RUDESA Spring Academy
March 8-12, 2021 RUDESA 2021
Due to the global pandemic COVID-19, the 7th edition of the Spring Academy RUDESA had to take place online and required organizers, participating students, and keynote speakers to develop creative ways to interact, discuss, and work together. This year’s topic “Transatlantic City: Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender” combined 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 (www.cityscripts.de) at the Department of Anglophone Studies of the University Duisburg-Essen.
In these turbulent times, this topic also allowed for a very different kind of “grounding” experience of RUDESA 2021, since all of the speakers, staff, and students brought 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 took place. Highlights among the different synchronous and asynchronous events of the program were the lectures by Dr. Marguerite van den Berg (University of Amsterdam) on “Beyond Cities of Households: Living Together Otherwise,” Courtney Moffett-Bateau (University Bremen) on “Embracing the Intersections of the City by Racial Literacy Building,” Zohra Hassan-Pieper (University of Duisburg-Essen) on “N.Y. City - The City of Destruction: Disaster Building in Drooker's Flood! A Novel in Pictures (1992),” Sage Gerson (University of California, Santa Barbara) on “Don’t make the mistake of calling us resilient”: Urban Indians and City Belonging in Tommy Orange’s There There,” and Rense Havinga (Freedom Museum Nijmegen) on “Exhibiting the Black Triangle in Nijmegen.”
RUDESA was made possible with the kind support of the International Office, the Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften, and the Department of Anglophone Studies of the UDE.
March 16-20, 2020 RUDESA 2020
While the 6th edition of the Spring Academy RUDESA was scheduled to take place in Nijmegen and in Essen, the onset of the global pandemic COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown asked organizers, students, and speakers to shift quickly from an in-person format to a digital exchange. The topic for this year, “Grounding Failure,” connected the interest in commemorative practices and memory culture of the American Studies department at Radboud University Nijmegen with the research focus on cultural and literary mediations of failure at the Department of Anglophone Studies of the University Duisburg-Essen. With its shift to the digital, RUDESA concentrated on exploring the online representations of commemorative practices in Nijmegen ranging from The Liberation Museum to the Bombardment of Nijmegen, Commemoration of the Jewish Population, the Sunset March and the Oversteek Bridge, and official tourist information provided by the city. In his keynote lecture, “On Not Being a Modernist: Disability, Failure, and Performance in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men,” Gavin Jones (Stanford University) foregrounded the performative nature of failing. While his lecture focused on the literary depictions and functions of failure, the theoretical dimension of his talk provided the foundation for student projects about failure as a daily experience whether in commemorative practices, city planning and architecture, the system of higher education, the ideology of “a positive life,” or normative discourses of the body.
RUDESA was made possible with the kind support of the International Office, the Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften, the Department of Anglophone Studies, and the Gastdozierendenprogramm of the UDE.
March 25-29, 2019 Rudesa 2019
On March 25-29, 2019, German, Dutch, and American students took part in the 5th edition of the trinational Spring Academy RUDESA. The Nijmegen days have been dedicated to the critical analysis of memorial sites and performances (e.g. The Liberation Museum, the Canadian War Cemetery, the memorial walk on the Oversteek Bridge, and the tales of war veterans), with their ritualistic functions and intrinsic contradictions. The program included lectures and interventions by Prof. Els de Graauw (Baruch College, CUNY) and the human rights activist Jerry Afriyie. The Essen days have engaged two central concerns of the UDE American Studies Department: City Scripts and Ambiguity. The two research foci stem from the Graduate Research Group “Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures,” funded by VW, and the DFG Forschergruppe “Ambiguität und Unterscheidung: Historisch-kulturelle Dynamiken.” On Thursday, 28.03.2019, RUDESA participants met at the Zeche Zollverein, where the doctoral students of the Graduate Research Group “Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures” guided students through the Ruhr Museum and into group discussion on sustainable scripts, creative scripts, and inclusive scripts in Ruhrgebiet and US cities. At the end of the day, the keynote lecture by Prof. Gordon Sayre (University of Oregon) on “Thomas Jefferson, the Comte de Buffon, and the polemic over American Degeneracy” illuminated the comparable ways in which transatlantic transfers – whether of scientific knowledge or urban models – have been addressed in American history. On the UDE side, RUDESA was made possible with the kind support of the International Office, the Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften, the Department of Anglophone Studies, and the Förderverein Universität Duisburg-Essen e.V.
Internationalization@home and across the Dutch border: in March 2018, the American Studies programs of the University Duisburg-Essen, Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and the University of Wyoming (Laramie, USA) co-hosted the annual RUDESA Spring Academy for the 4th time. Master students in Anglophone Studies/American Studies or related fields came together with a deep appreciation for knowledge and learning, wanting to become involved in the most topical research areas in American Studies. This unique trinational blend of lectures, seminars, cultural labs and peer reviews was made possible through the generous support of numerous institutions of the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Förderverein Universität Duisburg-Essen e.V. This year we discussed, reflected and exchanged ideas about migration, cultural commemoration and transatlantic deindustrialization. Participants also visited sites of historical significance such as the Liberation Museum, the Canadian War Cemetery and the Nijmegen city archive. The following experts helped to turn this Spring Academy into an ambitious international academic debate: Prof. Ramón Saldívar, University of Stanford, Alex Blue V, a doctoral researcher at UC Santa Barbara, Prof. Monika Kaup, University of Washington, Prof. Timo Müller, University of Regensburg, and our distinguished keynote speaker Prof. Paula Moya, Stanford University, USA.
Guest Lecture Decolonial Feminist Fiction: Helena Maria Viramontes' Their Dogs Came With Them
Paula M. L. Moya (Stanford University)
Friday, 16 March, 2018, 11am
In this talk, Moya introduces her current project on decolonial feminist fiction, taking Helena Maria Viramontes's novel Their Dogs Came With Them as her exemplary text. After enumerating the broad features of decoloniality as a type of critique and mode of being, she pauses to explain how literary texts participate in a decolonial project. She then zeroes in on specific narrative and thematic features of the text, delineating their particular decolonial effects, before concluding with a close reading of one passage that illustrates what Lugones has theorized as "streetwalker theorizing" through the development in her characters of complex solidarity.
3rd RUDESA Spring Academy successfully completed
Guest Lecture The Uncanny Return of (Trans)national Anxieties
Donald E. Pease (Dartmouth College)
Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, 5pm to 7pm
Glaspavillon (Universitätsstraße 12, 45141 Essen)
In his lecture, Donald E. Pease interrogates the current political developments in the United States and particularly the election of Donald Trump as president from a transnational perspective. Pease particularly examines the narratives of fear Trump exploited during his campaign and asks in what ways the transnational turn in American studies helps to understand this shift in American politics and to what extent a neoliberal transnationalism may have contributed to the “uncanny return of national anxieties.”
Donald E. Pease is one of the leading scholars in American studies and an authority on nineteenth and twentieth century American literature and literary theory. With his numerous books, essays, and articles, Pease has not only shaped American studies as a critical thinker since the 1980s. As the founder and director of the Futures of American Studies Institute and as an editor of The New Americanist series, his work has also transformed the premise of the field.
Master’s programs: RUDESA 3rd RUDESA Spring Academy: March 2017
Internationalization@home and across the Dutch border: in March 2017, the American Studies programs of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and the University of Wyoming (Laramie, USA) are again co-hosting the annual RUDESA Spring Academy. If you are a Master student in Anglophone Studies/American Studies or related fields, have a deep appreciation for knowledge and learning, and want to become involved in the latest research in American Studies, please visit the public events of RUDESA 2017 and apply for RUDESA 2018. Thanks to generous funding by the three universities, this unique trinational blend of lectures, seminars, cultural labs and peer reviews is still free of charge. What to expect: free transportation to and accommodation in Nijmegen, NL, a trinational student:staff ratio of 5:1, keynote addresses by international authorities in the field, and an exciting program that asks you to put your academic training and your intellectual curiosity into action. This year, we will discuss, reflect and exchange ideas about migration, cultural commemoration, transatlantic deindustrialization. Guests include and Alex Blue V, a doctoral researcher at UC Santa Barbara our distinguished keynote speaker Donald Pease, Dartmouth College, USA. We look forward to seeing you!
2nd RUDESA Spring Academy: March 14-18, 2016
The American Studies Department in Nijmegen and the University of Duisburg-Essen are continuing their international project within their Master’s programs: RUDESA. The Radboud University & University of Duisburg-Essen Spring Academy represents a joint initiative to engage in transnational American studies, exchange ideas, research agendas, and establish new academic contacts.This year Eric Sandean and students from the University of Wyoming are joining the Spring Academy for a tri-national exchange.
Master’s programs: RUDESA RUDESA Spring Academy: March 16-20, 2015
The American Studies Department in Nijmegen and the University of Duisburg Essen are launching a new international project within their Master’s programs: RUDESA. The Radboud University & University of Duisburg-Essen Spring Academy represents a joint initiative to engage in transnational American studies, exchange ideas, research agendas, and establish new academic contacts.
Sixteen students of the Radboud University Nijmegen and sixteen students of the University Duisburg-Essen, supported by a team of ten instructors from both universities as well as international guest lecturers, jointly explored the role of the USA and of transnational American Studies in our own border region. Thanks to the generous funding by several institutions, a week of crossing borders in classroom debates, field trips, mutual peer reviewing and tandem thinking has brought new ideas and fresh methodologies to students and staff members of the participating American Studies programs.