Anglophone Gender Studies


The professorship covers the subject of American Studies in its historical and medial breadth, with a special focus on gender as a category of analysis and object of research. The professorship focuses on gender as a cultural and epistemic category, feminist theory, approaches and research questions of queer studies, and the field of gender and mediality, including digitality. The courses offered at the Department of English and American Studies provide cultural and literary studies foundations for students' reflective engagement with literary and pop-cultural texts as well as historical primary material (e.g., letters and newspapers). In addition, the professorship offers interdisciplinary teaching in the module Gender Studies (BA Optional Studies). Here, the focus is on teaching the core topics of gender studies and their interdisciplinary relevance, as well as reflecting on the role of public humanities as an active participant in social and media discourses on gender and sexuality.



The research profile is characterized by interdisciplinary cultural studies research and a focus on aspects of gender and queer studies in the examination of U.S. history, culture, and society from ca. 1850 to the present. The ongoing research project "Gossip in Nineteenth-Century US American Literature and Culture," including the digital project, sheds light on the uses and value of gossip as intimate knowledge in public contexts. The individual objects of analysis range from the development of mass media in the 19th century to the history of celebrity and transnational mobility to a nuanced examination of the (self-)representation of gender and (queer) sexuality in autobiographies, columns by and about women.

Another focus is the examination of realist literature of the turn of the century and its support for and subversion of social norms and processes. Prof. Dr. Katrin Horn is co-editor of the journal Edith Wharton Review and of the volume "Translations and Adaptations" in the series The Complete Works of Edith Wharton (Oxford UP, 2026). Thus, transnational translation and communication processes are also the focus of interest here.

These historical research areas are complemented by a concern with representations of queerness and feminism in contemporary popular culture.

  • A unifying element to the examination of gossip is the study of camp in the context of affective communities and knowledge-based categories of difference (see the monograph Women, Camp, and Popular Culture. Series Excess, which includes examples from television, film, and popular music)
  • Critical reflection on the connection between queer representation and knowledge-based power imbalances informs the study of media (de)construction of the “epistemology of the closet” (Sedgwick) within the DFG network The Failure of Knowledge – Knowledges of Failure.
  • Feminist analysis of audiovisual media as well as the analysis of media (post)feminism form a further element of the research profile.

In research and teaching the professorship cooperates with other members of the Department of British and North American Studies and with the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies