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Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding

Univ.-Prof. Dr., Chair of American Studies, General Editor, Amerikastudien/American Studies

I am a literary scholar and cultural historian of the early Americas. My current research centers on questions of method and interpretation. I locate my scholarship within the interdisciplinary field of Early American Studies intersecting it with approaches from sociology, material culture studies, cultural theory, and textual studies. I am concerned with new ways of seeing and theorizing literary history inspired by an emerging sociomaterial world view. I am starting a new project on materiality and forms of textual agency. I also have a longstanding interest in genre (especially short narratives and poetry) and contemporary literature.


Current Research

I am currently leading a project on the religious press in North America funded by the German Research Foundation. This project is part of the collaborative research group “Un/Doing Differences” (DFG-FOR 1939) exploring boundary-making processes related to race, gender, religion, and nation. I am participating in the Research Training Group “Life Writing – Life Science” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG; see GEPRIS German Project Information System). In the past and supported by the German Research Foundation, I finished two projects related to life writing and transnational American Studies. One of my most recent publications is the critical edition Worlding America: A Transnational Anthology of Short Narratives before 1800, published by Stanford University Press in 2014. The book explores the multilingual networks of textual circulation in the early Americas.

I edit the journal Amerikastudien/American Studies (AmSt) on behalf of the German Association of American Studies (GAAS), and I co-edit the monograph series “MOSAIC: Studien und Texte zur amerikanischen Kultur und Geschichte” (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier). I am an elected member of the American Studies Association’s International Committee. I also serve on the scientific board of the European Early American Studies Association.



My teaching areas are:

  • Early American Studies
  • Cultures of Print and History of the Book
  • Religious Press and Periodical Studies
  • Material Culture Studies
  • Short Narratives and the Short Story
  • Cultural Theory and Methodology

I feel myself committed to teaching rooted in research. I believe it is crucial helping students to develop a critical voice and advance their own ideas. My courses center the development of effective writing practices through student-focused research and discussion.