Amerikahaus in fall ©Leonhard Simon

The Bavarian American Academy

Amerikahaus in summer ©Leonhard Simon
Amerikahaus in spring ©Leonhard Simon

Mission Statement and Statement of Purpose

The Bavarian American Academy (BAA) is a unique inter-university consortium and network of Bavarian scholars from a wide range of disciplines (political science, history, literary and cultural studies, economics, law, art and art history, pedagogy, sociology, geography, media studies) focusing on the United States in their teaching and their research. It supports research on or related to the U.S. through its various programs (see below) and offers a platform for scholarly and public discussion. Founded in 1998, it currently has about 200 members. Our mission is to enhance transatlantic dialogue involving all academic status groups as well as outreach programs. Although the primary focus of the Academy's activities is the USA, within the context of interdisciplinary and interregional studies it also supports research on Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Our program includes:

  • Annual conferences, international and interdisciplinary in scope. The topic in 2021 was "Re-Thinking Solidarity" (July 8-9, 2021). Previous topics were: Human Rights, Populism, Mobility, Inequality, Justice, Education, and many more. This format has been in place since 1999 and has brought many scholars from the United States and from other places (Latin America, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe) to Munich. Proceedings are published in the BAA book series with Winter UP in Heidelberg, Germany.
  • Annual summer school programs for doctoral students and junior faculty. The program in 2019 was titled "Narratives of the American State" (May 25 to June 8, 2019 in Nuremberg, Regensburg, and Berlin). Due to the pandemic in 2020, 2021, and 2022 the summer school has been postponed to 2023 and will take place in Lexington, Kentucky on the topic of "Cultural Narratives of the State in a Comparative Perspective". Previous topics include: Questions of the Archive, Material Culture, Critical Regionalism, Democratic Cultures, Cultural Mobility. This format has been in place since 2008 and has brought doctoral students from the U.S. and Europe together at various venues in the U.S. and Germany. The summer school program has, so far, been hosted in cooperation with various Bavarian universities and by the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.; Wayne State University, Detroit; Texas State University, San Marcos; and Florida International University, Miami.  
  • Fellowship programs in cooperation with the Harvard Club Munich, Duke University, Yale University, and the J.W. Kluge-Center of the Library of Congress. Each year we send five (Bavarian) fellows to our cooperating partners abroad to conduct research for their doctoral and postdoctoral projects.
  • Conferences, workshops, and lecttures. The BAA sponsors academic events and enables colleagues at all Bavarian universities to invite guest speakers from the U.S. and to organize workshops and conferences.
  • Outreach activities such as film screenings, discussions, interviews, readings, exhibitions, and teacher trainings held by members of the Academy. The BAA engages in public humanities work in cooperation with its numerous local partners such as the Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations, the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF), the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism, the U.S. Consulate General Munich, the Rachel Carson Center, bookstores, schools, museums, and the German-American Institute in Nuremberg.

Photos: ©Leonhard Simon