PD Dr. Karin Hoepker

PD Dr. Karin Höpker

Department of English and American Studies
Lehrstuhl für Amerikanistik, insbesondere Literaturwissenschaft (Prof. Dr. Kley)

Room: Room B7A6
Bismarckstraße 1
91054 Erlangen

Office hours

by appointment



Research Interests

  • Current projects:
    • “Love, Transatlantically: Semantics of Love in Fiction”
    • “The Edge of Reason: Fiction, Risk and Probability in American Antebellum Narratives”
  • Narrative Theory & Fiction
  • US-American literature, 19th to present
  • Science & Fiction; Literature & History of Science
  • Popular culture, Seriality, and American Television
  • Architecture, Urban Studies
  • Humanism and Posthumanism


  • SS 2020 Deputy Chair of American Studies, esp. American Literature (Lehrstuhlvertretung Prof. Dr. A. Kley), Georg Thyssen-Foundation “Lesezeit”-Program
  • WS 2019/20 Guest Professor, Department of English and American Studies, Vienna University
  • Habilitation April 2018: The Edge of Reason – Fiction, Risk, and Probability in Antebellum American Literary Narrative, awarded the Habilitationspreis 2018 
  • Research at the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine, August 2014
  • Visiting Scholar, Department for Comparative Literature at Stanford University, 2012/2013
  • Summer Academy of the German National Academic Foundation, La Colle-sur-Loup 22.09.-05.10.2013
  • Assistant to the managing director of the Institute for English and American Studies’ executive board 2009–11
  • Assistant Professor, Department of English and American Studies since April 2009
  • 2008/09 awarded postdoctoral fellowship of the Program for the Advancement of Gifted Female Scholars (“Programm zur Förderung besonders begabter Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen”)
  • Finished her dissertation in 2008 on “No Maps for These Territories? – Towards an Archaeology of Future Urbanity in William Gibson’s Work”
  • Student representative at the interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program (2004-2005)
  • Fellow, interdisciplinary Ph.D. program of the German Research Foundation (DFG) “Cultural Hermeneutics: Reflections on Difference and Transdifference,” FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, 2004-2006
  • Studied English and American Studies and German Literature at the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg and at Indiana University Bloomington



Authored Books

Journal Articles

Book Contributions

Workshops, Lectures, and Papers

  • International Conference Speculative Endeavors – Cultures of Knowledge and Capital in the Long Nineteenth Century, University of Bayreuth, deferred to 22.– 24.10.2021, org. Katrin Horn, Karin Hoepker, Selina Foltinek
  • Workshop “Authorship and Cultural Participation in the Nineteenth Century,” German Association for American Studies (GAAS), Heidelberg, June 2021, deferred from 2020
  • Invited talk “Fiction after Postmodernism – New Realism and the Dystopian Imagination in M. Atwood’s Work,” Otto-Friedrich-University, Bamberg, 08.02.2021
  • “Cold Intimacy: Ex-Urban Masculinity in Contemporary US-American TV Series,” Metropolitan Masculinities: Narratives of Gender and Urban Space, Ruhr-University Bochum, 29.-30.11.2019
  • “Semantics of Love and Fragmented Family Ties in E. Marlitt’s Work,” Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association, Seminar “Family and Knowledge” Portland, OR, 3.-6.10. 2019
  • “Emotional Economy, Biomedicalization and Narratives of Managed Selves in Contemporary TV-Series,“ DGfA, Hamburg, 13.-15.06.2019
  • “’Black Cargo’: Narratives of Immobility in Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.“ American Im/Mobilities, Austrian American Studies Association, Wien, 16-18.11.2018
  • “Peripheral Masculinities: Affect and the Rural in Contemporary US-American TV Series”, De/Constructing Masculinities? Critical Explorations into Affect, Intersectionalities, and the Body, 22-23.06.2018
  • Lecture “Ugly Feelings – Öffentlicher Affekt und die Logik des Postfaktischen in den USA.” Lecture Series on Wutbürger – Gutmenschen. Ethische Aspekte gesellschaftlicher Debatten, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, July 24, 2017.
  • Lecture “Risk, Whaling, and the Incorporation of Trust in Melville’s Moby-Dick.” Symposium on Re-reading the American Renaissance, University of Vienna, May 09, 2017.
  • Lecture “Risk and Fiction – Reading Transatlantic Networks.” Academic Symposium and Humboldt Kolleg on Network@1800: New Directions in German and European Cultural Studies, Bowdoin College, Maine, April 05 – 08, 2017.
  • Lecture “Risk, Probability, and the Order of Things in Melville’s Fiction.” Conference on Fictions of Management, FU Berlin, Dec. 08 – 10, 2016.
  • Lecture “When the Whale Was Still a Fish: Precarious Knowledge and Melville’s Moby-Dick.” University of Vienna, Nov. 18, 2016.
  • Lecture “Ethopolitics: Narrating the Biomedical Self.” Conference on The Biopolitics of America: Bodies, Environments, and the Liberal Imagination, University of Würzburg, July 28 – 30, 2016.
  • Lecture “Sea-faring, Whale-hunting, and Mobile Orders of Knowledge in Melville’s Moby-Dick.” International Conference on Maritime Mobilities: Critical Perspectives from the Humanities, University of Vienna, Feb. 01 – 02, 2016.
  • Lecture “Perils of the Sea? The Creole-Mutiny and Frederick Douglass’ The Heroic Slave.” International Conference Perilous Passages – The Birth of Risk in 19th Century American Culture, Schloss Thurnau, Oct. 23 – 24, 2015.
  • with Jeanne Cortiel. “Perilous Passages – The Birth of Risk in 19th Century American Culture.” International Conference, Schloss Thurnau, Oct. 23 – 24, 2015.
  • with Antje Kley. “Unruly Creatures, Obstinate Things – Bio-Objects and Scientific Knowledge Production in Contemporary Science Novels.” Fiction meets Science, Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Delmenhorst, Nov. 19 – 22, 2014.
  • Workshop “Owning (Human) Nature? Literary Knowledge Production and the Life Sciences.” Annual Conference of the DGfA on Knowledge Landscapes North America, University of Bonn, May 28 – 31, 2015.
  • Paper “No Longer Your Friendly Neighborhood Killer: Crime Shows and Seriality after Dexter.” Conference on Transgressive Television: Politics, Crime, and Citizenship in 21st-Century American TV Series, Vienna, Oct. 01 – 03, 2014.
  • Workshop “Digital Detritus: Spam, Scrap, Bit Rot.” with Andrew Gross, DGfA 2014, University of Würzburg, June 12 – 15, 2014
  • Guest Lecture “Killer Seriality: Dexter and Contemporary American TV.” Literature & Media Studies Program, University of Bamberg, May 06, 2014.
  • Lecture “Mad Scientists, Horrid Creatures: Wissenschaftsfiktion in der amerikanischen Populärkultur.” Lecture series Populärkultur, Interdisziplinäres Zentrum Literatur und Kultur der Gegenwart, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, May 05, 2014.
  • with Antje Kley. “Literatur und Wissen: Life Science und The Pursuit of Happiness in Richard Powers: Das Größere Glück.” Summer Academy of the German National Academic Foundation, La Colle-sur-Loup, France, Sept. 24, 2013.
  • with Antje Kley. “Literatur und Wissen: Life Science and The Pursuit of Happiness in Richard Powers: Das Größere Glück.” Lecture series Quarks and Letters: Naturwissenschaften in Literatur und Kultur der Gegenwart, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Jan. 07, 2013.
  • Workshop and Paper “Life! Risk Narratives and the Novel in the 21st Century,” organized by Prof. Dr. Jeanne Cortiel, Bayreuth Institute for American Studies (BIFAS), July 19 – 20, 2012.
  • Workshop “Narratives of Self – Life Sciences and Life Writing in the Biomedical Age.” Annual conference of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA), Mainz, June 2012 (co-organized with Eva-Sabine Zehelein).
  • Dexter – Pathologizing the New Picturesque.” Is It ‘Cause It’s Cool? Affective Encounters with American Culture, 38th Annual Conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies (AAAS), Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Nov. 04 – 06, 2011.
  • Workshop “Faculty Towers – Academic Self-Reflection in Film, Fiction, and Theory.” Annual conference of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA), Jena, June 2009 (co-organized with Jeanne Cortiel).
  • with A. Ganser. “The Propitious Moment: Navigating the Ethnic Other in the Urban Geographies of Scorsese’s Mean Streets and Jarmusch’s Night on Earth.” EthniCities: Metropolitan Cultures and Ethnic Identities in the Americas, Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF), Bielefeld, Mar. 18 – 20, 2009.
  • “The Human at the Threshold: Atwood, Houellebecq, Ishiguro.” Close Encounters – ScienceLiteratureArt, European Biannual Meeting of the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts (SLSA), Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, June 13 – 16, 2006.
  • with A. Ganser. “Cruises and Crusades: Productions of Urban Space in Taxi Driver and Mean Streets.” Workshop on Site of Passage: The City as a Place of (Non)Conformity in Contemporary American Multicultural Literature, Art, Theater, and Film, EAAS Biennial Conference “Conformism, Non-Conformism, and Anti-Conformism in American Culture,” Nicosia, Cyprus, Apr. 07 – 10, 2006.
  • “‘Intimate Caesurae:’ Constructions and Transience of ‘Humanity’ in Recent Fiction.” Annual Conference of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), Princeton, NJ, Mar. 23 – 26, 2006.
  • Co-organized with Dr. Christian Huck, Workshop “The Object of Cultural Studies: Praxis – Cognition – Text?,” featuring Dr. Doris Bachmann-Medick, Dr. Joachim Renn, and Dr. Barbara Zielke, Jan. 28 – 29, 2005.
  • with Jens Klenner, George Mason University. “Cruising Spaces of Hyperrealism: The Humvee in William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.” Panel “‘Like Nothing Else:’ Critical Analyses of the Humvee,” Annual Conference of the Cultural Studies Association (CSA US), Boston, Mass. May, 05 – 09, 2004.
  • “FutureNature: Concepts of ‘Life’ and ‘Nature’ in the fictional Worlds of Crichton’s Prey and Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.” Cross-Fertilizations: Literature, Science, and Nature, 3rd Conference of the Association for Science, Literature, and the Environment (ASLE-UK), University College Chichester, UK, July 16 – 18, 2004.
  • “FutureNature and the End of Man: Reading Atwood’s Oryx and Crake against Agamben’s The Open.” Annual Conference of the Society for Literature and Science (SLS), Durham, N.C., Oct. 14 – 17, 2004.
  • “Mirrorworlds, Urban Spaces: Heterotopographies in William Gibson’s Virtual Light-Trilogy.” Border//Crossings, 6th Graduate Conference, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nov. 05 – 07, 2004.
  • Co-organized with Dr. Christian Huck, Workshop “Meaning Out of Control? Popular Culture as Interdisciplinary Challenge,” featuring Prof. Dr. R. Winter (Klagenfurt) and Tobias Nagl (Amherst), Apr. 18 – 19, 2004.
  • “Nomadic Urban Spaces – Interstitial Topographies in William Gibson’s Virtual Lights-Trilogy.” Mapping Identities: Urban Landscapes and the Discourses of Space, Annual Colloquium of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., Apr. 03, 2004.
  • Workshop on “System and Epic: William Gaddis and the Autopoiesis of American Literature,” with Prof. J. Tabbi (University of Illinois, Chicago) and Prof. M. Hansen (Princeton University) on “Technoscience-Fiction: Techniques between Science and Literature,” Jan. 09 – 10, 2004.


  • Epidemic Fiction: Narrative & Contagion (HS)
  • New/Realism: Referentiality and Fiction (HS)
  • Clones & Enhancements: Life Sciences, Fictions, and Imagining the Late Human (HS)
  • The Custom of the Country – Gender, Economy and Affect in the US American Novel of Manners (HS)
  • The Function of Fiction: Recent US-American Novels and Theory (HS)
  • American Drama – Stage & Screen (HS)
  • Narratives of Slavery and Abolition (PS)
  • The Morality of Blood? Die Be- und Verhandlungen von Moral in der zeitgenössischen US-TV Serie (HS, with Ingrid Stapf, Medienethik)
  • “Black weeds out of a buried heart – Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Fiction” (PS)
  • “Terrible things must happen” – American Naturalism (PS)
  • American Literary Realism (HS)
  • 19th Century American Gothic Literature (PS)
  • Mindgame Fiction (PS)
  • American Fiction – From Independence to Civil War (Exam Preparation)
  • Herman Melville – More than Whales (PS)
  • Introduction to Queer Studies (PS)
  • Prison in America (PS)
  • Mark Twain (PS)
  • Suburban Nation – Imaginations of Suburbia in American Culture (PS)
  • Modernism/ Harlem Renaissance (preparatory course for exam candidates M.A./Diploma) co-taught with Prof. Paul
  • Memory, History and Popular Culture: Strategies of Remembrance in late 20th Century USA (PS), co-taught with Jens Klenner, George Mason University
  • Spooks, Spies, and Private Eyes: African American Detection in Film and Fiction (PS)
  • Body and Technology in North-American Independent-Film: David Cronenberg
  • Introduction to Literary Studies & Literary Theory