Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Talks & Conference Presenations




“Urban Precarization and Strategies of Racialized Containment under the 45th U.S. President.” Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin, December 2, 2019.


“African American Health Advice of the Interwar Years: Ability and Race in the Age of Automated Mass Production.” Opening Workshop of the Global Health Working Group ‘Evaluation, Improvement and Self-Optimization: Mobilizing Bodies in the Age of Global Healthism,’ Universität Leipzig, December 3, 2019.


“Contemporary Prison Writing and the Quiet in Between: Doing Critical Prison Studies Beyond Binaries.” (keynote). Critical Prison Studies Conference, Bavarian American Academy, Nürnberg, September 22, 2018.


Podium Discussion “Current Perspectives on the U.S. Prison System” (with Erik E. Lehmann and Rashad Shabazz), Bavarian American Academy, Nürnberg, September 21, 2018.


“Memory Cultures in Berlin: Spatialized Hierarchies – Historic (Dis)Continuities.” University of Washington’s Honors Program ‘Negotiating Identities and Mediating Community in Berlin,’ Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, June 19, 2017.


“Informalized Economies and the U.S. Penal System since the Trump Administration.” Public Lecture Series, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin, November 29, 2016.


“‘Three Strikes and You’re Out’ – How does Black Popular Fiction Comment on Racial Biases in the U.S. Justice System?” Fulbright American Studies Summer Sessions, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, July 31, 2014.






“The Promise of (Self-)Control: Able-Bodiedness and Able-Mindedness in Interwar Advice Literature.” Kosmos-Workshop ‘Body & Mind: Self-Help in 1920s and ‘30s U.S. Mass Cultures,’ Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, November 16, 2018. 


“12 Steps to an Optimized Self: Early Forms of Self-Monitoring in Self-Help of the 1920s/’30s.” Conference by Research Group ‘Probing the Limits of the Quantified Self: Human Agency and Knowledge in Literature and Culture of the Information Age,’ Universität Mannheim, October 5, 2018.


“Adjusting to Modernity: Self-Help in the Early 20th Century.” Annual Conference of the Swedish Association for American Studies (SAAS) ‘Open Covenants: Pasts and Futures of Global America,’ Stockholm University, September 28, 2018.


“Navigating the Counter/Publics of Prison: An Intersectional Perspective.” Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA) ‘American Counter/Publics,’ Freie Universität Berlin, John F. Kennedy Institute, May 26, 2018.


“Narratives of In/Exclusion: U.S. Self-Help Literature and Modern Capitalism.” Annual Conference of the Irish Association for American Studies (IAAS) ‘Foreign Bodies and Native Sons,’ University College Dublin, April 28, 2018.


“Diversify Your Syllabi: Intersectional Course Planning and Instruction.” Regional Conference of the German Association for American Studies ‘Diversity and/in the GAAS,’ Amerikahaus Munich – Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations, October 21, 2017.


“Self-Help: Black and White?” International Conference ‘Fictions of Management,’ Freie Universität Berlin, John F. Kennedy Institute, December 8, 2016 (with Martin Klepper).


“Street Literature and the System of Mass Incarceration.” Annual Convention of Midwest Modern Language Association, St. Louis, Missouri, November 12, 2016.


“The Street-Prison Symbiosis: A Spatial Analytical Tool to Interlink Literary and Material Spaces of Marginality.” Post-Graduate Forum of the German Association for American Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg, November 3, 2012.


“Storing a Surplus Population: The Urban-Prison Symbiosis and its Significance for the African American Popular Genre of Street Literature.” Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) ‘Representations of Poverty in Contemporary U.S.-American Culture,’ Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, July 22, 2011.


“Literary Entrepreneurialism and the Re-Appropriation of Public Space: Selling Popular Novels on Harlem's 125th Street.” Workshop ‘Urban Street Vending: Economic Resistance, Integration or Marginalization?,’ Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin, May 15, 2009.


“‘A sucker for drama:’ Street Literature and the Mode of Spectacular Writing.” 5th Conference in Penn State's African American Tradition Series ‘Celebrating African American Literature: The Novel Since 1988,’ Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, October 23, 2009.