Guest lectures

July 6: A Conversation with Gerald Vizenor

Moderators: Cristiana Stanciu and Oliver Scheiding

Vizenor was born in 1934 in Minnesota to a Swedish-American mother and an Anishinaabe father.Vizenor After his father’s tragic homicidal death, Vizenor was raised primarily by his mother and paternal grandmother. At the age of 15 he joined the Minnesota National Guard and later joined the Army and served in Japan following the reconstruction era of WWII. In Japan, Vizenor discovered the traditional Japanese poetic form haiku and its resemblance to Anishinaabe dream songs. Upon returning to the United States Vizenor finished his undergraduate studies and continued with his postgraduate degrees at Harvard University and the University of Minnesota, starting off his academic career. Vizenor also worked for the Minneapolis Tribune, writing about the high rate of suicide among Indian people.

(Information taken from “Gerald Vizenor – Biographic Information,”, Accessed 10/28/2021)

Selective Bibliography
Vizenor, Gerald, editor. Survivance: Narratives of Native Presence, Nebraska UP, 2008.
Vizenor, Gerald. Shadow Distance: A Gerald Vizenor Reader. Wesleyan UP, 1994.
---.Native American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology. Harpercollins Literary Mosaic, 1997.
---.Interior Landscapes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors. Minnesota UP, 1990.
---.The Heirs of Columbus. Wesleyan UP, 1991.
---.Summer in the Spring: Anishinaabe Lyrics Poems and Stories. Oklahoma UP, 1993.

Mita Banerjee, "World Literature and Medical Humanities: The Poetry of Tito Mukhopadhyay and William Shakespeare"


Mita Banerjee is Professor and Chair of American Studies at the University of MainzMita Banerjee. From 2010-2015, she was Research Fellow of the Gutenberg Research College (GFK). Her research interests include postcolonial literature, transnational American literature and culture, issues of naturalization and citizenship (Color Me White: Naturalism/Naturalization in American Literature, 2013), and medical humanities (Medical Humanities in American Studies, 2018). She is co-speaker of the research training group “Life Sciences, Life Writing: Boundary Experiences of Human Life between Biomedical Explanation and Lived Experience,” which is funded by the German Research Foundation. Her book on “Biological Humanities” is forthcoming from Winter University Press.


Alfred Hornung, “Politics and World Literature”


Alfred Hornung is Research Professor of American Studies and Speaker of the Alfred Hornung Obama Institute at the University of Mainz. He is a specialist in transcultural life writing, narrative medicine, and Transnational American Studies. His recent publications include the Chinese translation of Ecology and Life Writing (2016), a biography of Jack London as a cosmopolitan writer (2016), and the co-edited Routledge Companion to Transnational American Studies (2019). His biography of Al Capone will appear in March 2021. He is the recipient of the Bode-Pearson Prize of the American Studies Association, a member of Academia Europaea and of the IWL Advisory Board, and an Honorary Chair Professor of Shandong University.