Dr. Sunčica Klaas

Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room: 2.011
Niebuhrstr. 5
53113 Bonn


Suncica Klaas_profilbild.jpg
© Sunčica Klaas

Academic Profile

Focusing specifically on issues of mobility and diversity, my research portfolio consists of three areas, namely, “Human Rights Cultures,” “Minor Migrations,” and “Rac[e]ing Rails: Railroads and Transportation Justice in African American Literature and Culture.” The first of these developed from my PhD thesis on “Writing Wrongs: Human Rights and the Contemporary American Autobiography,” for which I was awarded a summa cum laude and a Humboldt Prize by the Humboldt University, Berlin. Together with Prof. Kerry Bystrom (Bard College) and Dr. Carly McLaughlin (Potsdam), I have also developed my second research area “Minor Migrations,” which maps the legal and sociopolitical vulnerabilities of displaced children in the Anglosphere. In this context, I co-organized an international symposium on Shifting Frames: Migrant Children, Politics and History (May, 2019) as well as a lecture series on Children Crossing Borders (2018-2020). Also, our project has teamed up with the Department for Teaching English as a Foreign Language at the Potsdam University, producing a list of reading recommendations for introducing German high school students to the topic of forced migration. At present, I am working on my postdoctoral project “Rac[e]ing Rails: Railroads and Transport Justice in African American Literature and Culture,” which reads the junctions of race and transportation technologies in a highly diverse archive of African American texts. Exploring railroad imaginaries in law and literature, popular and political culture, this third research area locates intersectionality at the heart of technology studies, while also exposing technological discourses, practices, and artifacts to a cultural and literary analysis.

PhD in American literature and culture, Humboldt University, Berlin, dissertation on “Writing
Wrongs: Human Rights and the Contemporary American Autobiography,” summa cum laude

M.A. and B.A. in English, American, and German Studies, University of Padua, Italy, 110/110 cum laude

From 06/22
Postdoctoral researcher and lecturer, BCDSS, Bonn University, Germany

Researcher and lecturer, Department for English and American Studies, Potsdam University

Researcher and lecturer, Department for English and American Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin

  • Thyssen Stiftung, project Minor Migrations, 2019
  • Dezernat 1, Potsdam University, project Minor Migrations, 2019
  • Universitätsgesellschaft Potsdam e.V, project Minor Migrations, 2019
  • Humboldt Prize, 2018
  • Gender Award (with Dr. Carly McLaughlin), Faculty of Arts, Potsdam University, 2018
  • Workshop Children in Crisis, Potsdam University, 2020
  • International symposium Shifting Frames: (Im)migrant Children, Politics and History, Potsdam University, 2019
  • Lecture series Children Crossing Borders, Potsdam University, since 2018
  • Workshop Figuring the Moving Child: Constructions of “Unaccompanied Minors” in British and American
  • Writing, Eleventh Conference of the Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies (MESEA), Graz University, 2018
  • Distinguished DuBois Lectures, Humboldt University, Berlin, 2005­–2011


  • Klaas, S. Writing Wrongs: Human Rights and the Contemporary American Autobiography, Universitätsverlag Winter, 2018.


Editing Work

  • Klaas, S. and Crystal Parikh, special edition of Literature, Human Rights Techne: Assembling the Subject of Rights, forthcoming.

Articles and Reviews

  • Klaas, S. “‘Little Knowledges’: Shifting Visions of Childhood, Care, and Technology in the Contemporary Novel of Forced Migration.” The Routledge Handbook of Refugee Studies, edited by Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi and Vinh Nguyen. Routledge, 2023.  
  • Klaas, S. “Changing Scales, Changing Hands: Fugitive Literacies and Reading Beyond Citizenship in Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive.” Citizenship, Law and Literature, edited by Daniela Carpi and Klaus Stierstorfer. De Gruyter, 2021, pp. 85­–104.
  • Klaas, S. “A Crime Against Humanity: Prefiguring Human Rights in Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave.” The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries. Publications of the Bavarian American Academy, edited by Kerstin Schmidt. Universitätsverlag Winter, 2020, 193­–208.
  • Klaas, S. “Review of Crystal Parikh’s Writing Human Rights: The Political Imaginaries of Writers of Color.” Kritikon Litterarum: Internationale Rezensionszeitschrift für Romanistik, Slavistik, Anglistik und Amerikanistik, vol. 47, no. 3/4, 2020, 370­–374.
  • Klaas, S., and Carly McLaughlin. “Teaching Minor Migrations: Narratives of Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Children for the Classroom.” Der Fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch. Sonderheft “Seeking Refuge – Globales Lernen zum Thema Flucht, Vertreibung, Migration,” no. 159, 2019, pp. 48­–49.
  • Klaas, S. “‘We Will Give Him a Family’: Economies of Race and Rescue in the Autobiographies of Young African Refugees.” Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht. Sondenderheft “Refugees and/in Litearture,” vol. xvix, no. 2/3, 2016, pp. 193­–206.
  • Klaas, S. “Those Tigers of Memory: Life-Writing in Exile.” Cultural Memory and Multiple Identities: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Identity Politics in the 20th Century. Transatlantic American Studies, edited by Rüdiger Kunow and Wilfried Raussert, LIT Verlag, 2007, pp. 31–42.
  • Klaas, S. “On Pens and Swords: Life-Writing as Socio-Political Engagement.” ZENAF Conference Proceedings, edited by Christa Buschendorf, Zentrum für Nordamerika-Forschung, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 2005, pp. 69­–83.
  • Klaas, S. “Traveling Theorists: Edward Said and the Challenge of Intellectual Engagement within Humanism.” Approaching SeaChanges: Metamorphoses and Migrations across the Atlantic, edited by Annalisa Oboe, Unipress, 2005, pp. 89­–110.
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