North American Studies at Göttingen University

Welcome to the North American Studies Program!

NAS SEP Gö People 2017 web2_skaliert

Program for the Workshops "Writing Term Papers and Take Home Exams"
Marthe Gärtner of our own North American Studies program is going to offer workshops and individual consultations for students who think they can still improve their skills in academic writing – with a special focus on some of the formats frequently encountered in our program, including term papers and take home exams. If you have pressing concerns or feel that a little extra input on writing and a chance to talk about writing-related questions with an experienced co-student can't hurt, please consult the flyer for further information or find Marthe's class on Stud.IP (course no. 4508536).

Course Descriptions Summer Term 2021
The course descriptions for the summer term 2021 are available now. Take a look at the courses offered in the B.A. program, the M.A. program, or browse the full list.
For most classes, registration on Stud.IP starts on March 1st 2021.

(Virtual) Poetry Reading by Donna Stonecipher

In connection with “American and British Walk Poetry from the Romantic Period to the Present” Donna Stonecipher will give a (virtual) reading of her poetry.t will take place on Thursday, July 16, 2020 from 10:15-11:45 a.m. via Zoom conference. Everyone is welcome to join this online session.
For a link to access it, please email Professor Andrew S. Gross: For further information, please see here.

SEP closed due to the Corona virus pandemic

Due to the spread of the corona virus, as of 16 March 2020, per orders of the president's office, all work at the University of Goettingen should be conducted from home. The only exception is for services essential to the basic functioning of the university, like IT infrastructure, etc.

Accordingly, the SEP (incl. the secretaries' offices etc.) has been closed, and our faculty's office hours will be held via e-mail.

The term papers for classes in the WiSe 20/21 have a new deadline, which has been set to 15 May 2021. Please contact your instructors for further details. All term papers submitted prior to the new deadline are to be handed in electronically (as both PDF and word-files).

The section of North American Studies wishes all of you good health and much patience in these difficult times!

Guest Lecture by Martin Butler (University of Oldenburg)

We'd like to invite you to the upcoming guest lecture by Prof. Martin Butler (University of Oldenburg) on "The Promise of Participation: On Forms of Audience Engagment and the Figure of the Amateur in Web 2.0 Environments." It will take place on Wednesday, January 29 from 4-6 pm in VG. 4.106.

Reading by Peter Wortsman

We’d like to invite you to join us for a reading by Peter Wortsman, an American writer and translator, who will read from his latest book Stimme und Atem/Out of Breath, Out of Mind (Zweisprachige Erzählungen/Two-Tongued Tales).

Peter Wortsman is the author of novels, books of short fiction, plays, and travel memoirs. He is also a literary translator from German into English. He was a Fulbright Fellow in 1973, a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow in 1974, and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2010. His writing has been honored with the 1985 Beard’s Fund Short Story Award, the 2008 Gertje Potash-Suhr Prosapreis of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German, the 2012 Gold Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year in the Solas Awards Competition, and a 2014 Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY). His travel reflections were selected five years in a row, 2008-2012, and again in 2016, for inclusion in The Best Travel Writing. His short fiction and essays have appeared, in German translation, in Manuskripte, Schreibheft, Cicero, the anthology AmLit: Neue Literatur aus den USA, published by the Druckhaus Galrev, Berlin, and in Die Welt and Die Zeit.

The event will take place next Wednesday, October 30 at 4:15 p.m. in SDP 1.245 (Seminar für Deutsche Philologie). For further information, please see here.

Orientation Week (O-Phase) for New Students in the North American Studies Program

The North American Studies Program invites all new students to the Orientation Week starting October 14, 2019. For further the detailed program and further information, please see here.

Poetry Reading by Kate Daniels

We are excited to announce a poetry reading by Kate Daniels (Vanderbilt University).

Kate Daniels is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University. She is the recipient of many awards, among them Best American Poetry 2010 and 2008. She has published several collections of poetry, including A Walk in Victoria's Secret (2010), Three Syllables Describing Addiction (2018), and In the Months of My Son's Recovery (2019). Her often lengthy, narrative poems engage themes of working-class experience, family, trauma, racism, and Southern culture. In Nashville, and other communities, she uses creative writing as an aspect of treatment for and recovery from drug addiction by teaching workshops on Writing for Recovery.

The talk will take place on Monday, July 08 at 7:30 p.m. in SEP 0.244 (Medienraum). For further information, please see here.

Babette Tischleder Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago during the winter term 2018/19

During the winter term 2018/19, Prof. Babette Tischleder was a Visiting Scholar in the English Department at the University of Chicago, where she was working on two different research projects. During her stay in Chicago, she presented her work in lectures at the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture, Univ. of Chicago, and at the Department of Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University.

Panel Discussion on "Cultural Studies and Populism."

We would like to invite you to the upcoming panel discussion on "Cultural Studies and Populism." The round table will feature Prof. Dr. Andrew Gross, poet Ellen Hinsey (author of the essay collection Mastering the Past: Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe and the Rise of Illiberalism [2017] as well as poetry collections such as The Illegal Age [2018]), Prof. Dr. Moritz Ege (Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology), and Prof. Dr. Stefan Haas (Medieval and Modern History).
We hope that you can join us for this ZTMK event on Wednesday, January 30, at 6pm in ZHG 001!

Research Colloquium "Current Issues in North American Studies. Talks, Readings and Discussions"

This colloquium offers a forum to discuss current research projects of doctoral and postdoc candidates in the field of North American Studies, from both, Göttingen and other universities. We also invite scholars from different fields to present their work, and thus give us an opportunity to discuss interesting cutting-edge work and new approaches in the field. In addition, we are excited to offer literary readings throughout the term – from authros of literary fiction, memoir, and poetry alike. Join us on Wednesdays at 4.15 pm in VG 3.103! For the detailed program and further information, please see here.

Orientation Week (O-Phase) for New Students in the North American Studies Program

The North American Studies Program invites all new students to the Orientation Week starting October 8, 2018. For further the detailed program and further information, please see here.

“Poetry and Populism.“ A Symposium organized by James D. Dowthwaite and Andrew S. Gross, July 12-14, 2018 at the University of Goettingen

The American Studies Program invites you to an international symposium on “Poetry and Populism.“ convened by James D. Dowthwaite and Andrew S. Gross.
The event will take place from July 12-14, 2018 at the Heyne-Haus, Papendiek 16, 37073 Göttingen. For further the detailed program and further information, please see here.

Interdisciplinary Conference Glocal Places of Literature: Production – Distribution – Reception, June 28-30, 2018 at the University of Göttingen

Glocal_Places_of_Literature_Poster_skaliert In times of global deterritorialization and transnational cultural exchange, the prominence of local places of production and reception has become more, rather than less, significant. This conference intends to explore if the local and the global can still be perceived as conflicting concepts. Produced locally, but often distributed and read globally, are literary cultures characterized by the ways in which the global and the local interact and add to "glocal" practices? To learn more about the ways in which this conference will investigate the shifting interconnection between literatures and place in the twenty-first century on three intersecting planes – literary production, distribution, and reception – please see the conference website.

International Conference The American Weird: Ecologies & Geographies, April 12-14, 2018 at the University of Göttingen

TAWAW2skaliert For H.P. Lovecraft, the weird conveys "a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe’s utmost rim." Taking its cue from Lovecraft’s enduringly influential conceptualization, this conference examines and broadens the notion of weirdness towards an ecology and geography of the weird as a new field of theoretical and practical resonances.
For further information, please see the conference website.

Andrew Gross and Babette Tischleder at the March of Science in Berlin, April 2017

International Conference Cultures of US-American Conservatism, February 9-12, 2017, University of Göttingen

Conservatism in the United States can seem perplexing from a European perspective. It is also under-theorized in many branches of the humanities, including literary and cultural studies. The international conference Cultures of US-American Conservatism will address both of these problems by bringing together scholars from the social sciences and the humanities to explore US-American conservatism from a cultural perspective. The goal of the conference is to interrogate this orientation by placing the multiplicity of conservative politics in relation to conservative lifestyles, beliefs, attitudes, discourses, markers of taste, media outlets, and social and familial roles.

For further information, please see the conference website

From 'Object of Refuge' to 'Thing Theory 2017': Babette B. Tischleder participated in conferences in Mainz, Dehradun (India), and Philadelphia

Babette B. Tischleder served as chair, panelist, and speaker at three international conferences in December and January 2017:
  • "Objects of Refuge / Refuge of Objects" at the Obama Institute, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 14-17 December 2016, Mainz
  • "Materialities: Objects, Matter, Things" hosted by The Forum on Contemporary Theory, Baroda, Gujarat & the Department of English, Doon University Dehradun, 18-21 December 2016, Dehradun, India
  • Session "Thing Theory 2017" at the 2017 Convention of the Modern Language Association (MLA), 5-8 January 2017, Philadelphia

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    Delegation of North American Studies Students attends Barack Obama's Speech in Hannover

    April 25 started early for a group of students and three faculty members of the English Department, who gathered on a platform in Göttingen at 6 a.m. to take a train to Hannover: The U.S. Consulate had invited a number of North American Studies students to attend Barack Obama's last speech as President of the U.S. on European ground. In his speech, Obama appealed to his audience to believe in a unified Europe, saying "that the United States, and the entire world, needs a strong and prosperous and democratic and united Europe."
    The students from Göttingen were happy to be part of a select audience of just a few hundred people who received a personal invitation to the event. One of our students, Laura Cavallaro, even shook Obama's hand to bid him goodbye. So the three hours of waiting in order to go through security before being admitted to the venue was quickly forgotten - it was well worth it to experience President Obama live. Many thanks to the U.S. Consulate General in Hamburg for the invitation!


    For more photos see here.

    Recent books by our faculty:

    The Pound Reaction

    The Pound Reaction_kleinEzra Pound was confined in a mental institution and facing treason charges when he won the first Bollingen Prize in 1949. Pound's defenders claimed that the prize proved artistic freedom to be alive and well in the United States. Only totalitarian regimes forced artists to tow the party line. The Pound Reaction explores how a number of writers responded to this free speech defense of Pound's poetry. The Pound Reaction was the winner of the European Association of American Studies Rob Kroes Publication Award in 2013.

    Cultures of Obsolescence

    Cover Cultures of Obsolescence_klein Cultures of Obsolescence: History, Materiality, and the Digital Age (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), edited by Babette B. Tischleder and Sarah Wasserman is out now.
    Obsolescence is fundamental to the experience of modernity, not simply one dimension of an economic system. The contributors to this book investigate obsolescence as a historical phenomenon, an aesthetic practice, and an affective mode. Calling attention to the fact that obsolescence can structure everything from the self to the skyscraper, Cultures of Obsolescence asks readers to rethink existing relationships between the old and the new.

    For the table of contents and further infos see the publisher's website; you can download the introduction "Thinking Out of Sync: A Theory of Obsolescence" as sample chapter.

    The Literary Life of Things

    BT_Litlife-xssize Babette B. Tischleder's The Literary Life of Things: Case Studies in American Fiction is out now. Please visit the publisher's webpage: Campus
    International distribution by University of Chicago Press.
    Engaging a great range of American literature from Harriet Beecher Stowe and Edith Wharton to Vladimir Nabokov and Jonathan FranzenThe Literary Life of Things illuminates scenes of animation that disclose the aesthetic, affective, and ethical dimensions of our entanglement with the material world. For more details, please see here.

    Andrew S. Gross Appointed Professor of North American Studies

    We are happy to announce that Andrew S. Gross has been appointed Professor of North American Studies at the English Department of Göttingen University. In the summer term, Prof. Gross will offer the lecture course "A Cultural History of American Literature IV: From 1945 to the Present," and courses on William Faulkner, "The Clash of Civilizations in the Early Republic," and twentieth-century American poetry.
    Prof. Gross is the author of Comedy, Avant-Garde, Scandal: Remembering the Holocaust after the End of History (Winter Verlag, 2010; with Susanne Rohr) and The Pound Reaction: Liberalism and Lyricism in Mid-Century American Literature (forthcoming: Winter Verlag, 2015). His research interests include captivity narratives and the literature of the Early Republic, modernist literature, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American poetry, representations of the Holocaust, representations of terrorism and 9/11, travel narratives, and the history of cultural theory.
    The faculty of the North American Studies section at Göttingen University welcomes Prof. Gross aboard!

    Prof. Babette B. Tischleder: Research at the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley

    During the winter term 2014/2015, Babette B. Tischleder was on leave (Forschungssemester): She spent five months as a Fellow of the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago and presented current research in lectures in Chicago and at the Institute for Advanced Study of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. In February and March she will conduct research at the University of California, Berkeley. She will give a paper on "Serial Chronotopes: The Cultural Work of Narrative World Building in Contemporary Web and Television Series" at the 3rd International Berkeley Conference on Film & Media: "Serialities 1915/2015".

    Reform: BA and MA degree programs (starting in the fall 2014)

    At the beginning of the winter semester 2014/15, new study regulations for our BA and MA degree programs will be in place. Please click here for further information and also check our website for possible updates. Contact the degree coordinator, Dr. Vanessa Künnemann, in case of further questions.

    Conference "Cultures of Obsolescence in North America: Aesthetics, Materiality, History"

    Obsolescence TVThe conference, hosted by the English Department and the Lichtenberg Kolleg, took place in June 2013 in the Historic Observatory at Göttingen. It started with a keynote by Prof. Bill Brown of the University of Chicago on the topic of "The Obsolescence of the Human." Please see the conference website for pictures and more details.

    Our Degree Programs

    Aula Prospective students interested in our B.A. or M.A. program "North American Studies" can find detailed information on the curriculum, our research, and course offerings in this special section of our website. For individual counseling on the application process, course selections, and career opportunities, please contact Dr. Vanessa Künnemann.