Dr. Alexander Starre

John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies

Department of Culture

Freie Universitaet Berlin



Research Interests:

American Literature and Culture (esp. contemporary and late 19th/early 20th century), Cultural and Media Theory, Book Design and Textual Materiality, Contemporary Print Culture and Digitization, Knowledge Creation, Ecocriticism


Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. phil.) in English / American Studies at Georg-August-University Göttingen (2012)
Master of Arts (M.A.) in English and Media/Communication Studies at Georg-August-University Göttingen (2008)

Other Publications


Edited Volumes

  • with Heike Schäfer. Medium, Object, Metaphor: The Printed Book in Contempory American Cultures (in preparation).

  • with Frank Kelleter. Projecting American Studies: Essays on Theory, Method, and Practice. Heidelberg: Winter, 2018.
    Publisher’s Website


  • with Ruth Mayer. “Media/Knowledge: American(ist) Epistemic Formats 1900/2000”. Projecting American Studies: Essays on Theory, Method, and Practice. Ed. Frank Kelleter and Alexander Starre. Heidelberg: Winter, forthcoming.

  • “Buchwerke: Paratext und post-digitale Materialität in der amerikanischen Gegenwartsliteratur.” Das Werk: Verschwinden und Fortwirken eines grundlegenden literaturwissenschaftlichen Begriffs. Ed. Lutz Danneberg, Annette Gilbert and Carlos Spoerhase. Berlin: DeGruyter, 2017 (forthcoming).

  • “Social Texts: How to Account for the Cultural Work of Carrier Media.” Writing Matters. Ed. Irene Berti et al. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017. 27-42.
    Full Text Download

  • “Professionelle Kondensierung: Die Annotation als Wissensformat im Catalog der American Library Association (1893-1926).” Kurz & Knapp. Erzählen und Wissen in kleinen Formen. Ed. Michael Gamper and Ruth Mayer. Bielefeld: transcript, 2017. 119-129.

  • “Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” The American Novel of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Ed. Timo Müller. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017. 401-413.

  • with Julia Leyda, Kathleen Loock, Thiago Pinto Barbosa, and Manuel Rivera. “The Dystopian Impulse of Contemporary Cli-Fi.” IASS Working Paper. Postdam: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, 2016.
    Full Text Download

  • “Building Knowledge: Carnegie Libraries as Epistemic Spaces.” Knowledge Landscapes North America. Ed. Christian Kloeckner, Simone Knewitz, and Sabine Sielke. Heidelberg: Winter, 2016. 67-84.

  • “Organic Book Design from Dwiggins to Danielewski: The Metamedial Aesthetics of Embodied Literature in American Trade Publishing.” Publishing as Artistic Practice. Ed. Annette Gilbert. Berlin: Sternberg, 2016. 74-87.
    [Review: The Brooklyn Rail, 1 April 2017]

  • “The Pleasures of Paper: Tethering Literature to Obsolete Material Forms.” Cultures of Obsolescence in North America: History, Materiality, and the Digital Age. Ed. Babette B. Tischleder and Sarah Wasserman. New York: Palgrave, 2015. 127-144.

  • “Normative Kanontheorien: Kontextbezogene Modelle;” “Genreliteraturen: Das Beispiel Comics.” Handbuch Kanon und Wertung. Ed. Gabriele Rippl and Simone Winko. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2013. 58-66; 345-50.

  • with Andreas Jahn-Sudmann. “Die Experimente des ‘Quality TV’ – Innovation und Metamedialität in neueren amerikanischen Serien.” Transnationale Serienkultur. Theorie, Ästhetik, Narration und Rezeption neuerer Fernsehserien. Ed. Susanne Eichner, Lothar Mikos, and Rainer Winter. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2013. 103-119.

  • “Teaching the Comics Anthology: The Readers, Authors, and Media ofMcSweeney’s 13.” Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy and Practice. Ed. Lan Dong. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012. 40-52.

  • “American Comics Anthologies: Mediality—Canonization—Transnationalism.”Transnational American Studies. Ed. Udo Hebel. Heidelberg: Winter, 2012. 541-60.

  • “The Materiality of Books and TV: House of Leaves and The Sopranos in a World of Formless Content and Media Competition.” The Metareferential Turn in Contemporary Arts and Media: Forms, Functions, and Attempts at Explanation. Ed. Werner Wolf. Studies in Intermediality 5. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2011. 195-215.

  • “‘Little Heavy Papery Beautiful Things’: McSweeney’s, Metamediality, and the Rejuvenation of the Book in the USA.” Representational and Literary Futures: American Writing in the New Millenium. Ed. Tatiani Rapatzikou and Arthur Redding. Spec. issue of Writing Technologies 3 (2010): 25-41.
    Full Text Download

  • “Always already green: Zur Entwicklung und den literaturtheoretischen Prämissen des amerikanischen Ecocriticism.” Ökologische Transformationen und literarische Repräsentationen. Ed. Maren Ermisch, Ulrike Kruse, Urte Stobbe. Göttingen: Universitätsverlag, 2010. 13-34.
    Full Text Download

  • “(Forced) Walks on the Wild Side: Precarious Borders in American Captivity Narratives.” Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment 1.2 (2010): 22-37.
    Full Text Download

  • “Wilderness Woes: Negotiating Discourse and Environment in Early American Captivity Narratives.” Transcultural Spaces: Challenges of Urbanity, Ecology, and the Environment. Ed. Stefan L. Brandt, Winfried Fluck, and Frank Mehring. REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 26. Tübingen: Narr, 2010. 273-293.

Encyclopedia Articles

  • “Chris Ware, Building Stories,” “John D’Agata/Jim Fingal, The Lifespan of a Fact,” “James Salter, All That Is.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon. 3rd ed. (Online Supplement) Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2014.

  • “Timothy Donnelly, The Cloud Corporation”; “Karen Russell, Swamplandia!.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon. 3rd ed. (Online Supplement) Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2013.

  • “Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding;” “Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad“; “Philip Roth, Nemesis.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon. 3rd ed. (Online Supplement) Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2012.

  • “Colson Whitehead, Sag Harbor.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon 3rd ed. (Online Supplement) Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2011.

  • “Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days and The Intuitionist; “Nathan Englander, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges.” Kindlers Literatur Lexikon. 3rd ed. (Online Supplement) Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2010.

  • “Nella Larsen, Passing” (Vol. 9, 658-659), “Thomas Harriot, A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia” (Vol. 7, 106-107), “Abraham Lincoln, Das Prosawerk” (Vol. 10, 165), “Thomas Morton, New English Canaan” (Vol. 11, 516-517), “Roger Williams, A Key into the Language of America” (Vol. 17, 454-455).Kindlers Neues Literatur Lexikon. Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2009.

  • 9 additional revised and co-authored articles and biograms for Kindlers Literatur Lexikon. 3rd ed. 18. Vols. Ed. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2009.


  • Pressman, Jessica. Digital Modernism: Making It New in New MediaReview of English Studies 273 (2015): 200-01.

  • Bergthaller, Hannes, and Carsten Schinko, eds. Addressing Modernity: Social Systems Theory and U.S. CulturesAmerikastudien/American Studies 59:1 (2014): Web.
    Full Text Download

  • “‘Serielle Formen’ – Internationale Tagung am Seminar für Filmwissenschaft der Universität Zürich, 4.-6.6.2009” (Tagungsbericht). Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft Online (2009): Web.


Book History and Print Culture Network: Interdisciplinary Perspective from German-Area Scholars. (Founder and Administrator, with Corinna Norrick-Rühl, Doris Lechner, and Simone Zweifel).

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