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 Undergraduate Symposium 2011 

America's Grey Zones and Rays of Hope

The BA Class of 2008 will present its work done for the Project Module during this year‘s Undergraduate Symposium.The topics will include: Illegal Immigration, Enemy Images, and Creative Economy. The symposium will take place on February 4, 2011, 2-5 pm at the Deutsches Literatureinstitut (Wächterstraße 34).

Illegal Immigration to the U.S.

Illegal immigration to the United States is one of the most contemporary issues in American history. There are only estimates, but no hard numbers on the amount of “ineligible citizens” in the U.S. The illegal immigrant remains in a gray zone. The result is widespread stereotyping – public opinion on undocumented immigrants varies from supposed negative outcomes to positive impacts of illegal immigration. Some insights have been, however, gained throughout the years: We now have an idea of the reasons for illegal immigrants to leave their country, of how they cross the border and of how they organize their life in the States. The symposium is going to present answers to many of the discussed questions as well as offer solutions to the issue.


Enemy Images in a Transatlantic Context: How the US and Germany Differ in the Creation and Utilization of Portrayals of “Others”

Enemy images pay a more important role in US politics, the news media, popular culture, and the public opinion than they do in Germany. Based on this thesis we will discuss both the general concept of enemy images and how they are created, perpetuated, and exploited in the different areas of our everyday lives. Therefore, the relation between enemy images and alliances of nations will play an important role as well as the so-called “War on Terror” which depicts the temporary shift of the enemy image from Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein. The role of enemy images in the news media and their portrayal in popular culture will be other significant points to elaborate on.Finally, prostitution as an enemy of societal norm and the impact of the serial killer image on society will highlight the role of enemy images in he public opinion. In analyzing these kinds of enemy images we hope to find out how both nations use them for their purpose and why they play a more important role in the US than in Germany.


Creative Economy

"How people make money from ideas", that is not only the title of John Howkins book, but also the fundamental idea behind the Creative Economy and our presentation. It is no longer the name of General Motors or Thyssen Krupp in the headlines of business news around the world but Google or Facebook. Today’s multibillion dollar companies tend to have rather 10 employees than 10.000 and in only 10 years Google became the world’s most expansive brand with a value of about 160 billion dollar. This part of the symposium is going to explain how and why the Creative Economy has become the most influential economic structure of the twenty-first century and how it effects our social environment.


After the presentations, there will be an informal get together where the participants will be available for further questions. Snacks and drinks will be provided.


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