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Fabius Mayland

Fabius Mayland
Bildquelle: Lorenz Becker


Rewriting the Past, Imagining the Future: Science Fiction as a Self-Writing Genre Community

I am a doctoral candidate and research associate (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the Cluster of Excellence Temporal Communities and the Graduate School for North American Studies. I received my bachelor's degree in English Studies from the University of Bonn and my master's degree in American Studies from the Free University of Berlin.

Rewriting the Past, Imagining the Future: Science Fiction as a Self-Writing Genre Community

In my dissertation I argue that genres can be understood as communities which are constituted by texts, authors, readers, but also by academic studies, magazines, publishers, literary prizes, and online fanpages. The texts (whether literary, cinematic, or of any other medium) themselves are not simply considered passive "exemplars" of a genre, but rather active parts and participants of one. New texts react to old texts and thereby reconfigure the spatial and temporal borders of the genres they affiliate themselves with. The focus of the project will lie on science fiction; while all genres continuously refer back to their own past, science fiction texts are afforded the possibility of responding to their generic past precisely by imagining potential futures. As such, I will be interested in the various temporalities and rhythms that are at play in science fiction as a genre: the slow gradual accumulation of tropes and concerns, the punctuated equilibria of publishing industries, and the notions of Erzählzeit and erzählter Zeit which are unique to Science Fiction as a genre.

Outside of my dissertation, I am also interested in the history of academic knowledge production, film studies, and environmental history.


• „Institutions and Personal Conceptions of Reality in HBO's The Wire: Spatial Transgressions and Their Consequences“. In: Transgressive Television: Politics and Crime in 21st-Century American TV Series. Edited by Birgit Däwes, Alexandra Ganser, and Nicole Poppenhagen. Heidelberg: Winter, 2015, pp. 145-164

Conference Presentations

• „Attached You Find My Proposal: Forms of Serial Scholarship“. Presentation at the Conference „The Revolution Will Not Be Peer-Reviewed" at the Graduate School for North American Studies, FU Berlin, 5-6 May 2017

• „Show, Don't Tell: What the Aesthetic Choices of HBO's The Wire Tell Us about Negative Liberty”. Presentation at the Conference „Transgressive Television: Politics, Crime, and Citizenship in 21st-Century American TV Series“ at the University of Vienna, 1-3 October, 2014.


  • American Studies
  • Genre Studies
  • Science Fiction
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