Prof. Dr. Michael Butter


Michael Butter has been Professor of American Literary and Cultural History at the University of Tübingen since 2014. He received his PhD from the University of Bonn in 2007 and his Habilitation from the University of Freiburg in 2012. He is the author of three monographs: The Epitome of Evil: Hitler in American Fiction, 1939–2002 (New York: Palgrave, 2009), Plots, Designs, and Schemes: American Conspiracy Theories from the Puritans to the Present (Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 2014), and Der »Washington-Code«: Zur Heroisierung amerikanischer Präsidenten, 1775-1865 (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2016). His research interests include the colonial period and the Early Republic, the construction of heroes, film, popular culture, and conspiracy theories. He was the main proposer and now serves as vice chair of the EU COST Action “Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories.”


Address: Wilhelmstr. 50, 72074 Tübingen
Office: Room 558
Phone: (+49)(0)7071-29-77341
Fax: (+49)(0)7071-29-5132
Email: michael.butter[at]



  • The COST Action „Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories“ aims at synthesizing and moving forward the European research on conspiracy theories. The network currently comprises more than 120 scholars from 36 countries and over a dozen disciplines. The next internal meeting will take place in Turin in March 2017. The project’s first big conference will be hosted by the University of Tübingen from July 28 to July 30, 2017. Keynote speaker will be Karen Douglas (University of Kent), Timothy Melley (Miami University) and Joe Uscinski (University of Miami). The conference will be followed by a one-week summer school for M.A. and Ph.D. students. More information on the project and the Tübingen conference is available on the project’s website.

  • Michael Butter is also currently writing a book in German about the connection between conspiracy theories, populism and the internet. The book is scheduled to be published by Suhrkamp in spring 2018.

  • From September 28-30, 2017, Michael Butter will, together with Nicole Falkenhayner, Barbara Korte and Wolfgang Hochbruck (University of Freiburg) and Simon Wendt (University of Frankfurt), organize an international conference on "Heroism as a Global Phenomenon in Popular Culture," which will be hosted by the University of Freiburg.






Der »Washington-Code«: Zur Heroisierung amerikanischer Präsidenten, 1775-1865. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2016.Figurationen des Heroischen 3.


Plots, Designs, and Schemes: American Conspiracy Theories from the Puritans to the Present. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 2014. [Peer-reviewed]


Edited Volumes and Special Issues:


(with Christoph Reinfandt et al.) Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter. Since 07/2016.


(with Astrid Franke and Horst Tonn) Von Selma bis Ferguson: Rasse und Rassismus in den USA. Bielefeld: transcript, 2016. American Culture Studies 15.


(with Birte Christ) American Presidency. Special Issue of Der Fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch 141 (2016). [Peer-reviewed]


(with Ronald G. Asch) Bewunderer, Verehrer, Zuschauer: Die Helden und ihr Publikum. Würzburg: ergon Verlag, 2016. Helden – Heroisierungen – Heroismen 2.


(with Maurus Reinkowski) Conspiracy Theories in the United States and the Middle East: A Comparative Approach. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 2014. [Peer-reviewed]









ZP (as part of the PS II Literature), B.A., M.A., Staatsexamen, Promotion