Conference room. People sitting in foreground, speaker standing in background next to screen ©kasto /

Annual Conference of the Bavarian American Academy July 6-8, 2023

BAA Annual Conference 2023: Thursday, July 06 - Saturday, July 08, 2023

The notion of Environmental Citizenship resonates strongly across the disciplines as well as in political, educational, and activist practice. The urgency of current debates about climate change, energy use, loss of biodiversity, or extraction policies have renewed both the interest in but also the critical reflection of the concept and its analytical, cultural, and political function in American Studies.

This conference will explore the affordances of ‘environmental citizenship’ for thinking about human and more-than-human relationality and responsibility from a range of disciplinary perspectives, thus putting to test its viability and limits as a theoretical concept, a methodological tool, and a term to conceptualize cultural and political practices. Can the notion of environmental citizenship be an adequate response to global phenomena like climate change? Does the concept pose the risk of favoring greenwashing by emphasizing individual responsibility instead of systemic action or, on the contrary, can it help anchor environmental issues as elemental to democratic society? What is the potential role of fiction in reconceptualizing human and more-than-human relationalities? How does a historical perspective help us evaluate the possibilities and limits of environmental citizenship and explore alternative concepts of responsibilities and agency?

Photo: ©kasto /

Thursday, July 6, 2023

2 p.m. Welcome and Introduction

  • Heike Paul (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, BAA) and
  • Katja Sarkowsky (U Augsburg)

2.30 p.m. Panel 1
Historical Dimensions of Environmental Relationality in a More-Than-Human-World
Chair: Catrin Gersdorf (U Würzburg)

  • Simone M. Müller (U Augsburg):
    Environmental Citizenship and its Territorial Limits: On US Hazardous Waste and the Struggle for Defining Environmental Protection
  • Monique Allewaert (U Wisconsin-Madison):
    Four Suns: Solar Imaginaries, Climate Colonialism, and Planetary Citizenship

4 p.m. Coffee Break

4.30 p.m. BAA Award Ceremony                                 

5.30 p.m.  Keynote 1
Chair: Katja Sarkowsky (U Augsburg)

7 p.m. Reception


Friday, July 7, 2023

9 a.m. Panel 2
Literary Representations of Environmental In/Justice

Chair: Julia Faisst (U Regensburg)

  • Sonya Posmentier (NYU):
    What Use are Flowers? Lorraine Hansberry's Eco-Apocalyptic Imagination
  • Linda Hess (U Augsburg): 
    Satirizing the Eco-Citizen: The Question of Individual Responsibility in E.A. Copenhaver's My Days of Dark Green Euphoria

10.30 a.m. Coffee Break

11 a.m. Emerging Scholars' Forum
Chair: Ina Batzke
(U Augsburg)

  • Andrew Wildermuth (FAU Erlangen)
    Forging, Foraging, Forgoing: Thoreau as Settler Disaster
  • Axelle Germanaz and Sarah Marak (FAU Erlangen)
    Bad Environmental Citizens: Tracing the Limits of (State-Sanctioned) Environmental Citizenship

12.15 p.m. Lunch Break

1.30 p.m. Panel 3
Practices of Environmental Citizenship
Chair: Kirsten Twelbeck
(U Augsburg)

  • Michael Kotutwa Johnson (U Arizona):
    Redefining Environmental Citizenship: A Hopi Indian's Perspective
  • Marit Rosol (U Würzburg):
    Navigating Tensions between Environmental and Social Justice Concerns: The Case of German and Canadian Community Food Initiatives

3.30 p.m. Coffee Break

4.00 p.m. Keynote 2

Chair: Sylvia Mayer (U Bayreuth)

5.45 p.m. BAA Member's Meeting


Saturday, July 8, 2023

9.30 a.m. Keynote 3
Chair: Linda Hess (U Augsburg)

11.00 a.m. Coffee Break

11.30 a.m. Roundtable Discussion
Environmental Citizenship as 'Doing Without'?

Chair: Heike Paul (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)

  • Michael Kotutwa Johnson (U Arizona)
  • Joshua Barnett (Penn State U)
  • Isabel Kalous (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)

1 p.m.  Wrap-Up and Conference Closing

To register, please send an e-mail to

Admission is free.

We especially invite students to the entire conference or to individual panels and keynote addresses.

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."

21st BAA Conference, July 7-9 2022
Representations and Uses of the American Revolution in Past and Present

20th BAA Conference, July 8-9, 2021
Rethinking Solidarity

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

Dr. Christoph Straub

Managing Director Bavarian American Academy


089 55 25 37-42

Jasmin Falk

Administrative Assistant
Bavarian American Academy


+49 89 552537-41