JGU American Studies News
Greg Robinson is Professor of History at the UniversitĂ© du QuĂ©bec in Montreal, Canada and Obama Fellow. He is visiting the University of Mainz in May and will give several lectures dealing with a variety of topics.
A preliminary program can be downloaded here.
The future Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies is sponsoring an annual dissertation prize in the amount of âŹ1000 for outstanding Ph.D. Work in the field of transnational American Studies. Dissertations completed at German and foreign universities, defended within the last two years, in transnational American Studies and related fields are eligible for submission.Further information, including a detailed list of submission requirements, can be found here.
The Society of Early Americanists (SEA) has launched an initiative to collect and distribute to its members annual abstracst of scholarly publications on early American studies from outside the U.S. This effort is aimed at fostering awareness in the United States of early American scholarship taking place abroad, providing a basis for international communications and collaborations. For the first project year, 2015, Oliver Scheiding, Chair of American Studies at JGU, will be overseeing the collection of abstracts of early Americanist scholarship published in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.Additional Information (SEA Newsletter, PDF)
Franziska Schmid, doctoral candidate at ITAS Mainz, is the recipient of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Fellowship at Houghton Library, Harvard University, for the year 2016. The fellowship carries with it a stipend of $3600 and access to Houghton Libraryâs extensive holdings of primary archival material. Ms. Schmidâs dissertation project âEducation and Learning in the Age of American Transcendentalismâ (Advisor: JP Dr. habil. Clemens Spahr) is concerned with the educational theory and practices in American transcendentalism and is supported by a fellowship of the Stipendienstiftung Rheinland-Pfalz.
The 2014/2015 Research Society for American Periodicals/EBSCOhost Book Prize for the best academic monograph on the history of American periodicals has been awarded to The Professionalization of the American Magazine: Periodicals, Biography, and Nationalism in the Early Republic (Paderborn: SchĂ¶ningh, 2013), by Dr. Tim LanzendĂ¶rfer of ITAS. The biannual prize is awarded by a committee of periodical scholars and carries with a stipend for travel to the award ceremony at the 2015 annual conference of the American Literature Association in Boston.
Thursday, 12.02.2014, 12.15-13.45, Room 00 151, Audi Max“Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States.”Contrary to the traditional narrative of Christianity spreading through the United States brought by European immigrants and spreading from East to west, the story of Eastern Orthodoxy in America begins in the West, with the successful Russian Orthodoxy mission among native Alaskans in the 18th century. For the past century, the Orthodox remain fairly entrenched in different ethnic sub-groups (âGreek Orthodoxy,â âRussian Orthodoxy,â etc.), and tend to be regarded as an exotic form of Christianityâif known at allâ to the average American. Nevertheless, there has been a steady flow of converts to the Orthodox Church from other Christian confessions in the US, as some Americans find its rootedness in tradition and resistance to change appealing.Flyer (PDF)
Tuesday, 27.01.2015, 16.15-17.45, Room SB II 01-531
Lecture:”Translation and the Relocation of Global Cultures”Flyer
Thursday, 11.12.2014, 12.15-13.15, Room 00 151, Audi MaxThe Institute for Transnational American Studies (ITAS) andÂ IANAS host this year’s Dietz Memorial lecture. The lecture is given by Prof. Gerd Hurm working for the Center for American Studies at the University of Trier. His lecture is entitled “Transnational American Studies: Rethinking Edward Steichen’s Epochal Photography Exhibition ‘The Family of Man’.”The flyer of the lecture can be downloaded here.
Thursday, 04.12.2014, 12.15-13.45, Room 00 161, Audi Max“The Heart Mountain Relocation Center.”
Between 1942 and 1945 more than 10,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were confined in the Heart Montain Relocation Center in north central Wyoming, the result of Executive Order 9066, authorizing the establishment of military zones along the west coast from which citizens could be excluded for any reason. This Order was applied only to those who wore the face of the Asian enemy; more than 11,000 people, two-thirds of them American citizens, were thus relocated in one of the most egregious (but, at that time, legal) abrogations of civil liberties in U.S. history. Their Wyoming settlement, the third largest town in the state, consisted of more than 450 barracks which, at the end of the war, became the building blocks for homesteading schemes in the area. Barrack fragments still dot this transformed landscape: homes, at different times, to two very different populations of settlers. This talk looks at the history of Heart Mountain, traces the barracks as they become part of a familiar, Western landscape, and discusses the importance of these structures in the interpretation of this nationally significant site.
FakultĂ€tssaal, Philosophicum (Jakob-Welder Weg 18)Religion has played a pivotal role in the development of information and print cultures in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Print matter in form of books, pamphlets, tracts, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines disseminated different positions and thus contributed to the formation of communities as well as to the demarcation between competing worldviews. While current scholarship focuses on both, the use of public media by religious actors and the portrayal of religion in public media, relatively little attention has been paid to the religious press itself. This conference explores the relationship between religion, the press, and print culture across a wide disciplinary spectrum. It seeks to open new perspectives on religious print matter in the context of colonialism, nationalism, and globalization.The conference is part of the project âPluralism, Boundary-Making, and Community-Building in North-American Religious Periodicals,â part of the DFG research Group 1939 Un/doing Differences.The conference program can be downloaded here.For more information, please visit the conference homepage:www.religiouspressconference.uni-mainz.de
October 16, 2014, 3 p.m.
Jakob-Welder-Weg 9 (Rechtswissenschaften), Lecture Hall RW 1
Dr. Auma Obama will be opening the conference on “Obama and Transnational American Studies” with her lecture entitled “You Are Your Future.”
The poster of the lecture can be downloadedÂ here.
For more information, please visit the conference homepage.
International Conference on “Obama and Transnational American Studies”
October 16 â 19, 2014
The American Studies division is organizing an international conference on “Obama and Transnational American Studies” from October 16 to 19, 2014. At this conference we would like to look at the concept of Transnational American Studies in light of changes brought about during the Obama presidency from the perspective of the areas of concentration in Mainz American Studies: Early American Studies, Comparative Indigenous Studies, and Transcultural Life Writing. Besides referring to the president, the name of Obama also refers to Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move Campaign” as well as African and Asian siblings, such as Auma Obama and Mark Ndesandjo, and their respective areas of expertise.
A preliminary program of the conference can be downloaded here.
For more informartion, please visit the conference homepage.
In order to get a first impression of how Academic Conferences and Symposiums work, students of the American Studies Graduate Program got introduced into the writing of papers for panels, the way to present those papers, and the course of events at academic conferences by Ian Afflerbach. Now, they will present short papers written by them in a mock conference to practice. Visitors are welcome and appreciated.Flyer (PDF)
Conference at Mainz University, November 19-22
Conference HomepageKeynote Speakers: David A. Copeland (Elon University, NC), David Paul Nord (Indiana University,Bloomington, IN), Gisela Mettele (UniversitĂ€t Jena), Candy Gunther Brown (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN)Religion has played a pivotal role in the development of information and print cultures. However, despite the recent rediscovery of religion, relatively few academic studies have focused on religious media themselves. With this conference, we want to address this shortcoming by bringing together scholars working on topics dealing with the religious press and print culture throughout US history. Print matter in form of books, pamphlets, tracts, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines disseminate different positions and thus contribute to the formation of communities as well as to the demarcation between competing worldviews. Print journalism, as a powerful form of communication, has been an influential Instrument in defining news, shaping opinions, and unifying and dividing people. The conference will explore how the study of the religious press can contribute to our understanding of both religions and religious actors, as well as the shaping of culture, politics, and society.We invite scholars working on topics relating to religion, the press, and print culture from across the disciplinary spectrum and at all stages of their careers. The conference is situated within the framework of a project on “Early American Religious Periodicals” led by Professor Oliver Scheiding. It is part of the research project “Un/Doing Differences” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Postgraduate ForumConference at Mainz University, October 10-12We are happy to announce that the annual young scholarsâ conference of the German Association for American Studies, the Postgraduate Forum (PGF), will take place in Mainz this fall, from October 10 to 12, 2014. The conference will at the same time celebrate the PGF’s 25th anniversary! This will be a great opportunity for young scholars working in the field of American Studies who have completed their MA (or equivalent) to meet their peers and/or present their current research projects. Please read the Call for Papers on the PGF Mainz website: http://www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/Pgf2014/
Registration is now open and can be accessed through the website where all additional information will be posted soon.”
âTo End Violence against Children: An International Human Rights Imperativeâ
Wednesday, June 25, 2014,Â 6:15 pm, Georg Forster GebĂ€ude, Room 02-701
Prof. Gertrud Lenzer is professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, and the director of the Childrenâs Studies Program.
“The Emerging Church Movement and the Quest for a New Evangelical Identity” (German)
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 2-4p.m., Alte Mensa, HĂ¶rsaal 11Â
Sebastian SchĂŒler is Juniorprofessor of religious studies at the University of Leipzig and the author of Religion, Kognition, Evolution: Eine religionswissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung mit der Cognitive Science of Religion. He has looked at global phenomena like evangelical prayer-rooms and prayer chains and the so-called âemerging church movement.â Highlighting the American stations and connections of the movement he will talk about the âemerging churchâ and evangelical identity-work.
“My Life as a Humanist: Reading Freud” – VORTRAG ENTFĂLLT!
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at 6:15 pm, FakultĂ€tssaal
Prof. Steven Marcus is Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Columbia University, New York, USA, and holds an honorary degree awarded by Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz.Â Everybody is welcome!
“Crazy Brave:Intersections of Poetry and Life Writing in Joy Harjoâs Work.”
Wednesday, June 18, 4-6 pm, SB II, 03-144
This talk investigates how Joy Harjoâs memoir Crazy Brave (2012) does not only narratively present theautobiographical narrator as the poet to be by highlighting the crucialimportance of art as a means of survival. By incorporating poems as aconstitutive part of the life narrative, the memoir also explores the role of poetry as an archive (not: a reflection) of autobiographical knowledge.Flyer (PDF)
“‘Get Better Together’- Deviotionale Fitness als Medium religiĂ¶ser Gemeinschaftsbildung.”
Tuesday, June 17, 2-4p.m., FakultĂ€tssaal, Philosophicum
Martin Radermacher, our second speaker in the lecture series âReligion and Media: Evangelicalism in the United Statesâ, is a researcher and doctoral student in the department of Religious Studies at the University of MĂŒnster. In his dissertation, he analyses Christian dieting and fitness programs in the United States. Martin gathered data as a participant-observer of various Christian health programs and will present a case study of devotional fitness as a medium for religious community-building.
17.06.2014: Auftaktveranstaltung DFG-Graduiertenkolleg“Life Sciences – Life Writing”Lesungen, VortrĂ€ge, Diskussion mit Siri Hustvedt & Carl DjerassiDienstag, 17. Juni, 18:00 Uhr, GroĂer HĂ¶rsaal Chirurgie (Flyer/Programm)(GebĂ€ude 505, Campus der UniversitĂ€tsmedizin, Langenbeckstr. 1)
Die US-amerikanische Bestseller-Autorin Siri Hustvedt setzt sich im Sinne des Life Writing mit ihrer eigenen KĂ¶rperlichkeit und den biomedizinischen ZugĂ€ngen zur eigenen Person auseinander und versucht damit, das eigene Schreiben auf biomedizinische Deutungssysteme zurĂŒckwirken zu lassen. Carl Djerassi, Biochemiker und Literat, bearbeitet durch das von ihm geprĂ€gte Genre “Science in Fiction” die ProjektionsflĂ€che, auf der sich Individuum, Lebenswissenschaften und Biomedizin begegnen und erschlieĂt so einen neuen Zugang zum wechselseitigen VerhĂ€ltnis zwischen dem Leben und den Lebenswissenschaften. Mit der Begegnung dieser beiden herausragenden PersĂ¶nlichkeiten wird offiziell das neu eingerichtete DFG-Graduiertenkolleg “Life Sciences – Life Writing: Grenzerfahrungen menschlichen Lebens zwischen biomedizinischer ErklĂ€rung und lebensweltlicher Erfahrung” erĂ¶ffnet. Die Sprecher des Kollegs, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Norbert W. Paul und Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee, laden Sie herzlich zu diesem – musikalisch durch den bekannten Cellisten Sonny Thet begleiteten – Abend mit VortrĂ€gen, Lesungen und GesprĂ€chen mit Siri Hustvedt und Carl Djerassi ein.
“Contemporary Native Issues in North America”
Wednesday, June 4, 10-12a.m., SB II, 03-152 (Flyer)
Roger L. Nichols is Emeritus Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. His talk will be part of the seminar “Multi-Ethnic America in Hollywood Film”.
All students and faculty welcome!
“Poetry Reading and Discussion”
Wednesday, June 4, 4-6p.m., SB II, 03-144
Dr. Gwen Nell Westerman (Dakota), poet, scholar and director of the Native American Literature Symposium, reads and talks about her book of poetry Follow the Blackbirds (Michigan State UP, 2013).
Dr. Westerman and Glenn Wasicuna, director of Dakota Studies at Tiospa Tzina Tribal School, also talk about the experience of teaching Dakota culture, language, and ways of life.
“Junot DĂaz’s Dark America”
Monday, June 2, 12-2p.m., SR05 (BKM, KantstraĂe 2)
Global southâs literature takes possession of what has been dispossessed: taking Quijano and Wallerstein’s idea of Americanity to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, SaldĂvar sees the novel as a response to the planetary realities of of Americanity and suggests that it turns colonial difference into its favor.
At its recent meeting, the Executive Committee of the American Studies Association (ASA) appointed Professor Oliver Scheiding to the International Committee of the ASA until June 2017.
“Artifacts of Unsettlement: (Post)Colonial Liberalism, Biopolitics, and the Settler Imaginary in Australia”
Tuesday, May 27, 6-8pm, Senatssaal (Nat.Fak.)
Episodes of evaluation and adjudication over indigenous identity have a history and a genealogy in the technologies of settler colonial biopolitics. Analyzing the âartifactualityâ of such biopolitical imaginaries this talk recounts how mainstream liberalism in the settler colony cannot account for the mode of temporality by which settler subjects imagine their putatively postcolonial nation-state, and how so-called âothersâ belong within and to it.
The American Studies division is honored to welcome Prof. Zhang Longxi, Chair and Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation at the City University of Hong Kong. Prof. Zhang will be Center for Intercultural Studies (ZIS) visiting professor in the Department of English and Linguistics in May and June 2014. Professor Zhang earned his MA degree from Peking University and his PhD degree from Harvard University. He will present lectures on diverse topics in Mainz and Germersheim. The list of lectures including date, time, and place can be downloaded here
Herrn Univ.-Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung wurde von der Ministerin fĂŒr Bildung, Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung und Kultur eine Forschungsprofessur fĂŒr drei Jahre verliehen. Diese Professur wird sehr selten und nur an ausgewĂ€hlte ForscherpersĂ¶nlichkeiten vergeben, die damit fĂŒr ihre herausragenden wissenschaftlichen Leistungen ausgezeichnet werden. Im Rahmen dieser Forschungsprofessur wird Herr Hornung am DFG-Graduiertenkolleg âLife Sciences, Life Writing: Grenzerfahrungen menschlichen Lebens zwischen biomedizinischer ErklĂ€rung und lebensweltlicher Erfahrungâ (GRK 2015/1) und am Aufbau des Obama-Institute for Transnational American Studies mitarbeiten sowie drei Buchprojekte (American Literary Culture, ChinAmerica, Biographie zu Jack London) zum Abschluss bringen.
Media in the 1960s: A Journalism History
The Department of Journalism, Prof. Dr. Karl N. Renner, is offering five places for B.A. American Studies/B.Ed. English Studies students in a block seminar taught by Prof. Thomas J. Hrach, University of Memphis. Credit will be trasnfered by Dr. Frank Obenland; please apply at the office of Prof. Scheiding’s assistant, Anette Vollrath (Email).Information Leaflet (PDF)
Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding has declined an offered appointment as W3 Professor of North American Literature and Cultural History at Eberhard-Karls-University, TĂŒbingen.
31.01.2014: Lecture Prof. Paul Arthur, University of Western Sydney
Friday, January 31, 2014, 10.15 – 11.45 a.m., P15
Paul Arthur is Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Western Sydney, where he leads the UWS Digital Humanities Research Group. His recent books include Virtual Voyages (2010) and the edited collections International Life Writing: Memory and Identity in Global Context (2013), Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume 18 (2012, Deputy General Editor), Recovering Lives (2011) and, with Geoffrey Bolton, the award-winning Voices from the West End (2012).
21.01.2014: Lecture Prof. Shirley Geok-lin Lim, University of California, Santa Barbara
Life Writing and Troubling U.S. Ethnic Identity: Some Intersections of Genre, Gender, Genetics
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 4.15 – 5.45 p.m., P 207
The seminar will map out a few questions rising from readings of U.S. ethnic autobiographies and memoirs, chiefly Asian American and Native American, that bring into intersection issues of genre, gender and genetics (“ÂÂblood,”ÂÂ natal bonds, race biologism-essentialism) for discussion. These questions will be read through selected passages, beginning with Frank Chin”ÂÂs theory of autobiography as a Eurocentric genre, interpretations of Maxine Hong Kingston”ÂÂs memoirs as feminist, and N. Scott Momaday”ÂÂs The Way to Rainy Mountain as genetically indigenous, to how other ethnic memoirs continue to reproduce these constructions (David Mura, Turning Japanese) or turn away from them (Sui Sin Far, “ÂÂLeaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian,”ÂÂ Li-Young Lee”ÂÂs The Winged Seed). Somewhere during this seminar we will address how the logic of transnational discourse has reframed U.S. ethnic life writing.
16.01.2014: Lecture Ian Afflerbach
“A Rose through Concrete: Reading Compton as a Field of Cultural Production in Kendrick Lamar’ÂÂs Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City”
Thursday, January 16, 2014, 6-8pm, P 2The appointments of rappers 9th Wonder (a fellow at Harvard) or ?uestlove (at NYU) have opened the way for producers and rappers to teach their firsthand experience with rap music to a new generation of listeners and students.We need to get past crude moral judgments and treat it as seriously as we would any other form of cultural production. In other words, we need to learn to read hip-hop albums the way we read novels. This talk provides a model for what this kind of reading can look like. Our goal will be to read the album not just as a “ÂÂsymptom”ÂÂ of social problems, but as both its own poetic accomplishment as well as an historically-conscious text.Â