Dr. Lee A. Flamand

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, American Studies

Raum: GB 6/159
Tel: +49 (0)234 32-19884

Teaching and Research Interests
  • Media & Cultural Studies
  • American Literary & Cultural History
  • African American and Black Studies
  • Social, Critical, & Radical Theory
  • Policing & Prisons
  • Post-Network Television & Screen Studies
  • Critical Digital Technology Studies
  • Gothic Studies

2019: PhD North American Cultural Studies; Graduate School for North American Studies; Freie Universität Berlin 
2013: MA North American Studies (Cultural Studies, Economics); John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin 
2008: BA English Literature; University of California, Berkeley

Employment in Higher Education

2022 – Present: Postdoctoral Research Associate, American Studies; Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.
2019 – 2022: Lecturer, Department of American Studies; University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
2019 – 2019: Lecturer, Department of English and American Studies; University of Paderborn, Germany.
2015 – 2019: Doctoral Scholarship, Researcher & Lecturer, Graduate School of North American Studies; Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
2012 – 2013: Teaching Assistant, John F. Kennedy Institute; Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
2009 – 2011: English Instructor, Prep School & Law Faculty; Fatih University Istanbul, Turkey.


My teaching and research tends to be interdisciplinary in its orientation, albeit with a firm grounding in literary, cultural, and media studies. I am particularly interested in influential artifacts and cultural practices which stand out for their self-conscious, often eccentric engagements with highly salient political, economic, and sociological contexts.

This is evident in my recently published book, American Mass Incarceration and Post-Network Quality Television: Captivating Aspirations (Amsterdam University Press, 2022). Noting how heavily publicized “creative revolution” narratives in the so-called “New Golden Age” of Post-Network “Quality” Television are deeply implicated in disruptive technological innovations, industry reconfigurations, the fragmentation of the public sphere, and the heightened digital surveillance/targeting of audiences, it complicates tendency of influential series such as OZ, The Wire, Orange is the New Black, and Queen Sugar to celebrate themselves as critical treatments of US-American society in the age of racialized mass incarceration. I treat these programs’ serial aspirations towards social critique not as self-evident and obvious attempts at media activism, but rather as shrewd business moves. These series draw from the cultural histories and often unacknowledged aesthetic sensibilities embedded in genres and practices of knowledge production which we don’t usually associate with television. By leaning on the epistemological authority of domains such as prison ethnography, urban sociology, and Black feminism, they position themselves to stand out in an increasingly crowded commercial entertainment landscape. Relatedly, they leverage the profitable cosmetics of neoliberal multiculturalism and a fascination with the spectacle of the US-carceral state (and its “exoticized” targets) to cultivate, flatter, and captivate newly targetable and relatively “sophisticated” – that is, highly lucrative – “premium” audience segments at a moment in which our increasingly oversaturated, bifurcated, hyperactive, and algorithmically-curated media ecology tends to produce filter bubbles and echo chambers: digital cages which are themselves curiously carceral.

My current Habilitationsprojekt, tentatively titled “Dark Illuminations: Necropolitics and the American Gothic Mode,” is engaged with the central if often occluded role of the gothic mode in American literary and cultural history. It approaches the gothic less as a popular set of well-worn genre conventions than as an ever-evolving complex of aesthetic strategies and narratological practices which discursively register, obliquely critique, and circuitously administer regimes of necropolitical social order at various stages in US-American history.

I also maintain a teaching and research interest in critical and theoretical approaches digital media and technology, with a particular focus in regimes of surveillance capitalism, algorithmic governance, and artificial intelligence, especially as they relate to criminal justice institutions, practices of cultural production, and the changing shape of work/labor politics.

Finally, I have (co-)produced a series of video essays, most of which deal with cinema and sound studies, some of which you can find here.

  • “Fugitive Fever Screening: Plantation Preoccupations, Screens of Subjection, and Freedom Dreaming in Antebellum and The Underground Railroad.” Amerikastudien / American Studies. (forthcoming, 2024). 
  • American Mass Incarceration and Post-Network Quality Television: Captivating Aspirations. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2022. Monograph. 
  • “Viral Media: The COVID-19 Infodemic, Black Lives Matter, and the Future of the Digital Public Sphere.” HCA Graduate Blog. Heidelberg Center for American Studies. July, 2020. Web. 
  • “Articulating Counter/Publics and Re-Assembling History: Ava DuVernay’s 13th.” American Counter/Publics. Ed. Haselstein, Ulla et al. Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg, 2020. 
  • “Screening Campus Identity Politics: Dear White People, Cultural Studies, and the American University.” Mapping Fields of Study: The Cultural and Institutional Space of English Studies. Ed. Smith, Matthew and Richard Sommerset. Presses Universitaires de Nancy; Collection: Regards sur le monde Anglophone, 2019. 
  • “Posters, Self-directed Learning, and L2 Vocabulary Acquisition.” ELT Journal: 01/01/2013, coauthored with Yakup Çetin. 
  • “Mental Pollution Hypothesis and Foreign Language Vocabulary Retention.” Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics: 01/09/2010, co-authored with Yakup Çetin.