Hanjo Berressem

American Studies, Köln
Fellowship: 01.10.2013–31.03.2014


Hanjo Berressem (born 1956) studied English Literature and Art History at the University of Aachen. During his studies, he received DAAD scholarships to spend a year at the University of Michigan and a year at Brown University. After finishing his Ph. D. thesis on the work of Thomas Pynchon in 1989, he began work on his Habilitation, which was funded by a DFG research grant. In 1994, he spent a year at the University of Berkeley. After finishing his Habilitation in 1996, he taught American Literature and Culture at the Universities of Bielefeld (1996-1998), Hannover (1998-2000) and Cologne, where he is currently teaching. In 2002, he was ›Visiting Scholar‹ at the University of California (UCLA). He is Speaker of the Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften and a member of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School. His academic interests include contemporary American fiction (in particular the work of Thomas Pynchon, William Gibson and Bret Easton Ellis), Media Studies, as well as the work of Michel Serres and Gilles Deleuze. He has recently finished two ›complementary‹ book manuscripts, one on Gilles Deleuze (»Crystal Philosophy«), the other on the notion of ›Eigenvalue‹ (»Crystal Science«).


Fields of Research

  • Contemporary American Fiction
  • Media Studies
  • Interfaces of Art and Science
  • Eco-Criticism
  • Literature and Philosophy


Publications (Selection)


  • Pynchon’s Poetics: Interfacing Theory and Text. University of Illinois Press, 1992.
  • Lines of Desire: Reading Gombrowicz’s Fiction with Lacan. Northwestern University Press, 1998.



  • Grenzüberschreibungen: Feminismus und Cultural Studies (with D. Buchwald und H. Volkening), Aisthesis, 2001.
  • Chaos-Control/Complexity: Chaos Theory and the Human Sciences (with D. Buchwald), Special Issue: American Studies, 1. 2000.
  • site-specific: from aachen to zwölfkinder - pynchon|germany (with L. Haferkamp) Special Issue: Pynchon Notes, 2008.
  • Deleuzian Events: Writing | History (with L. Haferkamp), LIT, 2009.
  • Between Science and Fiction: The Hollow Earth as Concept and Conceit (with Michael Bucher & Uwe Schwagmeier), LIT, 2012.


Recent Articles

  • Coda: How to read Pynchon. I. Daalsgaard, L. Herman & B McHale eds., The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Pynchon: 2012, 168-177.
  • ’Der Eigenname’: Eigenwert und Eigenbiographie. In: S. Börnchen, G. Mein, M. Roussel eds. Name, Ding, Referenzen. Fink, 2012, 131-150.
  • The Surface of Sense and The Surface of Sensation: Topology in the Works of Mark Z. Danielewski. In: Only Revolutions, ed. Sascha Pöhlmann.