Strange Fruit and Bitter Roots: Black History in Contemporary Graphic Narrative

Book | Strange Fruit and Bitter Roots: Black History in Contemporary Graphic Narrative (monograph, in preparation).

Black Bodies Swinging: Superheroes and the Shadow Archive of Lynching

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Black Bodies Swinging: Superheroes and the Shadow Archive of Lynching.” Themenheft Comic – Kunst – Körper. Hg. Irmela Fürhoff-Krüger und Nina Schmidt. Closure: Kieler e-Journal für Comicforschung 7.5 (2021): 54-78.

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Cover: Lessons in Graphic Non-Fiction

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Lessons in Graphic Non-Fiction: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell’s March and Civil Rights Pedagogy.” Journal of American Studies, Volume 55, Issue 3, July 2021, 620-656.

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Cover: Recuperating Black Family and Kinship Ties

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Recuperating Black Family and Kinship Ties through Graphic Narration: Tom Feelings’s Middle Passage and Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner.” Migration, Diaspora, Exile: Narratives of Affiliation and Escape. Ed. Daniel Stein, Cathy C. Waegner, Geoffroy de Laforcade, and Page R. Laws. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2020. 21-41.

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From Uncle Remus to Song of the South: Adapting American Plantation Fictions

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “From Uncle Remus to Song of the South: Adapting American Plantation Fictions.” Southern Literary Journal 47.2 (2015): 20-35.

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Barack Obamas Dreams From my Father and African-American Literature

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father and African American Literature.” European Journal of American Studies 1 (2011).

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Cover: Walter Mosley’s RL’s Dream and the Creation of a Bluetopian Community

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Walter Mosley’s RL’s Dream and the Creation of a Bluetopian Community.” Finding a Way Home: A Critical Assessment of Walter Mosley’s Fiction. Ed. Derek C. Maus and Owen E. Brady. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2008. 3-17.

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Cover: Rememorizing Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Rememorizing Uncle Tom’s Cabin: The Transformation of Race Melodrama in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.” Melodrama! The Mode of Excess from Early America to Hollywood. Ed. Frank Kelleter, Barbara Krah, and Ruth Mayer. Heidelberg: Winter, 2007. 263-82.

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The Things That Jes’ Grew?

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “The Things That Jes’ Grew? The Blues ‘I’ and African-American Autobiographies.” Blues and Jazz. Ed. Lisa Graley. Special issue of Interdisciplinary Humanities 26.2 (2006): 43-54.


Comics and Graphic Narrative

Since the late 2000s I have published extensively on superhero comics, particularly on their serial forms and functions, most prominently in my monograph Authorizing Superhero Comics: On the Evolution of a Popular Serial Genre (Ohio State UP, 2021).

I have also studied adaptations of literature into comics, intermedial and transmedial dynamics, and the pedagogical potentials of the medium. I am currently involved in the joint research project The Serial Politics of Pop Aesthetics: Superhero Comics and Science Fiction Pulp Novels, which I direct together with Niels Werber as part of the Collaborative Research Center 1472 Transformations of the Popular.


Literature and Music

I have long been fascinated with intersections of literature and music. My special focus is jazz autobiographies and other forms of musicians’ memoirs. This interest is at the center of my dissertation about trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong, which eventually became Music Is My Life: Louis Armstrong, Autobiography, and American Jazz (University of Michigan P, 2012). I have also published essays on the autobiography of Jewish hipster clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow and on country artists Loretta Lynn and Steve Earle, as well as on graphic musical biographies.


City Mystery Novels

My engagement with US popular culture is mostly anchored in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, but I also study nineteenth­-century crime writing and serial literary culture. Focusing on the period of the 1840s and 1850s, I have written about city mystery novels by authors like George Lippard, Ned Buntline, and George Thompson, and I have also started to investigate so-called Geheimnisromane by German American writes like Friedrich Börnstein, Emil Klauprecht, and Ludwig von Reizenstein. This research began with a third-party-funded project on the serial politics of the genre as part of the DFG research unit Popular Seriality – Aesthetics and Practice and continues in an ongoing project titled Serial Circulation: The German-American Mystery Novel and the Beginnings of Transatlantic Modernity (1850-1855).