Current position

University Professor of Cultural Sociology

(with emphasis on the transformation of culture)

Department of Sociology, Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU), Germany


Extraordinary Professor of Social Anthropology, School of Social Sciences, North West University (NWU), South Africa


Research interests

Popular media and culture; society and violence; society of fear; the emergence of the self; bio medicine, nature, and culture; modernity and mythology; labor; 20th century social and cultural theory



Habilitation: Humboldt University Berlin, 2006
(“Anthropological Consequences of Bio Sciences”; Cultural Studies/Cultural Sociology)


Ph.D.: Free University Berlin, 1999
(“A Sociology of Suicide”; summa cum laude)


Studies in the Social Sciences (Dipl.-Soz.): University of Oldenburg/Germany, 1989-1995



since 2011

Professor for Cultural Sociology, JLU

2008 - 2011

Adjunct Professur at the Dept. of Sociology, JLU

09 - 12/2007


Lecturer at Erasmus-Mundus Program
„Master of Arts in Euroculture“, University of Göttingen, Germany

2005 - 2006



Visiting Scholar, Center for Comparative Media Studies (CMS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge/MA, USA
(Feodor-Lynen Stipendiate)

2003 - 2005

Humboldt-University Berlin, Dept. Of Cultural Studies; Researcher

2002 - 2003

Researcher for „Yad Vashem“, Jerusalem

2000 - 2002


Humboldt University Berlin, Postdoc at Graduate School
„Codifying Violence within mediatic Change“

1999 - 2000






Einstein Forum Potsdam

Visiting stays and visiting professorships: Birkbeck Law School; Dept. of Anthropology, Univ. of California at Berkeley; Center for Comparative Media Studies at MIT; American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), Washington D.C.; Institute for German Cultural Studies, Cornell Univ.


Memberships & Positions

  • Cooperation coordinator, North West University, Potchefstroom, Republic of South Africa
  • International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Univ. Giessen: Principle Investigator & Member Board of Directors
  • Giessen University, Zentrum für Medien und Interaktivität, Sektion „Kunst und Medien“
    (Center für Media and Interactivity) (ZMI)
  • Giessen University Research Group on Migration and Human Rights (FGMM) & Refugee Law Clinic (RLC)
  • DAAD selection committee: P.R.I.M.E., Postdoc-short term stipends, alumni program
  • Trustee for Heinrich-Boell-Foundation, Berlin
  • Univ. Bielefeld, ZiF: Research Group 2009/2010: Challenges to the Image of Humanity and Human Dignity by New Developments in Medical Technology
  • DFG Network „Varieties of Anxiety“, 2010-2013
  • Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics: Member of Editorial Board
  • Journal of Popular Inquiry: Member of Editorial Board
  • European Sociological Association, Research Network 07 “Cultural Sociology” (board member)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS); Sektion Kultursoziologie (German Sociological Association; Cultural Sociology Section)
  • Gesellschaft für Historische Anthropologie e.V. (Historical Anthropology Association)
  • Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor)
    (Comic Studies Association)
  • Kulturwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft
    (Cultural Studies Association)