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Map of the 1858 Atlantic Cable route Show image information
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 guest talk by Gary Younge, June 12, 2018 © Adelheid Rutenburges Show image information
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Map of the 1858 Atlantic Cable route

Photo: Von Unbekannt - Howe's Adventures & Achievements of Americans; en:Image:Atlantic_cable_Map.jpg, Gemeinfrei,

guest talk by Gary Younge, June 12, 2018 © Adelheid Rutenburges

Dirk Night with Armani Cotton

Photo: Miriam Jassmeier

guest talk by Gary Younge, June 12, 2018 © Madita Oeming

PD Dr. Alexander Dunst

PD Dr. Alexander Dunst

Amerikanistik: Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft - Bereich Prof. Ribbat

Academic Councillor for a Limited Period

+49 5251 60-3046
+49 5251 60-3046
Office hours:

I will be on leave from Paderborn University from October 2022 to March 2023 and will not be offering courses or office hours during this  time. Please contact Petra Meyenbrock ( during this time period if you have any questions.

Warburger Str. 100
33098 Paderborn
Upcoming Talks & Workshops


with Prof. Regina Schober (Mannheim): "All That Is Solid Melts Into Data: Property and Ownership in the Digital Age," Annual Meeting of the German Association of American Studies (DGfA), Rostock University, June 1-3, 2023.

with Nicolas Henckes (Paris), Despo Kritsotaki (Paris), Chantal Marazia (Düsseldorf), and Matthew Smith (Glasgow): "Health Sciences and the Social: Health and Social Mobilization, 1950-2020s," Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris), May 19, 2023.

Invited Talks & Conference Papers:

"Situated Reading: Digital Humanities als kritische Kulturwissenschaft," Lecture Series "Digital Humanities im Gespräch," Dahlem Humanities Center, Free University (FU) Berlin, June 1, 2023.

"Das Menschenbild des zeitgenössischen Automatisierungsdiskurses in der spekulativen Literatur und politischen Ökonomie," Lecture Series "Mensch-Maschine," Paderborn University, May 24, 2023.

"Antipsychiatry in Global Perspective: Reimagining the 'Congress on the Dialectics of Liberation'," Workshop "Health Sciences and the Social: Health and Social Mobilization, 1950-2020s,""Health Sciences and the Social: Health and Social Mobilization, 1950-2020s," May 19, 2023.

Third-Party Funding

2017: Exhibition “Floating Utopias”, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) Berlin & ArtsScience Museum Singapore (Funding Institution: Lotto Stiftung Berlin) 50.000 Euros 

2015: eHumanities Early-Career Research Group, German Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF), with Jochen Laubrock (Potsdam)  5 Full-Time Positions, Success Rate: 7,6 % 1.814.000 Euros                                  

2014: Preliminary Phase of eHumanities Early-Career Research Group (BMBF) 94.600 Euros

2009: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Postgraduate Conference Funding 2500 British Pounds

Short Bio

Alexander Dunst holds an MPhil in English and American Studies from Vienna University and a PhD in Critical Theory from the University of Nottingham and was a prize-winning poet and political journalist for Profil, Austria's major news magazine, before entering academia. From 2011 to 2013, he taught at the University of Potsdam and has also been a visiting research professor at the University of Pennsylvania, a guest professor at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, and a DAAD lecturer at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad, India. His research and teaching focus on twentieth-century cultural history, the digital humanities, and contemporary US fiction. He has published in journals such as Modern Fiction Studies, New Formations, and Parallax, and is the author of Madness in Cold War America (Routledge, 2016 & 2018) and The Rise of the Graphic Novel: Computational Criticism and the Evolution of Literary Value (Cambridge University Press, 2023). In addition, he has co-edited two volumes of essays, The World According to Philip K. Dick (Palgrave, 2015) and Empirical Comics Research (Routledge, 2018 & 2020), as well special issues on Digital Scholarship in American Studies for the journal Amerikastudien and Collective Subjects and Political Transformation in the journal Subjectivity. In the academic year 2023/24, he will join the "Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare" at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, as a visiting research fellow.


On-Going Research Projects and Collaborations
  • The “Congress on the Dialectics of Liberation” and the Global Sixties: Book Project and Public-Facing Digital Archive

  • The Endo/Exo Project: Computing Class in the British & US Novel, 1880-1940: Digital Archive & Teaching, in collaboration with  Prof. Lennard Davis (University of Illinois at Chicago). See beta version at

  • Digitale Comic-Geschichtsschreibung: Erschließung und Analyse des Frankfurter Comicarchivs (1945-1970): DFG-Funding Application in Progress, in collaboration with Dr. Rita Hartel (Computer Science/Paderborn) & Dr. Felix Giesa (Frankfurt)

  • Critical Habitations: On the Here and Now of Cultural Studies: Academic Blog Platform and Workshop Series, in collaboration with Prof. Elahe Haschemi-Yekani (Berlin), Prof. Anja Schwarz (Potsdam), and Prof. Gudrun Rath (Linz). See


Courses Taught (since 2013)

Remembering the AIDS Crisis (MA Seminar)

North American Cultural Studies (MA Lecture)

African American Theater (MA Seminar)

Hollywood Cinema (MA Seminar)

The Graphic Novel (BA Seminar)

Literature and its Institutions in the Digital Age (MA Seminar)

Queering the Western (BA Seminar)

Working-Class Literature in the United States (MA Seminar)

Animation Film & Television (BA Seminar)

A History of Hollywood Cinema (Lecture Course)

African-American Poetry (MA Seminar)

Digital Humanities: Eine Einführung (Lecture Course)

Forschungskolloquium Digital Humanities (MA)

Projektmanagement in den Digital Humanities (MA Seminar)

Comics als Daten (Übung)

Computing Class in the English and American Novel (MA Seminar)

The Digital Archive (BA Seminar)

How We Read Now: From Close to Computational Reading (MA Seminar)

Documentary Cinema (BA Seminar)

New York Fiction around 1900 (MA Seminar)

Digital Literary Studies (BA Seminar)

The Graphic Novel (BA Seminar)

Black Radicalism (MA Seminar)

Digitale Kultur- und Gesellschaftswissenschaft (RVL)

Digital Melville (BA Seminar)

The Psychopolitics of Cold War Literature (BA Seminar)

Digital Approaches to Comics (BA Seminar)

Empire of Romance: The Fictions of Nathaniel Hawthorne  (MA Seminar)

Hollywood Cinema: An Introduction (BA Seminar)

Research Methods: Film & Television (BA Seminar)

PD Dr. Alexander Dunst
10/2013 - today

Assistant Professor

 (Akademischer Rat auf Zeit), English Department, Paderborn University

10/2022 - 03/2023

Acting Chair of American Studies

Department of English and American Studies, Erlangen University


Habilitation (highest European university qualification)

Double Venia legendi certificate in American Studies & Digital Humanities

04/2020 - 03/2021

Acting Professor of Digital Humanities

(W3-Vertretungsprofessur), MA-Program in Digital Humanities, Paderborn University

04/2015 - 01/2020

Co-Director of the Early-Career Research Group "Hybrid Narrativity

Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

01/2018 - 04/2018

Visiting Research Professor

English Department  & Price Lab for Digital Humanities, University of Pennsylvania

10/2011 - 03/2013


Department of English, Potsdam University


DAAD-Visiting Lecturer

Department of Cultural Studies, English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad

10/2006 - 10/2010


Department of Culture, Film and Media & Centre for Critical Theory, University of Nottingham

10/2003 - 04/2006

Staff Writer

News Magazine, "Profil", Vienna

10/2002 - 07/2005

MA (Mag. phil)

English & American Studies, English Department, Vienna University

10/1999 - 07/2002

BA (1. Studienabschnitt)

English & German Studies, University of Graz

List of Publications (last updated 01/2023)


Alexander Dunst, The Rise of the Graphic Novel: Computational Criticism and the Evolution of Literary Value (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2022) [under contract].

Alexander Dunst, Madness in Cold War America (New York: Routledge, 2016 & 2019), 184 pp. (Routledge Studies in Cultural History 46).

Edited Volumes                                                                                                                           

Alexander Dunst & Dennis Mischke, Digital Scholarship in American Studies, Special Issue of Amerikastudien 63-2 (2018), 121 pp.

Alexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock & Janina Wildfeuer, Empirical Comics Research: Digital, Cognitive, and Multimodal Methods (New York: Routledge, 2018 & 2020), xvi + 349 pp.

Alexander Dunst & Stefan Schlensag, The World According to Philip K. Dick (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), ix + 234 pp.

Alexander Dunst & Caroline Edwards, Collective Subjects and Political Transformation, Special Issue of Subjectivity 4-1 (2011). 102 pp.

Articles with Peer Review                                                                                                             

Alexander Dunst, “How We Read Comics Now: Literary Studies, Computational Criticism, and the Rise of the Graphic Novel” Modern Fiction Studies 67-4 (2021), 758-784.

Alexander Dunst, “Computing Literary Surplus Value: Alan Moore and the Density of the Comic Book as Graphic Novel“, in: Gabrielle Rippl & Ursula Lenker (eds.) Book Histories in the Digital Age, Special Issue of Anglia 139-1 (2021),195-223.

Rita Hartel & Alexander Dunst, “An OCR Pipeline and Semantic Text Analysis for Comics” in: Alberto del Bimbo et al. (Ed.), ICPR 2020 Workshops and Challenges. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 213-222. (Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science 12590)

Jochen Laubrock & Alexander Dunst, “Computational Approaches to Comics“, in: Neil Cohn and Joseph P. Magiliano (eds.), Visual Narrative Research: An Emerging Topic in Cognitive Science,  Special Issue of Topics in Cognitive Science 12-1 (2020): 274-310.

Rita Hartel & Alexander Dunst, “How Good is Good Enough? Establishing Quality Thresholds for the Automatic Text Analysis of Retro-Digitized Comics“ in: I. Kompatsiaris et al. (Ed.), Multimedia Modeling. MMM 2019. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 662-671. (Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science 11296)

Alexander Dunst, “Ordinary Madness: Don DeLillo’s Subject from Underworld to Point Omega” Amerikastudien 62-1 (2017): 35-50.

Alexander Dunst, Rita Hartel & Jochen Laubrock, “The Graphic Narrative Corpus (GNC): Design, Annotation, and Analysis for the Digital Humanities” in: Proceedings of the 14th IAPR International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition (2017): 15-20.

Alexander Dunst, “Digital American Studies: An Introduction and Rationale" Amerikastudien 61-3 (2016): 381-95.

Alexander Dunst, Elahe Haschemi Yekani & Anja Schwarz, “The Here And Now of Cultural Studies" Journal for the Study of British Cultures 21-2 (2014): 195-222.

Alexander Dunst, “After Trauma: Time and Affect in American Culture Beyond 9/11” Parallax 18-2 (2012): 56-71.

Alexander Dunst, “Ordinary Paranoia: Rethinking (American) Conspiracy Studies/Navadna paranoja: ponoven premislek o studiju (ameriske) zarote” Paranoia: Spellbound Spaces of Culture and Politics, Special Issue of Dialogi: Revija za Kulturo in Družbo 11 (2011): 120-35.

Alexander Dunst, “Late Jameson, or, After the Eternity of the Present” New Formations 65 (2008): 105-18.

Chapters in Edited Volumes                                                                                                       

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, “Computerbasierte Comicforschung”, in: Christian Bachmann et al. (Eds.), Handbuch Comicforschung (Berlin: De Gruyter 2023) [forthcoming].

Alexander Dunst, “Surplus Feelings: Neoliberal Noir and the Affective Economy of Debt“, in: Christopher Breu & Elizabeth Hatmaker (Eds.), Noir Affect (New York: Fordham University Press, 2020), 222-240.

Alexander Dunst & Dennis Mischke, “Introduction: The Challenge and Promise of Digital American Studies“ Amerikastudien 63-2 (2018): 131-140.

Alexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock & Janina Wildfeuer, “Comics and Empirical Research: An Introduction”, in: Dunst, Laubrock & Wildfeuer (Eds.), Empirical Comics Research: Digital, Cognitive, and Multimodal Methods (New York: Routledge, 2018), 1-23.

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, “The Quantitative Study of Comics: Towards a Visual Stylometry of Graphic Narrative”, in: Empirical Comics Research: Digital, Cognitive, and Multimodal Methods (New York: Routledge, 2018), 43-61.

 Alexander Dunst, “’All the Fits That’s News to Print’’: Deinstitutionalisation and Anti-Psychiatric Movement Magazines in the United States, 1970-1986”, in: Despo Kritsotaki, Vicky Long & Matthew Smith (Eds.), Deinstitutionalisation and After: Post-War Psychiatry in Global Perspective (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 57-74.

Alexander Dunst, “Sacco with Badiou: On the Political Ontology of Comics”, in: Daniel Worden (Eds.), The Comics of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World (Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2015), 168-83.

Alexander Dunst, “Introduction: Third Reality: On the Persistence of Philip K. Dick", in: Alexander Dunst & Stefan Schlensag (Eds.), The World According to Philip K. Dick (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015), 1-10.

 Alexander Dunst, “Unheimliche Heimat: Homeland und die Ästhetik des Imperiums“, in: Martin Doll & Oliver Kohns (Eds.), Die Zwei Körper der Nation: Ästhetische Figurationen des Politischen (Munich: Fink, 2015), 17-38.

Alexander Dunst, “The Politics of Conspiracy Theories: American Histories and Global Narratives”, in: Michael Butter & Maurus Reinkowski (Eds.), Conspiracy Theories in the US and the Middle East: A Comparative Approach (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 293-311.

Alexander Dunst, “The Body of the Image, or towards a Collective Art Practice”, in: Artur van Balen & Jakub Simcik (Eds.), Eclectic Electric Collective: El Martillo Project (New York: Minor Compositions, 2012), n. p.

Alexander Dunst & Caroline Edwards, “Collective Subjects, Emancipatory Cultures, and Political Transformation”, Introduction to Collective Subjects and Political Transformation, Special Issue of Subjectivity 4-1 (2011), 1-8.

Alexander Dunst, “Thinking the Subject beyond its Death: Madness and Contemporary Culture”, in: Jan D. Kucharzewski, Stefanie Schäfer & Lutz Schowalter (Eds.), Hello, I Say, It’s Me: Contemporary Reconstructions of Self and Subjectivity (Trier: WVT, 2009), 76-92.

Book Reviews                                                                                                                                    

Alexander Dunst, „Psychiatry’s Neoliberal Philosopher“ History of the Human Sciences 34 (2021),

Alexander Dunst,  “Oisín Wall, The British Anti-Psychiatrists” History of Psychiatry 30-1 (2019): 262-263.

Alexander Dunst,  “Vera Nünning, Reading Fictions, Changing Minds" Anglia 134 (2016): 215-217.

Alexander Dunst  “Timothy Melley: The Covert Sphere: Security, Fiction and the National Security State” Journal of American Studies 48-2 (2014): 685-686.

Alexander Dunst, “Martin Halliwell: Therapeutic Revolutions” History of Psychiatry 25-1 (2014): 7-8.

Alexander Dunst,  “Michael E. Staub: Madness is Civilization: When the Diagnosis Was Social, 1948-1980” Amerikastudien 58-3 (2013): 517-518.

Alexander Dunst, “Android Gods: Philip K. Dick after Postmodernism” Textual Practice 25-4 (2011): 823-830.

Alexander Dunst, “Fredric Jameson: Valences of the Dialectic" Textual Practice 24-2 (2010): 379-382.

Alexander Dunst, “Fredric Jameson: Modernist Papers” Textual Practice 22-1 (2008): 151-55. 

Published Conference Abstracts with Peer Review                                                       

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, “Quantifying Complexity in Multimodal Media: Alan Moore and the ‘Density’ of the Graphic Novel” DH 2019: Book of Abstracts (Utrecht) [in print].

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, “Multimodale Stilometrie: Herausforderungen und Potenzial kombinatorischer Bild- und Textanalysen“ DHd 2019: Book of Abstracts (Mainz/Frankfurt), 178-181.

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, “Automated Genre and Author Distinction in Comics” DH 2018: Book of Abstracts (Mexico City), 184-188.

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, “Auf dem Weg zur visuellen Stilometrie: Automatische Autor- und Genreunterscheidung in graphischen Narrativen” DHd 2018: Book of Abstracts (Cologne), 226-29.

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, “Corpora and Complex Networks as Cultural Critique” Digital Humanities 2017: Conference Abstracts (Montréal), 228-30.

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, Jochen Laubrock, Sven Hohenstein, “Corpus Analyses of Multimodal Narrative: The Example of Graphic Novels” DH 2016: Conference Abstracts (Cracow): 178-80. 

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel, “Die Corpusanalyse Multimodaler Erzählungen” DHd 2016: Book of Abstracts (Leipzig), 120-22.

Alexander Dunst, Rita Hartel, Jochen Laubrock & Sven Hohenstein, “Digitale Analyse Graphischer Literatur” DHd 2015: Book of Abstracts (Graz), 310-12.

Academic Blog Entries                                                                                                                      

“The Experimental Humanities: Raymond Williams, Digital Data, and the Unfinished Project of ‚Materialist Recovery’“ Critical Habitations, (2019).

“Dialectics of Liberation” The Hidden Persuaders (Birkbeck College, London), (2017).

“The Cold War as Metaphor” Berlin Center for Cold War Studies (Humboldt Universität Berlin), (2017).

“Quantifying Comics” TORCH – The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (Oxford University), (2016).

“The Posthuman Present: An Introduction” Critical Habitations, (2016).


John Odum & Liane Allen, “Philip K. Dick’s Legacy, Impact and More” Open World Chat,

Verena Adamik, “Digital Humanities, with Alexander Dunst & Dennis Mischke“ Podcast Talking American Studies,

Short Papers & Journalism                                                                                                                                         

Dennis Mischke & Alexander Dunst, „The Data of American Studies: Why the Datafication of Research Matters“ Amerikastudien 68-1 (2023) [in press].

Alexander Dunst, „Beyond Close and Distant: Computation, Literary Sociology, and the Place of Interpretation” Amerikastudien67-1 (2022), 24-27.                                                                                                                                   

Alexander Dunst, “Graphic Novels und die Macht der komplexen Bilder“ Neue Gesellschaft / Frankfurter Hefte 4 (2019): 57-59.

Alexander Dunst, “Graphic Novels are Comics Books, but Gentrified“ Jacobin (31 December 2019),

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