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

Prof. (apl.) 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 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 and film as well as creative non-fiction. Recent publications include “Lee Daniels’ The Butler: Overcoming the Transgressions of Precious and Negotiating the Double Blind,” and “Documenting Oral History and Lessons in Truth Telling in Nadia McLaren’s Muffins for Granny and Tim Wolochatiuk’s We Were Children.”  

My current project on Jewish American Studies began with Film Director Ethan Bensinger’s visit to Leuphana University in 2015. Upcoming articles include an entry on Bernard Malamud in The Handbook of the American Short Story (De Gruyter Press) and an article entitled, “The ‘Games’ People Play: The Dangers of Holocaust Simulations and Thought Experiments in Nathan Englander’s and Ellen Umansky’s Short Stories and Beyond. 

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. When I am not teaching, doing research, writing blogs, or visiting my family and friends in Iowa, I can be found on Twitter. Follow me @srvoelz

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.