Upcoming conferences (click links for more information):
Workshop: Cultures of Privacy (June 29, 2013)
The student-organized workshop “Cultures of Privacy” will take place at the Amerika-Institut on Saturday, June 29. Guest speakers from Yale University, Ca’Foscari University of Venice, the University of Passau and LMU Munich will discuss a number of privacy issues in U.S. culture: We’re looking forward to learning about the Obamas’ staging of privacy, debates about gossip, technology and privacy concerns, privacy in U.S constitutional law and more. The workshop is open to the public, so feel free to join us. Please register via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshop “Cultures of Privacy”, June 29, 2013, 10 am s.t. – 5 pm, Schellingstraße 3 VG, room 201.
The Aesthetics of Privacy: Reading and Writing Under Conditions of Modernity
Both writing and reading have frequently been associated with social and spatial isolation: one writes (and reads) at home, in the privacy of a study, a bedroom, an attic -- in any case, a space set apart from public attention and social interaction. Though shot through with ideas and themes that originated in public discourses (i.e. 'out there'), the production of art - particularly written art, poetry, novels, essays, journals etc. - for long remained a quintessentially private enterprise. Some writers even believed that the 'privacy' of writerly discourse is severely threatened by the act of publication itself, the making public and available of the results of a writer's work. Emily Dickinson, in her poem "Publication--the Auction," famously dismissed publication as "the auction of the mind of man," because writing or composing a poem to her seemed a fundamentally private affaire, one that unfolds from the privacy of the home. For Dickinson the public aspects of writing, its publication and 'partition' (to use Rancière's terminology) among larger audiences, corrupts the act of composition and ultimately distracts the writer's attention away from his/her subject.
The idea of an intense 'private' relationship between writer/reader and text has always been one of the great myths of Western literary cultures. There's little doubt that one never writes (or reads for that matter) from scratch: our compositions and the way we make sense of any text is heavily determined by what we know and by our socio-cultural surroundings. To read and write means to participate in specific cultural discourses, to reproduce and, at best, to add to these discourses as they unfold from a particular time and (market-) place. Writing and reading are thus fundamentally social activities yet they thrive, quite paradoxically, on the belief that they are pursued individually and independently of the social context. In our symposium we will investigate--by looking at selected key texts and criticism--the history and theory of the private-public conditions of literature throughout the modern age; we will also trace some of the consequences of mass media and global electronic networks regarding the alleged 'privacy' of writing/reading. We will ask about the changing role of literature today, in an age of crowd-sourcing and free electronic publishing outlets; and we will explore the limits of the freedom of writing (and reading) when both skills increasingly come to the fore of the social arena ('out of the closet' so-to-speak), and are incorporated into the global marketplace. Finally, we'll look at culturally specific manifestations of the aesthetics of privacy, by juxtaposing concepts of art and privacy both in American mainstream culture and in the context of minorities, such as African Americans and other ethnic groups.
The symposium is designed as a follow up to our 2012 seminar “The Politics of Aesthetics” which focused on the work of French philosopher Jacques Rancière and it will pick up on some of the Rancière's ideas and terminology.
The program is available for download here.
For more information on the conference, please contact KerstinSchmidt@lmu.de.
Thinking Architecture Technology Culture: A Conversation
June 10-11, 2011, Amerika-Haus München
This event marks the launching of a new series from the University of Pennsylvania Press, edited by Klaus Benesch, Jeffrey L. Meikle, David E. Nye, and Miles Orvell.
ARCHITECTURE | TECHNOLOGY | CULTURE emphasizes the theory, history, and politics of cultural and spatial transformations in relationship to technology, from the 19th century to contemporary digital cultures. Affirming the spatial turn in American Studies, the series addresses the transnational dimensions of cultural change, including global technologies and resistance to ‘Americanization.’
Revolutionary Leaves: The Fiction of Mark Z. Danielewski
Conference organized by Junior Year in Munich and the Amerika-Institut of LMU Munich
May 20-21, 2011
This two-day event marked the fifth anniversary of the publication of Only Revolutions, Mark Z. Danielewski’s second novel. Danielewski was already hailed as one the most innovative and exciting writers of experimental fiction after his debut House of Leaves was published in 2000, and Only Revolutions - as well as his 2005 novella The Fifty Year Sword - impressively confirmed this assessment. Danielewski is a favourite of literary critics as well as of very devoted fans around the globe, but so far no academic conference had yet been devoted exclusively to his works. Revolutionary Leaves aimed to provide precisely such a forum for discussion without setting the papers any topical limits so as to do justice to the wide-ranging scope of Danielewski’s texts and the complexity of their contexts. Besides the academic section, the conference also included a discussion and workshop with Gerhard Falkner, who is co-translating Only Revolutions into German (with Nora Matocza-Falkner). The conference program is available for download.
Imaging Blackness: Visuality, Liberation, and the Post-Racial in African-American Cultural Politics
July 21, 2012
Contact: Christof Decker (email@example.com)
Green Cultures: Environmental Knowledge, Climate, and Catastrophe
Annual conference of the Bavarian American Academy, in cooperation with the Rachel Carson Center
July 9-10, 2010
For program details, click here.
The Amerika-Institut was host to the postgraduate forum from October 30 through November 1, 2009. The three-day conference was organized by Torsten Kathke and Sascha Pöhlmann with generous support by the German Association for American Studies. It offered young scholars in the field of American Studies a forum to present and discuss their current research projects, for example dissertations, essay projects, or Habilitationsschriften.
The program is available for download (PDF, 1,7 Mb).
If you have any questions, just send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Against the Grain: Reading Pynchon’s Counternarratives
International Pynchon Week 2008
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
Organisation: Sascha Pöhlmann
What better place to discuss Pynchon’s new novel Against the Day (and all his other texts) than in the Zone? In 2008, the biannual Pynchon conference takes place in Munich, Germany, just as Mondaugen’s city celebrates its 850th birthday (and Europe goes soccer-crazy during the European Cup). We invite scholars and students, amateurs and novices, fans and critics to get together for this four-day event. While a good share of the conference is to be dedicated to Against the Day, it is of course open to all things Pynchon, and all proposals are welcome. A special invitation goes out to scholars from disciplines other than literary studies.
The Idea of the West: Polarities
(Michael Hochgeschwender, Michael Kimmage and Christof Mauch)
February 29, 2008
Amerika Haus, Munich
Program(PDF, 10 kB)
Uncertain Environments: Natural Hazards, Risk, and Insurance in Historical Perspective
September 13 - 15, 2007. Conference at the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC organized by Uwe Lübken, Washington DC and Christof Mauch, LMU.
For more information see www.ghi-dc.org/events/conferences/2007/hazards/hazards_old.html
BAA Summer Institute
July 25 - 27, 2007
Amerika Haus, Munich.
Organisation: Klaus Benesch, LMU
Scientific Cultures - Technological Challenges: A Transatlantic Perspective
9. Akademiekonferenz der Bayerischen Amerika-Akademie 2007
June 14 - 16, 2007
Amerika Haus, Munich.
Organisation: Klaus Benesch, LMU