The Bavarian American Academy
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 theme of the 2023 conference, held July 06-08, was "Environmental Citizenship: Politics, Practices, Representations." Selected topics of past conferences have included human rights, populism, mobility, inequality, and the future of transatlantic relations. This format has been in place since 1999 and has brought many scholars from the U.S. and elsewhere (Latin America, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe) to Munich. The proceedings of the conferences are published in the BAA book series by Universitätsverlag Winter in Heidelberg.
- Annual summer school programs for doctoral students and junior faculty. The Summer Academy 2023 was entitled "Cultural Narratives of the State in a Comparative Perspective". It was held in Lexington, Kentucky from June 05-13, 2023. Past topics discussed have included "Questions of the Archive," "Material Culture," "Critical Regionalism," and "Cultures of Mobility." The format has existed since 2008 and has brought together doctoral students from the U.S. and Europe at various locations in the U.S. and Germany. The BAA Summer Academy has been organized in cooperation with several Bavarian universities (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, University of Regensburg) as well as 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 lectures. 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