Research interests: American Literature; Migration and Ethnicity; African-American Studies; Comparative Literature; World War II and Its Aftermath; Travel Literature; Sites of Memory Studies; Multilingualism; Themes and Motifs; Photography and Visual Arts.
Author: Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Culture; Neither Black Nor White Yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature; Ethnic Modernism; The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s (German ed.: Die Versuchung, zu verzweifeln); African American Writing: A Literary Approach; Challenges of Diversity: Essays on America
Editor of Collections: The Invention of Ethnicity; The Return of Thematic Criticism; Theories of Ethnicity: A Classical Reader; Multilingual America: Transnationalism, Ethnicity, and the Languages of America; Interracialism: Black-White Intermarriage in American History, Literature, and Law; An Anthology of Interracial Literature: Black-White Contacts in the Old World and the New.
Editor of Works: Hamilton Holt, The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans as Told by Themselves; Jean Toomer, Cane; Mary Antin, The Promised Land; The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano; The Adrienne Kennedy Reader; Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; Frank J. Webb: Fiction, Essays & Poetry; Alexandre Dumas: Georges; W. E. B. Du Bois, The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of its First Century; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Mark Twain. Pudd’nhead Wilson.
Coeditor: (with Caldwell Titcomb and Thomas Underwood) Blacks at Harvard: A Documentary History of African-American Experience at Harvard and Radcliffe; (with Maria Diedrich) The Black Columbiad: Defining Moments in African American Literature and Culture; (with Marc Shell) The Multilingual Anthology of American Literature; (with Winfried Fluck) German? American? Literature?: New Directions in German-American Studies; (with Glenda R. Carpio) African American Literary Studies: New Texts, New Approaches, New Challenges; (with Julia Faisst and Alan Rosen) David P. Boder, Die Toten habe ich nicht befragt; (with Greil Marcus) A New Literary History of America.
Current Projects: Homo scribens et legens: Lesen und Schreiben, Bücher und Texte in der bildenden Kunst; and (with Alide Cagidemetrio) Face to Face with Antiquity: Visitors to ancient sites around the world