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Dr. Svetlana Seibel

Dr. Svetlana Seibel
Universtität des Saarlandes
North American Literary and Cultural Studies
Building A 5.3
Phone +49 (0) 681 302-3323
E-Mail svetlana.seibel@uni-saarland.de
Current Position Postdoctoral researcher
(North American Literary and Cultural Studies, Universtität des Saarlandes)
Homepage http://www.amerikanistik.uni-saarland.de/index.php?id=154
Svetlana Seibel has written her dissertation as a member of the first cohort of the IRTG Diversity’s doctoral students. Her dissertation is situated at the intersection of Indigenous Studies and Popular Culture Studies. Much of her research in general is concerned with aspects of diversity in popular culture, both on the level of representation and participation. As an associate professor of North American Literary and Cultural Studies at Saarland University, she teaches course which reflect these research interests, from Indigenous literatures and media in North America to geek feminism in contemporary television. As an associated postdoctoral fellow of the IRTG who is at the same time an alumna of the IRTG Diversity’s PhD program, she is uniquely positioned as far as providing help, support, and advice for the subsequent groups of IRTG’s doctoral researchers is concerned.

In and Out of Place: Women Writing (in) the Pacific Northwest, 1860-1935

This postdoctoral project focuses on women’s writing in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada in the period between 1860 and 1935. The selection of this particular period is based on the fact that this time represents a perceived gap in the production of “serious literature” in the Pacific Northwest, according to some literary histories of the region. As evidence shows, however, the Pacific Northwest literary market was very active during that period and was dominated by prolific women writers and public figures whose work, although influential at the time, has been largely written out of literary histories. Settler women writers such as Abigail Scott Duniway, Caroline C. Leighton, Anne Shannon Monroe, Ella Higginson, Eva Emery Dye, Frances Fuller Victor, Agnes Deans Cameron, and Emily Carr, and Indigenous women writers such as E. Pauline Johnson Tekahionwake, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, and Mourning Dove have all produced writings that negotiate (and in some cases question) the emergent regional self-understanding and self-fashioning at the time of ever shifting boundaries. These literary negotiations navigate a discursive tension between regional and national discourses in the region after the settlement of the international boundary between Canada and the United States through the Oregon Treaty of 1846. These authors use various genres and forms of writing, from fictional narratives and autobiographical accounts to travelogues, journalistic, and historical writing in order to engage with the land and region and to negotiate their specificities in conversation with various national narratives, settler as well as Indigenous. By doing so, processes of memory and history making are often at the forefront of these writers’ literary projects. Far from being insignificant for the literary history of the region—and, indeed, of the United States and Canada—these works not only establish common ground for later regional literature to build on, but also create and navigate a regionally grounded intellectual tradition that stands in conversation with the wider intellectual history of Canada and the United States. Significantly, this intellectual tradition is defined by an exceptionally strong sense of place, shows a preoccupation with the political and social situation of women, and is fraught with issues of coloniality and Indigenous-settler relations. These women writers and these cultural processes are at the core of this postdoctoral research.

Academic Career

Current Activities

Since 2017
Early Career Scholar (Indigenous Literary Studies Association)
Since 2016
PostDoc Project: "Being and Becoming California: Interrogating California Narratives in Literature and on Screen" (working title)


Undergraduate Studies at Saarland University, Germany in North American Literary and Cultural Studies (major), British Literary and Cultural Studies (minor), & Classical Archaeology (minor)
Undergraduate Studies at Tomsk State Pedagogical University, Russia in English Teacher Training Program

Graduation / Academic Degrees

Dr. phil. (thesis defended; pending publication) in North American Literary and Cultural Studies; Dissertation on “‘Personal Totems’: The Poetics of the Popular in Contemporary Indigenous Popular Culture in North America”
Magistra Artium in North American Literary and Cultural Studies, British Literary and Cultural Studies, Classical Archaeology – Saarland University

Current Position(s)

Since 2016
Assistant Professor, non-tenure-track & Postdoc Researcher (Wissenschaftlich Mitarbeiterin & Habilitantin) in North American Literary and Cultural Studies – Saarland University

Position(s) Held

Assistant Professor, pre-doc (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) – Saarland University

Relevant (International) Research Experience

“Of Vampires, Maps, and Comic Books: Exploring Narrative Sites of Decolonization” (in cooperation with Ashley Morford) – Panel at the CIARS Decolonizing Conference 2016, University of Toronto
Aug.-Sept. 2014
Vancouver, BC, Canada; Research Trip, Library Research (UBC, Xwi7xwa Library)

Major Research Grants, Scholarships and Awards

Postdoctoral Research Grant, IRTG “Diversity,” Trier University, Germany
ERASMUS Student Exchange Scholarship, British and American Studies, University of Limerick, Ireland (Winter Term)

Memberships and other relevant Activities

Austrian Association for American Studies (AAAS)

Gesellschaft für Kanada-Studien (The Association for Canada Studies in German-speaking Countries)

Whedon Studies Association (WSA)

The Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas (MESEA)

Research Group “Border Textures,” the University of the Greater Region Center for Border Studies (UniGR-CBS)

List of Publications

a) Publications in refereed journals and book publications
“Thinking in Connections: A. A. Carr’s Eye Killers and F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu”, in: Simon Bacon (ed.), The Transmedia Vampire: Essays on Technological Convergence and the Undead (Jefferson: McFarland), 134-145.
“Conflict and Complexity: Humanist and Spiritualist Discourses in Anne Rice’s The Vampire Armand”, Verena Bernardi/Frank Jacob (eds.), All Around Monstrous: Monster Media in Their Historical Contexts (Wilmington: Vernon Press), 45-70.
“'There’ll Be Another Song for Me': The Significance of the Orpheus Myth in Angel’s 'Orpheus'”, in: Stacey Abbott/Simon Brown (eds.), Let’s Go to Work: The Legacy of Angel, special issue of Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies 17:2 (50), Summer/Fall 2019, 48-76.
“'What Do You Write?': Science Fiction, Genre Expectations, and Indigenous Writing in Drew Hayden Taylor’s alterNatives”, in: Paul Morris (ed.), Métissage au Canada /Transcultural Canada (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval), 127-145.
“‘Making Our Move’: Kanadische Indigene Pop Musik als Protestmedium”, in: Ursula Lehmkuhl (ed.), Länderbericht Kanada (Bonn: Bundeszentrale für Politische Bilding), 188-189.
“Radical Relating: Vampirism as a Utopian State in Black Atlantic Women’s Vampire Fiction”, in: Saskia Fürst/Yvonne Kaisinger/Ralph Poole (eds.), US American Expressions of Utopian and Dystopian Visions (Vienna: Lit), 101-119.
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