Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Publications (selection)



Street Literature: Black Popular Fiction in the Era of U.S. Mass Incarceration. Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2015 (American Studies, A Monograph Series).


Edited Books and Journal Issues

Uplift & Self-Help: Mediating Subject Formations in Interwar Mass Cultures. Special Issue of Subjectivity, edited by Kristina Graaff, Martin Klepper, and Simon Rienäcker [forthcoming].

Self-Help and Ability. Special Issue of LWU: Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, edited by Daphne Beers, Kristina Graaff, and Martin Klepper [forthcoming].

Urban Street Vending in the Neoliberal City: A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy. New York: Berghahn Books [with Noa Ha]. 2015.


Book Chapters

“Racialized Self-Improvement: Advice in Black and white Self-Help of the Interwar Years.” Laboring Bodies and the Quantified Self, edited by Ulfried Reichardt and Regina Schober. Schwarzenbach/Saale: Transit Verlag [forthcoming].

“Navigating (Black) Public (Counter) Spheres: Black Popular Fiction and the U.S. System of Mass Incarceration.” American Counter/Publics, edited by Ulla Haselstein, Frank Kelleter, Alexander Starre, and Birte Wege. Heidelberg: Winter [forthcoming].

"Self-Help and/in Mass Cultures: Performatives of (Self-)Management and Race between 1890 and 1930," with Martin Klepper. Fictions of Management: Efficiency and Control in American Literature and Culture, edited by James Dorson and Jasper Verlinden. Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2019.

“Ethnic Contestations over African American Fiction: The Street Vending of Street Literature in New York City.” Urban Street Vending in the Neoliberal City: A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy, edited by Kristina Graaff und Noa Ha. New York: Berghahn Books. 2015, 117-138.

“The Rise of Urban Fiction.” Black Culture and Experience: Contemporary Issues, edited by Venise Berry, Anita Fleming-Rife and Ayo Dayo. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. [with Vanessa Irvin]. 2015, 195-206.

“Street Literature and the Mode of Spectacular Writing. Popular Fiction between Sensationalism, Education, Politics and Entertainment.” The Living Canon. Theory and Pedagogy in Contemporary African American Literature, edited by Lovalerie King and Shirley C. Moody. Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2013, 213-234.

“The Street-Prison Symbiosis: Urban Segregation and Popular Black Fiction in 21st Century America.” Thick Space: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Metropolitanism, edited by Dorothee Brantz, Sasha Disko and Georg Wagner-Kyora. Bielefeld: Transcript 2012, 307-332.


Web-Based Publications

“Reading Street Literature, Reading America’s Prison System.” Pop Matters. International Magazine of Cultural Criticism, February 2010.
Available at


Book Reviews

Review of Sister Souljah: Midnight. A Gangster Love Story. New York: Atria Books 2008. Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World: A Review Journal, Vol. 1, Nr. 1, January 2009.

“Pimp mein Buch. Die Urban Novels des New Yorker Autors Relentless Aaron.” Tageszeitung taz, October, 21 2006.


Conference Proceedings

“The City and the State of Exception/State of EmergencyConference Report of Fifth Annual Conference of the Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin – New York, Center for Metropolitan Studies.” By Kristina Graaff, Jan Kemper and Tim Opitz, H-Soz-Kult, August 9, 2009.
Available at