Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding

SoCuM AG 1 / DFG FG 1939

Department of English and Linguistics
American Studies
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Room 02.575
Jakob-Welder-Weg 18
55099 Mainz

Tel: +49 6131 39-22357
Fax: +49 6131 39-20356

SoCuM-Project: Pluralism, Boundary-Making, and Community-Building in North-American Religious Periodicals (Within the framework of DFG Forschergruppe FG 1939 Un/doing Differences. Prac­tices of Human Differentiation, established in 2013)

The research project on early North-American religious periodicals explores the role played by the religious press in the boundary-making among denominations, sects, and movements in the antebellum period. Because of the ways in which the press helps to form popular opinion, it is a very important means of society and community building. It not only defines what makes “news” and regulates the dissemination of information, but also who gets to speak in which way about what— and thus shapes the outlook of the respective community of discourse. The project asks in which situations do periodical publications increase and/or diminish religious/ethno-religious differences in support of membership alliances and/or community building. This project also examines the religious press industry in an increasingly pluralistic religious landscape.

Research Interests
Early American studies, periodical studies, the history of book and reading, material culture, literary theory

Academic Background
Oliver Scheiding is Professor of American Studies and one of the directors of the American literature program at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. He earned his PhD in American Literature from Hamburg University in 1994. He has received grants from Fulbright and the German Academic Exchange Service for guest professorships at the University of Maryland, College Park, Washington University, Seattle, and York University, Toronto. He edits the journal Amerikastudien – American Studies on behalf of the German Association of American Studies. He is also co-editor of the monograph series “MOSAIC: Studien und Texte zur amerikanischen Kultur und Geschichte.” Currently, Oliver Scheiding is leading a research team on American periodicals funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). As part of this project he is mapping the extensive print, knowledge, and communication networks in the Atlantic world of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Publications (Top 5)

Worlding America: A Transnational Anthology of Short Narratives Before 1800. Stanford: Stanford UP (forthcoming).
A Peculiar Mixture: German-Language Cultures and Identities in Eighteenth-Century North America. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press. (The Max Kade Institute German-American Research Series).
New Historicism and Discourse Analysis. In: Middeke, M. et al. (eds.): English and American Studies: Theory and Practice. Stuttgart: Metzler. P. 204-208.
Diskurse und Praktiken: Zur Literaturwissenschaft im Spiegel der neuen Kultursoziologie. In: Scheiding, O./ Obenland, F./ Spahr, C. (eds.): Kulturtheorien im Dialog: Neue Positionen zum Verhältnis zwischen Text und Kontext. Berlin: Akademieverlag.
Native American Studies Across Time and Space: Essays on the Indigenous Americas. Heidelberg: Winter. (American Studies – A Monograph Series).