Steering Committee

Ingrid Gessner (Austria)
Johanna Heil (Germany)
Izabella Kimak (Poland)
Marta J. Lysik (Poland)
Elisabetta Marino (Italy)

Ingrid Gessner is Professor of English and American Studies at the Vorarlberg University of Education, Feldkirch, Austria. She has been a Visiting Professor of American Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2016. Her studies have also led her to the University of California, Davis, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her master’s degree from Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, and her doctorate from the University of Regensburg. Her book Yellow Fever Years: An Epidemiology of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture (2016) has been awarded the Peter Lang Young Scholars Award. She is the author of Collective Memory as Catharsis? The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Public Controversy (2000) and of the award-winning From Sites of Memory to Cybersights: (Re)Framing Japanese American Experiences (2007). She co-edited special issues on Iconographies of the Calamitous in American Visual Culture (with Susanne Leikam; 2013) and on Commemorating World War II at 70: Ethnic and Transnational Perspectives (with Birgit Däwes; 2015). Further publications include articles on 9/11, gender studies, eco-photography, and on questions of transnationalism. She has served as assistant editor of Amerikastudien/American Studies and as editor of the e-journal COPAS (Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies and is a founding member of the Digital American Studies Initiative (DASI) within the German Association for American Studies. Since 2014 she is a member of the EAAS Women’s network steering committee and a founding member of the network’s e-journal WiN. She will continue this important work within the EAAS and the ASA, where she has been appointed to serve on the Committee on Gender and Sexuality Studies in 2017.

Johanna Heil is Assistant Professor (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) of American Studies at Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany. She has been serving as the managing director of the Marburg Center for Gender Studies and Feminist Research since 2017 and she is an Associate Editor of Amerikastudien / American Studies. She conducted research as a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The New School, UC Riverside, and Barnard College. Her research focuses on American literatures and dance forms of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, critical and cultural theory, especially new materialist and feminist theory and critical posthumanism. Her first book, Walking the Möbius Strip: An Inquiry into Knowing in Richard Powers’s Fiction (Winter, 2016), draws on feminist epistemology and psychoanalysis to highlight the non-propositional aspects of cognition that escape the frameworks of scientific empiricism and can only be known through the mediation of fictional narrative. She is currently working on her second book project, “Becoming-Body: Freedom and Technologies of the Self in American Modern Dance,” in which she explores the implications of corporeal materiality for the construction of subjectivity and freedom in American modern dance techniques. As part of this research, she spent a semester at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and she took classes in Duncan and Dunham technique. She has published in the fields of American literature, cultural theory, and dance studies, including the co-edited collection Communicating Disease: Cultural Representations of American Medicine (with Carmen Birkle) and recent articles in Dance Chronicle and Hypatia (forthcoming).

Izabella Kimak is an Assistant Professor at the Department of American Literature and Culture at Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland. Her research interests encompass American ethnic literature, race, post-colonial and gender studies, and the intersection of literary and non-literary arts. She has published extensively on South Asian American women’s literature, with a special focus on literary representations of female sexuality and female body. She is the author, among others, of Bicultural Bodies: A Study of South Asian American Women’s Literature (Peter Lang, 2013) and co-editor of Spaces of Expression and Repression in Post-Millennial North-American Literature and Visual Culture (Peter Lang, 2017). She also acts as the co-coordinator of the ExRe(y) project that encompasses biannual conferences and publications devoted to the most recent developments in American literature and culture.

Marta J. Lysik is assistant professor in the Institute of Journalism and Social Communication at the University of Wroclaw, Poland. She holds degrees in English, American Studies, and Journalism. She studied in Poland, the US, and Germany, and taught in the departments of: English and American Studies, German Studies, and Journalism. In her PhD dissertation, defended at Humboldt Universitaet in Berlin, and published in 2017 as Dialogism or Interconnectedness in the Work of Louise Erdrich, she applied the Bakhtinian notion of dialogism to Erdrich’s writing practice. She researches literary, non-fiction, and media genres. Her field of research is American literature in general, and contemporary American novel in particular. She is currently interested in life-writing narratives and forms of self-referential writing: academic novels (she maintains a website about campus fiction:, literary memoirs, and bibliomemoirs. She is also interested in gender issues in academic novels and she is now at work on a book on representations of writers in American academic novels. In addition, she teaches a class on the narratives of the third generation and researches her maternal grandparents’ lives.

Elisabetta Marino is an Associate Professor English and American literature at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. She is the author of four monographs: a volume on the figure of Tamerlane in British and American literature (2000); an introduction to British Bangladeshi literature (2005); a study on the relationship between Mary Shelley and Italy (2011); an analysis of the Romantic dramas on a mythological subject (2016). She has translated poems by Maria Mazziotti Gillan, collected in a volume (2006). Between 2001 and 2018 she edited/co-edited eight collections of essays (two more are forthcoming) and a Special Forum of Journal of Transnational American Studies, dedicated to Sau-Ling C. Wong (2012). She has published extensively on the English Romantic writers (especially Mary Shelley and P.B. Shelley), Indian diasporic literature, travel literature, Asian American and Asian British literature, and Italian American literature.

Former Steering Committee Members

Carmen Birkle, Philipps-University of Marburg (Germany): 2010–2014

Justine Tally, University of La Laguna (Spain): 2010–2014

Meldan Tanrisal, Hacettepe University (Turkey): 2012–2014

Tanfer Emin Tunç, Hacettepe University (Turkey): 2012-2019

Rubén Cenamor, Universidad de Barcelona (Spain): 2014–2018

Annessa Ann Babic, Independent Scholar (United States): 2014-2019

Susanne Leikam, Independent Scholar (Germany): 2016-2019