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headshot of Rebecca Schäfer

Rebecca Schäfer


German and Russian Studies


Rebecca Schäfer is DAAD visiting lecturer of German for the academic year 2022/23. Prior to joining SUNY Binghamton, she has taught for more than 8 years at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany), from which she earned a PhD in American Studies.

Published as a monograph in 2021, her dissertation “Time(s) of Lives: (Non-)Normative Temporalities, Age(ing), and Kinship Narratives in Contemporary U.S. American Culture” was awarded the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz Award. Her research has focused on queer theory, critical age(ing) studies, and their intersections, as well as gender studies and feminism. She is currently interested in the dialogue between cultural studies and the psychological humanities, especially cultural psychology, and in contemporary phenomena of queernormativity. She is an alumna of the Harvard Institute for World Literature (IWL).


  • PhD, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany), Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies
  • MA, BA, Universität Siegen (Germany), American Studies, German Philology, and Applied Linguistics

Research Interests

  • queernormativity
  • psychological humanities, medical humanities
  • practices of antiproductivity, especially through “unproductive” temporal states & concepts (boredom, bad timing, slowness, melancholia, nostalgia & grief)

Teaching Interests

  • German language & culture
  • 20th & 21st century American literature & culture
  • gender theory & gender studies in the age of #MeToo
  • queer studies in theory & practice in the 20th & 21st century
  • film and visual culture, especially German contemporary cinema, as well as global queer and Indigenous filmmaking

More Info

Select publications

  • Time(s) of Lives: (Non-)Normative Temporalities, Age(ing), and Kinship Narratives in Contemporary U.S. American Culture. Heidelberg, Universitätsverlag Winter, 2021.
  • “Mother(hood) Monster? Lady Gaga, Family Discourse, and Alternative Modes of Kinship.” Family and Kinship in the United States: Cultural Perspectives on Familial Belonging, edited by Reinhard Isensee, Karolina Golimowska, and David Rose, Verlag Peter Lang, 2016, pp. 101-122. (book chapter)