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Dr. Nele Sawallisch

wiss. Mitarbeiterin, Abteilung Scheiding
I studied American Studies/English, French, and Education as a member of the Dijonbüro’s trinational curriculum for teachers, which led me to universities in France and Quebec. I hold equivalent BA and MA degrees from the Université de Bourgogne in France, and an M.A. and State Exam from JGU Mainz. I have completed my PhD at the Obama Institute in 2017 and am currently preparing the manuscript for publication.  My MA and PhD projects have received funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. As a PhD candidate, I have participated in the Institute for World Literature’s 2014 session in Hongkong, and the Fulbright Commission’s American Studies Institute in San Francisco in 2016. I have also presented at international conferences in Europe, Canada, and the United States. I am a member of the GKS (Gesellschaft für Kanada-Studien) and the DGfA (German Association for American Studies), whose 25th Postgraduate Forum I co-organized in Mainz in 2014. At the Institute, I serve as lecturer. Current Research I am a scholar of African American and African Canadian literatures and cultures with a focus on the nineteenth century. My dissertation “Fugitive Borders: Black Canadian Cross-Border Literature at Mid-Nineteenth Century” explores autobiographical life writing by former slaves who fled to Canada hoping to find a life in freedom and peace. The project asks what these texts have to say about Canada, and how authors negotiate Canada’s ambiguous attitude toward black people. At the same time, it investigates what happens to texts that “cross borders” along with their authors, challenging the prominent genre of the slave narrative and carving out a place for black authors to intervene in the struggle for freedom. Teaching
  • African American and African Canadian history, literature, and literary history
  • Nineteenth-Century American Literature
  • Life Writing
  • Transnational American Studies
I take immense pleasure in teaching, the interaction in the classroom, and good student papers. I am committed to get students involved in the classroom and create learning environments that both challenge and invite them to participate in the exploration of texts, theories, and writing formats.


Dr. Nele Sawallisch
Philosophicum II
Jakob-Welder-Weg 20
Room 02.229

Phone: +49-6131-39-20295
Fax: +49-6131-39-22480

Office hours:
Mon, 10-11

Office hours during term break:
10-12 on
Feb 25
Apr 8