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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Winfried Fluck

Prof. Dr. Winfried Fluck

Freie Universität Berlin, John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies
North American Studies
External Senior Fellow
March - May 2017


Winfried Fluck is Professor em. of American Culture at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies of Freie Universität Berlin. He studied at Freie Universität Berlin, Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, taught at the Universität Konstanz, Universidad Autonoma Barcelona, Princeton University, UC Irvine, the University of Richmond and Dartmouth College, and was a research fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, the Advanced Studies Center of the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, and the Internationales Kulturwissenschaftliches Zentrum in Vienna. His books include Ästhetische Theorie und literaturwissenschaftliche Methode; Populäre Kultur; Theorien amerikanischer Literatur; Inszenierte Wirklichkeit. Der amerikanische Realismus 1865-1900; Das kulturelle Imaginäre: Eine Funktionsgeschichte des amerikanischen Romans. He is a founder and former director of the Graduate School for North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, funded by the national initiative of excellence, and Co-Director of the “Futures of American Studies”-Institute at Dartmouth College. His most recent book publications are Romance with America? Essays on Culture, Literature, and American Studies (2009), Re-Framing the Transnational Turn in American Studies, ed. with Donald Pease and John Carlos Rowe (2011), and American Studies Today. New Research Agendas, ed. with E. Redling, S. Sielke and H.Zapf (2014).

Selected Publications

  • Romance with America? Essays on Culture, Literature, and American Studies. Heidelberg: Winter, 2009 .

  •  "The Imaginary and the Second Narrative: Reading as Transfer." The Imaginary and Its Worlds: American Studies After the Transnational Turn. Laura Bieger, Ramón Saldívar, and Johannes Voelz (eds.). Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2013, 237-64.

  • "Reading for Recognition." New Literary History 44:1 (2013), 45-67.

  • American Studies Today. New Research Agendas. Eds. Winfried Fluck, Erik Redling, Sabine Sielke und Hubert Zapf. Heidelberg: Winter, 2014

  • “Philosophical Premises in Literary and Cultural Theory: Narratives of Self-Alienation.” New Literary History 47.1 (2015), 109-134.

FRIAS Project

Book Project: Reading for Recognition

In my project I argue that the concept of recognition can have a tremendous explanatory value for interpretative work in literary and cultural studies. The argument is developed in five chapters. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to recent debates about whether and to what extent recognition can serve as a foundational normative concept in social theory and social analysis. Chapter 2 focuses on a reconsideration of the concept of identity, since recognition is inextricably linked with questions of identity formation in current debates. Chapter 3 moves on to the question of what explanatory value the concept of recognition can have for literary and cultural studies. The chapter wants to demonstrate that struggles for recognition are one of the dominant narrative patterns in Western culture and stand at the center of an amazingly wide range of fictional texts and cultural representations. Chapter 4 goes beyond the thematic level and a discussion of exemplary narrative patterns in order to provide an analysis of how recognition can be understood and described as an effect of the reading experience (and of aesthetic experience more generally). The purpose is to provide a better understanding of the special function and potential cultural representations can have in struggles for recognition. Finally, chapter 5 returns to the starting question of this project. It takes its point of departure from the puzzling disregard of the role of culture in discussions of recognition in social theory, and provides an outline of how a focus on cultural struggles for recognition can add an important dimension to theories of recognition.