Navigation auf


English Department

Cedric Essi

Cedric Essi, Dr.

  • Senior Research and Teaching Associate for American Literature
Room number

Research Interests

  • Black Studies, Critical Mixed Race Studies, Critical Whiteness Studies
  • Critical Kinship Studies
  • Queer Studies
  • Life Writing
  • Cultural Legal Studies: Law & Literature, Critical Race Theory, Copyright


As Senior Research and Teaching Associate at UZH, my work revolves around American studies. While my courses span a range of eras and themes, my research primarily asks how various forms of belonging are forged in and through literature, and how race, sexuality, and the law shape such attachments. My first book opens with the decriminalization of interracial marriage in 1967 to analyze how Americans sought to culturally legitimize interracial kinship at the turn of the twenty-first century via autobiographical practices (under contract with Wayne State UP). My second book project tracks enslavement as a throughline in the formation of American national literature and traces the ambivalent ways in which German readers identified with American narratives about slavery—from translations of slave narratives in the antebellum era to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind in Nazi Germany and beyond.


I received my MA in American Studies as well as Staatsexamen (teaching degree) from JMU Würzburg and earned my doctorate in American studies at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg. Before coming to Zurich, I was a post-doctoral scholar at the Collaborative Research Center “Law & Literature” (U Münster/Osnabrück U) and also taught at the University of Bremen. Over the course of my academic trajectory, I was a BAA fellow at Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and a Fulbright fellow at the African American Studies Department of UC Berkeley. I am Associate Editor of Amerikastudien/American Studies (Open Access).


Unterseiten von Cedric Essi