Laura Pröger

Laura Pröger

Doctoral Fellow (DFG Project 'Enfreakment')

Wünschmanns Hof
Dittrichring 18-20, Room 2.06
04109 Leipzig

Telephone: +49 341 973 7558

I received both my undergraduate (B.A. British Studies/Anglistik) and graduate (M.A. American Studies) degrees from the University of Leipzig. My pursuit of a PhD in American Studies is driven by my passion for literature and culture, as well as my desire to conduct in-depth research that can contribute to our understanding of the world. Through my previous academic pursuits, I have developed a deep interest in contemporary American literature and culture, particularly in how societal and political issues are reflected. Pursuing a PhD will allow me to further explore these topics and contribute to the field through my own research and academic writing.

As part of the DFG project on “Enfreakment as an Invective Mode in US-American Popular Culture,” my research focuses on the process of enfreakment, i.e., how figures of the ‘freak’ are constructed and staged. Notably, my dissertation examines enfreakment in the genre of regional exploitation. This genre primarily refers to a type of low-budget filmmaking that emerged in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. Today, I argue, these invective practices remain a powerful formation in contemporary popular culture, traceable, for example, in the backwoods horror genre and reality television. Since these types of media, as different as they seem at first glance, capitalize on controversial depictions of social issues as well as cultural stereotypes of rural Americans, they lend themselves particularly well to analysis of enfreakment.