2013 Guest Editors' Editorial


  • Johanna Heil
  • Janina Rojek
  • Silke Schmidt
  • Britta Bein



Author Biographies

Johanna Heil

Johanna Heil studied at the University of Marburg, Germany, and at Trinity College Dublin and received her M.A. in 2008. Since then she has worked as instructor in American Studies at the University of Marburg, teaching classes in American literature and culture and working on her doctoral thesis (working title: "An Inquiry into Knowing: Narrative, Sciences, and Works of Art in Richard Powers's Fiction"). She was a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010 and 2012 with grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She has published articles on Richard Powers's Plowing the Dark“ and, together with Carmen Birkle, she is currently editing a collection entitled Communicating Disease“, which will also include her article "Embedding Richard Powers's The Echo Maker“ in Narrative Medicine: Narrativity, Delusions, and the (De-)Construction of Unified Minds." Her research interests include contemporary literature, critical and cultural theory, literature and medicine, psychoanalysis, the neuroscientific turn, and dance and performance studies.


Janina Rojek

Janina Rojek studied at Millersville University, Pennsylvania, and at Philipps-University Marburg, where she completed the B.A. Anglophone Studies and the M.A. North American Studies. After receiving her M.A. degree from the University of Marburg in 2011, she has been working on her doctoral thesis (working title: "Repeat Offenders - The Serialization of Crime in 19th-Century Literature and 21st Century Television") and as a student advisor and instructor ("wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin"), teaching classes on various topics within American Studies. She was granted two partial scholarships within the Fulbright Program, first in 2010 during her graduate studies for a summer school at the Freie Universität Berlin, and in 2012 for the American Studies Institute in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Her research interests include seriality studies, 9/11 literature, popular culture, representations of crime in fiction, and contemporary literature.

Silke Schmidt

Silke Schmidt currently is a research assistant at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. From 2005 to 2010 she studied American Studies, Political Science and Communication Studies at Mainz University and at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Parts of her M.A. thesis on "Arabian Dance in the Promised Land" were published in the edition Arab American Literature and Culture“ (2013), edited by Alfred Hornung and Martina Kohl. In 2011/12 she spent two semesters as a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Silke completed her Ph.D. in 2013 with an interdisciplinary dissertation on contemporary Arab American life writing and the impact of mass-mediated discourse and framing. Her research interests include Arab American literature, autobiography theory, gender and cultural studies as well as new media and popular culture. She has given several talks and conference papers in the U.S. and Europe. Currently, Silke works on her postdoctoral project which is situated at the crossroads between cultural studies, economics, and psychology.

Britta Bein

Britta Bein is a doctoral student at the Institute of English and American Studies at Philipps-University Marburg, Germany, where she is also an adjunct lecturer. She has started her dissertation project "The 'Unknowable' in the Writing of Siri Hustvedt: Coping with the Illness of Absence" (working title) in 2011. Her research focus on gender and identity already developed during her participation in an interdisciplinary BA program at the Leibniz University Hanover, Germany. She extended her interests to matters of illness and medicine in literature during her studies in Marburg. In 2011, Britta finished her studies at Marburg with the degree of the German state exam (1. Staatsexamen). She now profits from this in her academic teaching of students of English within the teaching degree program. Her plans for the immediate future include giving a talk on "Mysterious Illness and the Acceptance of Ambiguity" at the international conference "A Narrative Future for Healthcare" in London in June 2013, and researching as a visiting scholar at Columbia University, New York, in fall 2013.




How to Cite

Heil, Johanna, et al. “2013 Guest Editors’ Editorial”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2013, doi:10.5283/copas.171.