In collaboration with the Diversity Roundtable, the executive board has updated the DGfA/GAAS Mentoring Program. Below, please find a list of experienced colleagues – usually full professors – who are available for mentoring. The offer is geared toward PhD candidates and post-doctoral colleagues in German American Studies who have specific questions about their careers, academic publishing, etc. We welcome everyone who would like to become a mentor or mentee, but the GAAS is particularly interested in offering support to scholars who experience marginalization due to race, ethnicity, class, gender and/or sexuality, care responsibilities, and/or disability.

Please note:

  • The mentoring conversations should be conducted online or by phone. The Association will consider requests to cover travel expenses if both parties deem an in-person meeting necessary.
  • Mentor and mentee can agree to extend their mentoring relation after a first conversation, but the focus of this measure is on short and goal-oriented conversations. Long-term mentoring programs are offered by many foundations and universities (More here:;
  • Mentees can contact the mentors on the liste below directly, or they can turn to the speakers of the diversity roundtable ( and ask them to establish a first contact. If a mentoring relationship is established, a mutual agreement has to be signed by both parties (see download section at the bottom of this page). All parties have to agree to abide by a code of conduct which will be also made publicly available. Inappropriate requests or interactions should be reported to and/or

Our Mentors (in alphabetical order)

Dr. Debarchana Baruah
Universität Tübingen

Debarchana Baruah’s research interests include US popular cultures, film and television, memory, food, and migration. She has studied and worked at the universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Delhi. 

Baruah is open to conversations about the structural disadvantages of immigrant scholars (especially from the global south), pregnancy and parenthood. Although this conversation is envisioned within the framework of a mentoring program, she hopes that both parties would be able to share and learn from their experiences in the German academic system.

Prof. Dr. Jeanne Cortiel
Universität Bayreuth

Jeanne Cortiel focuses on science fiction/speculative fiction studies, popular culture, and nineteenth-century American literature.

PD Dr. René Dietrich
Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

René Dietrich’s research focuses on Indigenous and settler colonial studies, biopolitical theory, and American poetry, and he is open to questions on anything related to these fields, including publication opportunities and international academic networks (esp. within Indigenous and settler colonial studies). In addition, as having held a DFG-“Eigene Stelle”, he is open to questions on navigating the application process for DFG-funded post-doc projects, and as having been the academic coordinator of different PhD programs and a research center, is happy to give career advice concerning the field of academic management, such as the shift between research/teaching positions and academic management.

Prof. Dr. Astrid Fellner
Saarland Universität Saarbrücken

Astrid Fellner’s research focus is on border studies (US-Mexican as well as US-Canada border), U.S. Latinx literature, gender/queer studies, diversity studies, popular culture, and post-revolutionary American literature. 

Prof. Dr. Astrid Franke
Universität Tübingen

Astrid Franke’s research is on African American Literature and Culture, the history of American poetry, stereotypes and other problems of representation, literature and social movements, and modern and contemporary novels.

Prof. Dr. Marc Frey
Universität der Bundeswehr München

Marc Frey is a historian working on IR history, US foreign relations, development, imperial and colonial history, military and intelligence history. He has national and international experience as a grant applicant and referee, and in academic management (Dean of Faculty 2020-2024), diversity audit, care responsibilities.

Prof. Dr. Astrid Haas
Universität Bergen (Norwegen)

Astrid Haas’s research focuses on Early American Studies, Inter-American and Atlantic Studies, drama, life writing, and travel writing, as well as the Black and Latinx Diasporas. She is happy to inform mentees about these areas of inquiry, including networking opportunities. A native of Germany who has worked in Germany, the UK, and now Norway, she is also available for questions on moving between these countries and academic systems. As a former recipient of both a DFG “Eigene Stelle” and a European Union Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, she can further advise on applications for these types of grants. 

Dr. Katrin Horn
Universität Bayreuth

Katrin Horn’s research focuses on gender and queer studies, literatures and cultures of the long nineteenth century, and contemporary popular culture. She is open to questions concerning academic career planning, especially those revolving around (queer) parenting and academia, academic publishing, DH projects, third-party funding, and research stays in the US.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Junker
TU Dresden

Carsten Junker considers historically situated relationalities between structural inequalities and various genres and media, as well as dynamics of subject and group positioning with respect to diverse, overlapping practices of categorization in North American literatures and cultures, including Canada and the Caribbean, from the seventeenth century to the present.

Prof. Dr. Antje Kley
FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Antje Kley is working on American Literary Studies (theory, media history and cultural functions of the novel; life writing/confessional culture; Anglophone Caribbean literature) and she is directing a research training group on literature and the public sphere in contemporary differentiated cultures. Furthermore, she is interested in ethics and aesthetics, cultural difference, and gender studies.

Prof. Dr. Nicole Maruo-Schröder
Universität Koblenz

Nicole Maruo-Schröder works on material culture and literature (esp. with regard to food, objects, fashion, consumer practices); travel writing and the body; contemporary disaster narratives; and visual culture. She has also published on postcolonial issues including Native American literature, intersectionality, and identity. She has some experience with third-party funding for interdisciplinary projects (BMBF, DFG). Moreover, she is a first-generation academic as well as a mother of twins and is willing to share her expertise in all of these areas.

Prof. Dr. Ruth Mayer
Leibniz Universität Hannover

Ruth Mayer’s research has a focus on modernity, gender, sexuality, and temporality. She directs an international Master’s program of American Studies in Hannover, and would be particulary willing to advise about the process of switching between academic systems and the strange conventions of German academia. She is also open to questions about care responsibilties and the (im)possibility of combining parenting and academic career-planning.

Prof. Dr. Sabine N. Meyer
Universität Bonn

Sabine N. Meyer is Professor of American Studies at the Department of English, American, and Celtic Studies and Co-director of the North American Studies Program at the University of Bonn. Her research primarily focuses on Native American writing and law/politics from the nineteenth century onward, on representations of Native Americans/Indigenous people in North American popular culture and on the history of social movements, (forced) migration and processes of identity formation (ethnicity, race, gender) in the United States.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Piller
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Elisabeth Piller works on North American and transatlantic history, with a particular focus on international relations. Having spent much of her academic career abroad (USA, Norway, Ireland, UK) before coming to Freiburg, she would be particularly happy to talk to PhD or postdoctoral researchers who are new to Germany and trying to navigate the idiosyncrasies of the German university system. She would also be happy to discuss international peer review and journal publishing (particularly in the fields of international and diplomatic history), and how best to get started early in your career.

Prof. Dr. Katja Sarkowsky
Universität Augsburg

Katja Sarkowksy has expertise on life writing, Indigenous literatures, law and literature, literature and the environment.

Prof. Dr. Regina Schober
Universität Düsseldorf

Regina Schober works on network concepts in American literary history, transformations of subjectivity in the information age, posthumanism, the quantified self, media/technology and gender, artificial intelligence, failure and knowledge, and on intermediality.

Prof. Dr. Mary Ann Snyder-Körber
Julian-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

MaryAnn Snyder-Körber is working on intersections of modernization processes with cultural production practices. Her research and teaching look closely at media ecologies and the material forms (print, visual, and digital) that they foster. Her areas of interest include American modernism , the anecdote as a key narrative mode of modernity, networked cultures from the nineteenth century to the present, gender discourses and feminism as well as aesthetics and practices of authorship. She is US-American and has insight into switching between the US and German university systems. Since her doctoral work was in Comparative Literature, and she first began working with a focus in American Studies in her post-doctoral work, she also has experience with switching disciplinary bases in the German system. She has two daughters who were born during her doctoral and post-doctoral qualification phases. 

Prof. Dr. Daniel Stein
Universität Siegen

Daniel Stein’s research revolves around U.S. literature (especially African American) and popular culture from the nineteenth-century to the present (city mystery novels, music, comics, film & television). He is particularly interested in the nexus of popular (serial) narrative and cultural history as well as in genre evolution and (digital) media. Due to his experience as a member of various DFG-formats (Sonderforschungsbereich, Forschungsgruppe, Sachbeihilfe, Netzwerk) and as a regular DFG reviewer, he will be happy to share insights into funding application processes and on third party funding more generally. In his current capacity as dean of U Siegen’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, he is familiar with administrative perspectives that might be relevant to PhD candidates and post-doctoral colleagues.

Prof. Dr. Miriam Strube
Universität Paderborn

Miriam Strube is working on Black Studies, philosophy, popular culture, modernist poetry/poetics, and environmental studies.

Prof. Dr. Pia Wiegmink
Universität Bonn

Pia Wiegmink is a professor for Slavery and Dependency at Bonn University’s excellence cluster “Beyond Slavery and Freedom”. Her research interests include Antislavery Literature, African American Life Writing, 19th century American Literature, Transnational American Studies, Cultural Heritage, Political Theater and Activism.

Dr. Meike Zwingenberger
Geschäftsführerin Stiftung Bayerisches Amerikahaus gGmbH

Meike Zwingenberger is Executive Director of the foundation Stiftung Bayerisches Amerikahaus gGmbH – Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations (Amerikahaus München), the largest institution concerned with transatlantic relations in Germany, and willing to advise on career-planning beyond the classical professorial career. 

Mentoring Agreement