Cedric Essi

E-Mail: essi@respectresearchgroup.org

Cedric Essi is a lecturer for American studies at the University of Bremen. In his dissertation project, he examines how interracial families seek visibility and recognition through autobiographical practices.

After completing his high school education in Göttingen, Cedric Essi studied English and French literatures at the University of Würzburg. In 2008, he was a fellow of the BAA summer academy “Ethnicity and Society in America.” In 2009, Essi graduated with a teaching degree for English and French (Erstes Staatsexamen) as well as with an M.A. in American Studies, which he completed with a thesis that analyzed ‘literary minstrelsy.’

During his time as an undergraduate and graduate student, Cedric Essi worked as a research assistant for the chair of French Studies and for the chair of American Studies. In 2008, he spent one semester in Burgundy as a teacher for German as a foreign language. Over the course of his PhD program he has taught various introductory and self-designed classes in American studies. Since 2015, Essi is a lecturer at the department of English-Speaking Cultures at the University of Bremen.


“Mama’s Baby, Papa’s, Too”: Toward Critical Mixed Race Studies.” Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 65.2 (2017). Forthcoming.

 “Return to Which Roots? Interracial Documemoirs by Macky Alston, Eliachi Kimaro, and Mo Asumang.” Moving and Migrating the Black Body in Visual Culture. Ed. Leigh Raiford and Heike Raphael-Hernandez. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017. 170-84.

 With Monika Sauter und Stephen Koetzing. Guest Editorship of COPAS: Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies Vol. 15.1 (2014).

“Transnational Affiliations in the Mixed Race Memoir: Barack Obama’s Dreams from My FatherAmerican Lives. Ed. Alfred Hornung et al. Heidelberg: Winter, 2013. 261-81.

“Black Like Who? Weiße Autoren und ethnische Minderheiten.“ Anglophone Literaturdidaktik – Zukunftsperspektiven für den Englischunterricht. Ed. Julia Hammer et. al. Heidelberg: Winter, 2012. 161-76.

Papers & Lectures:

  • “Travelling African American Studies.” Alumni Event Harvard Club of Munich & BAA, Okt. 2016.
  • “Amerikanistische Perspektiven auf rassismuskritische Pädagogik.” Fachtagung Ohne Angst Verschieden Sein, Jugendbildungstätte Unterfranken, Nov. 2016.
  • “Interracial Family Memoirs: Claiming Genealogies across the Color Line.” Current Research in English and American Studies, University of Flensburg.
  • “‘I am the new America’: Memoir, Race, and Family at the Turn of the Millenium.” Ringvorlesung: Literary Histor(ies) in English: Texts and Issues” University of Bremen, Jan. 2016.
  • “Interrogating Autobiographical Registers on Transracial Adoption.” Transnational and Transracial Adoption in North American Culture, University of Turku, August 2015.
  • “MiscegeNation as a Family Secret: American Memoir and Interracial Kinship at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century.” W.E.B. Du Bois Lectures, Humboldt University of Berlin, Jan. 2015.
  • “Transnational Quests for ‚Kinfulness:‘ Afro-German and African American Mixed Race Memoirs.” Global Mixed Race: Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, DePaul University (Chicago), Nov. 2014.
  • “Searching for Family across Race and Space: Interracial Family Documemoirs.” Migrating the Black Body: The African Diaspora and Visual Culture, Schloss Herrenhausen (Hanover), Sept. 2014.
  • “From Miscegenation to Melting Pot Rhetoric? The Politics of the Interracial Family Memoir and Critical Mixed Race Studies.” The Futures of Black Studies, University of Bremen, April 2014.
  • “Back to Imaginary Homelands: Transnational Quests in Interracial Family Memoirs.” Transcultural Autobiography, University of Münster, March 2014.
  • “Interracial Family Memoirs – Reconstructing Genealogies across the Color Line.” Brown Bag Lunch Talk Series, Yale University (New Haven), Sept. 2013.
  • “A Gray Area: White Parents‘ Memoirs about Their Black Children.” HCA Spring Academy, Heidelberg, March 2013.
  • “(Re)Constructing Interracial Families: Mixed Race Movements & Mixed Race Memoirs.” Collegium for African American Research (CAAR), Atlanta, March 2013.
  • “Von Dienern, Heiligen und Afronauten – (Dis)Kontinuitäten schwarzer Präsenzen in der deutschen visuellen Kultur.“ Public lecture at the exhibition ‘Homestory Deutschland – Schwarze Biografien in Geschichte und Gegenwart’ Nuremberg, Jan. 2013.
  • “Rethinking Kinship: Interraciality & Family in Contemporary American Life Writing.” American Studies Colloquium, University of Göttingen, June 2012.
  • “Transnational Affiliations in the Mixed Race Memoir: Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father.” Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS), Mainz, June 2012.
  • “Washington’s Interracial Genealogies: From Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama.” BAA Summer Academy „Democratic Cultures, Past and Present,“ Washington, D.C., May 2012.
  • “From Historiographic to Fictional Explorations of Interracial Intimacy under Slavery: Edward Ball’sSlaves in the Family and Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone.” Writing Slavery after Beloved, Université de Nantes, March 2012.
  • “A House Divided? Interracial Genealogies in Contemporary American Life Writing.” American Civilization Workshop, Harvard University (Cambridge), Oct. 2011.
  • “The Democratization of Ethnic Identification? Multiraciality in US American Culture.” BAA Summer Academy „Transatlantic American Studies,“ Nuremberg, May 2011.

Organization of Conferenes and Workshops:

  • “Black Performance Studies Workshop with Jaye Austin Williams.” Doctoral network ‘Perspektiven in der Kulturanalyse,’ University of Bremen, Aug. 2016.
  • PGF Workshop (with Stephen Koetzing and Monika Sauter), Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS), Würzburg, June 2014.
  • PGF – Postgraduate Forum of the GAAS (with Stephen Koetzing and Monika Sauter), Erlangen, Oct. 2013.
  • Cultural Program and Funding of the Nuremberg Exhibit of “Homestory Deutschland: Schwarze Biographien in Geschichte und Gegenwart” (with Lydia Taylor, et al., in cooperation with the ISD), Jan./Feb. 2012.
  • Workshop “Multiracial Genealogies in American Life Writing, Past and Present” (with Heike Paul), Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS), Mainz, June 2012.
  • 2014
    DAAD travel grant to present a paper at the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference “Global Mixed Race” at DePaul University, Chicago
  • 2013
    Yale University Research Fellowship (BAA), Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Abolition, and Resistance
  • 2013
    Fellow of the Heidelberg Center for American Studies, Spring Academy
  • 2013
    Travel grant from the Dr. Alfred-Vinzl Foundation to present a paper at the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) conference in Atlanta
  • 2012
    Fellow of the BAA Summer Academy “Democratic Cultures, Past and Present”, Washington, D.C.
  • 2011
    Harvard University Research Fellowship (BAA)
  • 2011-2014
    Graduate fellowship of the Bavarian State