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Prof. Dr. Nicole Waller


Campus Neues Palais 10
Building 19, room 1.20
14469 Potsdam


Office hours during the summer semester (Vorlesungszeit):
Wednesdays, 11-13:00

11-12: online. Please register in advance via Box UP:
Password: XEzdnqdyq3ycQT6

12-13: in person ( No prior registration needed.
Please note: there will be no office hours on Wednesday, May 29.

Call for applications:

2 PhD positions (starting January 2024) in the research project “Settler Decolonization on Country/Land: Rehearsing Collaboration”


I am professor for American Studies at the University of Potsdam. I received degrees from Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (M.A. in American Studies, Modern History, and Comparative Literature; Ph.D. in American Studies) and the City University of New York (M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literatures). I have held teaching assistantships at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and Queens College, New York, a Ph.D. exchange fellowship at Columbia University, New York, and visiting/research fellowships at Louisiana State University and the American Antiquarian Society. I have held professorships at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Juniorprofessur), Georg-August-University Göttingen (as interim professor), and Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg. I am a member of the Research Training Group minor cosmopolitanisms, which seeks to establish new ways of studying and understanding the cosmopolitan project against and beyond its Eurocentric legacies.

Research Interests

  •  Postcolonial and decolonial theory
  • Atlantic studies
  • Caribbean studies
  • American discourses on Islam
  • African American literature
  • American territorialities

My recent work revolves around issues of territoriality, Black geographies, and Indigenous sovereignty in North America.

Recently Co-Organized Conferences and Symposia

Selected Publications

with Verena Adamik and Mariya Nikolova. "Changeling Genres and the Glamour of the Human: Victor LaValle's The Changeling." Amerikastudien / American Studies 69.2 (2024): 153-69.  https://doi.org/10.33675/AMST/2024/2/6

"Layered Maps: Carceral and Fugitive Archipelagos in Walter Mosley’s Down the River Unto the Sea." JTAS, 2023. https://doi.org/10.5070/T814160711.  

"Marronage or Underground? The Black Geographies of Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer." MELUS, 2022. https://academic.oup.com/melus/advance-article/doi/10.1093/melus/mlac021/6563167?guestAccessKey=c8f6ee18-c296-44b6-b233- 9cdae0ac8dd5.

with Jens Temmen. "Introduction: Mapping American Territorialities". Special Forum American Territorialities. Journal of Transnational American Studies 11.1 (Summer 2020). Ed. Jens Temmen and Nicole Waller. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3js9b5td.

with Anke Bartels, Lars Eckstein, and Dirk Wiemann. Postcolonial Literatures in English: An Introduction. Berlin: J.B. Metzler, 2019.

“‘Nonsovereign Histories’: Circumventing the Nation in Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke.” Developing Transnational American Studies. Ed. Nadja Gernalzick and Heike Spickermann. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2019. 145-60.

Connecting Atlantic and Pacific: Theorizing the Arctic.Atlantic Studies 15.2 (2018): 256-78. 

ed., with Anke Bartels, Lars Eckstein, and Dirk Wiemann. Postcolonial Justice. Amsterdam: Brill/Rodopi, 2017. 

“‘Foreign in a domestic sense’: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World and Transnational American Studies.” Obama and Transnational American Studies. Ed. Alfred Hornung. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2016. 455-470.

“‘Multidisciplinary maps of unexpected designs’: Theorizing Atlantic Difference.” L’Atlantique littéraire: Perspectives théoriques sur la constitution d’un espace translinguistique. Ed. Jean-Marc Moura und Véronique Porra. Hildesheim: Olms, 2015.23-48.

ed., with Gerold Sedlmayr. Politics in Fantasy Media: Essays on Ideology and Gender in Fiction, Film, Television and Games. Jefferson: McFarland, 2014. 

“Common Ground? Neue Diskussionen über die Verbindungen zwischen Post-Kolonialismus und Ökokritik.” Übersetzt von Elisabeth Nechutnys. Just Politics: Ökokritische Perspektiven im Postkolonialen Raum. Ed. Lina Fricke, Elisabeth Nechutnys, Anna von Rath und Christoph Senft. Münster: UNRAST-Verlag, 2014. 17-41.

American Encounters with Islam in the Atlantic World. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2011. 

“Divine Providence Doesn’t Generally Knock Twice’: Theorizing the Circum-Atlantic through Religious Cosmologies.” Religion in the United States. Hg. Jeanne Cortiel, Kornelia Freitag, Christina Gerhardt and Michael Wala. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2011. 143-51. 

“‘A garden in the middle of the sea’: Henry James’s The Aspern Papers and Transnational American Studies.” Living American Studies. Hg. Mita Banerjee et al. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2010. 245-260. Republished inThe Journal of Transnational American Studies 3.2 (2011).

“Terra Incognita: Mapping the Detention Center in Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying and the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Boumediene v. Bush.” Atlantic Studies 6.3 (December 2009): 357-69.

“Arabs Looking Back: William Peter Blatty’s Autobiographical Writing.” Transnational American Memories. Ed. Udo Hebel. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter, 2009. 129-144.

“Filmic Representations of Circum-Atlantic Complexities: Steven Spielberg’s Amistad.” ‘The Sea Is History’: Exploring the Atlantic. Ed. Carmen Birkle and Nicole Waller. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2009. 123-137.

“‘Not for the overthrow of government’? Postcolonialism and Nationhood in an American Studies Perspective.” Postcolonial Studies et études francophones. Ed. Janos Riesz and Véronique Porra. Special Forum Neohelicon XXXV.2 (2008): 147-160.

“The Book of the Dead: Inscribing Torture into the Black Atlantic.” Recharting the Black Atlantic: Modern Cultures, Local Communities, Global Connections. Hg. Annalisa Oboe and Anna Scacchi. New York: Routledge, 2008. 58-70.

“Refigurations of American Studies: On Transnationalizing the U.S.” Amerikastudien/American Studies at 50. Amerikastudien/American Studies 50.1/2 (2005): 231-47.

Contradictory Violence: Revolution and Subversion in the Caribbean. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2005.