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Dr. Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt

Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt received her master’s degree in American Studies, British Studies and Film Studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany (2003). She has completed her PhD thesis, which was partly funded by the Wilhelm and Günter Esser Foundation, on transnational Japanese-American cultural exchanges in 2008 at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Currently, she is teaching mainly American Cultural Studies at the TU Dortmund University. As a Fulbright Scholar in Residence she conducted research and taught courses at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise during the academic year 2013/2014. Currently she is working on a project on Indochinese American Refugee Narratives.


  • Tanspacific Studies
  • Refugee Narratives
  • Hawaiian History, Literature, and Culture
  • Transnational American Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Gender Studies

Current projects

  • "Stories of No Return: Indochinese American Refugee Narratives" (Habilitation)

  • "The 1940s in America" (working title)

Past projects

  • "Erleuchtung Garantiert: Illuminating Flows of Cultural Commodities and Images between Japan and Germany” Projekt am Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies am Cluster for Excellence Asia and Europe in A Global Context, Universität Heidelberg (Kurzprojekt)

  • Embracing Differences: Transnational Flows of Culture and Images Between Japan and the United States (Dissertation)


Monographs / Textbooks:

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. Embracing Differences: Transnational Cultural Flow between Japan and the United States. Bielefeld: transcript, 2013.


  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. “We Will Never Be Americans! Hip-Hop and Hawaiian Resistance in the Pacific Rim.” Shifting Grounds: Cultural Tectonics along the Pacific Rim. Jutta Ernst, Brigitte Glaser, eds. Heidelberg: Winter Verlag. Print. 2019. [forthcoming]
  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. “Oceanic Poetics: Walt Whitman across the Pacific Currents.” The Walt Whitman Legacy. Whitman Revisited in Occasion of his 200th Birthday. Winfried Herget, ed. Bern: Lang Verlag, Print. 2019. [forthcoming]

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya and Randi Gunzenhäuser. “Romance and Gothic.” Handbook of the American Novel of the Nineteenth Century. Christine Gerhardt (Ed.) Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2018. 34-57. Print.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. “Kill White People and Get Paid for It? What’s Not to Like? – Violence and Space in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.” Violence and Open Spaces. The Subversion of Boundaries and the Transformation of the Western Genre. Stefanie Müller, Christa Buschendorf, Katja Sarkowsky (Eds.) Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2017. 151-165. Print.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. "From Outer Space to Paradise? Remapping Hawaii in Lilo & Stitch." Weltentwürfe des Fantastischen. Erzählen Schreiben Spielen. Laura Muth, Annette Simonis (Eds.) Berlin: Christian A. Bachmann Verlag, 2014. 91-101. Print.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. “Anata o Rikai Shite Hoshii Nara, Mazu Kikukoto Kara Hajime Mashō: Transnational Eika to Shite no Babel ni Kanshite.” [“If You Want to Be Understood, Listen: Reading Babel as a Transnational Movie.”] Trans. Yoneyuki Sugita. Amerika o Shiru Tame no 18 Shō [18 Chapters to Understand America ]. Ed. Yoneyuki Sugita. Tokyo: Daigaku Kyōiku Shuppan, 2013. 32-45. Print.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. “Trying to Recapture the Front: A Transnational Perspective of Hawaii in R. Kikuo Johnson’s Night Fisher.” Transcultural and Transnational Perspectives on Comics and Graphic Narratives. Eds. Christina Meyer, Daniel Stein, and Shane Denson. Continuum. 2013.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. “Riding Blackships to Iwo Jima? Transnational Exchanges and Changing Images of Japan in the United States.” Trans/American, Trans/Oceanic, Trans/lation: Issues in International American Studies. Eds. Susana Araujo, Joao Ferreira Duarte and Marta Pacheco Pinto. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2010. 323-333. 

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. “Imagining the Taste: Transnational Food Exchanges between Japan and the United States.” The Japanese Journal of American Studies. Vol. 21. (2010): 231 – 250.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. "Mini Conquers Hollywood. Der Imagewandel des Minis im Film." Eds. Jürgen Kramer, Annette Pankratz, and Claus-Ulrich Vio. MINI & Mini. Ikonen der Popkultur zwischen Dekonstruktion und Rekonstruktion. Bielefeld: transcript, 2009. 89-102.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. “‘The Tiger’s Eyes Are Like My Own’: Depictions of Japaneseness in Contemporary American Movies.” COPAS. Vol. 8. (2007).


  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya Rev. of Alternative Histories of Hawai’i Statehood. Dean Itsuji Saranillo. American Studies 58.2. 2019. 87-88. Print.
  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. Rev. of From the Land of Shadows: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Cambodian Diaspora. Khatharya Um. American Studies 55:2. 2016. 92-93. Print.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. Rev. of  "A Chosen People A Promised Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaii". Hokulani K. Aikau. American Studies 53:2.2014. 182-183. Print.

  • Laemmerhirt, Iris-Aya. Rev. of  "Transpacific Field of Dreams: How Baseball Linked the United States and Japan in Peace and War", by Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu. South Atlantic Review. 77.2 Spring 2012. 178-180. Print.


  • 08|2018: Radio Interview WDR2 “The Annexation of Hawaii”
  • 04|2014: TV Interview Studio 96 “Being a Fulbright Scholar”
  • 04|2014: Radio Interview WEHC Dr. Teresa Keller “This Conversation: Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt”
  • 05|2008: Radio Interview SWR 2 “Mickey Mouse in Kimono – Japanese Culture in the USA”
  • “Refugees and the City: The Construction of Masculinity in Viet Thanh Nguyen’s ‘The Other Man’.” International Conference, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 2019.

  • “Narratives of No Return: The Necessity of Refugee Narratives in Transnational American Studies” New Challenges for American Studies in the 21st Century: International American Studies Association World Congress, Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid, 2019.

  • “Writing Your Own History: The Importance of Refugee Narratives in a Transnational Context.” The End of Western Hegemonies? Second International Conference by The West Network, Jyväskylän Yliopisto Universtiy of Jyväskyla, 2019.

  • “How Much of Me Is My Own”: Imagining the Ocean in Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do. Postcolonial Oceans – Contradictions and Heterogeneities in the Epistemes of Salt Water: Joint Annual Conference of GAPS and IACPL, Universität Bremen, 2019.

  • “Nothing That Ever Was Changes? Queer Mobilities in Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar." Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies, Leibniz Universität Hannover, 2017.

  • “Leave the District. Run Off. Live in the Woods”: Constructing Dystopic Spaces in The Hunger Games." Annual Conference of the Association for Research in the Fantastic, Universität Wien, 2017.

  • “‘Remember, You’re Not Half of Anything, You’re Twice of Everything’: Shifting Perspectives in Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer.” Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, Chaminade University, Honolulu Hawaii, 2017.

  • “Football’s Coming Out? Homosexuality and European Football Celebrities.” International Conference: Proud in Europe? LGBTI Emancipation in Comparative Perspective, University of Amsterdam/Centre for Gender and Sexuality, 2016.

  • “Then She Met Miriam: The Fantastic in American Gothic Literature of the 1940s.” Annual Conference of the Association for Research in the Fantastic, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 2016.

  • “Creating Spectacle Out of Pain: India’s Daughter (2015).” International Conference: Spectacular Now: The Politics of the Contemporary Spectacle, TU Dortmund, 2016.

  • "Trans-Pacific Field of Dreams: The Pacific as Contact Zone and Conflict Space in Hollywood." Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 2015.

  • "Shifting Perspectives: American Representations of the Japanese on Screen since 1941." Conference: Democracy and Difference in the Pacific Century. Institute for American Studies and American Space Leipzig, 2015.

  • "I Would Prefer Not To: The Use of Language in Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorios Poetry." International Interdisciplinary Conference: Translational Checkpoints in the Creative Industries, University of Gothenburg, 2015.

  • "It Could Happen to You: Queer Los Angeles vs. Oppressive Rural Small Towns in Bridegroom." Annual Conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, 2014.

  • "We Will Never Be Americans! Hip Hop and Resistance in Hawaii." International Interdisciplinary Conference: Shifting Grounds: Cultural Tectonics along the Pacific Rim, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, 2014.

  • “It’s Nice to Live on an Island with No Larger Cities”: Alien Invasion in Hawai’I." 4th Annual Conference of the Association for Research in the Fantastic, Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen, 2013.

  • "The Great Dictator? Humorously Subverting the Image of Adolf Hitler in Contemporary German Culture." Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference: Laughter. University of California Berkeley, 2013.

  • "Untangling Some Chopsticks: Zen und japanisches Essen in den USA." Interdisziplinäres Symposium: Erleuchtung Garantiert? Japan im Westen: Literatur – Kultur – Spiritualität. Weltkloster Radolfzell, 2012.

  • "Tryingo Recapture the Front: A Transnational Perspective of Hawaii in R. Kikuo Johnson’s Night Fisher." Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies, Universität Regensburg, 2011.

  • "O’hana Means Family: Constructing the Self and the Other in Disney’s Lilo and Stitch." Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. Chaminade University, Honolulu, 2010.

  • "Reflecting Absence: Memory and Trauma in Art Spiegelmann's In the Shadow of No Towers." Life Writing and the Graphic Novel. University of Paderborn, 2010.

  • "Say It Loud: I’m Hawaiian and I’m Proud: Hip-Hop and Resistance in Hawaii." Hip Hop im Revier. TU Dortmund, 2010.

  • "The Raw and the Cooked: National Identities, Othering and Resistance in Linda Furiya’s Bento Box in the Heartland and Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meat.6th Interdisciplinary and Multicultural Conference on Food Representation in Literature, Film and the Other Arts. San Antonio, TX, 2010.

  • "Yokoso Mickey Mouse: Disney in Japan." Annual Conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies: Contact Spaces of American Culture: Localizing Global Phenomena. Graz, 2009.

  • "Mini Conquers Hollywood: Der Mini Cooper in Hollywood Filmen." Mini Meets Mini: Kultur der Sechziger zwischen Mobilität und Mode. Bochum, 23 January 2009.

  • “Flags of Our Memories: Personal and National Memories of the Battle of Iwo Jima.” International Conference Memories and Remembering, U Bielefeld, 14 June 2008.

  • “Riding Blackships to Iwo Jima? Transnational Exchanges and Changing Images of Japan in the United States.” International American Studies Association Conference, U Lissabon, Portugal, 21 September 2007.

  • “’If You Want to be Understood: Listen’: Reading Babel as a Transnational Movie.” Tansnational American Studies Symposium, UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies, Dublin, Ireland, 21 July 2007.

  • “The Tiger’s Eyes are Like My Own“: Depictions of Japaneseness in Contemporary American Movies. Post-Graduate Forum of the German Association of American Studies. TU Chemnitz, 4 November 2006.

  • 11|2017: Zuschuss für eine Kongressreise (DAAD)

  • 04|2014: Fulbright Outreach Lecture Grant

  • 08|2013 – 05|2014: Fulbright SIR (Scholar in Residence)

  • 11|2012: Stipendium des American Studies Network Sponsors, Salzburg

  • 11|2010. Zuschuss für eine Kongressreise (DAAD)

  • 08|2009 – 01|2010: Forschungsstipendium der Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg

  • 11|2007 – 07|2008: Stipendium der Wilhelm und Günter Esser Stiftung

  • 09|2007: Reisestipendium für Doktoranden der Ruhr-Universität Bochum

  • 07|2007: Reisestipendium für Doktoranden der Ruhr-Universität Bochum

  • “Oceani Poetics: Walt Whitman across the Pacific Currents” Short Lecture, Book Launch: The Walt Whitman Legacy. Whitman Revisited in Occasion of his 200th Birthday City Hall, Dortmund, 2019.
  • “I Have a Dream”: Zum 50. Todestag von Martin Luther King. Gastvortrag. VHS Witten, Wetter Herdecke, 2018.
  • “Martin Luther King Jr. – Beyond Vietnam” Ausstellungseröffnung. Museum für Kultur und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund, 2017.
  • “The Fastest Gun of the South? Remapping ‘The West’ and ‘The South’ in Django Unchained.” Fulbright Lecture. The University of West Alabama, 2014.

  • “From ‘Glück Auf!’ to ‘Rock Monarchy’: History and Music in the Ruhr Area." Enrichment Lecture. The University of West Alabama, 2014.

  • “Embracing Differences: Transnational Cultural Flows between Japan and the United States.” Lyceum Lecture. Emory and Henry College, 2014.

  •  “Wanna Do Bad Things? True Blood and Media Convergence.” Guest Lecture, Undergraduate Course, Department of American Studies. The University of Richmond, 2014.

  • “They Hate Because They Fear: African Americans in 1940s America.” Guest Lecture, Undergraduate Course, Department of American Studies. The University of Richmond, 2014.

  • “From Coal to Culture: Soccer and Hip Hop in the Ruhr-Area.” Fulbright Lecture. University of Virginia’s College at Wise, 2014.

  • “You Don’t Care If I’m a Monster? If I’m Not Human?” Monsters and Their Liminal Space - Vortrag im Intensivseminar: Cultures of Liminality and Transgression, Leitung: Prof. Dr. Gunzenhäuser and Sandra Danneil, TU Dortmund, 2013.

  • "The Great Ducktator: Animated Propaganda Movies" Vortrag im Intensivseminar: Humor - The Funny Side of America. Leitung: Prof. Dr. Randi Gunzenhäuser und Sandra Danneil, TU Dortmund, 2012.

  • "African American Stereotypes" Vortrag im Intensivseminar Uncle Tom's Cabin, Leitung: Prof. Dr. Grünzweig und Prof. Dr. Gunzenhäuser, TU Dortmund, 2011.

  • "As Strange As It Seems: Freakshows." Vortrag im Intensivseminar Theater and Performance, Leitung: Prof. Dr. Gunzenhäuser, TU Dortmund, 16 July 2010.

  • "A Taste of America: Identität und Esskultur in den USA." Freiburg (Carl Schurz Haus), 2010.

  • "Tokyo As Transnational Space in Sofia Ford Coppola’s Lost in Translation." Vortrag im Proseminar Explornig Spaces of Alterity in American Film: From Chinatown to Harlem to the Cockoo's Nest. Leitung: Selma Bidlingmaier, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 19 January 2010.

  • “Promises Kept, Promises Broken: An Introduction to Japanese-American Literature”. Vortrag in der Vorlesung Survey of English Literature III - North America, Leitung: PD. Dr. Christine Gerhardt, Albert-Ludwig-Universität Freiburg, 2008.

  • “Dazzled by a Mouse: Animated Disney Movies and their Impact”. Vortrag im Intensivseminar Media and the Body, Leitung: Prof. Dr. Gunzenhäuser, TU Dortmund, 05 July 2008.

  • “In Fairies We Trust: Disney and Religion”. Vortrag im Hauptseminar Religion and American Culture, Leitung: PD. Dr. Jeanne Cortiel, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, 25 June 2008.

  • “Remembering and Forgetting the Spectacle of 9/11”. Vortrag im Hauptseminar In the Shadow of No Towers, Leitung: Sven Lutzka, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, 21 November 2007.

  • “Reading Differences in America: Japanese-American Literature“. Vortrag in der Übung Curry in a Hurry’: Contemporary South Asian American Literature and Culture, Leitung: Jana Fedtke, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, 11 November 2007.

  • “George Washington and Mount Vernon“. Vortrag im Proseminar The American Presidents, Leitung: M.A. Petra Schubert, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, 03 July 2006.

  • “From Fish to Meat and Rice to Wheat: Mc Donald’s in Japan“. Vortrag im Proseminar Beyond the Melting Pot:Food and the Invention of American Identities, Leitung: M.A. Katharina Vester, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, 27 June 2006.

  • “Of Mickey Mouse and Samurai: Transnationaler Kulturaustausch Zwischen Japan und den USA“. Vortrag im Ostasienwissenschaftlichen Mittagsforum der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 25 January 2006.

  • “Call Me Moby: Reading Moby Dick From Different Perspectives”. Vortrag im Proseminar Literatur I, Leitung: M.A. Petra Schubert, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, 29 November 2005.

  • “Ethnicities - Stereotyping Minorities in Moby DickPearl Harbor and Disney’s Mulan“. Vortrag im Proseminar Angloamerikanische Kultur, Politik und Gesellschaft, Leitung: Hefen, Osterried, Schubert, Walde, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, 26 January 2005.

  • “Pop-Music and Identities: Heart of Golden Glory - Runrig and Scottish Music”. Vortrag im Proseminar Angloamerikanische Kultur, Politik und Gesellschaft, Leitung: Hefen, Osterried, Schubert, Walde, Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, 19 January 2005.

  • Since 2012: Salzburg Global Fellow
  • Since 2010: Member of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
  • Since 2007: Member of the International Association for American Studies
  • Since 2003: Member of the European Association for American Studies
  • Since 2003: Member of the German Association for American Studies
  • 2007- 2018: Member of the Japanese Association for American Studies



Zur Veranstaltungsübersicht

Anfahrt & Lageplan

Der Campus der Technischen Universität Dortmund liegt in der Nähe des Autobahnkreuzes Dortmund West, wo die Sauerlandlinie A45 den Ruhrschnellweg B1/A40 kreuzt. Die Abfahrt Dortmund-Eichlinghofen auf der A45 führt zum Campus Süd, die Abfahrt Dortmund-Dorstfeld auf der A40 zum Campus-Nord. An beiden Ausfahrten ist die Universität ausgeschildert.

Direkt auf dem Campus Nord befindet sich die S-Bahn-Station „Dortmund Universität“. Von dort fährt die S-Bahn-Linie S1 im 15- oder 30-Minuten-Takt zum Hauptbahnhof Dortmund und in der Gegenrichtung zum Hauptbahnhof Düsseldorf über Bochum, Essen und Duisburg. Außerdem ist die Universität mit den Buslinien 445, 447 und 462 zu erreichen. Eine Fahrplanauskunft findet sich auf der Homepage des Verkehrsverbundes Rhein-Ruhr, außerdem bieten die DSW21 einen interaktiven Liniennetzplan an.

Zu den Wahrzeichen der TU Dortmund gehört die H-Bahn. Linie 1 verkehrt im 10-Minuten-Takt zwischen Dortmund Eichlinghofen und dem Technologiezentrum über Campus Süd und Dortmund Universität S, Linie 2 pendelt im 5-Minuten-Takt zwischen Campus Nord und Campus Süd. Diese Strecke legt sie in zwei Minuten zurück.

Vom Flughafen Dortmund aus gelangt man mit dem AirportExpress innerhalb von gut 20 Minuten zum Dortmunder Hauptbahnhof und von dort mit der S-Bahn zur Universität. Ein größeres Angebot an internationalen Flugverbindungen bietet der etwa 60 Kilometer entfernte Flughafen Düsseldorf, der direkt mit der S-Bahn vom Bahnhof der Universität zu erreichen ist.

Interaktive Karte

Die Einrichtungen der Technischen Universität Dortmund verteilen sich auf den größeren Campus Nord und den kleineren Campus Süd. Zudem befinden sich einige Bereiche der Hochschule im angrenzenden Technologiepark.

Campus Lageplan Zum Lageplan