The Blog Editors

Maryann Henck
Maryann Henck, M.A.
I think of myself as a jack-of-all-trades and master of one: drama and performance – on as well as off stage; it’s a personal passion that I avidly pursue in my life, studies, and teaching. After accepting a Fulbright Scholarship for the Westfälische-Wilhelms University in Münster and completing my Master’s Degree at the University of Pennsylvania, I found myself back in Germany and have been lecturing in North American studies at Leuphana University in Lüneburg since 2000. When I’m not staging plays and dramatic readings, I offer seminars – not only on North American drama – but also on ethnic studies as well as writing creative fiction. Currently, I am trying my hand at creative non-fiction in the newly founded American Studies Blog.

Blog posts by Maryann Henck

Maria Moss
PD Dr. Maria Moss
I received my doctoral degree in one of my life-long passions – Native American Studies – from the University of Hamburg in 1993 and my post-doctoral degree from the Free University Berlin in 2006. I have been teaching North American Studies at Leuphana University Lüneburg since 2007.

In addition to numerous publications on Native issues, I have recently branched out into the fields of animal ethics and Critical Animal Studies. The following forthcoming articles are evidence of my latest passion: “A Whale of a Problem: Indigenous Tradition vs. Ecological Taboo,” “‘Their deaths are not elegant’: Animals in Margaret Atwood’s Writings,” and “From Within Fur and Feathers: Animals in Native Life and Literature.” My other fields of teaching and research include creative writing, Canadian Studies, and environmental literature. Writing creative non-fiction for the American Studies Journal blog will be a new challenge which I embrace wholeheartedly.

Blog posts by Maria Moss

Torben Schmidt
Prof. Dr. Torben Schmidt
Prof. Dr. Torben Schmidt is Professor of English Didactics at the Institute of English Studies at Leuphana University Lüneburg. His fields of interests are foreign language learning and the digital media, self-directed learning and project work in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom, teaching EFL in elementary schools, drama in education, and the teaching of listening and speaking. He is a two times winner of the Hans-Eberhard-Piepho Prize for Communicative Language Teaching. Torben Schmidt has worked as an editor and author of EFL teaching materials and textbooks. Since 2013 he has been an Editorial Board member of the American Studies Journal.


Dr. Sabrina Völz
In 1998, I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Pennsylvania State University. I have been teaching North American studies and English classes at Leuphana University Lüneburg for over twenty years. 

My teaching and research interests encompass German American history and culture, North American ethnic literatures as well as creative non-fiction. Recent publications include “Lee Daniels’ The Butler: Overcoming the Transgressions of Precious and Negotiating the Double Bind,”  and  “Documenting Oral History and Lessons in Truth Telling in in Nadia McLaren’s Muffins for Granny and Tim Wolochatiuk’s We Were Children.” My current project on Amish Studies began with an interview with Ira Wagler on his memoir Growing Up Amish in 2012 and blossomed into an interdisciplinary conference at Leuphana in July 2015. The conference proceedings, The Plain People: Contemporary Perspectives and Future Prospects, were published in 2017 and include my own contribution entitled, “Towards ‘New Memoir:’ Ira Wagler’s Ex-Amish Life Narrative Growing Up Amish.”

Joining the editorial team of the American Studies Blog has helped me to further explore the possibilities of life writing, not only as an academic but also as an avid blogger. 

Blog posts by Sabrina Völz


The blog editors are members of the Institute of English Studies and of the Zentraleinrichtung Moderne Sprachen (ZeMoS) at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Germany.