Dr. Rebecca Schäfer

wiss. Mitarbeiterin, Abteilung Banerjee

I am an American Studies scholar and lecturer (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the Obama Institute. My research interests include Queer Studies, Critical Age(ing) Studies, and their intersections, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Feminism, Film and Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Indigenous Studies. I am further interested in studying the cultural relevance of sports and in the emerging specialty field of Los Angeles Studies.

I obtained an MA degree (American Studies, German Philology, and Applied Linguistics) from the University of Siegen. During my studies, I completed an ERASMUS exchange to the Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne, France. In 2012, I attended the Harvard Institute for World Literature (IWL), hosted by Bilgi University in Istanbul, Turkey, that year.

In 2019, I received my PhD in American Studies from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. My dissertation focused on non-normative temporalities and queer age(ing) narratives in contemporary U.S. American culture and examined in how far they can modify dominant conceptions of time, age(ing), and belonging. It is forthcoming with Universitätsverlag Winter.

I have presented my research at national and international conferences in Europe, Canada, and the United States, including annual meetings of the American Studies Association (ASA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA).

In my teaching, I focus on contemporary literary and cultural issues such as “Age and Aging in North American Fiction,” “Gender in Contemporary U.S. American Culture in the Age of #MeToo,” or “Queer Theory/Queer Cinema.”  I also teach classes on American cultural, political, and intellectual history from the early 16th century until the late 19th century.

My further work responsibilities include a variety of PR-related tasks. I was involved in planning and executing the launch of the Obama Institute’s new website and I am also a staff member of the Institute’s PR team.

Additionally, I have been working as a freelance journalist for television, print, or digital media (e.g. ARD Sportschau, WDR Fernsehen, RTL Television, sueddeutsche.de, International Paralympic Committee) and, since 2017, as a publicist and press coordinator for the Berlin International Film Festival.


Dr. Rebecca Schäfer
Philosophicum II
Jakob-Welder-Weg 20
Room 02.221

Phone: +49-6131-39-22250

Office hours:
Feb 11, 1-2pm and by appointment