Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding

Univ.-Prof. Dr., Chair of American Studies, General Editor, Amerikastudien/American Studies
I am a literary studies scholar and cultural historian of the early Americas and the literatures of North America. My current research centers on questions of method and interpretation. I locate my scholarship within the interdisciplinary field of Transnational American Studies intersecting it with approaches from textual and media studies, material culture studies, and cultural theory. I am concerned with new ways of exploring text technologies and forms of multimodal storytelling inspired by an emerging socio-material world view. I also have a longstanding research interest in contemporary media and visual culture.

Current Research

I am co-founder of the Mainz-based interdisciplinary research initiative Transnational Periodical Cultures. It focuses on magazines and how they offer spaces to pressing social and political issues. My current research project “Curated Bodies: Lifestyle Magazines and the Aesthetics of Human Categorization” addresses contemporary indie publishing projects and seeks to extend periodical studies by including independent magazines that find innovative ways of dealing with intersectional identities. This project is also part of the collaborative research group “Humandifferenzierung” (“Studies in Human Categorization”, SFB 1482) funded by the German Research Foundation. I also conduct a research project on Indigenous newspapers and magazines (1890-1940) supported by the German Research Foundation (for my publications see “Downloads”).

Presently, I serve on the executive board of the American Literature Association and the scientific board of the European Early American Studies Association. I am a member of the editorial board of the academic journal Studies in the American Short Story (Penn State University Press). My new book Print Technologies and the Emergence of American Literary Culture is under contract with Wiley-Blackwell, with a planned release of 2023.

Past Performance

I conducted a project on the religious press and media in North America funded by the German Research Foundation. This project was part of the collaborative research group “Un/Doing Differences” (DFG-FOR 1939, 2014-2019; see GEPRIS German Project Information Service) exploring boundary-making processes related to race, gender, religion, and nation. Supported by the German Research Foundation and the University of Mainz, I finished three projects related to life writing and transnational American Studies (2010-215). In 2014, I co-founded the Research Training Group “Life Science – Life Writing” (GRK 2015) funded by the German Research Foundation (2014-2023).

I served as editor-in-chief of the journal Amerikastudien/American Studies (AmSt) which I edited on behalf of the German Association of American Studies (GAAS) from 2011 until 2019.


My teaching areas are:

  • Early American Studies
  • Media History
  • Magazine 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.


Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding
Philosophicum II
Jakob-Welder-Weg 20
Room 02.226

Phone: +49-6131-39-22357

Office hours
During the semester break:

Tuesday, 27.08. 12-3pm

Thursday, 19.09. 12-3pm

Tuesday, 01.10. 12-2pm


Further Links

Public History