BAA 11th International Summer Academy

“State Narratives in Comparative Perspective”
May 25 – June 8, 2019 in Nuremberg, Berlin, and Regensburg

in cooperation with Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and the University of Regensburg

directors: Heike Paul (FAU) and Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm
co-directors: Volker Depkat (U of Regensburg), Alan Nadel (U of Kentucky, Lexington), and Martha
Schoolman (Florida International U, Miami)

We invited doctoral students and junior faculty to present and discuss their projects related to the concept of the “state narrative.” Central questions were: How can we identify hegemonic and counterhegemonic state narratives and the ideological ‘work’ they do – in arguing for or against state power and state intervention? How do these narratives manifest themselves in visual culture, poetic discourse, political rituals, cultural practices, and social configurations? How do they make sense of the universal claims of “the state” even as political participation of “the people” is always limited? And how can we examine these tensions in a comparative perspective? This year’s theme speaks to ongoing debates and pressing issues on both sides of the Atlantic in times in which “the state” and its institutions as well as governmentality at large seem to be the object of conflicted debates. Questions regarding the legitimacy and unifying functions of state narratives along with their foundational tropes and their recurring presentification appear more contested than ever.


Program of the 11th International Summer Academy

1. keynote lectures by US and European speakers – including, so far, Volker Depkat (University of Regensburg), Duncan Faherty (CUNY New York), Joël Glasman (University of Bayreuth), Donatella Izzo (University of Naples “L’Orientale”), Timothy Melley (Miami University), Anna Minta (University of Linz), Alan Nadel (University of Kentucky, Lexington), Donald Pease (Dartmouth College), Birgit Spengler (University of Wuppertal), Martha Schoolman (Florida International University), Kathy-Ann Tan (University of Uppsala)

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

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

The program also included a cultural program in and around Nuremberg, Berlin, and Regensburg and a trip to Munich; visits to museums and other cultural sites and events related to the overall theme of the summer school.

We encouraged applications from doctoral (and postdoctoral) candidates working in the field of American studies (in its broadest sense) on state narratives in comparative perspective. Acceptance to the Summer Academy included a full academic and cultural program, accommodation, and a travel grant. The tuition fee was 300 €.

The program was generously funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (GAES/DAAD)