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


  • 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.
  • “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 Nicole Ficociello, "Gender Joke Gap," Zündfunk Generator, Bayern 2. 9 April 2022. (in German).