Heinz Ickstadt

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Dr. Heinz Ickstadt is Professor Emeritus of American Literature at the Kennedy Institute of North American Studies at the Free University, Berlin.  His publications include a history of the American novel in the twentieth century and essays on late nineteenth-century American literature and culture, the fiction and poetry of American modernism and postmodernism, and the history and theory of American Studies.  Some of these were collected in Faces of Fiction:  Essays on American Literature and Culture from the Jacksonian Age to Postmodernity.  He also edited and co-edited several books on American literature and culture, among them a bilingual anthology of American poetry.  He was president of the German Association of American Studies from 1990 – 1993, and president of the European Association of American Studies, 1996 – 2000.


Awards, Grants, Honors

Spring 2004

F.Ross Johnson/Connaught Distinguished Visitor, Centre for the Study of the United States, Toronto, Canada.

Ф.Росс Джонсон/Коннот

March 1993

Research Grant, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Italy.


Faculty Enrichment Award: Research on Canadian literature in libraries at Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver.

1974 - 1975

Research Grant, American Council of Learned Societies, Harvard University, Massachusetts.

1960 - 1961

Fulbright Fellowship, University of Notre Dame, Indiana.


Research Interests

American Romanticism

Late Nineteenth Century Literature

Fin-de-siècle & Early Modernism

Modernism & Postmodernism

Concepts of Democracy and the Nation in American Literature

Urban Literature

The Twentieth Century Canadian Novel


Selected bibliography


1. Dichterische Erfahrung und Metaphernstruktur: Eine Untersuchung der Dichtersprache Hart Cranes (Heidelberg: Winter, 1970).

[English title: Poetic Experience and the Structure of Metaphor: The Language of Hart Crane]

2. Der amerikanische Roman im 20. Jahrhundert(Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1998).

[English title: Transformations of the Mimetic: The American Novel in the 20th Century]

3.Faces of Fiction: Essays on American Literature and Culture from the Jacksonian Period to Postmodernity, ed. by Susanne Rohr and Sabine Sielke (Heidelberg: Winter, 2001).

4. Aesthetic Innovation and the Democratic Principle. Essays on Twentieth-Century American Poetry and Fiction. Universitaetsverlag: Heidelberg, 2016


Edited Books

1. Crossing Borders: Inner- and Intercultural Exchanges in a Multicultural Society (Frankfurt: Lang, 1997).

2. Ordnung und Entropie: Zum Romanwerk von Thomas Pynchon(Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1981).

[English title: Order and Entropy: The Novels of Thomas Pynchon]

3. with R. Kroes/B. Lee: The Thirties: Politics and Culture in a Time of Broken Dreams (Amsterdam: Free University Press, 1987).

4. with T. Gaethgens: American Icons: Transatlantic Perspectives on 18th and 19th Century American Art(University of Chicago Press, 1992).

5. with T. Alves/ T. Cid:Ceremonies and Spectacles: Performing American Culture (Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2000).

6. with E. Hesse: Englische und amerikanische Dichtung, Bd. IV (Beck: Muenchen, 2000), 700 pages, bi-lingual edition with introduction and comments.

[English title: English and American Poetry]

7. with Thomas Greven: Meeting Global and Domestic Challenges: Canadian Federalism in Perspective (Berlin: Kennedy-Inst. Publ., 2004).



"The (Re)Construction of American Identity in Literary Modernism." In: R. Hagenbuechle/ J. Raab (eds.), Negotiations of America’s National Identity, vol. II (Tuebingen: Stauffenburg, 2000), 206-228.

"Globalization and the National Paradigm." The European English Messenger IX: 2 (Autumn 2000), 19-21.

"Emily Dickinson’s Place in Literary History; or, the Public Function of a Private Poet." The Emily Dickinson Journal 10:1 (2001), 55-69.

"Deconstructing/Reconstructing Order: The Faces of Transatlantic Modernism." In: M. Klepper/ J. Schoepp (eds.), Transatlantic Modernism (Heidelberg: Winter, 2001), 15-34.

"Towards a Pluralist Aesthetics." In: E. Elliott (ed.), Aesthetics in a Multicultural Age (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002), 263-278.

"’A clean wind through the chaff of truth’ – William Carlos Williams as Critic." In: C. Giorcelli (ed.), special issue: ‘The Poet as Critic’, Litterature d’America XIX-XX: 83-84 (1999/2000), [publ. 2002], 81-101.

"Rueckkehr zum Neubeginn – Amerikanische Formen der Innovation und die ‘Tradition des Neuen von Ralph Waldo Emerson bis Gertrude Stein (und die Harlem Renaissance)." In: M. Moog-Gruenewald (ed.), Das Neue: Eine Denkfigur der Moderne (Heidelberg: Winter, 2002), 247-264.

[English title: Return to New Beginnings – American Forms of Innovation and ‘The Tradition of the New’]

"The Image as Collective Mirror: On Portraits and Their Function in American Literature and Culture." In: J. Durczak (ed.), American Portraits and Self-Portraits (Lublin: Maria Curie-Sklodowska UP, 2002), 37-58.

"Constructing Self - Inventing the Other in (White) North American Fiction." In: M. Messmer/J. Raab (eds.), American Vistasand Beyond (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2002), 229-251.

"American Studies in an Age of Globalization." American Quarterly 54:4 (December 2002), 543-562.

"A Literature of the Eye: The Image and the Moving Image in Modern American Literature." In: U. Haselstein et al. (eds.), Iconographies of Power: The Politics and Poetics of Visual Representation (Heidelberg: Winter, 2003), 111-130.

"Geschichte als Familienepos – Tendenzen des US-amerikanischen Gegenwartsromans." In: H.-P. Burmeister (ed.), Die US-amerikanische Gesellschaft im Spiegel ihrer zeitgenoessischen Literatur,Loccumer Protokolle 74/03 (Rehburg-Loccum: 2004), 11-26.

[English title: History as Family Epic – Tendencies of American Contemporary Fiction]

"Uniting a divided nation: Americanism and anti-Americanism in post-war Germany." European Journal of American Culture 23:2 (2004), 157-170.

"Order and Disorder in American Modern and Postmodern Fiction." In: Z. Levicki (ed.), American Freedoms American (Dis)Orders, vol. 1 (Warsaw: American Studies Center, 2005), 177-193.

"Americanization, Anti-Americanism, and American Studies."in: K. Delaney/R. Janssens (eds.), Over (T)Here: Transatlantic Essays in Honor of Rob Kroes (Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2005), 148-160.

"Aesthetic Experience and the Collective Life: John Dewey’s Democratic Aesthetics and the Peculiarities of American Modernism." in: T. Claviez/U. Haselstein/S. Lemke (eds.), Aesthetic Transgressions: Modernity, Liberalism, and the Function of Literature (Heidelberg: Winter, 2006), 261-287.

"William Carlos Williams and German Post-war Poetry." In: B. Waldschmidt-Nelson et al. (eds.), Europe and America: Cultures in Translation (Heidelberg: Winter, 2006), 131-145.

"Does American Studies Still Make Sense? (an Interview)." The Americanist XXIII (2006), 17-33.

 "Surviving in the Particular? Uni(versali)ty and Multiplicity in the Novels of Richard Powers." European Journal of American Studies 2007 (online issue).

"Finding Voice in Fragmentation – Negotiations of (Female) Identity in North American Migrant Texts."In: N. Pascal/L. Alonso-Gallo/F. Collado-Rodriguez (eds.), Masculinities, Femininities and the Power of Hybrid in U.S. Narratives – Essays on Gender Borders (Winter: Heidelberg, 2007), 49-66.

"American Studies as Area Studies as Transnational Studies? A European Perspective." Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 27:3 (2007), 633-640.