Dr. Melanie U. Pooch


DiverCity – Global Cities as a Literary Phenomenon.
Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles in a Globalizing Age


Melanie U. Pooch holds a degree (Diplom) in English and Business Administration with a focus on Organizational Management from the University of Mannheim. She also received her doctoral degree at the University of Mannheim. Her research interests include Corporate Responsibility and North American cultural, urban, and literary studies in a globalizing age.







Due to the acceleration of cultural flows and the porosity of borders, cultural exchange in a globalizing age is increasingly understood and practiced multidirectionally. As a consequence, constructions such as ‘national identity’ are progressively questioned because cultural identity is being understood more flexibly and dynamically. Emerging in American discourse in the late 1970s, the term ‘diversity’ describes the process of individual and group identity formation, involving a range of different cultures. To analyze the type or degree of integration of specific ethnicities, minorities, or immigrants in a particular global city, the different forms and conceptualizations of diversity are examined.

Global cities are sites of intense, accelerated processes of cultural exchange, facilitated by their physical networks of transportation, communication, information, financial transactions, and digital networks. Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles are three of the largest, most culturally diverse, and globally connected metropolis in North America. While Los Angeles and New York are the American global cities, the preeminent Canadian global city of Toronto is included to show how different regional and national discourses impact cultural diversity in global cities in a globalizing age.

Based on the structured analysis of selected North American novels – Dionne Brand’s Toronto, What We All Long For (2005), Chang-rae Lee’s New York, Native Speaker (1995), and Karen Tei Yamashita’s Los Angeles, Tropic of Orange (1997) – this work examines global cities as a literary phenomenon (‘DiverCity’). Melanie U. Pooch provides the connecting link for exploring the triad of globalization and its effects, global cities as cultural nodal points, and cultural diversity in a globalizing age as a literary phenomenon. Thus, she contributes to a global, interdisciplinary, and multi-perspectival understanding of literature, culture, and society.


Corporate Responsibility: Linking Environmental Responsibility and Economic Success



  • 2009-2012: three-year Ph.D. scholarship by the Graduate Program “Formations of the Global” at the University of Mannheim and the Graduate Scholarship Program of the state of Baden-Württemberg
  • 2011: three-month  research scholarship at the York University Toronto, Canada with a scholarship by the University of Mannheim
  • 2010-2012: five scholarships for conference talks and travel expenses by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the FAZIT Foundation, and the University of Mannheim
  • 2005-2006: ten-month scholarship by the Baden-Württemberg Scholarship to study abroad at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA



  •  Melanie U. Pooch: "DiverCity – Global Cities as a Literary Phenomenon. Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles in a Globalizing Age ", transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2016, ISBN 978-3-8376-3541-6
  •  Melanie U. Pooch: "The Transcultural Novel and the Urban Complexity of Los Angeles: 'Narrative Transculturation' in Karen Tei Yamashita's 'Tropic of Orange.'" Cityscapes in the Americas and Beyond: Representations of Urban Complexity in Literature and Film. Eds. Jens Martin Gurr, Wilfried Raussert. WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Trier 2011. 85-98. Simultaneously published in the USA: Tempe, Arizona: Bilingual Press 2011.



Two lectures of the Masters seminar “Multiculturalism and Transnationalism in Canada and the US” by Prof. Dr. Ulfried Reichardt, Spring/Summer 2010, University of Mannheim

Invited Talks / Conferences

  • 2012 MELUS and USACLALS Joint Conference in San José, California, USA
    Organizer: Prof. John C. Hawley
    Presentation Title: The Transcultural Novel: Multi-Ethnic Literature and the Global City of Los Angeles


  • 2011 Fourth International Conference on Global Studies in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Date: July 18-20, 2011
    Organizer: Prof. Jan P. Nederveen Pieterse
    Presentation Title: Is Transculturality the New Multiculturalism?


  • 2011 CITY Talks Lecture Series at the City Institute of York University in Toronto, Canada
    Organizer: Prof. Roger Keil
    Presentation Title: Cultural Diversity and the Global City of Toronto: Dionne Brand's What We All Long For


  • 2010 International Conference Simultaneity, Multiplicity and Chaos in Cityscapes in the Americas and Beyond, University of Bielefeld, Germany
    Organizer: Prof. Dr. Wilfried Raussert, Prof. Dr. Jens Martin Gurr
    Presentation Title: The Transcultural Novel and the Urban Complexity of Los Angeles


  • 2010 International Conference Trans-Inter-Intra - Ways of Exploring the Americas / Maneras de explorar las Américas, University of Bielefeld, Germany
    Organizer: Prof. Dr. Wilfried Raussert
    Presentation Title: Transculturality, Transculturation, and the Transcultural Novel