Welcome to the American Studies Program at the University of Duisburg-Essen!
June 5, 2020
Position Statement of the GAAS
As scholars of (Inter)American Studies we would like to spread the Position Statement of the speakers of the Diversity Roundtable of the German Association for American Studies:
We, the speakers of the Diversity Roundtable of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS), want to take this moment to publicly condemn the recent wave of white supremacist violence in the United States as well as in Germany. We want to express our condolences to the victims’ loved ones, and to affirm our support for liberation movements such as Black Lives Matter, at home and abroad.
Scholars like Patricia Hill Collins remind us of the necessity to always speak out against racist violence. Its pervasiveness can be overwhelming and produce silence by which such violence, in turn, can become neglected, invisible, and implicitly legitimated over time in hegemonic discourse (Hill Collins, “It’s All in the Family: Intersections of Race, Gender, and Nation” 66).
At the same time, we heed Sara Ahmed’s warning that mere declarations of anti-racist commitment and solidarity are not necessarily performative speech acts that translate into concrete actions or effects in and beyond our research and institutional lives (Ahmed, “Declarations of Whiteness”). What opportunities for individual and collective anti-racist action does this moment of global protest present? We urge you to consider actions such as donating to organizations that are actively combatting anti-Black violence in the United States and in Germany. We are also grateful to receive your ideas on further modes of support and public intervention that we can undertake as members of the Diversity Roundtable and the larger German Association for American Studies.
As academics from a wide range of scholarly traditions within American Studies, we have versatile capacities to unearth intersecting oppressive structures such as sexism, racism, ableism, and anti-queerness. We would like to encourage one another to acknowledge that there are many ways to oppose anti-Blackness.
Cedric Essi, Helen Gibson, Anna-Lena Oldehus
Josef Raab war akademischer Wegbereiter und Wegbegleiter; er war Türöffner, Förderer, Ermunterer - ein Netzwerker, Initiator, kritisch-konstruktiver Dialogpartner und schließlich mit Leib und Seele Amerikanist. Als solcher sah er immer über den Tellerrand, profilierte national wie international das von ihm mitbegründete Feld, war neugierig und aufgeschlossen, begeistert und begeisternd in Forschung und Lehre. Aber Josef Raab war nicht nur das, sondern auch ein liebenswerter Mensch, in dessen Nähe man gerne war - weil er mit Geduld zuhörte, gemeinsam nachdachte, Witze machte und Witzen zuhörte, über sich selber lachen konnte. Herzlich, ganz herzlich, und herzhaft war Josef Raab zu und mit seinen Mitmenschen, denen er Respekt, Geduld und eine vernünftige Portion Widerstand entgegensetzte. Im Institut und im wissenschaftlichen Feld fehlt nun mit ihm ein Ruhepol und eine Waage – eine Person, die die Dinge irgendwie gelassener sieht als die meisten um sie herum; eine Person, die Ausgleich zu schaffen vermag.
Wir verlieren unseren einmaligen Denker, der verständnisvoll, empathisch, aber zugleich mit Leidenschaft und charmantem Nachdruck für die Dinge eintritt, die ihm am Herzen liegen.Read more
American Studies at Duisburg-Essen is dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of North America,
its manifold and often conflicting cultural geographies, literary and cultural production, and multi-ethnic urban and rural societies. Major fields of inquiry include early modern, colonial, romantic, and contemporary literature and history, ethnicity, border cultures, interculturalism, hemispheric and transatlantic relations, urban spaces and places, religion, film, and television. We are particularly interested in the interconnections between U.S. American and Canadian, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures and literatures as well as in the imaginary and actual crossings of multiple borders in North America from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century.
Our program organized the 2010 inaugural conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies,
it is a member of the Ruhr Center of American Studies, the MERCUR research project "Spaces – Communities – Representations: Urban Transformations in the U.S.A." (2012-2015) and it participates in the university’s Main Research Areas "Urban Systems" and "Change in Contemporary Societies." In collaboration with our international partners we engage in interdisciplinary research and teaching on topics ranging from migration narratives, aesthetic approaches to the American city, the history of American music, the German presence in the United States, and cosmopolitan networks for the production, distribution, and reception of North American literature, film, art, and performance to cultural hybridity, politics of diversity, Native American cultures, U.S. Latinas/os, an inter-American culture industry, and a trans-border consumer culture.
All classes in UDE's American Studies Program are taught in English.
Using a variety of teaching methods (including electronic media and interactive platforms), about twenty instructors offer basic courses in literary analysis, American literary history, and American civilization geared toward students in their first three semesters as well as seminars and lectures on more specialized topics, allowing students to choose their own areas of specialization beginning with their fourth semester in any of our department's B.A. programs. Our master's program in American Studies includes courses on academic writing, literary and cultural theory, methodologies of American Studies, individual authors, interculturalism, media, and a variety of research topics.
How to find us
University of Duisburg-Essen
Is English for Me?
We would be very pleased to welcome every student to our department, yet we understand that studying English is not for everyone. Apart from taking a closer look at our website and catalog of courses, we devised a test that should help you answer the question: "Is studying English for me?" This test will not be graded and your answers will be anonymous. The test, however, will provide you with feedback about how well you would fit in one of our degree programs: the academic Bachelor in English or the teacher-training Bachelor in English.