Dr. Marlon Lieber


Marlon Lieber works as assistant professor of North American literature and culture at the Institute of English and American Studies. His first book, Reading Race Relationally: Embodied Dispositions and Social Structures in Colson Whitehead’s Novels, has just been published with transcript. His current research project, tentatively titled “Appropriately Automated Luxury Pastoralism: Lewis Mumford and the Radical Techno-Republican Constellation,” investigates a tradition of cultural critique articulated in the context of the economic and ecological crises of the 1930s, its predecessors in radical nineteenth-century political thought, and the way in which it anticipates today’s discourses on automation, ecology, and postcapitalism.

In 2018, Lieber received his PhD from Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. While working on his dissertation, he spent six months as visiting research scholar at the University of Illinois, Chicago. In the past he has worked as assistant professor of American Studies at Goethe-University (2013-15) and Christians-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (2016-22). Sometimes he teaches classes in the contextual studies program at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Universität St. Gallen.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Marlon Lieber ist der zuständige Ansprechpartner bei Fragen zu Auslandsaufenthalten in Nordamerika.

office: IG 4.216
tel: 069-798-32360
office hrs: see here

email: Lieber@em.uni-frankfurt.de

What does it mean to write African American literature after the end of legalized segregation? In this study of Colson Whitehead’s first six novels, Marlon Lieber argues that this question has permeated the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s writing since his 1999 debut The Intuitionist. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s relational sociology and Marxist critical theory, Lieber shows that Whitehead’s oeuvre articulates the tension between the persistent presence of racism and transformations in the United States’ class structure, which reveals new modes of abjection. At the same time, Whitehead imagines forms of writing that strive to transcend the histories of domination objectified in social structures and embodied in the form of habitus

You can purchase the book and read the introduction here.

Lieber is a member of “The Failure of Knowledge / Knowledges of Failure,” a research network funded by the German Research Foundation. His research project focuses on analogies between socio-economic and aesthetic form, Marx’s theory of the fetish-like character of the commodity, Sohn-Rethel’s account of real abstraction, and works by Andy Warhol, Haim Stainbach, and Ben Lerner.

In 2021, Lieber was co-editor of a special issue of Coils of the Serpent on “Im/possibility,” which includes his article on “The Living Dead in the Long Downturn.” In 2018, he co-edited a special issue on “Marx and the United States” of Amerikastudien / American Studies which commemorated the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birthday and featured contributions by Joshua Clover, Michael Denning, Walter Benn Michaels, and others.

You can read most of his publications on his website.