Cultures of Knowledge and Capital in the Long Nineteenth Century Speculations is organized as part of the DFG-funded research project “The Economy and Epistemology of Gossip in late 19th and early 20th-Century US American Literature and Culture”. The conference was originally planned to be held as an in-person event at the University of Bayreuth in October 2020. It is now held as a fully digital event, October 21-23, 2021.

The conference is organized by:

Dr. Katrin Horn is an assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Bayreuth and principal investigator of the DFG-research project on the uses of gossip. Her publications include Women, Camp, and Popular Culture: Serious Excess (Palgrave, 2017), the co-edited collections Stimme, Kultur, Identität: Vokaler Ausdruck in der populären Musik der USA, 1900-1960 (transcript, 2015) and American Cultures as Transnational Performance. Commons, Skills, Traces (Routledge 2021), and articles and essays on a wide range of topics in US American cultures.

Her own work on nineteenth-century cultures of knowledge and capital concerns mainly the intersections of intimacy and profit, such as the rise of celebrity culture, the commercialization of the private sphere, and the emergence of gossip columns and other formal innovations in US American periodicals. She (sometimes) blogs at, where you can also find a digital collection of her research material.

PD Dr. Karin Hoepker is associate professor of North American Studies at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and a guest professor at Bonn University. Her research focuses on history of knowledge and the nineteenth century, risk and the novel, science and fiction, urban studies, and, lately, on the semantics of love.

She was guest professor at Vienna University in 2019/20 and has studied, worked and researched at Bowdoin College, Stanford, Princeton, and Indiana University, Bloomington. Her first book No Maps for these Territories (Rodopi 2011) combines contemporary spatial and architectural theory with literary studies and discusses historic imaginations of the city of the future in William Gibson’s work. Her second book project The Edge of Reason: Fiction, Risk, and Probability in American Antebellum Narrative investigates the emergence of risk and the function of fiction in US antebellum literature and has won the Habilitationspreis 2018 of the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Selina Foltinek is a research assistant in the DFG-funded project on gossip, where she – among others – works on the digital collection of research material for She is also a Ph.D. candidate and has worked as a lecturer at the Department of American Studies/Anglophone Literatures and Cultures in Bayreuth. Her Ph.D. project is tentatively titled “Knowledge and Agency in Queer Women’s Semi-Autobiographical Narratives: Three Different Contexts 1859-1987.” Her article “Creative Openings and World-Making: Postcritique, Reparative Readings, and Anzaldúa’s Borderlands (COPAS 21/1) gives first insights into this research. In 2020, she has received the BAA’s Duke University Post-Graduate Research Fellowship. Her research interests include gender and queer studies, digital humanities, and US-American literatures from the 19th and 20th century. 

The organizers also wish to thank our student assistant, Arunima Kundu, for her invaluable assistance with the website and her support in preparing the digital material for this conference!