Time: June 26 - June 29, 2003
Place: Frankfurt am Main
Deadline for proposals: January 24, 2003
Communism and Capitalism are more than just two economic systems: for over a century, they have dominated the ideological debates of intellectuals, incited hopes, curiosity, and disappointment to travellers, immigrants and emigrants, incited the creativity of artists, formed political alliances, brought the world close to nuclear war several times, shaped the map of Europe, and last but not least, have contributed to a situation in which scholars from Eastern Europe may want to meet scholars from Western Europe and America to reassess the cultural consequences of the two major ideologies in the 20th century.
From June 26 to June 29, 2003, the Center for North American Studies (or Zentrum für Nordamerika-Forschung - ZENAF) at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany, will host an American Studies conference to address the issues of Communism, Capitalism, and the Politics of Culture. For this fourth East-West American Studies Conference we invite junior scholars who are at present working on a research project in American Studies (a dissertation, a habilitation, or any other book-length research) on topics such as art and propaganda, consumer culture and its critique, the (mis-)representations of ideology between East and West, the literary concerns with the promises and disillusionments of communism and capitalism, or the surprising similarities between East and West, hidden underneath a rhetoric emphasizing fundamental differences. In all cases, scholars working in the field of American Studies should not only be willing to present their work in progress and discuss it with a group of colleagues from Eastern and Western European countries but also to reflect how their own approaches may be shaped by the historical fates of communism and capitalism.
In order to allow for lively debates the number of participants will be kept small, i.e. up to 16. Everyone will be asked to present their projects in written statements of about 15 pages, which could be either representative chapters and/or the outlines of the project. This statement, sent to all participants before the beginning of the conference, will be the basis of the discussion. At the conference, each participant will summarize his or her argument in a 10 minute talk. The following debate will be chaired by a distinguished American scholar yet to be announced.
If you are interested in presenting your work in progress and also prepared to engage in the projects of your colleagues, please send a short (one page) proposal introducing your research and a CV. You may send your proposal either by mail or email, in either case it should arrive no later than January 24, 2003 at the address given.
The conference will be sponsored by the Volkswagen-Stiftung and allows us to cover the costs of accommodation and food for all. We will also cover the travel expenses of scholars from Eastern Europe and expect those from Western Europe and America to apply for matching funds.
Prof. Dr. Christa Buschendorf
Dr. Ian Copestake
Dr. Astrid Franke
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.
Institut für England- und Amerikastudien
Germany Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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