of Trump"
    New York | March
  • "The Expansion of Boundary Conditions in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God"
    Philadelphia MLA, January


  • “Postfeminism and Hollywood”
    Freiburg, Gender Studies Lecture Series | December
  • “A Threesome: Anthropology, Poetry, and Prose”
    Conference Basel University | November
  • “Nachhaltigkeit: Brennpunkt USA”
    Freiburg | June


  • “The Great Inequality Debate. Wie Ungleichheit in der zeitgenössischen amerikanischen Literatur verhandelt wird”
    Freiburg | October
  • “Inequality in America: A Discourse Analysis”
    Freiburg | June


  • “Poverty and Inequality in America”
    US Studies Center, Sydney | February


  • “The Financial Crisis of 08 and Narratives of Working Poverty”
    Gießen | July
  • “Desire – Bliss – Loss: Lust und Verlust im amerikanischen Imaginären”
    Lausanne-Vallorbe, Switzerland | June
  • “Not so Invisible: Footprints of Globalization in the Rural South”
    Erlangen | May
  • “Zora Neale Hurston's Anthropological Writings: Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction”
    Bern, Switzerland | May
  • “Economies of Misfortune: Visual Impressions from the Deep South”
    Carl-Schurz-Haus Freiburg | April
  • “How America Discovered Working Poverty and Learned to Live with it”
    Georgetown, Washington D.C., USA | March
  • “U.S. Poverty Studies: A European Perspective"
    Rice University Houston, USA | March


  • “Literatur, Visuelle Kultur und Sozialgeschichte”
    University of Freiburg | December
  • “Introduction to Obama, Suffrage, and Disenfranchisement”
    Electoral Cultures Conference, Amerika-Haus München | November
  • “Narratives of Inequality from Grapes of Wrath to The Pursuit of Happyness
    International Conference Too Big to Ignore: Narratives of Inequality
    University of Freiburg | July
  • “The Romantic Tradition Meets Realism in 19th Century American Fiction”
    University of Salamanca, Spain | April
  • “Dream On: American Exceptionalism Reconsidered”
    University of Salamanca, Spain | April
  • “Facebook: Superpower, Stasibook, Cash Cow: On Performative Individualism and the Surplus Value of Friends”
    University of Freiburg | February


  • “Going to War. Trials and Tribulations in the Bush Era”
    University of Freiburg | December
  • “Icon Trouble: The Continuous Refashioning of Miss Liberty”
    Carl-Schurz-Haus Freiburg | November
  • “The Future of Class and Poverty Studies”
    FU Berlin | November
  • “Empathie, Imagination, Ästhetik”
    Semiotikkongress, University of Potsdam | October
  • “Down and Out in Ontario”
    University of Freiburg | July
  • “Tom Stone, Photography, and the Art of the New Documentary”
    University of Freiburg (FRIAS) | July
  • “Racism Made in America”
    Wort, Macht, Stamm: Rassismus und Determinismus in der Philologie des 19. Jahrhunderts
    University of Potsdam | May


  • “Bestsellers on America’s Working Poor: Documenting the Microcosm of Want”
    University of Freiburg (FRIAS) | December
  • “Vom Mythos des ‘American Dream’ und der Lebensrealität der Amerikaner”
    University of Freiburg | November
  • “Amerika und Trauma im 21. Jahrhundert”
    University of Hamburg | July
  • “Black ART-lantic”
    University of Erfurt | July
  • “The Culture of the Dispossessed: America in the Age of Obama”
    Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan | April
  • “Gang Tours, Obamaville, Skid Row: On the Paradox of Poverty Portraiture”
    Harvard University | March


  • “Representing the Nation: Poetry and the Struggle over Signification”
    Vienna University | October
  • “I Spy: It's Internationally Renowned, Female & All-American”
    University of Hamburg | May


  • “Lady Liberty: A Transnational Icon par excellence”
    FU Berlin | October
  • “Poverty and Transnational Perspectives in American Studies”
    University of Freiburg | December
  • “’Give me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses, Yearning to Breathe Free’: Towards a Transnational Visual Poetics”
    FU Berlin | October
  • “When Butler meets Barbie: Queering the All-American Icon of the Cheerleader”
    University of Freiburg: Geschlechterstudien (Vorlesungsreihe) | May
  • “Von amerikanischen Träumen und amerikanischen Räumen”
    Inaugural Lecture, University of Freiburg | February
  • “New Historicism Reconsidered”
    University of Freiburg: Literaturtheorie (Vorlesungsreihe) | January


  • “How Lohengrin Made it into The Souls of Black Folk
    International Conference African Americans in Berlin: The Story of an Intellectual Encounter
    J.F.K. Institute FU Berlin, November
  • “Diaspora Aesthetics”
    International Conference Narratives About American Art
    J.F.K. Institute FU Berlin | May
  • “African-American Migration”
    Carl-Schurz Haus Feiburg | January
  • “Some Don’t Like it Hot: Ein Que(e)rschnitt durch Hollywoods Filmgeschichte”
    University of Hamburg | January


  • “The Cryptic Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat”
    UCSB, Santa Barbara | October
  • “Pictures in a Floating World: Globalism in American Art”
    USC, Los Angeles | October
  • “Diasporic (Post-) Modernism: Aaron Douglas’s and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Grand Spectacles of the African Diaspora”
    INIVA Institute London | July
  • “The German DuBois”
    Cross-Overs Conference, CAAR, Münster | March


  • “Life, Diagnostics and Ways of Seeing in The Portrait of a Lady
    University of Hamburg | December
  • “A Poetics of Space”
    Workshop der ASA, Washington | November
  • “Area Studies in the USA”
    Konferenz des Wissenschaftskollegs zu Berlin: Die Zukunft der Regionalforschung
    Berlin | July
  • “Europeans at the Gate: On Transnational American Studies”
    University of Potsdam | July
  • “Alterity, Altruism, and Androgyny in The Scarlet Letter”
    University of Freiburg | June
  • “Ethnic Neorealism: New Trends in American Literature"
    University of Bielefeld | May
  • “The Sound of Post-Apartheid South African Fiction”
    DGfA, Frankfurt | May
  • “CrossRoutes of Transatlantic Scholarship”
    NYU, New York | April
  • “American Ethnicity: A Transnational vs. an Intra-national Paradigm”
    International Conference about European Perspectives on American Studies, FU Berlin | February


  • “Globalizing  American  Studies”
    Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa | December
  • “From the ‘Talking Book’ to Representing the Unspeakable”
    Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin | November
  • “The Black Atlantic – Theorie und Praxis schwarzer Identität”
    Host. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin | September
  • “A New American Literature: Writing from the Margins”
    University of Basel | August
  • “Aesthetics and Politics: A Response to Leo Marx”
    J.F.K. Institute FU Berlin | April
  • “New Trends in American Studies”
    Munich University | February


  • “What Does Germany Have to Do with The Souls of Black Folk?”
    Bates College, Maine | October
  • “A Post-Nationalist Approach to American Literature”
    Dartmouth College, New Hampshire | October
  • “Towards a Postcolonial Aesthetics”
    University of Gießen | September
  • “Vernacular Aesthetics”
    Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien, University of München | June
  • “‘Race’ und ‘Gender’ im Konflikt”
    HU Berlin | May
  • “Comparative American Studies?”
    University of California at Irvine | April


  • “A Multicultural Aesthetics Before the Age of Multiculturalism”
    University of California at Riverside | March
  • “Deviant Divas”
    University of California at Irvine | February


  • “Response to Todd Gitlin and Susan Armitage”
    Transatlantic America Conference, University of Munich | July
  • “Du Bois in Berlin
    HU Berlin | June
  • “Reconsidering Modernism”
    University of California at Irvine | April


  • “Du Bois and his Student Years Abroad”
    W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge | September
  • “Multiculturalism and the Visual Arts”
    J.F.K. Institute FU Berlin | July
  • “Du Bois in Berlin”
    J.F.K. Institute FU Berlin | July
  • “Recycling Radicalism”
    Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien, Uni Köln | June


  • “Josephine Baker: Mehr als Bewegung”
    Moveo, Berlin | December
  • “The German Du Bois”
    Trans-Coop Conference, Harvard University | September
  • “Hybridity: The Subtext of Modernism"
    Symposium on Hybridity, Ethnicity, Gender, and Ethics, University of Basel | July
  • “Odd Sisters: Anti- and Postfeminism”
    University of Warschau, Poland | May
  • “Celebrating the African Past, Performing the Black Vernacular”
    Workshop, EAAS Conference, University of Lisbon | April
  • “Primitivist Modernism”
    Columbia University, New York, March
  • “Jean Toomer”
    Harvard Conference, Sorbonne, Paris | January


  • "Negro’ or Mapping the Harlem Renaissance”
    CAAR Conference, Liverpool | April


  • “Mixed Media? Visual Media/Media Visions”
    University of Cologne | July
  • “Josephine Baker: The Ambassador of Jazz”
    Sorbonne, Paris | April
  • “From Waiting to Exhale to Waiting for Godot”
    Symposion zur Literatur der afrikanischen Diaspora, Salamanca | March


  • “Blurring Generic Boundaries”
    J.F.K. Institute FU Berlin | November
  • “Zora Neale Hurston: A Writer of Fiction and Anthropologist”
    Konferenz zu Literatur und Anthropologie, Universität Konstanz | October


  • “The Harlem Renaissance”
    NEH Seminar. Wheelock College, Boston | May
  • “Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”
    W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge | October
  • “Performing Difference“
    J.F.K. Institute FU Berlin | June
  • “Die Ikonen der Moderne”
    Ringvorlesung, J.F.K. Institute FU Berlin | June
  • “Im Zeichen des FORDschritts”
    Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien, University of Münster | October