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 Great Success for International Symposium "Hemispheric Encounters" 

20127May
Submitted by Claudia Müller, MA on Mon, 05/07/2012 - 15:34

On April 26 and 27, 2012, American Studies Leipzig hosted the international symposium "Hemispheric Encounters: The Early United States in a Transnational Perspective." At the informal opening dinner at the restaurant Centralapotheke on April 25, the organizers, ASL Professor Gabriele Pisarz-Ramírez and Dr. Markus Heide (HU Berlin), welcomed fifteen international guests from Germany, Europe, and the United States.

 

About twenty-five participants then came together for the two conference days to debate notions of early American literature, culture, and identity constructions that were influenced by the multiple connections between the United States and other regions of the hemisphere, such as Haiti, the Caribbean, Latin America, or Europe. In nine thematic panels, various topics were covered, ranging from the discussion of the emerging belief in a manifest destiny, to the 'Algerine dilemma' that had to be faced by the young state, the influence of Spanish grammar books and the learning of Spanish, and the relationship between the American and Haitian revolutions.

Vera M. Kutzinski on Alexander von Humboldt's Hemispheric View of the United States of America.
Gesa Mackenthun on Yucatan, Deep Time, and America's Traveling Empire.
Group photo of the participants of the international symposium Hemispheric Encounters.
Snacks and conversation during the international symposium Hemispheric Encounters.
Snacks and conversation during the international symposium Hemispheric Encounters.
Snacks and conversation during the international symposium Hemispheric Encounters.
Images tagged hemispheric-encounters-2012

The presentations displayed not only a great variety of approaches to the field in discussing political, social, and cultural dimensions but also revealed incentives for further research on the concepts of the hemisphere. All participants gained valuable insights into the academic work of their colleagues and took the opportunity to discuss their work in person. As many of the presenters stressed, they particularly enjoyed the relaxed and open atmosphere among all participants, as well as the professional organization of the event. The presentations spurred interesting thoughts and comments which culminated in a lively final discussion. The conference contributions will be collected in an edited volume (forthcoming).

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