We are very pleased to welcome Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand and Michael Taylor as our Fulbright guest professors at the Institute of American Studies during the summer semester of 2023.
Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand received her PhD in German from the Pennsylvania State University. She is Professor of German and Global Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. In addition to her book on Topographies of Gender in Middle High German Arthurian Romance (Garland, 2001), she has published widely on medieval German literature. Other areas of research and teaching interest include Arthurian literature and medievalisms from the middle ages to the present, literary museums, and other interdisciplinary adaptations of literary texts and experiences for contemporary audiences. Recent projects examine the commodification of literature in popular culture; the construction of “medieval” heritage in the American Heartland; or the collisions of Arthurian legend and Robin Hood that contribute to the mythology of the American west. Her monograph Medieval Literature on Display: Heritage and Culture in Modern Germany (Bloomsbury) was published in 2020.
While she is in Austria, she is at work on a corollary project to explore creative intersections of medieval literature and modern monuments/memorials/installations. This project is intended as a monograph tentatively titled Recontextualizing Medieval Heritage and Identity in Contemporary Austria in progress with ARC Humanities Press.
Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand is teaching classes at the Institute of German Studies as well as at the Institute of American Studies this semester: DEP.01677UB “Module 2.C: Shaping of the World by Texts: 2.C.2 ‚Aventiure‘ as Game: Functions and Places of Play in German Arthurian Romance” and 512.327 “Specialized Topics in Cultural Studies: King Arthur in America—or American Arthuriana.”
Dr. Michael P. Taylor is an associate professor of English and the associate director of American Indian studies at Brigham Young University, Utah, USA. He is coauthor of Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School from the University of Arizona Press. His scholarship has appeared in such venues as American Quarterly, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Modernism/modernity. His research focuses on federal Indian boarding schools, Indigenous modernity, and Indigenous literary activism.
While at Graz, he will be teaching courses in Indigenous and Western American literatures, as well as researching the experiences of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Indigenous travelers to German-speaking Europe and how their accounts present forms of transatlantic Indigenous modernism that move beyond the confines of other colonial states: ENL.04463UB “Topics in Anglophone Literary Studies: Literatures and Cultures of the American West” and 512.821 “Doctoral Seminar: Indigenous Issues Matter: Current Developments in Indigenous Studies.”
We are happy to have both of them with us and thank them for sharing their expertise with students and faculty members.