American Studies at the TU Chemnitz combines the studies of literature, culture and the media. We are particularly interested in the various links between 'canonical' (literary) texts and phenomena from popular media. We examine not only how certain traditions and conventions are adopted and updated, but also how they are broken with or rejected throughout the course of literary and cultural history. A further area of focus is the relationship between 'norm' and 'other'.
In this course Prof. Dave Jervis, PhD will examine the impact of violence on America. Primary attention will be given to America's role in foreign wars. Topics to be examined include how and why America has fought so many wars, why the United States has fought and, typically, won most of the wars it has fought, and the impact of wars on American politics and society. Some attention will also be given to violence in the United States, itself, especially gun violence, and efforts to deal with it.
Organizational meeting: April, 8th.2013, 11:30-13:00 (2/N113)
See the poster here and a detailed course outline here.
Celebrating the 60th birthday of Prof. Dr. Evelyne Keitel and the 175th anniversary of Chemnitz University of Technology the chairs of English Literatures and American Studies are currently organizing the conference "Detective Fiction in American Popular Culture", which will take place on October 28th and 29th. Furthermore, the first Chemnitz award for crime fiction ("Erster Chemnitzer Krimipreis") will be given to the best works in regional detective fiction. As part of the program of the conference and the "Krimipreis", the awardees as well as the renowned crime fiction author Sabine Deitmer will read from their novels and short stories.
Presentations at the conference will focus on TV series like Twin Peaks, House M. D., and Monk, genres like Film Noir, the relevance of home/"Heimat" in international detective novels, or Indian adaptations of Sherlock Holmes stories.
For more information (in German) ->
Ziel dieses Projekts ist es, die Rezeptionsstrukturen und Wirkungsstrategien der gegenwärtig populären Unterhaltungskultur in den USA zu analysieren. Die Untersuchungsgegenstände des Projekts sind zum einen Serien von Kriminalromanen und zum anderen Fernsehserien (insbesondere des Pay-TV Senders HBO). Das Projekt zentriert sich um eine Neuinterpretation der Formen und Wirkungsweisen von Regionalität in Verbindung mit Serialität sowie deren Funktionen in gegenwärtigen soziokulturellen Kontexten.
Das Projekt wird gemeinsam mit Frau Prof. Dr. Brigitte Georgi- Findlay von der TU Dresden erarbeitet.
The Saxon Museum of Industry in Chemnitz hosted a special exhibit between 6 September and 12 November 2008 entitled "Born of Fire: Pittsburgh und Saxony in Images of Art." In conjunction with this exhibit, professors from the American Studies and English literature departments held a symposium on "Industrialization - Industrial Culture - Deindustrialization" in cooperation with the Museum of Industry and the U.S. Consulate Leipzig on 24 October 2008. For more information go to: http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/phil/english/amerikanistik/symposium_idd.php
This project examines the Columbian Exchange, which refers to the two-way exchange of plants, animals, illness and commercial good between the Old and New Worlds. The Columbian Exchange began with Columbus' second expedition (1493). We have developed the hypothesis that the speed with which useful plants circulated (on both sides of the Atlantic) was determined not only by genetic and ecological factors, but was also influenced - primarily - by cultural forces. A certain degree of myth-building commonly came into play and a cult or hype was generated, which either sped up or slowed down the diversification of useful plants.
The department of American Studies is working together with colleagues from media studies on a research project on hip-hop in both local and global configurations. In this context, we teamed up with the rector's office of the university, the City Management and Tourism Cooperation (CMT), the city of Chemnitz, and the splash! Entertainment AG to organize an international academic hip-hop conference parallel to the splash! Festival in August 2006. Entitled "HipHop Meets Academia", the conference brought together experts from the USA, Australia, Poland, Switzerland, Slovenia and Germany to discuss their work. The event enjoyed broad media coverage. Articles written by international conference participants as well as a systematic overview of current research on hip-hop and a discussion of the relevance of this music genre for future social development can be found in the volume HipHop Meets Academia: Globale Spuren eines lokalen Kulturphänomens (Global Traces of a Local Cultural Phenomenom), edited by Karin Bock, Stefan Meier and Gunter Süß and published by Transcript in 2007.
The American Studies department in Chemnitz has hosted two conferences on intermediality. Both were organized by Prof. Keitel und Dr. Süß in cooperation with the Chair of English Literature (Prof. Huber, currently in Vienna, and private lecturer Dr. Egbert, currently in Freiburg). A conference entitled "Literature and the Media" took place in January 2004. At the international conference "Intermedialität/Intermediality: Herausforderungen an die Philologien im Medienzeitalter" ("Intermediality: Challenges for Literary Scholars in the Media Age") February 2005, we welcomed experts such as Prof. John Storey (University of Sunderland) and Dr. Diane Negra (University of East Anglia, Norwich) in Chemnitz. A volume of conference proceedings summarizing the most important findings of both conferences was published by WVT in 2007.
The Department of American Studies in Chemnitz set up a transatlantic exchange program in cooperation with the Department of Political Science of Rockford College, Ill.. Scholars in Chemnitz used the exchange to gain a better understanding of the political phenomenon of the Cold War within a transatlantic (pop)cultural context as they examined central themes such as paranoia and propaganda and traced relevant representations in pop culture. The exchange project included excursions to sites of the Cold War, a student conference, and a publication in the online-journal Cold War Times.
During the course of the past several years, American guest lecturers have become a regular part of teaching and research in our lecture series and block seminars. Thanks to the generous financial and organizational support of the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig as well as the Fulbright Commission, our students have had the opportunity to attend lecture series in which American Fulbright scholars address specific themes and block seminars which are taught by recognized American experts
From March 2000 until April 2002, the American Studies department was involved in the project "Interaction with Fictional Hypertexts," which was part of the work of the DFG-sponsored research group "New Media in Everyday Life." The project has been completed. The findings are presented in a collection of articles edited by Evelyne Keitel, Gunter Süß, Randi Gunzenhäuser and Angela Hahn entitled Neue Medien im Alltag, Band 4: Computerspiele - Eine Provokation für die Kulturwissenschaften? (New Media in Everyday Life, Vol. 4: Computer Games - A Provocation for Cultural Studies?) and published by Pabst Verlag, Lengerich in 2003. Dr. Gunter Süß concentrates on one aspect of the project in his dissertation "Sound Subjects: Zur Rolle des Tons in Film und Computerspiel," (Sound Subjects: On the Role of Audio in Film and Computer Games), which was published by WVT Trier in 2006. Further publications on this topic which grew out of the project include:
Keitel, Evelyne, Klaus Boehnke und Karin Wenz, eds. Neue Medien im Alltag, Band 3: Nutzung, Vernetzung, Interaktion. New Media in Everyday Life, Vol. 3. Usage, Connections, Interaction), Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers, 2003. 315 pp
Keitel, Evelyne und Werner Dilger, eds. Kultur und Stil in der Informatik? (Culture and Style in Informatics?) in Chemnitzer Informatik-Berichte, Chemnitz: Fakultät für Informatik, TU Chemnitz, 2001. 87 pp.
Keitel, Evelyne et al, eds. Neue Medien im Alltag, Band 1: Von individueller Nutzung zu soziokulturellem Wandel. (New Media in Everyday Life, Vol. 1: From Individual Use to Socio-Cultural Change), Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers, 1999. 284 pp
For topics and more information on the projects of our Ph. D. students see their respective page.