Hinweis zu unserer Ausstellung

Bitte beachten Sie: Das Amerikahaus ist am Samstag, 20. Juli 2024, aufgrund einer geschlossenen Veranstaltung und von Montag, 29. Juli, bis Sonntag, 18. August 2024, aufgrund unserer Sommerpause geschlossen. Herzlichen Dank für Ihr Verständnis!

Empty chairs ©Jonas Jacobsson / unsplash.com

Representations and Uses of the American Revolution in Past and Present: Annual Conference of the Bavarian American Academy

Thursday, July 7, 2022 – Saturday, July 9, 2022

This year’s annual conference of the Bavarian American Academy investigates how the American Revolution functioned as a usable past, inspiring social movements, informing both state- and nation-building processes, and justifying political change in other world regions throughout the ages.

The American Revolution is, obviously, the founding moment of the United States of America that continues to be present in the U.S. and beyond. From the late eighteenth-century on, it has been and continues to be an inspiration for social movements and both state- and nation-building in multiple contexts. One could think of struggles for civil rights, constitutions, institutions such as parliaments or courts of justice. The American Revolution functioned as a usable past justifying political change, the organization of resistance, and revolutionary action. The independence movements in Haiti and Spanish America, the Italian Risorgimento, decolonization in Africa in the mid-20th century, and sovereignty claims of the Haudenosaunee who hold that the U.S. constitution is based on their, the Iroquois nations', centuries old confederation, is what comes to mind.

Our aim is not only to show the multitude of interpretations of the American Revolution and its very diverse effects, how interpretations change mutatis mutandis across time and space. We will also discuss how much a "past event" such as the American Revolution continues to be present, and how it is subject to change. Which narratives relating to the American Revolution were utilized, forgotten and (re-)discovered when, where, by whom, and for which reasons. Where are the limits of these diverse perspectives? When, where, and why do these narratives serve as a means to gloss over / overwrite / hide deeply rooted historical, political, and cultural contradictions. When do they become counter factual? And who decides on the factual?

Photo: Empty chairs ©Jonas Jacobsson / unsplash.com

The conference will be held in a hybrid format.
To register for participation, please send an email to info@amerika-akademie.de and indicate whether you would like to register for the in-person event or to join virtually.

The keynote speeches by Alan Taylor and Sarah Pearsall will be streamed live on YouTube.

3 p.m.: Introduction
Volker Depkat (University of Regensburg), Karsten Fitz (University of Passau), Susanne Lachenicht (University of Bayreuth)

3:30-5:30 p.m.: Visual Memories of the American Revolution
Chair: Karsten Fitz (University of Passau)

Reframing Leutze: "Washington Crossing the Delaware" in a new Context
Thomas Giese (Düsseldorf)

Watching the "Watchman's Cry": Anatomy of an Antebellum Engraving of the End of the American Revolution
Erika Piola (Library Company of Philadelphia), virtual lecture

The 19th-Century Reuse and Revival of Paul Revere's "The Boston Massacre"
Lauren B. Hewes (American Antiquarian Society), virtual lecture

The American Revolution's Evolving Visual Imagery in the 21st Century, So Far
Mark Thistlethwaite (TCU School of Art)

6 p.m.: Conference Opening and Award Ceremony
Heike Paul (Director of the BAA)
Welcome remark by John Stubbs, Consul for Public Affairs (U.S. Consulate Munich)

7 p.m.: The American Revolution and the Contemporary Culture War
Alan Taylor (University of Virginia)
Chair: Heike Paul (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)

9-10:30 a.m.: The American Revolution in Historiographical Traditions
Chair: Andrew O'Shaughnessy (Monticello), virtual

"La plus grande et la plus importante des révolutions": French Contemporaneous Writings on the American Revolution (1780s-1790s)
Bertrand Van Ruymbeke (University of Paris 8)

Interpretations of the American Revolution in Communist Hungary
Csaba Lévai (University of Debrecen)

The Coming of Age of American History in France, 1870-1900
Ghislain Potriquet (University of Strasbourg), virtual lecture

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Young Scholars' Forum
Chair: Volker Depkat (University of Regensburg)

“No Knife Near Our Dish”: The Material Culture of Food, Hospitality, and Commensality in 18th Century Haudenosaunee-European Diplomacy
Markus J. Diepold (University of Regensburg)

Whiteness as Usual? American Africanism in the 21st-Century Novel
Lisa Seuberth (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Discussing War and Peace: Representations and Uses of the Past in German-American Foreign Policy
Thomas Stelzl (University of Passau)

2-4 p.m.: Revolutions, Independence and Political Exiles
Chair: Ursula Prutsch (LMU Munich)

German Exiles in Revolutionary France: Changing Perspectives on the American Revolution
Susanne Lachenicht (University of Bayreuth), cancelled

Echoes of the American Revolution in the Risorgimento: Views from the Republican Diaspora in the United States (1835-1860)
Alessandro Bonvini (SSM, Naples)

19th-Century German Exile Historiography in America: Writing 1848 into an Atlantic Revolutionary Tradition
Charlotte Lerg (LMU Munich)

4:30-5:45 p.m.: Representing Revolution
Sarah M.S. Pearsall (Johns Hopkins University)
Chair: Susanne Lachenicht (University of Bayreuth)

6 p.m.: BAA Members' Meeting

9-11 a.m.: Loyalists and Conservatives
Chair: Volker Depkat (University of Regensburg)

Counter-Revolutionary Solidarity? Loyalist Refugee Communities in Jamaica in the Aftermath of the American Revolution
Jannik Keindorf (University of Duisburg-Essen), virtual lecture

"As Gently as the Ripe Apple Falls from the Tree": The Foundation of the American Republic in Nineteenth-Century German Conservative Thought
Alexander Kruska (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)

An Aspirational "Quiet" Revolution: The Perception of American Independence in German Constitutionalism
Annabelle Meier (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Staging, Singing, and Dancing the American Revolution
Chair: Kerstin Schmidt (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

Staging the American Revolution: Dramatic Genres and/as Political Discourse
Nassim Balestrini (Karl-Franzens-University Graz), virtual lecture

Reimagining Milestones: Myths of the American Revolution in the Musical "Hamilton"
Vanessa Vollmann (University of Passau)

1:30-2 p.m.: Presentation of AMERICA 2026
Bertrand Van Ruymbeke (University of Paris 8)

2-2:30 p.m.: Wrap up

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