Englisches Seminar

Dr. des. Lisa Spieker

Research Fellow

Lisa Spieker was a research fellow at the American Studies Department at Tübingen University. Her Ph.D. thesis analyzes confessional mental illness pathographies and the literary strategies and narrative structures authors use to negotiate the concepts of madness, stigma and regimes of truth.

She received her B.A. in English Studies, Political Sciences and Sociology at Bonn University, her M.A. in American Studies at Tübingen and spend the academic year of 2015/16 as an exchange lecturer at Yale University. She has taught introductory and advanced seminars in literary studies including classes on American Confessionalism, illness narratives as well as literary and cultural representations of madness and psychiatrists. Further research interests include medical humanities, popular culture and sexuality studies.

Current Projects

Writing 'Madness:' Stigma, Self-fashioning, and 'Truth' in 'Mental Illness' Pathographies (PhD thesis, completed: 28.06.2019)

Classes Taught

  • PS: Introduction to Literary Studies (WiSe 2018/19 & SoSe 2017)
  • PS: The Fiction of Chuck Palahniuk (SoSe 2018)
  • HS: The Literature of Shame (WiSe 2017/18)
  • PS: Madness and Mad Doctors (WiSe 2016/17)
  • PS: American Confessionalism (SoSe 2015)
  • PS: Writing Madness (WiSe 2014/15)




  • “’It’s a gift…and a curse": The making of mental illnesses in contemporary television” (currently in print)


  • "House, Monk, Dexter, and Hannibal: 'Super-Powered' Mentally Ill TV Characters" In: Sharon Packer (Ed.) Mental Illness in Popular Culture. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2017. 

Conference Presentations & Talks


  • "Reordering (in the Face of)'Madness' in Pathographies." Medical Humanities Workshop: Processing Threat: Constructing and Negotiating Vulnerability and Agency. SFB Bedrohte Ordnungen, 29 October 2018, Keplerstraße 2, Tübingen. Eingeladener Vortrag.
  • "The Horrors of 'Madness' – Reconceptualized." PCA/ACA National Conference, 29 March 2018, JW Marriot Indianapolis, IN. Vortrag.


  • "Kinky and Traumatized – The Dangerous Lover in Contemporary Urban Fantasy Novels." PCA/ACA National Conference, 24 March 2016, Sheraton Hotel Seattle, WA. Reading.
  • "Confession 2.0: Intimacy and Resistance in Online Confessional Discourse." MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, 8 September 2016, University of Manchester. Presentation.