JunProf. Dr. Nele Sawallisch

I joined the literary studies team at Trier in October 2021 as assistant professor of American Literature (“Juniorprofessorin”). Before coming to Trier, I worked as a senior lecturer (“Akad. Rätin”) at the chair of American Studies at KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. My academic roots lie at JGU Mainz, where I earned my PhD in 2017 and an MA and teacher’s degree (“Staatsexamen”) in 2012. I studied American Studies, English, French, and Education in a trinational curriculum for teachers, which also led me to universities in France and Quebec. This transatlantic academic training has shaped my teaching, my research, as well as my passion to promote academic exchanges for students.

I take immense pleasure in teaching, the interaction in the classroom, and good student papers. I am committed to get students involved in the classroom and create learning environments that both challenge and invite them to participate in the exploration of texts, theories, and writing formats.

As of October 2021, I serve as the Equal Opportunity Officer (Gleichstellungsbeuaftragte) of our faculty, together with Dr. Christine Felbeck and Lisa Klassen. We can be reached at gbfb2uni-trierde.

Research and Teaching Areas

  • Comedy and Humor Studies
  • Sentimentality
  • African American and African Canadian cultures, literatures, and literary histories
  • Nineteenth-Century North American Literature
  • Life Writing
  • Transnational American Studies

Term Papers and Final Theses

  • if you wish to write a BA/BEd or MA/MEd thesis with me, please set up an appointment during office hours. If you have not taken a class with me before, a request is not ideal but can sometimes not be avoided. In this case, please provide a writing sample attached to your e-mail.
  • if you are writing a term paper in a different semester from when the class (and the deadline) took place, I cannot forbid it, but you will be on your own. I provide a lot of resources, peer feedback, and personal guidance throughout each semester and class, but if you are pushing your term papers, I will no longer be involved. Make sure that registration via PORTA is in order and write / submit the paper to me. I will grade it and notify you in due time.


  • Episode 1 of Thoughts on Feelings, by RTG “The Sentimental in Literature, Culture, and Politics" FAU Erlangen-Nürnbger, S1E1. Podcast. January 2024.
  • With Wieland Schwanebeck. „Sie macht wohl Witze? Über komische Frauen in der Popkultur.“ 54Books, 5 Oct. 2023. (in German).
  • With Wieland Schwanebeck. Interview for Nicole Ficociello, "Gender Joke Gap," Zündfunk Generator, Bayern 2. 9 April 2022. (in German).
  • “Art, Science, and the Legacies of Slavery in Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black.” Lady Fiction #12, series hosted by  Stefanie Schäfer at The Trans-Atlanticist, Amerikazentrum Hamburg. Podcast. 5 April 2022. 
  • With Wieland Schwanebeck. Interview for "Ganz mein Humor," by Marlene Knobloch. Süddeutsche Zeitung. 15 Oct. 2021. (in German)
  • With Wieland Schwanebeck. “Nicht lustig?” Interview by Jana Mundus. Sächsische Zeitung. 15 June 2021. (in German)
  • “‘Funny Women‘: Tagung über weibliche Comedians.“ Live Interview by Silke Super. Radioeins. 3 May 2021. (in German)
  • “African American Worldmaking in the Long Nineteenth Century.” Talking American Studies, by Verena Adamik and Yasmin Künze, S1E4. Podcast. December 2019.
  • With Rahab Njeri. “Black Canada.” Talking American Studies, by Verena Adamik and Yasmin Künze, S1E5. Podcast. November 2019.