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Prof. Katja Kanzler's Inaugural Lecture

Date: 
17. Jan 17:00 - 19:00

On January 17, 2019, Prof. Katja Kanzler, our new professor for American Literature and Culture, will hold her inaugural lecture. 

The lecture will take place at the Felix-Klein-Hörsaal on the fifth floor of the Paulinum at 5 pm, on the following topic: "Von der Krisenhaftigkeit des Romans, 'Bookish Books' und der Politik des Literarischen in den USA des 21. Jahrhunderts." The lecture will be held in German.

It is requested that you RSVP here

201830Nov

Picador Professor Sasha Pimentel Reads from Her Work

On November 26, Picador Professor Sasha Pimentel read from her work at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst. After an introduction by ASL's Prof. Pisarz-Ramirez, Jan Wilm, literary critic, translator and literary scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in Essen, gave  his impressions of Pimentel's work and warmly welcomed her in Leipzig once more. 

 

201812Nov

Applications for Fulbright Travel Grants are Open

Students who are intending to study at a partner university in the US in 2019/2020 can now apply for travel grants with Fulbright Germany. Applications close on 15 January 2019.

Grantees will receive 2'000 Euros and will be participating in the preparation and networking seminar in Berlin from 16 to 20 March 2019. They will also become members of the international Fulbright network.

Applicants can be both undergraduate and graduate students who are intending to take part in a study exchange with a partner university in the US in the academic year 2019/2020. Applicants are expected to be motivated, involved, and perfoming well academically. German citizenship is a requirement.

You can learn more about this opportunity here.

 

20182Nov

ASL Hosts a Podium Discussion on the Topic of Trump and Satire

On October 27, ASL’s Prof. Katja Kanzler led a podium discussion on the topic of satire, its limitations and affordances, and its potentials in the pushback against Donald Trump's policies and politics. The event was attended by about fourty people and took place at Galerie KUB. The panel consisted of four contributors, who each brought their own unique backgrounds to the table.

The Transnational Heroization of Donald Trump - Lecture by Prof. Michael Butter

Date: 
13. Nov 17:00 - 19:00

American Studies Leipzig and the Collaborative Research Center on “Invectivity” cordially invite you to a lecture by Prof. Michael Butter on the heroization of US President Donald Trump in both the United States and Europe. In his talk, Prof. Butter will analyze texts, memes, and online videos to examine how the heroic narratives that are circulated in popular culture on both sides of the Atlantic have increasingly become intertwined with politics and are used to make sense of it. Although Trump means different things to different admirers (or fans), they share an international language of Western heroism, and their heroizations of Trump depend on, and are enabled by, a globally circulating popular culture that provides both the templates and tropes for the heroic narratives they create.

The event takes place on Tuesday, November 13, 5pm at Villa Tillmanns (Wächterstr. 30).

This talk is free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you there!

Houston - We Have a Reading: A Literary Space Odyssey

Date: 
30. Oct 18:00 - 31. Oct 02:00

Lange Leipziger Lesenacht and HALLE 14 cordially invite you to their free event "Houston - We Have A Reading" at Baumwollspinnerei on October 30th. You can expect literary speed dating, cookies, music, poetry, readings, and a documentary with authors from the US and Germany. Our very own Picador Professor Sasha Pimentel will be there and many other fascinating authors, too. 

This is their exciting program:

Fun in Postbellum American Culture

Postdoctoral Project by
Sophie Spieler

The United States can be described, without running the risk of controversy, as a nation that for the better part of the twentieth century has privileged, demanded, and celebrated ‘fun’ in its cultural self-performances. I want to propose, however, that the conditions for this triumphant proliferation of ‘fun’ were created during the last decades of the nineteenth century. The aim of this project, then, is to investigate the emergence of a culture of fun in Postbellum America, by examining nascent infrastructures and discourses of fun along with their larger implications for American self-conceptualizations during and after that period. My approach is grounded in discourse theory and aims at including a diverse range of sources, for instance memoirs and diaries, literary texts, newspaper articles and trade journals, and advertisements.

A number of factors shaped the institutionalization and solidification of fun as a cultural imperative and will thus serve as analytical axes of my inquiry: the emergence of industrial capitalism and the concomitant consolidation of a market-driven economy; the rise of a mass culture of consumers along with the technological innovations that enabled it; and the unprecedented levels of immigration that, in addition to the trauma of the Civil War, informed national anxieties as well as attempts to alleviate them by generating collective understandings of Americanness.

I assume that ‘fun’ is distinct from, though always related to, semantically similar concepts such as leisure, recreation, play, and entertainment. Contrasted alternately with boredom, seriousness, work, or compulsion, fun is a multidimensional category that can be conceptualized as a social and affective experience as well as a practice or performance. Fun can also, in some contexts, be understood as political action: a form of protest or resistance. Regardless of the specifics, fun is furthermore always embedded in and informed by social hierarchies and the opportunities and restrictions they create—what kind of fun is had, in which contexts, and with what consequences depends on the particularities of the gendered, racialized, and classed body that experiences it. In this multiplicity, fun offers a diverse and productive, yet nevertheless distinctive point of departure to engage with late-nineteenth century cultural history.

We Out of Many - First-Person Plural Narration in 21st-Century American Novels

Dissertation Project by
Michaela Beck

My PhD project focuses on what has been described as the ‘rise’ of the ‘we’ narrator in recent U.S. literature (Maxey 2015, Cf. Costello 2012) – that is, the use of the first-person plural narrator in a growing body of short and longer narrative fiction, including Kate Walbert's Our Kind (2005), Joshua Ferris's Then We Came to the End (2007), Hannah Pittard's The Fates Will Find Their Way (2011), and TaraShea Nesbit's The Wives of Los Alamos (2014), among others. 

More specifically, my dissertation examines this ‘we’, or communal narrator in a selection of six 21st-century (post-postmodern) U.S. American novels with a decided focus on its cultural work. Drawing on New Formalist approaches (Olson and Copland 2016, Levine 2015), I aim to conjoin two (hitherto discrete) strands of research in my project: For one, I employ formalist-narratological discussions of the ‘we’ narrator – particularly approaches by Margolin, Bekhta, Marcus, Fludernik, and Richardson – for a precise discussion of the framing and narrative use of the first-person plural pronoun in the primary texts. Importantly, in doing so, I seek to detach the formal discussion of the ‘we’ narrator in my project from the ‘unnatural’ versus natural narrative debate (Cf. Richardson 2006, 2015), and I read the communal narrator as a textual form whose meta- and/or extratextual implications necessarily depend on its specific aesthetic as well as socio-cultural frames of reference.

At the same time, my project aims to enquire into these implications by focusing specifically on the interaction between the affordances of this form and socio-cultural, economic, or political discourses or ‘forms’ (Cf. Levine 2015) in a contemporary U.S. American context. As such, the individual textual analyses within my project zoom in on the inter-relation between the different form(ulation)s of the communal narrator and the discussion of the following socio-political and cultural paradigms in the primary material: first, the conceptualization of U.S. national society as a complex, yet bounded ‘whole’; second, the proposition of attached notions of civic collectivity and national belonging which are premised on both cognitive and affective ties; and third, the idealized understanding of the American (post-postmodern) novel as a prestigious and most vital medium and forum for negotiating these paradigms in and for U.S. culture.

The Invective Mode in Contemporary US-American Television: Sitcoms

Dissertation Project by
Katja Schulze

In my thesis, I want to analyze the formal principles, media-specific realizations, and social andpoliticalresonances of invectivity in contemporary situation comedies.Through a comparative analysis and close reading of a broad corpus of materials (e.g. Parks and Recreation, The Comeback, Life in Pieces, 30 Rock, etc.), I hope to be able to see larger patterns of invective strategies and certain conventions that define the dynamism of the comedic genre and its developments. For this, I will focus on where the poetics of the material rely on moments of invectives, formally describe them in their bandwidth of symbolic abuse, as well as examine their social connotations. Another crucial point will be the affective rhythms and the role of laughter in the comedic audiovisual material. Humor strategies that largely depend on a discourse of superiority and embarrassment will be of particular interest. Following Thomas Hobbes’ deliberations that “laughter is always antagonistic and conflictual [and establishes] a hierarchy at the moment of pleasure” (Scott 127),[1] comedy and laughter can be seen as a means to demarcate and exert power. This, again, leads the way to a thorough analysis of group formation processes and their dynamics on the basis of normative discourses of identity (race, class, gender). By answering these questions, I hope to contribute to comedic research in general, our sub-project’s aims in popular culture, and to the CRC’s large-scale theory of invectivity.

201624Nov

Internship Coordinator Office Hours will be Tuesdays 1-2pm

Dear students, please note that the Internship Support Office Hours with new Internship Coordinator, Christin Habermann, will be held Tuesdays 1-2pm.

You can also contact the Internship Coordinator via e-mail asl-internship@uni-leipzig.de

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