Welcome to the American Studies Program at the University of Duisburg-Essen!

Canada Day

Guest lecture by Masayoshi Yamada (UCLA), 25 January, 7pm

"Sounds We Saw, Visions We Heard: The History of Jazz Fandom and the Politics of Imagining the Past and Envisaging a Future through Jazz Listening"

When and Where: Thursday, 25 January, 19:00, R12 R04 B11

Masayoshi Yamada (PhD candidate in History at UCLA) will give a talk on his dissertation topic, which offers the first extensive study of the history of jazz fans-defined as ardent devotees of jazz music with a deep and lasting attachment-in the United States and Japan.  Drawing upon an extensive array of archival sources, such as fan mail, diaries, scrapbooks, fan club bulletins, meeting minutes, letters to editors, photographs, and legal and financial records, his dissertation recounts how jazz enthusiasts with diverse backgrounds invested materially, intellectually, and emotionally in listening to the music and debating its history. In his talk, Yamada will discuss how from the Great Depression to the Cold War, devoted jazz listeners transformed the social space of music-listening into a vehicle for confronting structural racism at local, national, and transnational levels.
This talk takes place in the context of the masters' colloquium "Theses in American Studies." For more on Masayoshi Yamada, visit https://history.ucla.edu/person/masayoshi-yamada/. For further information about this event, please contact Prof. Florian Freitag (florian.freitag@uni-due.de). 

Ruhr PhD Forum in American Studies (26-27 January)

Friday, 26 January, 12:30-17:30, hosted by the University of Duisburg-Essen, Glaspavillon (R12 S00 H12, Campus Essen)

Saturday, 27 January, 9:00-14:30, hosted by Technical University Dortmund, Internationales Begegnungszentrum (IBZ) (Emil-Figge-Str. 59, Dortmund)

You are kindly invited to attend the Ruhr PhD Forum in American Studies 2024 taking place 26-27 January, with day one hosted at UDE. Access the full conference schedule here. This event brings together scholars from the Ruhr Center for American Studies for a two-day forum organized by and starring PhD candidates from University of Duisburg-Essen, Ruhr University Bochum, and TU Dortmund. Candidates have a chance to present and discuss their current research and will be joined by a select number of national and international guests, including fellow PhD candidates as well as invited Senior Experts in the field of American Studies.  For further information, please contact Zohra Hassan-Pieper (zohra.hassan-pieper@uni-due.de.

Interview mit Prof. Dr. Florian Freitag in *Attractions Magazine*

"Theme parks must be taken seriously as spaces of cultural significance" - Prof. Dr. Florian Freitag, Prof. Salvador Anton Clavé und Prof. Dr. Filippo Carlà-Uhink zu Ihrem neuen Buch *Key Concepts in Theme Park Studies*. Interview mit *Attractions Magazine*

Poetry Performance and Writing Workshop with Alan Pelaez Lopez (Oct 4, 2023)

In preparation for their literary studies seminar examining the works of AfroIndigenous, Queer, migrant activist poet and scholar Alan Pelaez Lopez (they/them), students, accompanied by lecturer Ana Elisa Gomez Laris, had the opportunity to meet and familiarize themselves with the author in a fairly relaxed yet formal in-person classroom session.

During the session, students learned about Pelaez Lopez's past as a multilingual/multicultural child, their (illegal) border crossing/migration to the US as a five-year-old child and about their adult years working as an immigration and Trans-rights activist. The poet then performed several of their poems and emotions transcending the page were witnessed. Afterwards students could ask questions to Pelaez Lopez and learned about some of the meanings and inspirations behind their works.

The session closed with a writing workshop moderated by Pelaez Lopez for the students centered around a group reading of poems by other migrant authors, a short discussion, and a timed poetry-writing activity.

Interview mit Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau im Deutschlandfunk

Kompromisse gelten als Schwäche – Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau zur Lage der US-Politik.

Interview mit Mascha Drost, Information und Musik, October 8, 2023. Deutschlandfunk.

Third transnational Suburbanization and Urbanism in the EU Countries and Abroad (SUBEUA) meeting (Sept. 7th–9th)

Experiencing American Studies first-hand, students Jule Windeler and Sophie Karkowski had the opportunity to join Prof. Dr. Florian Freitag and Dr. Elena Furlanetto for the third transnational Suburbanization and Urbanism in the EU Countries and Abroad (SUBEUA) meeting. The three-day conference (Sept. 7th–9th) brought scholars from France, Czechia, and the United States to San Diego, Los Angeles, and Pasadena and focused on exploring suburban areas in Southern California from various interdisciplinary angles, ranging from theme park studies to literature and geoinformatics.

Narrative energies are hard to harness in industrial legacy settings. Can scripts of postindustrial cities be flipped by storytelling?

City Scripts, edited by Buchenau, Gurr and Sulimma, analyzes how forward-looking social and political action is empowered by a new kind of cross-fertilization between narrativity, scriptivity, and urban change management. It studies uncommon alliances between writers, artists, activists, media professionals, administrators, and businesspeople, showing how these alliances produce pragmatic storytelling and artwork that imagines innovative solutions for hard-wired conflicts and wicked problems. The authors assembled here use their expertise in American studies and urban research in the German Ruhr region and in US American postindustrial cities to delineate a transdisciplinary narratology that is particularly adapt to the critical analysis of postindustrial scriptings for futurity.

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May 10, 2023

RUDESA in the "Niederrhein Nachrichten"

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Discover North American Studies at UDE

American Literary and Media Studies Prof. Dr. Florian Freitag

Office Manager
Francine Poschmann
Office R12 S04 H14
Phone +49 201 183-3411
E-mail francine.poschmann[at]uni-due.de

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April 18, 2023

Prof. Freitag in "KulturWelt" on Bayern 2

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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.