Frank Usbeck - Biography

Contribution: Bridging the Gaps: Pop Culture and Ritual in Military Blogs from Afghanistan


Frank Usbeck studied American Studies, Modern History, Journalism, and American Indian Studies at the University of Leipzig and the University of Arizona. He has held teaching and administrative positions at the institute for American Studies at Leipzig 2003-2012, and currently holds a position as postdoctoral researcher, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), at the Technical University of Dresden. Usbeck earned his Dr. phil in 2010 with a study on the interrelation between the German euphoria for Native Americans and the construction of German national identity, and the eventual utilization of Indian imagery for Nazi propaganda during the 1930s and 1940s. His thesis has won the Rolf Kentner Dissertation Prize of the Heidelberg Center for American Studies in 2011 and is currently in print with Berghahn Books (New York).

Frank Usbeck is currently working on his postdoc project about the cultural work of ceremonial storytelling in American soldier weblogs (milblogs). He reads milblogs through the lens of traditional warrior ceremonies and contemporary cultural practices of community-building and civil re-integration among Native American peoples. This project is part of the Leipzig-Dresden research initiative Selbst-Bewusste Erzählungen. Usbeck has published essays on milblogging in a collection he co-edited, titled Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres, and in vol. 2 of the Journal of Military Experience.