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Frederike Offizier


Campus Neues Palais 10
House 19, Room 1.30


consulting hours
Wednesdays 11am-12pm, and by appointment


I am a Ph.D. candidate at the American studies department of the University of Potsdam where I hold a teaching position for literary and cultural studies classes. My dissertation project with the title “Help Yourself, So Help You Science” focuses on the dynamics of security narratives and affects in the context of biomedicine and biotechnology in U.S.-American literature and culture. I conducted part of the research as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle. The PhD project is a continuation of my longstanding interest in the study of biocultural phenomena and cultural theory. I studied American Studies and Spanish Philology, earning my M.A. in 2011 with the thesis “DeComposing the Self: Dying in American Literature,” for which I received the Hans-Jürgen-Bachorski-Preis from the University of Potsdam. I am member of the DFG research network, Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies. In addition to my academic work I am a founding member of the Network for Intercultural Communication e.V., an association that attempted to build bridges between academia, politics, and art through a series of seminars and workshops, and (mobile) exhibitions. 

Research Interests

  • Security studies
  • Bioculture
  • Cultural theory (especially Performance studies and Affect studies)
  • Transnational American studies
  • Border studies
  • Latino/a studies

PhD Project: Security Narratives and Biomedicine 

This project with the title “Help Yourself, So Help You Science: Security, Biology, and Identity Construction” explores security narratives that are increasingly used and produced in biomedical and biotechnological contexts. With this research project I aim to study to what extent the term biosecurity and its logics involve an understanding of what a good life is and how these pervade American culture in an increasingly intimate manner. Through the analysis of literary and cultural representations I aim to explore how the biologically inflected understanding of security determines life and identity constructions, structuring U.S. society and producing new paradigms of difference. Central to this analysis is the perspective on security not as a fixed property but as something produced by convincing narrative constructions. I therefore analyze security narratives as performatives that are based on affective attachment rather than factual relation alone.


  • Introduction to US-American Cultural Studies
  • African American Literature
  • Chicano/a Literature
  • Captivity Narratives
  • Autobiography and Life Writing
  • Affect Theory
  • Biocultures


“Death of the Other: Dying, Alterity, and Appropriation.” The Morbidity of Culture: Melancholy, Trauma, Illness and Dying in Literature and Film. Hrsg. Stephanie Siewert, Antonia Mehnert. Lang: Frankfurt am Main, 2012. 119-138.

“Die richtige Wahl: Biotechnologie, Selbstüberwachung und Identität.” Prokla. 178 (2015) 83-98.

“Playing (with the) Future: Biology and Preemptive Performativity.” In Approaching Transnational American Performance.  Edited by Birgit M. Bauridl and Pia Wiegmink, Peter Lang, 2016.


Offizier, Frederike; Mark Priewe and Ariane Schröder.  “Introduction.” Offizier, Frederike; Mark Priewe and Ariane Schöder (Ed). Crossroads of American Studies: Transnational and Biocultural Encounters. Universitätsverlag Winter, 2016.


mit Mark Priewe and Ariane Schöder (Eds.). Crossroads of American Studies: Transnational and Biocultural Encounters. Universitätsverlag Winter, 2016.