Summer Academy der Bayerischen Amerika-Akademie

Seit 2009 organisiert die Bayerische Amerika-Akademie (BAA) eine internationale Summer Academy.

Studierende und Graduierte können sich für die Teilnahme bewerben. Die ausgewählten Teilnehmer*innen zahlen lediglich eine geringe Teilnahmegebühr. Reisekosten, Unterkunft sowie die Kosten für das wissenschaftliche und kulturelle Programm werden von der BAA übernommen.


In unserem Video-Rückblick erhalten Sie vielfältige Eindrücke unserer BAA Summer Academy 2018 in Miami.




BAA 12th International Summer Academy - Call for Applications

***PLEASE NOTE: We are sorry to announce that, due to the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic, the BAA Summer Academy planned for May 2021 will not take place. The pandemic continues to develop dynamically and so we do hope we can plan for May 2022! Please check our websites regularly for updates! Stay safe and healthy!***

The Bavarian American Academy in Munich invites applications for its 12th International Summer Academy for doctoral students and junior faculty in American Studies on

“Cultural Narratives of the State in a Comparative Perspective”
May 16 – May 24, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky

Directors: Alan Nadel (U of Kentucky), Heike Paul (FAU)
Co-Director: Martha Schoolman (Florida International U, Miami)
Coordinator: Holly Fulton Osborn (U of Kentucky)


A “cultural narrative” is a category defined not by its structure but by its function, which is to locate time; it is grounded in the premise that, in this sense, the functions of a narrative are historically specific and culturally delimited; and it is presumed that historically specific conditions render specific narratives cogent and others absurd, such that, at any given moment, at any given social site (the family, the community, the state, the nation), some cogent narratives are tacitly accepted as universally true and others as viable possibilities. The map of the absurd, the tacitly true, and the viably cogent, therefore, comprises any specific culture or subculture, and thus that culture’s imaginative works reflect its cogent narratives and also are, through acts of iteration and reinforcement, (re)productive of that culture.

In that context, we wish to stage an international, comparative and multidisciplinary conversation about the historical and contemporary status of the state as a formation that is variously political and cultural, coercive and democratic, radically stable and uniquely (or perpetually) under attack. The modern nation-state is a ubiquitous form of political organization in the West, usually including representative democracy with a constitutional government that implements the separation of powers into a system of checks and balances. It includes – bound to its territory – a claim to sovereignty and to a legitimate monopoly of violence. What is more, the Western nation-state operates in a liberal market economy. Symbolically, any state or political system relies on affirming its legitimacy by way of foundational documents (“national archive”) and abstract speech acts (“we, the people”), iconic visualization of power (the oval office, the capitol dome), and the reiteration of performative rituals and cultural practices (national holidays, inauguration ceremonies). The state and its institutions can become mythologized in state narratives (e.g. the president and the presidency, the supreme court); their workings can be rendered invisible and may operate in concealed and hidden ways, such as their thematic iteration in aspects of material and popular culture, and they can be pitted against each other in struggles for power. In times of crisis, however, these state narratives are summoned, re-affirmed, questioned, or transformed depending on their capacity to provide stability and legitimacy.

This year’s theme speaks to both academic debates and pressing political struggles on both sides of the Atlantic, at a time in which the state and its institutions, as well as governmentality, as such, seem to be under particular pressure. Given the traditional focus within American Studies on the legitimizing and unifying roles of state narratives, our animating questions will concern how we must reorient our thinking and revise our archives in response, for example, to the willful incoherence typified by leaders such as Bolsonaro, Trump, and Boris Johnson, or the implications of state violence and climate crisis. Possible approaches and research foci may include: the critical discourse entailed in calls for a strong or a lean state; the privileging of the “ national security state” over value of civil liberties for the sake; the countervailing call for the state to protect social interests or the habitability of planet by intervening against market the forces; the role of narrative in working out questions of belonging, statelessness, and statehood/citizenship; the limits of statecraft in the age of globalization; the narrative contours of populist movements on both sides of the Atlantic and their production of “retrotopian” state narratives glorifying bygone times; and the resurgence of dystopian literature as a cultural touchstone.



The program of the academy entails keynote lectures by U.S. and European speakers and work-in-progress presentations by doctoral students and junior faculty. All presentations are delivered in plenary sessions, with ample time for questions and discussion. The eight-day program will also include several cultural events related to the region.

The keynote lecturers this year include: Sandy Alexandre (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), DaMaris Hill (University of Kentucky), Carol Mason (University of Kentucky), Alan Nadel (University of Kentucky), Diane Negra (UC Dublin), Heike Paul (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg), Donald Pease (Dartmouth), Katja Sarkowsky (Augsburg University), Martha Schoolman (Florida International University), Birgit Spengler (University of Wuppertal).


Cultural Activities

Activities in and around Lexington include an evening at a local blues bar, and tours of a thoroughbred horse farm, the Woodford bourbon distillery, the Underground Railroad Freedom Museum in Cincinnati, and the Henry Clay Estate.



The total registration fee of $450 (USD) includes:

  •     full tuition,
  •     eight nights in luxury University dorm rooms a short walk from the presentations,
  •     all tour tickets and cultural events, transportation to the events, and three dinners.

Acceptance also includes up to 750 Euro subsidy towards transatlantic transportation.



We invite doctoral students and junior faculty to apply electronically with

  • a 1-page letter of application
  • CV
  • a 2-page project description
  • one letter of recommendation

Please send your application by February 15, 2020, to:



Call for Applications for the BAA 12th International Summer Academy (155KB)

BAA Summer Academy 2020 Website 

Visit for more information about the venue and more details on the BAA Summer Academy 2020.

The program is generously funded by:
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
The German Research Foundation (DFG)
The University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research
The University of Kentucky School of Arts and Sciences
The University of Kentucky English Department
The William T. Bryan Chair Endowment

Ein Rückblick auf die vergangenen Jahre

2019 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
State Narratives in Comparative Perspective
May 25 - June 8, 2019 in Nuremberg, Berlin, and Regensburg

2018 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
Questions of the Archive
June 2 - June 10, 2018 in Miami

2017 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
Questions of the Archive
May 20 - June 3, 2017 in Nürnberg

2016 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
Material Cultures
June 4-11, 2016 in Miami
2015 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
Material Cultures
May 10-23, 2015 in Munich and Regensburg
2014 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
American Studies in a Transatlantic Perspective: Critical Regionalism in Politics and Culture
May 31 - June 10, 2014 at Texas State University, San Marcos
2013 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
American Studies in a Transatlantic Perspective: Critical Regionalism in Politics and Culture
May 20 - June 3, 2013 in Munich and Nuremberg
2012 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
Democratic Cultures, Past and Present: Perspectives from Washington, DC
May 4-13, 2012 in Washington, DC
2011 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
Transatlantic American Studies: Democratic Cultures, Past and Present
May 14-28, 2011 in Munich and Nuremberg
2010 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
Modernity, Mobility and Displacement: Transnational Perspectives from Detroit
May 13-22, 2010 at Wayne State University, Detroit
2009 International Summer Academy of the Bavarian American Academy
American Studies in a Transatlantic Perspective: Cultural Mobility and Intercultural Exchange
May 9-23, 2009 in Munich


Sie haben noch Fragen?
Wir helfen Ihnen gerne weiter!

Dr. Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm
Referentin für die Bayerische Amerika-Akademie



089 55 25 37-42





Jasmin Falk
Assistenz Geschäftsstelle der Bayerischen Amerika-Akademie



089 55 25 37-41