Prof. Dr. Pia Wiegmink 

BCDSS Professor

Room 2.019
Niebuhrstr. 5
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 62479

Office hours: Thursdays, 4–6 pm (in person or via Zoom), please register via email in advance

Team assistant: Martina Kuhnert
Team: Dr. Jennifer Leetsch, Luvena Kopp, Hannah Rieck (student assistant)

© Barbara Frommann

Working Groups: [check our monthly sessions!]


  • Out now: Special Issue „Beyond Slavery and Freedom?“ The Journal of Global Slavery, vol. 9, issue 1-2 (2024), coedited with Jutta Wimmler
    Read Intro here.
  • Jun. 27, 16:00-18:00 CET: Kwame Anthony Appiah "Identities in History“ (organized in cooperation with Johanna Pitetti-Heil, University Cologne and stimmen afrikas)

  • Jun. 19, 2024, 18:00 CET: Juneteenth Lecture “Enslaved Females in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Nova Scotia and Quebec: Examining the Canadian Fugitive Slave Archive” by
    Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson
  • Jul. 4, 12:00-14:00 CET: The Visual Archive of Slavery: Legacies, Practices, Debates. A Roundtable with Beatrix Ihde, Claudia Jarzebowski, Cheryl McIntosh, Birgit Münch, Pia Wiegmink and Patrick Zeidler.
    MF1 (ULB)


Past BCDSS Events:


Teaching (current semester):

"I envision the BCDSS to be a lively and interdisciplinary academic community which enables a broad variety of scholars to become familiar with and learn from each other’s diverse areas of expertise; this exchange, I believe, will fuel my own research on the literatures of (anti)slavery and its global entanglements in exciting and unique ways."

Academic Profile

In her research, Pia Wiegmink is interested in cultural practices and particularly narratives of American slavery and dependency and their global entanglements and circulation. Her most recent monograph Abolitionist Cosmopolitanism (Brill 2022) 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 includes

  • The Protocols of Dependency in American Literature (which analyzes intersecting tropes and discursive structures of various forms of dependency inherent in nineteenth century American literature).
  • German Immigrants, Life Writing, and the Afterlives of Slavery in Queensland
  • a co-edited special issue "Beyond Slavery and Freedom" in Journal of Global Slavery (forthcoming; with Jutta Wimmler, Spring 2024)
  • a co-edited special issue "Slavery and Colonialism in German Cultural Memory: Discourses,
  • Debates, and Practices" in Atlantic Studies: Global Currents (forthcoming; with Heike Raphael-Hernandez, Summer 2024)
  • a co-edited special issue “Dependent Selves: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Life Writing and the Study of Dependency,” in Life Writing (Taylor and Francis, with Jennifer Leetsch)

Venia legendi, American Studies, JGU Mainz, Germany

Submission of Habilitation, American Studies, JGU Mainz, Germany

Ph.D. American Studies, University of Siegen, Germany

M.A. Theatre Studies and English Studies, JGU Mainz, Germany

Current Position
Professor for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University Bonn, Germany      

Assistant Professor (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin), Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, JGU Mainz

Interim Chair of American Studies, University of Regensburg

Assistant Professor (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin), Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, JGU Mainz

Visiting Professor, English Department, York University, Toronto

Visiting Researcher, English Department, Georgetown University,Washington D.C.

Lecturer, Department of Literature, Culture and Media Studies/American Studies, University of Siegen

Rob Kroes Award for the best unpublished manuscript in American studies by a European scholar for the year 2020  (European Association for American Studies)

Best Article Award 2019 Amerikastudien/American Studies

DFG Research Network: "Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies" (co-organization)

Eccles Centre Visiting Fellowship in North American Studies, Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, London

DFG (German Research Foundation) financial support for international workshop ("From Abolition to Black Lives Matter: Past and Present Forms of Transnational Black Resistance," 26–28 November 2017 JGU Mainz, organized with Nele Sawallisch, Frank Obenland and Johanna Seibert)

DFG (German Research Foundation) research network "Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies" with Dr. Birgit Bauridl (University of Regensburg)

DAAD Post-Doc Fellowship as visiting scholar at Georgetown University Washington, DC (discontinued 10/2012 due to parental leave)

Eccles Centre Fellowship in North American Studies, Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, London.

Research Fellowship (DAAD/German-Academic Exchange Service travel grant), University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles 


Abolitionist Cosmopolitanism: Reconfiguring Gender, Race, and Nation in American Antislavery, European Perspectives on the United States,: Vol. 4, Leiden, Brill, 2022.

Protest EnACTed: Activist Performance in the Contemporary United States. Heidelberg: Winter, 2011.
Reviewed in
Journal of Contemporary Drama in English 1.2 (2013): 337-40
Amerikastudien / American Studies 60.4 (2016).

Theatralität und öffentlicher Raum: Die Situationistische Internationale am Schnittpunkt von Kunst und Politik. Marburg: Tectum, 2005. ISBN 978-3-8288-8935-4

Edited collections and special issues

Beyond Slavery and Freedom (Special Issue, The Journal of Global Slavery), vol. 9, issue 1-2 (2024). Coedited with Jutta Wimmler. Leiden, Brill.

American Cultures as Transnational Performance: Commons, Skills, Traces. Eds. Katrin Horn, Leopold Lippert, Ilka Saal und Pia Wiegmink. London: Routledge, 2022.

Transnational Black Politics and Resistance: From Enslavement to Obama (SPECIAL FORUM Journal for Transnational American Studies), Vol. 10, No. 1 (2019), (mit Frank Obenland, Nele Sawallisch, und Johanna Seibert)

German Entanglements in Transatlantic Slavery (Special Issue, Atlantic Studies: Global Currents 14.4, 2017). With Heike Raphael-Hernandez. Taylor & Francis. (re-published in book format with Routledge in 2019)

Approaching Transnational America in Performance. Mit Birgit M. Bauridl. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2016.

Essays, peer-reviewed

“African American Women in Europe, 1850s,” In Search of Liberty: African American Internationalism in the Nineteenth Century Atlantic World, eds. Ousmane Power-Greene and Ronald Angelo Johnson. University of Georgia Press, 2021, 254-278.

“Tearing the Envelope: Harriet Jacobs’ Epistolary Activism” Amerikastudien/American Studies 64.3 (2019): 373-390. [Best Article Award 2019] DOI: 10.33675/amst/2019/3/5

“The Serial Character of Abolition: Charting Transatlantic and Gendered Critiques of Slavery in The Liberty Bell” Popular Culture –Serial Culture: Nineteenth-Century Serial Fictions in Transnational Perspective, 1830s-1860s. Eds. Daniel Stein and Lisanna Wiele. London: Palgrave, 2019. 145-159.

“Antislavery Discourses in Nineteenth-Century German American Women’s Fiction.” Atlantic Studies: Global Currents 14.1 (2017): 476-496. DOI: 10.1080/14788810.2017.1314433

with Birgit Bauridl. “Toward an Integrative Model of Performance in Transnational American Studies.” Amerikastudien/American Studies 60.1 (2015): 157-168.

with Sonja Georgi. “Coloured in South Africa: An Interview with Filmmaker Kiersten Dunbar Chace and Photojournalist Rushay Booysen.” Migrating the Black Body: The African Diaspora and Visual Culture. Eds. Heike Raphael-Hernandez and Leigh Raiford. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017. 221-235.


With Andrea Zittlau. “Radical Time Travel: An Interview with Denise Uyehara.” American Cultures as Transnational Performance: Traces, Bodies, Commons, Skills, Hrsg. Katrin Horn, Leopold Lippert, Ilka Saal, and Pia Wiegmink, Routledge, 2021, 129-144.

With Marina Barsy Janer, Caro Ley, und Andrea Zittlau, “Border Movement: Transnational Performance in Practice.” American Cultures as Transnational Performance: Traces, Bodies, Commons, Skills, Hrsg. Katrin Horn, Leopold Lippert, Ilka Saal, and Pia Wiegmink, Routledge, 2021, 85-98.

“Race, Slavery, and Emigration in Nancy Prince’s Life Writing.” African American Literature in Transition, vol. 3, 1830-1850. Ed. Benjamin Fagan. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021, 202-220. DOI:

With Birgit Bauridl. “Cultural Performance and Transnational American Studies.” Routledge Companion to Transnational American Studies. Hrsg. Nina Morgan, Alfred Hornung, and Takayuki Tatsumi. London: Routledge, 2019. 85–95. DOI: 10.4324/9781315163932-8

with Heike Raphael-Hernandez. “German Entanglements in Transatlantic Slavery: An Introduction.” Atlantic Studies: Global Currents 14.1. (2017): 419-435. DOI: 10.1080/14788810.2017.1366009

with Birgit Bauridl. “Introduction: Approaching Transnational America in Performance.” Approaching Transnational America in Performance. Eds. Birgit M. Bauridl and Pia Wiegmink. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2016. 7-16.

“Friends of Freedom: The Transatlantic Networks of Boston’s Women Abolitionists.” Atlantic Crosscurrents: Women’s Networks in the Long Nineteenth Century. Eds. Sandra H. Petrulionis, Julia Nitz and Theresa Schön. Heidelberg: Winter, 2016. 91-105.

“Naomi Wallace.” The Methuen Guide to Contemporary American Drama. Hrsg. Martin Middeke, Peter Paul Schnierer, Christoper Innes and Matthew C. Roudané. London/New York: Bloomsbury, 2014. 391-410.

“Alles nur Theater? Über das Verhältnis von Protest und Performance.” Kunstforum International 224 (2014): 110-121.

“Protesting Corporate Greed and ‘The Problem of Speaking for Others.’” American Economies. Eds. Eva Boesenberg, Martin Klepper and Reinhard Isensee. Heidelberg: Winter, 2012. 199-219.

With Matthias Oppermann. “Add Change as Friend?”–The Obama Campaign between Social Network and Political Narrative." Forever Young? The Changing Images of America. (European Views of the United States). Eds. Philip Coleman and Stephen Matterson. Heidelberg: Winter, 2012. 93-104.

“ActEthics.” Ethical Debates in Contemporary Theatre and Drama (Contemporary Drama in English 20). Eds. Bernhard Reitz and Mark Berninger. Trier: WVT, 2012. 151-162.

“Parody, Politics, and the Public Sphere: The Billionaires for Bush’s Mock Electoral Campaigns.” The American Presidency: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Eds. Wilfried Mausbach, Dietmar Schloss, and Martin Thunert. Heidelberg: Winter, 2012. 287-310.

“‘You Stole My Sidamo’: Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir on Their Crusade Against Consumerism.” Cornbread and Cuchifritos: Ethnic Identity Politics, Transnationalization, and Transculturation in American Urban Popular Music (Inter-American Studies 2). Eds. Wilfried Raussert and Michelle Habell-Pallán. Trier: WVT, 2011. 259-78.

“Performance meets Activism: The Billionaires for Bush’s Spectacles of Protest.” Adaptations – Performing across Media and Genres. (Contemporary Drama in English 17). Eds. Eckart Voigts-Virchow and Monika Prietrzak-Franger. Trier: WVT, 2009. 159-72.

“Electronic Disturbances: Creative Resistance on the Net.” American Studies as Media Studies. Eds. Frank Kelleter and Daniel Stein. Heidelberg: Winter, 2009. 261-270.

“Turning the Test Beds: Performance Art and Genetic Engineering.” fiar – forum for inter-american research 1: 2008.

“Volatile Performances: American Corporations, Fake Websites and Media Activism in a Transnational Perspective.” Hostile Takeovers: On Violence and Media. Eds. Friedemann Kreuder and Constanze Schuler. Marburg: Tectum, 2008. 85-92.

“Performing Resistance: Contemporary American Performance Activism.” COPAS: Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies 7: 2006; Performing the Matrix: Mediating Cultural Performances. Eds. Meike Wagner and Wolf Dieter Ernst. München: epodium, 2008. 307-319.

Book Reviews 

Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst / Stefanie Michels / Fabian Fechner 2022, Nordrhein-Westfalen und der Imperialismus, Berlin: Metropol, 485pp,“ sehepunkte 23 (2023), Nr. 2 [15.02.2023], URL:

"Timothy Helwig. 2020. Cross-Racial Class Protest in Antebellum American Literature. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 208 pp., 4 b & w illustr., $ 90.00," Anglia, vol. 141, no. 2, 2023, pp. 298-302.

“Jeffrey B. Ferguson, ‘Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance’ (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2021), 128 pp.” Amerikastudien/American Studies, vol. 67, no. 3 (2022), pp. 393 – 395. DOI:

"Verena Laschinger and Sirpa Salenius (eds.). 2019. Neglected American Women Writers of the Long Nineteenth Century. Routledge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature. New York/Abingdon: Routledge, xiii + 209 pp., £ 120.00." Anglia, vol. 140, no. 1, 2022, pp. 158-161.

“Carsten Junker. Patterns of Positioning: On the Poetics of Early Abolition.” ZAA: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 65.4 (2017): 450-53.

“Martha Schoolman: Abolitionist Geographies.” African American Review 48.3 (2015): 387-89.

“Philip K. Colin, ed. Contemporary African American Women Playwrights: A Casebook.” Journal for Contemporary Drama in English 2.1 (2014): 119-22.

“Kirk Savage: Monument Wars: Washington D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape.” Amerikastudien 56.3 (2011): 473-475.

“Soyini D. Madison: Acts of Activism: Human Rights as Radical Performance.” Theatre Research International 36.1 (2011): 79-80.

“Susan C. Haedicke, Deirdre Heddon, Avraham Oz and E. J. Westlake, ed. Political Performances: Theory and Practice.” Theatre Research International 35.2 (2010): 213-14.


Wiegmink, Pia. “Narrative, Affective Communities, and Abolitionist Cosmopolitanism in the American Gift Book The Liberty Bell (1839-1858).” In Narratives of Dependency, edited by Marion Gymnich et. al. De Gruyter series Beyond Slavery and Freedom), forthcoming spring 2024.

Wiegmink, Pia and Heike Raphael-Hernandez, eds. Slavery and Colonialism in German Cultural Memory: Discourses, Debates, and Practice, Special Issue Atlantic Studies: Global Currents (Taylor & Francis), forthcoming spring 2024.

Christopher, Emma; Lueb, Oliver; Miller, Imelda and Wiegmink, Pia. “Conversation on German (post)colonialism: Archiving, Collecting, Exhibiting and Repatriating Pacific Cultures”, Slavery and Colonialism in German Cultural Memory: Discourses, Debates, and Practice, Special Issue Atlantic Studies: Global Currents, edited by Pia Wiegmink and Heike Raphael-Hernandez, forthcoming spring 2024

Wiegmink, Pia and Jutta Wimmler, eds. Beyond Slavery and Freedom?, Special Issue Journal of Global Slavery, forthcoming spring 2024


Wiegmink, Pia. “Transatlantic Slavery, Reparations, and a Modern Art Museum: A Review of Cameron Rowland’ss Exhibition “Amt 45i,” Dependent, Issue 7 (2023), pp 62-64.

Wiegmink, Pia. “Conference Report: Global Voyages, Local Sites: The Long Shadow of Atlantic Slavery in the Anglo-American and German Pacific (June 2023),” Dependent, Issue 8 (2023), pp. 56-58. 

Christoph Antweiler, Stephan Conermann, Julia Hillner, Claudia Jarzebowski, Eva Lehner, Rudolf Stichweh, Christian De Vito, Pia Wiegmink, Jutta Wimmler, Christoph Witzenrath: BCDSS Conversation 1 - On Comparison and the Use of Theory, Feb. 2023.

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