Englisches Seminar

Prof. Dr. Michael Butter


Michael Butter has been Professor of American Literary and Cultural History at the University of Tübingen since 2014. He received his PhD from the University of Bonn in 2007 and his Habilitation from the University of Freiburg in 2012. He is the author of four monographs: The Epitome of Evil: Hitler in American Fiction, 1939–2002 (New York: Palgrave, 2009), Plots, Designs, and Schemes: American Conspiracy Theories from the Puritans to the Present (Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 2014), Der »Washington-Code«: Zur Heroisierung amerikanischer Präsidenten, 1775-1865 (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2016), and “Nichts ist, wie es scheint”: Über Verschwörungstheorien (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2018), a German introduction to conspiracy theories aimed at a general audience. An English translation will be published by Polity Press in 2020. His research interests include the colonial period and the Early Republic, the construction of heroes and their cultural functions, the poetics of contemporary TV shows, conspiracy theories, and populism. He is Vice Chair of the EU COST Action “Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories”, which aims at synthesizing and moving forward the European research on conspiracy theories. The network currently comprises more than 150 scholars from 39 countries and over a dozen disciplines.

Address: Wilhelmstr. 50, 72074 Tübingen
Office: Room 558
Phone: (+49)(0)7071-29-77341
Fax: (+49)(0)7071-29-5132
Email: michael.butterspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de


  • Together with Peter Knight from the University of Manchester, Michael Butter is currently editing The Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories. It will be published in April 2020
  • During the fall of 2019 he will also be writing a couple of articles on issues of gender, race, and class in nineteenth-century American plays such as Aiken’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Daly’s Under the Gaslight.


  • “‘Trust no one’: Narrative Complexity and Character Opacity in Damages.” Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik – A Quaterly of Language, Literature and Culture 67.2 (2019): 131-46.
  • (with Peter Knight) “The History of Conspiracy Theory Research: A Review and Commentary.” Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them. Ed. Joseph E. Uscinski. New York: Oxford UP, 2019: 33-46.
  • “Maternal Duty: The Negotiation of Authorship in Anne Bradstreet’s ‘The Author to Her Book’.” Reflexionsfiguren der Künste in der Vormoderne. Ed. Anja Wolkenhauer et al. Heidelberg: Winter, 2019 446-63.
  • “Professional Amateur: Trump and Twitter.” Simplify, simplify! Brevity, Plainness and Their Complications in American Literature and Culture. Ed. Isabell Klaiber et al. Paderborn: Schöningh, 2019. 215-29.
  • “‘This Beast in the Shape of a Man’: Right-Wing Populism, White Masculinity, and the Transnational Heroization of Donald Trump.” Heroism as a Global Phenomenon in Contemporary Culture. Ed. Barbara Korte, Simon Wendt, and Nicole Falkenhayer. New York: Routledge, 2019. 114-31. Routledge Studies in Cultural History.
  • “Verschwörungs(theorie)panik – ‘Filter Clash’ zweier Öffentlichkeiten”. Deutungsmacht von Zeitdiagnosen: Interdisziplinäre Perspektive. Ed. Heiner Hastedt. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2019. 197-211.





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