Call for Papers: Funded by the Thyssen Foundation the conference “Obama and the Paradigm Shift: The Measure of Change in the US and Germany” will take place at the university of Giessen from June 30th till July 2nd, 2011.
The conference will investigate those areas of cultural politics in which Barack Obama’s election to the US presidency was expected to affect the greatest amount of change. Within the American context, these include racial politics, normative forms of masculinity and femininity, and an abatement of the general divisiveness of the American political climate. Outside of the United States, the conference questions the degree to which these phenomena have had an effect on related areas within German culture.
Held two years into the Obama presidency and after the “shellacking” that the president received in the midterm elections, this conference asks how the actuality of effected change in key areas of political culture has measured up to the desire for and promise of the new that marked the election period. The conference takes its geographical position in Germany as an impulse to question the effect of key cultural issues involved in the Obama presidency on Germany. The conference understands the following three topics to be the most important ones for current American cultural politics and their transatlantic reverberations: race, gender, political divisiveness and inclusiveness. It reflects on these issues within the German context.
Keynote Speakers include Distinguished Service Professor of American and African American History at the University of Chicago, Thomas Holt, author of The Problem of Race in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard 2000) and Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University, Melissa Lacewell-Perry, author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, (Princeton 2004).
The organizers are looking for papers that deal with issues surrounding the following topics and would like to specifically encourage Nachwuchswissenschaftler/innen to send proposals:
- The Obama Effect and German Multiculturalism
- The ‘Obama Effect’ and Germany
- Open topic on Obama’s effect on cultural politics in Germany
Please send an abstract of 500 words or less to Greta Olson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Birte Christ (email@example.com) by March 31st.
For information on participating in the conference please contact Birte Christ.
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