The team behind consisted of project leader Katrin Horn and research associate Selina Foltinek, while both worked at the University of Bayreuth between 2019 and 2022. The project was funded by the DFG as part of the larger research project  “Economy and Epistemology of Gossip in 19th– and early 20th-century US-American Literature and Culture” Katrin Horn is now professor of Anglophone Gender Studies at the University of Greifswald, and continues to update the project.

We are grateful for the support of our student assistants.

For more about all of us, see short bio statements below.

Hey there, I’m Katrin Horn, American Studies teacher, pop culture enthusiast, and gossip researcher. The idea behind ArchivalGossip originally developed as my postdoc-project – back in 2015, when I didn’t really know yet what it would mean to go hunt for traces of gossip in the archives. Since then, in late 2018 and early 2019 and thanks to generous funding from the GAAS, the German Fulbright Commission, the BAA, and the Bavarian State Chancellery, I have been able to spend several months at the Libray of Congress, New York Public Library, as well as the Pennsylvania Historical Society to find magazines, conduct literature, letters, and diaries, which would help me learn about the uses and value of gossip. (And to catch #ArchiveFever.) The results of these trips serve as the basis for our digital collection here. 

A research grant by the German Research Council enabled me to invite Selina to the team in April 2019, who has been invaluable in sorting through, transcribing, and making sense of the wealth of material I had gathered.

When I am not tracing and theorizing gossip, I teach Gender Studies and American Studies at the University of Greifswald (as of October 2023) with a focus on queer history and representation, cultural studies, media studies, and everday life of the long nineteenth century. Beyond these thematic fields, my research interests include transnational American Studies, narratology, and the history of knowledge.

I received my PhD from the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg with a thesis on camp in contemporary popular culture. A revised version came out with Palgrave in 2017 as Women, Camp, and Popular: Serious Excess. In it, I explore camp as a form of serious excess which allows queer audiences to experience intense attachment and critical distance simultaneously in their encounter with post-ought’s popular culture. Despite the jump in timeframe (21st vs 19th century) and media (TV, film, and pop music vs novels, diaries, and magazines), there are also intriguing continuities: most obviously, a concern with gender and sexuality, and a cultural studies interest in ideological and socio-historical context. But also: the investigation of insider-outsider dynamics in communication and an interest in the ‘weird mixture,’ so to say, of feelings of intimacy with something that we encounter in a mediated or public setting.

(See my university profile for a full CV and a list of publications).

Hi there, my name is Selina Foltinek. I completed my first state exam at the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2019. I hold a B.A. in English and History and worked on “The Elite College as Social Microcosm in Campus Narratives of the 20th and 21st Century.” In 2015/16, I spent ten months as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. In 2019, I started my Ph.D. project that is tentatively titled “Knowledge and Agency in Semi-Autobiographical Narratives about Female Same-Sex Desire” and my research interests include gender and queer studies, postcritique, knowledge production, and US-American literatures from the 19th and 20th century. I published my first article “Creative Openings and World-Making: Postcritique, Reparative Readings, and Anzaldúa’s Borderlands (COPAS 21/1) in 2020, which grants first insights into this research.  In 2020, I received the Duke University Post-Graduate Research Fellowship of the Bavarian American Academy (BAA) to do research at the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences (REGSS) of Duke University, United States.

As a research associate of this project, I have started to dive into the digital humanities (#newbie). I mainly manage the work on the collection, transcribe handwritten letters/train our Transkribus model, look for and check new DH tools that help us to manage our archival documents, tell a story about and with them, and gain new research insights. This DFG project has been a real game changer for me, as I fully committed to academia and devoted my…well, my life, basically, to researching on gossip and, additionally, working on my Ph.D. Exciting times ahead!

Hey everyone, I’m Faruk Akdag, a former student assistant of this project. As of now [Jan 2021], I am a student at the University of Bayreuth and in the process of completing my bachelor thesis. Since my two areas of study happened to be American Studies and Applied Computer Science, the prospect of putting my knowledge to use and helping out with this project seemed like an enjoyable experience to me. And it turned out to be just that! My main task was to make improvements to the project website’s layout, in addition to embedding historical letters and notes. 

While I was only part of the team for three months, I nonetheless enjoyed fixing the smaller problems (of which there is no shortage in any project’s early stages) and working together to advance the project.

Hi, my name is Arunima Kundu and I am from Kolkata, India. After completing my BA hons. in History from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, I studied for my first master’s degree in Global History at the Freie Universität and the Humboldt University in Berlin. Then, a desire to expand my academic perspective brought me to the University of Bayreuth, where I am currently doing my masters in Intercultural Anglophone Studies. My academic interests include intellectual history, postcolonial studies, gender studies and history of sexuality, studies from a global, transcultural or planetary perspective.
Contributing to the work of this fascinating project has been a wonderful experience! Since October 2020, I have been responsible for adding letters, journal entries, etc. to this online archive, summarizing and transcribing documents when needed.
Hello there, my name is Lisa! I am currently studying to become a teacher in English, History, and Theatre. Recently, I have been especially interested in topics regarding gender and queer studies, which I am hoping to make the focus of my Bachelor’s thesis, as well.
Within the DFG project, I am mainly responsible for transcribing letters and editing them in the archive. Although I have only been a part of this team for a short time, working on this project has been an incredibly enriching and exciting complement to my studies. It is really fascinating to work on authentic literature from the 19th century and gain instructive insights into what working in academic research looks like.

Hello everyone, I’m Henryk! I’m currently doing my B.A. in Theatre and Media Studies with an American/English Studies minor at the University of Bayreuth. My interests include gender and queer studies as well as interdisciplinary media studies. I have been working on
the collection since February 2023 and I’m mainly responsible for adding subject headings to items that make it easier to find specific entries using the advanced search function. Working with the items stored in this digital archive has been incredibly entertaining as well as informative and left me challenging the ways in which I interact with historical texts and sources in my own studies.