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20173Aug

aspeers Calls for Contributions on Alternative Americas by 15 October 2017

aspeers just published its new calls for papers. Embedded into the American Studies Leipzig MA program, aspeers is the first and currently only peer-reviewed print journal for MA-level scholars of American studies in Europe.

Spatial Fictions - Florida

​Research Project by
Dr. Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez
 

This (ongoing) project, Spatial Fictions: (Re)Imaginations of Nationality in the Southern and Western Peripheries of 19th Century America, is part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199 Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition. It examines the imagination of space in nineteenth-century American cultural and literary discourses. Canonized patterns of spatialization in American national history are linked to central spatial concepts such as the frontier and the “errand into the wilderness” (i.e. the settlement and civilization of the American continent on an east-west geographical axis). However, the geographical imagination in the period from the American Revolution to the Civil War was much more diverse. The consolidation and expansion of the nation during the nineteenth century were accompanied by different and conflicting imaginations of spatial formats that often contradicted the official rhetoric of “Manifest Destiny”. Particularly in the yet unstable and mobile southern and western peripheries of the nation, the ideology of  Manifest Destiny collided with the topographical, social, economic, and cultural realities of the border zones, producing alternative “spatial fictions” that often pointed to commercial, political, or other entanglements with regions beyond the nation’s boundaries.

The project comprises two dissertation projects (see project description by Steffen Wöll and Deniz Bozkurt) as well as a unit on the spatial construction of Florida in the early 19th century. This part explores Florida as a space that in the period between its successive acquisition from Spain and its permanent settlement by Americans generated widely varying spatial narratives. The divergent representations that the peninsula experienced in travel narratives, novels, captivity tales, and historical writings by American writers reveal how it became a foil of projection for quite different agendas. The geographical imagination of their authors about Florida reveals that as a spatial nexus of the domestic and the foreign, situated between the U.S. and the Caribbean, the peninsula played a crucial role in the debates about nationhood, expansionism, and slavery, and in the conflict between centrifugal and centripetal forces, i.e. those forces endorsing the consolidation of the nation v. those arguing for further expansion.

Fellow Tribesmen: German “Indianthusiasm,” Nationalism, and Nazi Ideology

Dissertation by
Frank Usbeck
 

This (completed) project analyzes the role of Germans' fascination with Native Americans for the construction of national identity in the 19th century and, eventually, for Nazi ideology and propaganda. It scrutinizes the interrelation of typical manifestations of “Indian” imagery, such as the noble savage or the vanishing race, with ideas, cultural practices, and images in German culture since c. 1800. This interrelation promoted an essentialist construction of German group identity as well as the notion of German exceptionalism. Comparing the colonial conquest of the Americas with the resistance of ancient Germanic tribes against the encroaching Roman empire, nationalists portrayed Germans as the “Indians” of Europe. The Nazis' eventual perception and representation of Native Americans in Nazi-controlled media built on these traditions of German “Indianthusiasm,” interweaving Romantic notions, cultural despair, conservative nationalism, and racial ideology.

Based on comprehensive research in German periodicals (newspapers, academic journals, and magazines) as well as academic monographs and political treatises published 1925-45, the project identifies two major motifs through which these Native American references served nationalists and Nazis to postulate German Indigeneity: The “Fellow Tribesmen” motif argued that Germans had retained elements of tribal culture from their ancestors and shared inheritable character traits with Native Americans, suggesting cultural and mental ties between both groups. This argument was interlaced with a dose of antimodernism and antiliberalism in German nationalist thinking. The “Common Enemy” motif deepened this sense of alienation from the 'West' by constructing German-'Indian' parallels, referring to the experience of resistance against foreign invasion and cultural imperialism, invoking ancient Rome, the French “arch enemy,” and British and US imperialism and threats to German (and Native American) culture. The Nazis, thus, utilized a mixture of primitivism, exoticism and racial thought to harness German “Indianthusiasm” for propaganda against the Western Allies.

2015 Study Tour to the South and Midwest

"Religion in the United States"

The 2015 study tour is a cooperative project between the American Studies Institutes of the University of Leipzig and the Jagellionian University of Krakow. The tour takes us to the heartland of the United States and focuses on areas and cities that mirror central beliefs and values in American society.

2013 Study Tour to Houston, Texas

"Immigration, Religion, and Citizenship"

2011 Study Tour to the South of the United States

"African Americans in the South: Traditions and Contemporary Challenges"

Read more about the Study Tour in our blog.

2009 Study Tour to Chicago and Midwest

"Immigration and Ethnicity"

The tour will target the Upper Midwest of the United States for several reasons. This region was the destination of millions of immigrants from Europe, and especially its urban centers continue to attract immigrants from Latin American countries and Asia. In addition it reflects significant internal migration patterns of specific ethnic groups.

201731Jul

Picador Professor Tom Drury Posts Short Story on Twitter

As part of his Picador Professorship at American Studies Leipzig, the author Tom Drury took over the professorship's official Twitter account for a few hours on July 26 and posted a series of tweets that, together, form the short story "The Patron Saint of Rabies." If you missed how the story was live-tweeted, you can still reread it in its entirety on Twitter.

Repeat Exam LCII and 1401

Date: 
10. Oct 09:00 - 11:00

Dear students,

The repeat exam for both the LCII exam and the 1401-exam will take place on October 10, 2017 from 9 - 11 am in NSG room S 202.

Please make sure you are signed up for your resp. exam in AlmaWeb.

For further questions please contact Wiebke Kartheus.

201724Jul

Repeat Exam LCII and 1401

Dear students,

The repeat exam for both the LCII exam and the 1401-exam will take place on October 10, 2017 from 9 - 11 am in NSG room S 202.

Please make sure you are signed up for your resp. exam in AlmaWeb.

 

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