Recent update

Please read up on the current regulations before your visit, as regulations might vary within the different areas. You will find all details concerning your visit in our Corona section. 

As of Tuesday, November 09, 2021, the corona ‘traffic light’ is at red. According to the fifteenth Bavarian Infection Protection Measures Ordinance (15th BayIfSMV) of December 23, 2021, the 2G plus rule (vaccinated/recovered plus negative test result or booster vaccination) applies at Amerikahaus for visitors over the age of 14 years.

We do not offer testing or supervise self-tests. Please arrive with test results from an official test center.

It is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask and to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 m (ca. 6 ft) from all other visitors and Amerikahaus staff for the duration of your visit. For visitors between 6 and 16 years of age, a medical mask is sufficient. Please refrain from visiting the Amerikahaus if you feel unwell or have symptoms of a cold.

Thank you very much for your cooperation and understanding. 

Photo: Turned on projector © Jeremy Yap /

Birte Christ: "Black, White, Gray: Crime Films and the Construction of the Death Penalty Before Furman"

Friday, Januar 28, 2022, 6:30 p.m.

Please note: more information about the format of the event will follow soon.

This talk focuses on a cluster of over 30 crime films from the 1950s and early 1960s that revolve around the death penalty. It has often been argued – particularly with reference to Robert Wise’s film “I Want to Live!” (1958) – that Hollywood took a progressive, abolitionist stance towards the death penalty. An analysis of Hollywood’s entire death penalty-related output during the period as well as an attention to films’ formal strategies of representing executions suggests, however, that Hollywood’s take on the death penalty was much more of “mixed verdict.”

The cluster features films that openly endorse the death penalty, films that rather clearly work against it, and films that argue against capital punishment on one level, but whose progressive message is undercut on another level – often on the level of camera work. This talk argues that in its mixedness, its undecidedness, as well as in its denial of race as a relevant category, the film cycle of the 1950s and 1960s prefigures the legal decisions in both Furman v. Georgia, which declared capital punishment unconstitutional in its then current application, and Gregg v. Georgia, which reinstated capital punishment.

Photo: © Jeremy Yap /

Birte Christ © privat

Birte Christ is stand-in professor of British and American Literature and Culture at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. One of her research foci is the field of Law and Literature. She has published widely on the relationship between poetry and law and is preparing a book on representations of the American death penalty from the antebellum period until today.

Bavarian American Academy


Karolinenplatz 3, 80333, Munich

Dr. Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm

Managing Director
Bavarian American Academy


+49 89 552537-42