Luvena Kopp

Doctoral Candidate and Lecturer

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room: 2.011  
Niebuhrstr.5
53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 62470
lkopp@uni-bonn.de

Kopp_Luvena.jpg
© Tim Wulf

Academic Profile

My disciplinary background is American studies and my research is situated at the intersection of cultural studies, film studies, Black studies, and sociology. My dissertation explores cinematic representations of symbolic violence and resistance in the films of Spike Lee. In my interpretation of Lee’s films, I employ the arsenal of analytical tools introduced by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and other proponents of relational resp. figurational sociology such as Norbert Elias and Loïc Wacquant. Focusing on the experience of Blacks in U.S., Lee’s films tend to look at asymmetrical dependencies through a quasi-sociological lens, that is, in a way that exposes the subliminal mechanisms of power. By reading these films with the concepts of relational resp. figurational sociology, my dissertation highlights facets in Lee’s cinematic representations that have so far been overlooked.

I am also interested in social movements, their cultural effects, and the various ways in which they challenge—or reinforce—existing power structures. The topicality of the Black liberation movement, in particular, has allowed me to share my academic research with the public. In this context, I frequently serve as a public commentator on issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement and, more generally, race relations in the U.S.

2002 – 2010
MA (Magister Artium), American Studies and Theater, Film, and Media Studies, Goethe University Frankfurt, Thesis: “From the Minstrel Show to Cinema: African American Stereotypes in Contemporary American Film” 

2016
Fulbright American Studies Institute: “Why Black Lives Matter: Race and Politics in the U.S.”, San Francisco State University, CA, USA 

2012
Fulbright Fellow, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts and Department of Social and Cultural Analysis (Africana Studies), NY, USA

Since 10/2021
Doctoral researcher and lecturer, BCDSS, Bonn University, Germany 

10/2020 – 09/2021
Research fellow and lecturer in American studies, English Seminar, University of Freiburg, Germany 

10/2018 – 09/2020
Research fellow, Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 923 “Threatened Order—Societies under Stress,” University of Tübingen, Germany  

10/2015 – 09/2018
Research fellow and lecturer in American studies, English Seminar, University of Tübingen, Germany

01/2021
Peer reviewer for k:ON–Kölner Online Journal für Lehrer*innenbildung

07/2019
Conference Grant, The Ralph and Fanny Ellison Charitable Trust, proposal co-authored with Stephan Kuhl and Nicole Lindenberg, “(Re)Reading Ralph Ellison: Symposium at Goethe University Frankfurt,” Germany 

Conference Grant, Association of Friends and Supporters of the Goethe University Frankfurt (Vereinigung von Freunden und Förderern der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), proposal co-authored with Stephan Kuhl and Nicole Lindenberg, “(Re)Reading Ralph Ellison: Symposium at Goethe University Frankfurt,” Germany 

Conference Grant, Dr. Bodo Sponholz-Stiftung für Wohlfahrt, Kunst und Wissen, proposal co-authored with Stephan Kuhl and Nicole Lindenberg, “(Re)Reading Ralph Ellison: Symposium at Goethe University Frankfurt,” Germany

09/2016 – 10/2016
Travel Grant by Fulbright Germany, Fulbright American Studies Institute: “Why Black Lives Matter: Race and Politics in the U.S.” San Francisco State University, CA, USA 

01/2012 – 10/2012
Travel Grant by Fulbright Germany, Fulbright Ph.D. Program, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts and Department of Social and Cultural Analysis (Africana Studies), NY, USA

10/2011 – 05/2014
Ph.D. Grant by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.)

02/2021
Symposium “From Polarization to Black Liberation,” co-organized with Prof. Dr. Sieglinde Lemke, English Seminar, University of Freiburg, Germany 

07/2019
International Symposium “(Re)Reading Ralph Ellison: Symposium at Goethe University Frankfurt,” co-organized with Stephan Kuhl and Nicole Lindenberg, funded by The Ralph and Fanny Ellison Charitable Trust, the ProPostDoc Program of the Frankfurt Humanities Research Center, the Association of Friends and Supporters of the Goethe University Frankfurt, and the Dr. Bodo Sponholz-Stiftung für Wohlfahrt, Kunst und Wissen

04/2018
Workshop “Representing Social Struggles: Riots and Racialized Violence in Visual Media,” co-organized with Marlon Lieber and J. Jesse Ramírez, 32nd European Association for American Studies and 63rd British Association for American Studies Conference, King’s College London, University College London, Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, London, UK

04/2016
Workshop “Post-Black Aesthetics versus Black Lives Matter: Debating ‘Race’ in Contemporary American Society and Culture,” co-organized with Nicole Hirschfelder, Stephan Kuhl, Jiří Šalamoun, and Marlon Lieber, Biennial Conference of the European Association for American Studies, Ovidius University Constanța, Romania

11/2020
Panelist “Afropessimism: Online Reading and Discussion with Frank Wilderson III,” Law and Literature Lecture Series, Collaborative Research Center 1385 “Law and Literature,” University of Osnabrück, Germany 

06/2020 & 11/2021
Guest lecturer “On African American Humor”, Cultural Theories of Humor and Comedy, MA seminar instructed by Dr. Magda Majewska, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany 

11/2018
Conference Speaker “On the Politics of Spike Lee’s Aesthetic,” The Return of the Aesthetic in American Studies, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, post-presentation conversation with Prof. Dr. Christa Buschendorf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbvdvOrnOdY2

10/2017
Conference Speaker, “Through the Lens of Spike Lee: The Case of Eric Garner and the Rise of the Penal State,” From Abolition to Black Lives Matter: Past and Present Forms of Transnational Black Resistance, Obama Institute, University of Mainz, Germany

11/2020
Panelist “US-Wahl 2020 – Die Nacht der Entscheidung,” ZDF Berlin, Germany 

06/2020
Interview on the current global anti-racism protests, SWR4 Baden-Württemberg, Aktuell am Mittag with Lena Sterr 

08/2019
“Das Erbe der Sklaverrei—Wie rassistisch sind die USA?”, conversation with Dorothea Hahn, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Jobs, SWR Forum, moderated by Jürgen Heilig 

12/2018
Introduction to Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing with subsequent discussion, Kino Rex Bern, Switzerland, interview with Radio Bern: https://rabe.ch/tag/luvena-kopp/

07/2017
Panelist “Black Protest from the Civil Rights Movement to the Present,” Black Protest Pop-Up Exhibition, Amerikahaus Munich, Germany, post-panel interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lvp7cCYzsw&t=9s

Edited Volume

  • With Mahmoud Arghavan, Nicole Hirschfelder, and Katharina Motyl. 2018. Who Can Speak and Who Is Heard/Hurt? Facing Problems of ‘Race,’ Racism and Ethnic Diversity in the Humanities in Germany. transcript.

Online Publication

  • “Black Lives Matter: Eine Bestandsaufnahme.” Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (BpB), Dossier USA (forthcoming).
  • “BLM: Antirassistischer Widerstand in Deutschland.” Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (BpB), Dossier USA (forthcoming).

  

Chapters

  • 2020. “Towards a Black Prophetic Critique of Neoliberal State Violence: Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and the Death of Eric Garner.” Violence from Slavery to #BlackLivesMatter: African American History and Representation, edited by Andrew Dix and Peter Templeton, Routledge, 175–192.
  • 2018. “Understanding Ferguson: Suburban Marginality and Racialized Penality in the Age of Neoliberalism.” Power Relations in Black Lives: Reading African American Literature and Culture with Bourdieu and Elias, edited by Christa Buschendorf, transcript,  205–236.
  • 2016. “Der Fall Michael Brown: Polizeigewalt und kollektive Fantasie.” Von Selma bis Ferguson: Rasse und Rassismus in den USA, edited by Michael Butter, Astrid Franke, and Horst Tonn, transcript,  261–286.
  • 2014. “Satirizing Satire: Symbolic Violence and Subversion in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled.” Post-Soul Satire: Black Identity after Civil Rights, edited by Derek C. Maus and James J. Donahue, U of Mississippi P,  214–227.

 

Review

  • With Nicole Hirschfelder. 2021. “Black Lives Matter: Three Key Texts.” Common Grounds? Transatlantic Perspectives on the State of American Democracy, special issue of Amerikastudien/American Studies, vol. 66, no.1, 307–312.
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