About the RuhrCenter of American Studies
The RuhrCenter of American Studies
The RuhrCenter of American Studies integrates the rich American Studies resources of Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, and the University of
Duisburg-Essen.The inaugural ceremony of the RuhrCenter of American Studies took place on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 with a key-note address by Carol Kahn
Strauss, Executive Director of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York, on European Emigrés and the Transformation of American Culture. Our international Ph.D.
program in Transnational and Transatlantic American Studies is open to young scholars from around the world. Research at the RuhrCenter of American
Studies has a transnational, a hemispheric, and a transatlantic perspective; it focuses on American History, Literature, and Culture as nationally diverse
and multi-ethnic as well as globally contextualized and interconnected. We invite you to join our group of international and interdisciplinary young scholars
opening up new and exciting areas in American Studies.
American Studies in Bochum follows a historical as well as literary and cultural studies trajectory. Our approach to North America's history, culture, and literature is interdisciplinary and transnational, taking into account globalization, diaspora, and other current academic approaches and fields of research demanding a rethinking and reconstitution of our understanding of the United States and Canada. In American Studies we deal with different media – literature, poetry, film, television, archival material, etc. – and we investigate the construction of identities and communities in relation to space and history. Urban Studies, regionalism, and Body Studies help us to understand changing realities and conceptualizations of "nation – region – home," "race – class – identity," or "gender – beauty – body," their effects on North American culture, economy, and politics, as well as the processes that generate or shape change. Our interactive modes of teaching are based on our research; they involve students, doctoral researchers, and colleagues alike. We foster ties with other American Studies specialists in the U.S., Germany, and other parts of Europe; ties that provide for exchange opportunities and also result in inspiring lectures, workshops, and conferences supporting our transnational understanding of American Studies by enriching the regular curricula.
American Studies in Dortmund focuses on the manifold literary, cultural, and media texts in transatlantic narratives. We view American culture as a system of relationships and investigate the extensive discursive networks in which it is embedded – both on a national and an international level. As researchers we deal with 19th, 20th, and 21st century American spaces, media, and technologies. Our main objective is to understand the many stories that are shared and contested across the Atlantic Ocean and how they manifest themselves in all kinds of texts from novels, poems, essays, and histories to paintings, films, or computer games. In our project-oriented courses we promote individual research interests and encourage cooperative work. Our American Studies program interacts with many other departments and programs at TU Dortmund University, including religion, journalism, urban/regional planning, marketing, and engineering. Members of these programs frequently participate in the weekly meetings of the doctoral research group as well as in collaborative projects. We maintain student and research exchanges with fifteen colleges and universities all around the United States offering students and researchers direct and privileged access to overseas academic resources and networks.
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, urban spaces and places, ethnicity, hemispheric and transatlantic relations, 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 the Americas from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century. Our program organized the 2010 inaugural conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies and it is centrally involved in the university’s Main Research Area "Urban Systems." In collaboration with our international partners we engage in interdisciplinary research and teaching on issues ranging from urbanity and cosmopolitan networks for the production, distribution, and reception of North American literature, film, art, and performance to cultural hybridity, an inter-American culture industry, and a trans-border consumer culture.
Press Release on the Inaugural Event:
- "Neuer Promotionsstudiengang von TU und RUB - American Studies: Transnational/Transatlantic Studies." TU Dortmund, 28th October 2010.
- "Neuer Bochum-Dortmunder Promotionsstudiengang startet 'American Studies: Transnational/Transatlantic Studies.' Alleinstellungsmerkmal der Ruhrgebiets-Universitäten.“ Ruhr-University Bochum, 29th October 2010.