Call for Applications: "Questions of the Archive" - June 2-10, 2018 in Miami


Our Bavarian American Academy invites applications for its 10th International Summer Academy  for Doctoral Students and Junior Faculty in American Studies on “Questions of the Archive” June 2-10, 2018, in Miami in cooperation with Florida International University and Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg. Following the widely discussed archival turn in the humanities, this year’s summer school focuses on questions of the archive, its production, authority, and transformation.

We seek contributions in the broad interdisciplinary field of American studies that approach questions of the archive with regard to


a) poststructuralist scholarship on the contingency of the archive and the epistemic anxieties it reveals,

b) assumptions of authority based on power relations (evident in canon debates and absences in the archive), and

c) more recent technological developments and the changes they imply (big data, distant reading, digital humanities). The archive informs both history and memory, and thus the archive can claim to be invested with legitimacy and status. 

Questions of knowledge production in the present moment are prominently addressed by Diana Taylor (“archive and repertoire”), Ann Laura Stoler (“the colonial archive”), James Clifford (“archival silences”), and Saidiya Hartman (“the archive of slavery”); these scholars call attention to explicit and implicit assumptions about archival energies in both preserving knowledge for future generations and potentially withdrawing it from ongoing public circulation. Next to these theoretical considerations, we will explore different kinds of ‘official’ archives (material, oral, digital, and so forth), forms of subverting the archive (‘ghosts’ in the archive), and alternative archives in a global, postcolonial world.


The program of the academy is structured into three parts: 

1. keynote lectures by US and European speakers – including, so far, Elisabeth Bronfen (Zurich University), Donette Francis (University of Miami), Gesa Mackenthun (University of Rostock), Donald Pease (Dartmouth College), Janice Radway (Northwestern University), Dan Royles (Florida International University), Barry Shank (Ohio State University), Kathy-Ann Tan (Uppsala University)

2. work-in-progress presentations by the doctoral participants, 

3. workshop sessions in which participants discuss key texts in the field.

The program also includes a cultural program in and around Miami.



We invite doctoral (and postdoctoral) students to apply electronically with

  • a statement of purpose 
  • CV
  • a 2-page project description
  • one letter of recommendation

Please send your application by March 1, 2018 to:

Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm: schweiger-wilhelm@amerika-akademie.de

Heike Paul:  heike.paul@fau.de

Martha Schoolman:  mschoolm@fiu.edu


Participants will be selected based on the strength of their applications. Acceptance to the Summer Academy includes a full academic and cultural program, accommodation, and a travel grant. The tuition fee is €300.