PD Dr. Kathy-Ann Tan

  • Job title: Gastprofessur
  • Organization: Department of English and American Studies
  • Working group: Chair of American Studies (Prof. Dr. Paul)
  • Phone number: +49 9131 85-23441
  • Email:
  • Address:
    Bismarckstraße 1
    91054 Erlangen
    Room C407
  • Office hours: Office Hours
    by appointment

Research Interests

Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies
Diaspora and Race
Citizenship and Migration Studies
Transnational American Studies
Gender and Queer Studies
Language Poetry
Visual Art and Performance

Research Projects

  • “The Aesthetics of Decoloniality: Relationality, Temporality and Affect”
  • “Critical Diversity and Decolonial Methodologies in the Classroom” (funded by a Julie Johnson Kidd Fellowship awarded by the European Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences (ECOLAS))

Upcoming Activities

  • BAA-Summer School “Narratives of the American State in Comparative Perspective,” Nuremberg/Berlin/Regensburg, May 25-June 8, 2019


Habilitation in North American Literatures and Cultures, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (2014)
Ph.D. in American Studies, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (2008, summa cum laude)
M.Litt. in American Studies and English Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (2002)
B.A. (Hons) in English, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, UK (1999)


  • April 2019 – March 2020: Interim Chair of American Studies, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Since 2016: Visiting Professor, Bard College Berlin
  • 2018: Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • 2017 – 2018: Interim Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Paderborn
  • 2017: Interim Chair of American Literature, John F. Kennedy Institute of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
  • 2016: Guest Professor in American Studies and Cultural Studies, Department of English and American Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • 2014 – 2015: Interim Professor of American Studies, University of Wuppertal
  • 2010: Visiting Lecturer, Deparment of English, University of Maryland, College Park
  • 2008 – 2014: Associate Professor (non-Tenure track), Department of English and American Studies, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
  • 2004 – 2008: Assistant Professor (non-Tenure track), Department of English and American Studies, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen

Fellowships, Grants & Awards

  • February 2019: Fellow at “(Un-)Learning Place”. Das Neue Alphabet – Opening Days. Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin
  • 2018: Julie Johnson Kidd Fellowship awarded by the European Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences (ECOLAS), 1.500 €
  • 2016: FONTE Foundation Guest Professorship at the Institute for English and American Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 15.000 €
  • 2015: Fulbright Senior Scholar Research/Travel Grant, hosted by Prof. Frank B. Wilderson, Department of African American Studies and Program in Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine, 2.500 €
  • 2015: Conference Funding by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation for “Unlearning Racialized and Gendered Intimacies” with Queer/Gender e.V., Berlin, 250€
  • 2014 – 2016: Member of the DFG-research network “Environmental Crisis and the Transnational Imagination”
  • 2014 – 2016: Member of the DAAD German-Italian Dialog “Crisis, New Regionalisms and the Future of Cultural Studies in Europe”
  • 2003 – 2005: Ph.D. Stipend (Landesgraduiertenförderung Baden-Württemberg), 25.000 €
  • 1996 – 1999: Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship, University of Cambridge, UK, 5.000 £



  • Reconfiguring Citizenship and National Identity in the North American Literary Imagination, 1850 – 2010. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2015.
  • The Nonconformist’s Poem: Radical “Poetics of Autobiography”  in the Works of Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe and Leslie Scalapino. Trier: WVT. Mosaic: Studien und Texte zur amerikanischen Kultur und Geschichte, 2008.

Edited Volumes

  • Home: Concepts, Constructions and Contexts. (with Cecile Sandten). CHAT – Chemnitzer Anglistik/Amerikanistik Today. Trier: WVT, 2015.

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Decolonial Aesthetics, Indigeneity and Queer(ing) Settler Colonialism”. Biopolitics – Geopolitics – Life: Settler Colonialisms and Indigenous Presences. Rene Dietrich and Kerstin Knopf (eds.) Durham: Duke University Press, 2019. In print.
  • “Grim Americana: Poverty, Precariousness and the Ties of Female Kinship in Winter’s Bone”. Representing Poverty in the Anglophone Postcolonial World. Verena Jain-Warden und Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp (eds.). Representations & Reflections Reihe. Göttingen: V&R unipress / Bonn University Press, 2019. In print.
  • “Language Poetry”. A History of American Poetry: Contexts – Developments – Readings. Oliver Scheiding, René Dietrich und Clemens Spahr (eds.). Handbücher zum literaturwissenschaftlichen Studium. Trier: WVT, 2015. 355 – 366.
  • “Literary and Visual Cultures of New York City, 1890 – 1913”. Palimpsestraum Stadt. Winfried Thielmann, Cecile Sandten und Eike Kronshage(eds.). CHAT: Chemnitzer Anglistik/Amerikanistik Today 5. Trier: WVT, 2015. 133 – 148.
  • “The Green Screen: Eco-nationalism, Ecophobia and Hollywood Cinema”. Weeds and Viruses: Ecopoetics and the Demands of Theory. Cordula Lemke und Jennie Wawrzinek (eds.). Trier: WVT, 2015. 215 – 235.
  • “Creating Dangerously”: Writing, Exile and Diaspora in Edwidge Danticat’s and Dany Laferrière’s Haitian Memoirs”. American Lives. Alfred Hornung (ed.). American Studies: A Monograph Series. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2013. 249 – 61.
  • “London Calling: The Poetics of Disruption and Social Refusal in the Works of Sean Bonney and Stephen Mooney (London Under Construction)”. Contemporary Political Poetry in Britain and Ireland. Uwe Klawitter & Claus-Ulrich Viol (eds.) Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, A&E (Anglistik & Englischunterricht), 2013. 229 – 254.
  • “Curio(us) Translocations: Culturally Site-specific Interventions in Banglatown, London”. Postcolonial Translocations. GNEL/ASNEL Papers 16. Marga Munkelt, Silke Stroh, Mark Stein (eds.). Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2013. 385 – 405.
  • “Makeshift Heterotopia(s): Tent Cities in North America”. Contact Spaces of American Culture: Localizing Global Phenomena. Petra Eckhard, Klaus Rieser, Silvia Schultermandl (eds.). Berlin: LIT Verlag, American Studies in Austria Series, 2012. 203 – 228.
  • “‘All the Difficult Names of Who We Are’: Transnational Identity Politics in Chang-Rae Lee’s and Karen Tei Yamashita’s Fiction.” A Fluid Sense of Self: The Politics of Transnational Identity. Silvia Schultermandl, Sebnem Toplu (eds.). Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2010. 113-37.
  • “If you’re not on paper, you don’t exist: Depictions of ‘Illegal’ Immigration in Film (on Michael Winterbottom’s In This World and Code 46)”. Multi-Ethnic Britain 2000+: New Perspectives in Literature, Film and the Arts After 9/11. Lars Eckstein, Barbara Korte, Ulrike Pirker, Christoph Reinfandt (eds.). Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2008. 301 – 14.
  • “‘Caught Between Worlds’: Cultural Difference and Spatial Re-Negotiations in the Works of Zadie Smith, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Monica Ali”. Territorial Terrors: Postcolonial Literature and Theory. Gerhard Stilz (ed.). Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2008. 227 – 38.
  • “Lyn Hejinian’s Poetics of the Transpersonal: A Reading of Writing is an Aid to Memory and ‘The Guard’”. Poetry and Public Language. Tony Lopez und Anthony Caleshu (eds.). Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2007. 244 – 53.
  • “To Catch the World/ at Pure Idea”: Structures of Order and Disorder in Jorie Graham’s Poetry”. Ideas of Order in Contemporary American Poetry. Oliver Scheiding und Diana von Fink (eds.). Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2007. 97 – 114.

Teaching (selected)

  • Race and the Black Radical Tradition in Contemporary Literature and Art
  • Race and Gender in/and American Art and Performance
  • Critical Diversity and Decolonial Methodologies in the Liberal Arts Classroom
  • Postcoloniality/Decoloniality in Canadian Literature
  • Mapping the Postcolonial in Anglophone Literatures
  • Race, Class and a New Black Cinema: Films of the L.A. Rebellion and Beyond
  • Nationality, Race, and Ethnicity in the U.S.: From Text to Performance
  • Writing Pluralism – Gender, Class and Ethnicity in Black Canadian Literature
  • Introduction to Gender and Queer Studies
  • Contemporary Cultural Theory: A Comparative Approach to Race, Class and Gender
  • The American Metropolis in Contemporary Literature and Film
  • The Progressive Era in American Literature, Journalism and Photography
  • The Lost Generation: 1920s U.S. Literature and Culture
  • Globalization and the Contemporary American Novel
  • Gender and the American Family Novel
  • Screening America – Visual Aesthetics and Affect in American Film        
  • Critical Multiculturalism and Transnational Approaches in North American Fiction
  • An Introduction to Caribbean Canadian Women’s Writing    
  • Dissident and (Dis-)qualified Bodies – Refugees, Exiles and Undocumented Migrants in 20th Century American and Canadian Fiction
  • Representations of Canada in Literature and Music
  • Hemispheric American Studies
  • Gender and/in Early American Satire
  • The Autobiographical Impulse in American Poetry 
  • Post-9/11 Fiction and Film       
  • John Taggart: Contemporary American Poetry and the Influence of Jazz
  • Language Poetry & the New Avant-Garde