Cover: Music is my Life

Books & Journal Issues | Music Is My Life: Louis Armstrong, Autobiography, and American Jazz. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012.

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Cover: Popular Music and Society

Books & Journal Issues | Musical Autobiographies. Special Issue of Popular Music and Society 38.2 (2015). (with Martin Butler)

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Onkel Satchmo Behind the Iron Curtain

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Onkel Satchmo Behind the Iron Curtain: The Transatlantic Politics of Louis Armstrong’s Visit to East Germany.” Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture 13.1 (2014).

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Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Autobiography.” Jazz and American Culture. Ed. Michael Borshuk. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, forthcoming 2021.

Intermedial Entanglements and Narrative Dissonances in Steve Earle’s Music and Literature.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Intermedial Entanglements and Narrative Dissonances in Steve Earle’s Music and Literature.” Popular Music and the Self in Contemporary Fiction. Ed. Norbert Bachleitner and Juliane Werner. Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, forthcoming 2021.

Cover: Teaching Poetry Through Song Adaption

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Teaching Poetry through Song Adaptation: Abel Meeropol’s and Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit.’” Adaptation in American and Transatlantic Studies: Perspectives on Teaching and Research. Ed. Nassim W. Balestrini. Heidelberg: Winter, 2011. 171-94.

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Cover: Sei a Mensch

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “‘Sei a mensch’: Mezz Mezzrow’s Jewish Hipster Autobiography Really the Blues and the Ironies of the Color Line.” Anglia 137.1 (2019): 2-32.

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Cover: Graphic Musical Biography

Journal Articles & Book Chapters | “Graphic Musical Biography: An Intermedial Case of Musico-Comical Life Writing.” Intermediality, Life Writing and American Studies. Ed. Nassim Winnie Balestrini and Ina Bergmann. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018. 119-146.

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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.

African American Literature

I have always been intrigued by African American literature and (popular) culture. Central to this intrigue is my work on Louis Armstrong as a cultural icon and jazz autobiographer, but I have also looked at writers like Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, and Barack Obama. Most recently, I have started working on a book about the resurgence of history in recent African American graphic narratives that addresses questions of cultural memory and the archive. Some of this research is affiliated with the African Atlantic Research Group.

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).