Conferences of the Bavarian American Academy (BAA)

Since 1999 the Bavarian American Academy offers conferences on comparative and interdisciplinary questions on the general topic Formations of American Cultures in a Global Context.


Call for Papers:

Representations and Uses of the American Revolution in Past and Present

BAA Annual Conference 2022, July 7-9

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 US constitution is based on their, the Iroquois nations', centuries old confederation, is what comes to mind.


With this call, we invite papers from all disciplines that explore the actors, media, representations, and uses of the American Revolution for different historical contexts and against the background of concepts such as cultural transfer, transculturation, the transnational national, travelling concepts, or fractured continuities.


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?

Please send your proposal by 31 October 2021 to,, and



BAA Conference 2021:

Rethinking Solidarity

Thursday, 8 July - Friday, 9 July 2021


Over the last decades, U.S. society has witnessed dramatic clashes between the claims of individualism and the values of community and citizenry. Despite social movements such as Occupy Wallstreet, Black Lives Matter, and Fridays for Future, the idea of solidarity – relying on republican ideals of social cohesion, religious traditions, and the notion of the public good – appears to have lost traction in the U.S. and beyond.


In light of these developments, the conference sets out to “rethink solidarity.” This entails interrogating the political, cultural, economic, and environmental dimensions of solidarity as well as addressing solidarity in the context of democracy, including current crisis scenarios and the recurrence of populist imaginaries. In a transnational context, it involves asking how far discourses of globalization undermine bonds of solidarity. Can there be a “global solidarity”? Finally, it implies re-examining the mechanisms and ideological operations that interpellate individuals into subject positions marked by solidarity attachments or obligations.

The conference expands the existing research on solidarity from theoretical vantage points such as affect studies and ecocriticism as it brings together scholars from the social sciences and from literary and cultural studies. It seeks to contribute to a nuanced theoretical understanding of solidarity and its genealogies and to discuss how solidarity can be imagined, conceptualized, and practiced within and beyond national settings.


No conference fee - please register for participation at

Conference format: the 20th conference will be held online.

Fon: +49 89 55 25 37-42



Conference Program (631 KB)

Abstract & Bios (514KB)



Conference Program

Thursday, 8 July 2021

14.00: Warm-up and Welcome


14.30Conference Opening by Heike Paul (Bavarian American Academy, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)


15.00: Panel 1: Theories of Solidarity in Democratic Societies

Chair: Christof Decker (LMU Munich)


  • Sally J. Scholz (Villanova University)

          Solidarity's Research


  • Dietmar Süß (University of Augsburg)

          History, Anticapitalism and the Social Practice of Solidarity


16.00: Coffee Break


16.15: Panel 2: Traditions of Solidarity

Chair: Michael Hochgeschwender (LMU Munich)


  • Janine Giordano Drake (Indiana University Bloomington)

          The Industrial Workers of the World and the Churches: The Unexpected History of "Solidarity" in the United States


  • André Habisch (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

          The Catholic Social Thought Tradition: How Entrepreneurs Contributed to its Emergence


17.15: Coffee Break


17.30: Award Ceremony

BAA Dissertation Award


19.00: Keynote Address

Chair: Heike Paul (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)


  • Pippa Norris (Harvard University)

          The Challenge of Authoritarian Populism



Friday, 9 July 2021

15.00: Panel 3: Global Representations of Solidarity

Chair: Nathalie Aghoro (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)


  • Clemens Spahr (University of Mainz) 

          Bayani: Class and International Solidarity in Contemporary Rap Music


  • Quynh Nhu Le (University of South Florida) 

           Envisioning Asian/Indigenous Solidarity through Time and Tense


16.00: Coffee Break


16.15: Panel 4: Cultural Practices of Solidarity

Chair: Katharina Gerund (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)


  • Chandra Russo (Colgate University)

          Embodied Experience and Social Movement Study


  • Silvia Schultermandl (WWU Münster)

          Intimate Archives and Experimental Narratives of Transnational Kinship


17.15: Coffee Break


17.30: Panel 5: Solidarity in the Anthropocene

Chair: Sylvia Mayer (University of Bayreuth


  • Lisa Garforth (Newcastle University)

          Utopia, Solidarity, and the Anthropocene: Hope after Human-Centeredness


  • Solvejg Nitzke (TU Dresden)

          Green Companions/Making Kin with Trees: Interspecies Solidarity and the Future of Humanity


18.30: Coffee Break


19.00: Closing Keynote

Chair: Heike Paul (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)


  • Aleida Assmann (University of Konstanz)

          Repairing the Past: Divided Narratives and National Solidarity


 20.00: Wrap-Up and End of the Conference



The 20th International Academy Conference is organized by the Bavarian American Academy (BAA). The organizers wish to thank the following institution for their generous support:

DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft






Overview over past BAA conferences


19th BAA Conference, July 4 - 6, 2019
New Perspectives on Transatlantic Relations: Multidisciplinary Approaches


18th BAA Conference, July 5 - 7, 2018
The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries

17th BAA Conference, July 6 - 8, 2017
The Comeback of Populism: Transatlantic Perspectives


16th BAA Conference, June 30 - July 2, 2016
Cultural Mobility and Knowledge Formation in the Americas


15th BAA Conference, July 9 - 11, 2015
Cultures of Inequality

14th BAA Conference, July 26 - 28, 2014

Cultures of Privacy


13th BAA Conference, July 5 - 7, 2012 

Cultures of Mobility


12th BAA Conference, July 9 - 10, 2010
Green Cultures: Environmental Knowledge, Climate, and Catastrophe


11th BAA Conference, July 2 - 4, 2009

Visual Cultures - Transatlantic Perspectives 


10th BAA Conference, May 29 - 31, 2008

Global Cities - Metropolitan Cultures: A Transatlantic Perspective (160KB)


9th BAA Conference, June 14 - 16, 2007

Scientific Cultures - Technological Challenges: A Transatlantic Perspective (112KB)


8th BAA Conference, 18.- 20. Mai 2006
Political Cultures and the Culture of Politics: A Transatlantic Perspective (156KB)


7th BAA-Konferenz, June 9 - 11, 2005
The Power and Politics of the Aesthetic in American Culture (72KB)


6th BAA Conference, June 17 - 19, 2004
Religious Cultures - Communities of Belief (464KB)


5th BAA Conference, May 15 - 17, 2003
Media Cultures (300KB)


4th BAA Conference, June 20 - 22, 2002
Cultures of Economy - Economics of Cultures (236KB)


3rd BAA Conference, May 17 - 19, 2001
Konflikt der Rechtskulturen? Die USA und Deutschland im Vergleich (104KB)

2nd BAA Conference, June 22 - 24, 2000
Transnational America: The Fading of Borders in the Western Hemisphere (108KB)

1st BAA Conference, March 5 - 7, 1999

German and American Higher Education in Comparison: Educational Philosophies, Political Systems, Funding (80KB)






We are happy to assist you!

Dr. Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm
Managing Director of the Bavarian American Academy



+49 (0)89 55 25 37-42





Jasmin Falk
Office Assistant - Bavarian American Academy



+49 (0)89 55 25 37-41





Office Hours

Mon. - Fri. 9a.m. - 5p.m. (CET)