Prof. Dr. Simone Knewitz

Prof. Dr. Simone Knewitz

Deputy Professor
University of Mannheim
Anglistik III
L 10, 11–12, Raum 322
68161 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
Wed 2 pm-3 pm and by appointment

  • Research Interests

    Simone Knewitz's research interests are in the fields of 20th and 21st century poetics, cultural aesthetics and rhetoric, collectivity studies, critical whiteness studies, television and digital culture, and property studies. She is currently working on three projects:

    The Poetics of Political Protest: Collective Agency in 21st Century North American Poetry and Social Movements

    This study examines how contemporary North American poetry intervenes in protest movements and how forms of collective action are negotiated in literature. The focus is on politically engaged contemporary poetry, such as works by Claudia Rankine, Juliana Spahr, Joshua Clover, but also indigenous authors including Natalie Diaz, Heid E. Erdrich and Layli Long Soldier. The project makes an innovative contribution to debates in poetry studies by using methods of New Formalism to explore and evaluate the political functions of poetry in a new way. It examines the interplay of aesthetic and social forms with the help of approaches from cultural studies, which have so far been hardly integrated into poetry research, and it opens up an interdisciplinary dialog between poetry studies, social movement studies and current political and cultural theory. It thus contributes to a better understanding of the aesthetic dimensions of social movements.

    Intersections of Whiteness: Race, Class, and Affect in Twenty-First Century Discourses and Representations

    This project examines how political, economic and social power structures in the U.S. are negotiated within public and political discourses. In particular, it investigates debates on structural racism and other forms of systemic exclusion, which have emerged with Black Lives Matter and other democratization movements of the past decade. The project draws on approaches from critical whiteness studies and affect theory to examine questions such as the following: In what ways do political actors strive for power, recognition and social justice within contemporary public debates? How do they position themselves within these discourses? To what extent do these discourses contribute to changes in social power structures or cement the status quo?

    War of Memes: Populism, Protest Movements, and Digital Popular Culture

    This project examines the intersections between political populism, protest movements and digital culture by asking how digital media circulate, amplify and make political fringe positions socially. The project focuses on processes of politicization and the relationships between institutional political actors and protest movements in the US, but also traces how populist media contributions spread globally and enable the creation of collectives across national borders.

  • Biographical Information

    Simone Knewitz studied North American Studies, Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Bonn. In 2010, she received her Ph.D. for a study on modernist poetry, and in 2018, she completed her Habilitation with a book on property discourses in U.S. culture from the 19th to the 21th century. Since 2008, she served first as lecturer and then senior lecturer in the Department of English, American and Celtic Studies at the University of Bonn. She has also acted as interim professor of American studies at the Universities of Münster and Hamburg.

  • Teaching

    Simone Knewitz offers seminars on political poetry, the representation of political collectives in literature, critical whiteness studies and affect research during the FSS 2024.

Currently there are no publications available for this list.