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New DFG Network "Voices & Agencies: America and the Atlantic, 1600-1865"

The DFG has funded the UDE-based Network on early American literature "Voices & Agencies: America and the Atlantic, 1600-1865," conceptualized by Elena Furlanetto (UDE) and Ilka Brasch (Leibniz University Hannover). The Network will bring together a group of European and American scholars for a series of five workshops and one final conference in the course of three years (2021-2024). The projects involved are anchored around a North American focus but include a larger Atlantic space, interlocking theories of Postcolonial and American/transatlantic Studies.

The five workshops and final conference engage with previously neglected authors, texts, and cultural phenomena, asking who is allowed to speak or be spoken to/of, hear or be heard, write or be written to/about, silence or remain silent, and what is not yet ready to be spoken. It aims to replace a static understanding of ‘in-dividual’ narrators with ‘dividual’ ones in order to reflect on forms of communal, multivocal, and marginal agency. The Network strives to formulate a "methodology of introspection" as a means to counteract the presentism and the violence that are often implicit in attempts to ‘give a voice’ to silenced actors of an archived past.

More information on the Network's website and planned activities will follow soon! For more information, please contact

A pedestrian crosses the street in front of a yellow taxi cab.
(c)flickr/giuseppemil 1

Research-based Master Block Seminar RUDESA 2021 will take place online from March 8-12, 2021

Organized by Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau, MA Juliane Borosch, and Dr. Maria Sulimma

Urban Intersections: Race and Gender in the American/Dutch/German City.”

The metaphor of intersections here refers to both the foundational work on intersectionality by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Patricia Hill Collins, Ange-Marie Hancock, Jennifer C. Nash, and others, as well as to the urban intersection that one has to look both ways at to cross.

To use intersections to think about the city, hence, means to look both ways and always consider how cities, our imagination of them, and the lives of urban dwellers are impacted by race and gender. Such aspects have traditionally not been given the same importance as class-related problems in urban studies and have only in recent years come to be regarded in connection with class-based approaches to the city.

This topic combines the research interest in urban memory culture of the American Studies department at Radboud University Nijmegen as well as the work of the research group City Scripts at the University Duisburg-Essen. In these turbulent times, it also allows for a very different kind of “grounding” experience of RUDESA 2021, since all of the speakers, staff, and students will bring their own intersectional experiences of the city and city life during a global pandemic and urban protests such as the Black Lives Matter movement to the online spaces in which RUDESA 2021 will take place.

RUDESA 2021 will feature talks by Dr. Marguerite van den Berg (U of Amsterdam), Courtney Moffett-Bateau (Fulbright Berlin), Zohra Hassan-Pieper (U of Duisburg-Essen), and Sage Gerson (U of California, Santa Barbara).

If you are interested in participating in RUDESA 2021, send an email to Dr. Maria Sulimma until December 1st, 2020.

Cover des Programms des Ruhr-PHD-Forums in American Studies 2021.

February 12-13, 2021 Ruhr PhD Forum 2021

Friday, February 12, and Saturday, February 13, 2021, via Zoom

The annual dissertation colloquium offers young scholars in American Studies a forum to present current research projects as work in progress. It was founded in 2004 by the American Studies Departments at Ruhr-University Bochum and TU Dortmund. In order to highlight the strong connection between the two, the conference was named "BOND" indicating the two venues BOchum and DortmuND. In 2011, the colloquium expanded and since then it has welcomed PhD students and faculty from the University of Duisburg-Essen under the new designation "Ruhr PhD Forum in American Studies."

The organizers, oftentimes PhD students themselves, welcome contributions by PhD candidates of the three participating Departments as well as by PhD candidates from other universities. Travel stipends are available.

Every year, the presentations are accompanied by special guests (senior experts) with a comprehensive perspective on American Studies to provide outside commentaries and methodological advice to the PhD students.

This year fourteen research projects were presented to an audience of nearly fifty junior and senior scholars representing the American Studies programs of six universities.

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Picture of Chang Liu
Picture of Chang Liu

17 November 2020 Joining the American Studies Team in Winter 2020/21

Chang Liu received his M.A. in Intercultural Anglophone Studies from Bayreuth University, and then studied Sinology in Würzburg. He is currently working on his PhD at Heidelberg University, investigating the reception of American pop icon Madonna in China. Before coming to Germany, he lived in Beijing, serving as the musical affairs officer at the French Embassy. His research interests include the studies of waste and the environment, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, as well as popular culture and celebrities.

Chang Liu will teach an additional block seminar on “LGBTQIA in America” at UDE. Registration for this seminar in Modules VI, IX, Lit2, Lit2_BA, Y, and I is open until Nov 27.

This photography shows a portrait of Charlotte Piwek-Mengede.
(c) Piwek-Mengede

Charlotte Piwek-Mengede studied German and English Literature, Language and Communication at the UDE before going on to pursue a Master’s degree in Creative Writing & Literature at University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She is currently a PhD student at UDE and is in the process of enrolling in a Cotutelle Degree at the Macquarie University in Sydney. The topic of her PhD thesis is “White Male Americanness in Travel Fiction: Hemingway, Kerouac & Lerner.”

Charlotte Piwek-Mengede teaches a seminar on “White Males Traveling: Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.”

This photography shows a portrait of Ana Elisa Gomez Laris.
(c) A. Gomez Laris

Before coming to Essen to pursue a doctoral degree, Ana Elisa Gomez Laris studied Comparative Literature and American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, spending time abroad in Denmark and Switzerland. She identifies as an activist researcher, engaging where possible in endeavors uniting her academic and social interests. As such, knowledge transfer and the symbiotic relationship between academia and society play a pivotal role in her research approach. Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Anglophone Studies, she worked as an assistant editor of the quarterly Amerikastudien / American Studies and as a research advisor at the University Medical Center Mainz. She calls Germany, Mexico, and the United States home.

Ana Elisa Gomez Laris teaches two “Grundkurse” for the “Introduction to Literary Studies” and one of the “Surveys of American Literature.”

The U.S. Presidential Election 2020

Curated by junior scholars from the RuhrCenter of American Studies, this website provides in-depth information about the current political situation and its social-cultural and historical contexts en route to the 2020 election.

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June 24, 2020 Celebrate "La Fête nationale du Québec"!

Die Generaldelegierte von Québec für Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz, Frau Elisa Valentin,
lädt herzlich dazu ein, den Nationalfeiertrag von Québec mit einem reichhaltigen digitalen Angebot zu feiern!

Besuchen Sie am 24. Juni 2020 diese besonderen Feierlichkeiten auf

20200624 Fete Quebec

Verschiedene digitale Angebote stehen Ihnen dort zur Verfügung. Lernen Sie die neue Generaldelegierte kennen, tauchen Sie ein in Québecs Kultur und Kulinarik und erfahren Sie mehr über die Frankophonie.

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January 30, 2020, 4 pm s.t. Interdisciplinary Research Seminar with Diane Negra (U College Dublin): “Terms of Intimacy in the Contemporary ‘Chick Flick’”

On January 30th, 2020, the Essener Kolleg für Geschlechterforschung will host an Interdisciplinary Research Seminar with Prof. Dr. Diane Negra of the University College Dublin and Maria Sulimma. The Research Seminar will introduce current research at the conjunction of media studies and gender studies. It features the lecture “Terms of Intimacy in the Contemporary ‘Chick Flick’” by Diane Negra and a response by Maria Sulimma.

It will take place from 4 pm (s.t.) to 6:30 pm in room R12 S06 H01. Please register beforehand at by January 28th.

For more information and the schedule, please visit the event page of the Essener Kolleg für Geschlechterforschung:

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Bewerbung bis 1. Juli VDAC Stipendien in die USA zu vergeben

Der VDAC (Verband Deutsch-Amerikanischer Clubs) vergibt auch in diesem Jahr Stipendien für einen einjährigen Studienaufenthalt in den USA (auch in Verbindung mit einer Teaching Assistant Stelle im German Department der jeweiligen Uni). Bewerber können aus insgesamt 19 amerikanischen Universitäten wählen.

Infos zu Bewerbungsfrist, Unterlagen etc. unter und über

> Teaching Assistant
> Stipendium