© Pia Wiegmink

Prof. Dr. Pia Wiegmink 

University of Bonn
Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Niebuhrstr. 5
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73

Current Position (as of September 2021)

Professor for Slavery and Dependency Studies


In her research, Pia Wiegmink is interested in cultural practices and particularly narratives of American slavery and dependency and their transatlantic entanglements and circulation. Her most recent monograph (forthcoming with Brill 2021) redefined the potential of nineteenth century American abolitionist literature as a cultural and political imaginary. She situated abolitionist literature in specific transnational contexts and highlighted the role of women as producers, subjects, and readers of abolitionist literature. Her current research can be divided into three thematic clusters: The first cluster focuses on practices of remembering slavery and other forms of asymmetrical dependency in North America and Europe (in particular Germany) and examines how these practices profoundly contribute(d) to processes of (political and cultural) self-fashioning. The second cluster aims at exploring the slave narrative and other forms of life writing in a transcultural and comparative perspective. The third cluster/project, tentatively entitled “the protocols of dependency in American literature” analyzes intersecting tropes and discursive structures of various forms of dependency inherent in nineteenth century American literature.

2 monographs (+ 1 forthcoming); 3 edited collections (+1 forthcoming); 21 articles (+6 forthcoming); 6 reviews; 39 national and international lectures and papers; 5 MA theses; 39 BA theses; (co)organizer of 7 conferences/workshops; (co)organizer of 8 panels


  • 2009–2020                 Habilitation and Venia legendi, American Studies, JGU Mainz
  • 7/2010                         Ph.D., American Studies, University of Siegen
  • 6/2020                         MA, Theatre Studies and English Studies, JGU Mainz    

Academic Positions

  • as of September 2021     Professor for  Dependency and Slavery Studies, University Bonn, Germany      
  • 2021                                   Assistant Professor (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin), Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, JGU Mainz
  • 2019–2020                       Interim Chair of American Studies, University of Regensburg
  • 2010–2019                       Assistant Professor (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin), Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, JGU Mainz
  • 2017                                   Visiting Professor, English Department, York University, Toronto
  • 2011–2012                       Visiting Researcher, English Department, Georgetown University,Washington D.C.
  • 2005–2010                      Lecturer, Department of Literature, Culture and Media Studies/American Studies, University of Siegen


  • 2021                         Rob Kroes Award for the best unpublished manuscript in American studies by a European scholar for the year 2020  (European Association for American Studies)
  • 2020                         Best Article Award 2019 Amerikastudien/American Studies

Participation in Collaborative Projects

  • 2015–2018            DFG Research Network: “Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies” (co-organization)

Additional Academic Activities

  • Reviewer for various journals


Third-Party Funding

  • 2017–2020              Temporary Position for Principal Investigator, German Research Community (DFG) Priority Program “Transottomanica”
  • 2015–2028              DFG (German Research Foundation) research network “Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies” with Dr. Birgit Bauridl (University of Regensburg)
  • 2017                          DFG (German Research Foundation) financial support for international workshop („From Abolition to Black Lives Matter: Past and Present Forms of Transnational      
                                       Black Resistance, 26.-18. November 2017 JGU Mainz, organized with Nele Sawallisch, Frank Obenland and Johanna Seibert)
  • 2012                          DAAD Post-Doc Fellowship as visiting scholar at Georgetown University Washington, DC (discontinued 10/2012 due to parental leave)
  • 2006                          Research Fellowship (DAAD/German-Academic Exchange Service travel grant), University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles 

Selected Publications

  • Reconfiguring the Nation. Transnationalism and Gender in Nineteenth-Century American Abolitionist Literature. Leiden: Brill. [forthcoming].
  • Katrin Horn, Leopold Lippert, and Ilka Saal, eds. 2021. American Cultures as Transnational Performance. Commons, Skills, Traces. London: Routledge. [forthcoming in August].
  • 2021. “Race, Slavery, and Emigration in Black Women’s Life Writing.” In African American Literature in Transition, 1830–1850, edited by Benjamin Fagan, 202–220. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2021. “African American Women in Europe.” In In Search of Liberty. African American Internationalism in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World, edited by Ronald Angelo Johnson and Ousmane Power-Greene, 253–278. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
  • 2019. “Tearing the Envelope: Harriet Jacobs’s ‘Epistolary Activism’”. Amerikastudien/American Studies 64(3): 373–390.
  • and Birgit Bauridl. 2019. “Cultural Performance and Transnational American Studies.” In: The Routledge Companion to Transnational American Studies, edited by Nina Morgan, Alfred Hornung, and Takayuki Tatsumi, 85–95. London: Routledge.
  • and Heike Raphael-Hernandez, eds. 2020. German Entanglements in Transatlantic Slavery. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1080/14788810.2017.136600922
  • 2017. “Antislavery Discourses in Nineteenth-Century German American Women’s Fiction.” Atlantic Studies: Global Currents 14(1): 476–496. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14788810.2017.13144333322, https://amst.winter-verlag.de/data/article/9285/pdf/101903005.pdf4433
  • 2014. “Naomi Wallace.” In The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary American Playwrights, edited by Martin Middeke, Peter Paul Schnierer, Christoper Innes, and Matthew C. Roudané, 391–410. London: Bloomsbury.
  • 2011. Protest EnACTed. Activist Performance in the Contemporary United States. American Studies 201. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter., https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14788810.2017.1366009
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