End of application process
Berlin Seminar 2008
Life after the MAS
GAAS Annual Convention
Welcome to the Heidelberg Center for American Studies’ MAS
newsletter! This edition covers some exciting spring time highlights:
from the 2008 Berlin Excursion, which included a lecture by former U.S.
Congressman and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle at the American
Academy, as well as our Alumni activities and a recent publication from
Please feel free to forward our newsletter
to anyone interested in American Studies. Of course, we appreciate any feedback you would like to share with us.
Many thanks and best wishes,
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Detlef Junker
HCA Founding Director
MAS 2009: End of application process
On March 31, the application deadline for the MAS 2009 expired. The MAS
coordination team received applications not only from the United States
and Europe, but also from, among others, Iran, Vietnam, and Tunisia.
Our online application for the MAS
Class of 2010 opens October 2008, with March 31, 2009, being the closing date for applications.
Over the course of the past four years, 68 students from 25 countries have enrolled in the MAS. Joining the MAS
promises a profoundly international experience and the opportunity to
gain inside knowledge on the United States from an outside perspective.
Berlin Seminar 2008: MAS Student Trip to the German CapitalKamila Janiszewska (MAS 2008) reports on this year’s transatlantic seminar in Germany’s capital, Berlin.
In spite of challenges from the weather and public transport, the 2008 MAS
class trip to Berlin went according to plan and exceeded expectations.
The five days we spent in the capital showed as yet unexplored aspects
of American Studies in Germany. The city’s impressive architecture and
the culinary charm of Currywurst and beer made us want to echo JFK
’s “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
the visit to the Kennedy museum, we had the chance to see how
impressive and meaningful President Kennedy’s visit to Berlin really
was. The tour of the library of the Bundestag offered us another – by
no means final – peek into the world of great politics, while the
meeting with Mr. Stanley Otto at the U.S. embassy shed more light on
German-American relations and the challenges and rewards of a career in
diplomacy. Other highlights of the trip were a guided tour of the
Jewish Museum and the JFK Institute library.
On our way to the latter, we were caught in traffic and soaked by rain
but fortunately made it without losses in people and battle spirit.
most exciting event for most of our class was the evening at the
American Academy. We had the honor to attend Senator Thomas Daschle’s
lecture on solutions to the global energy crisis. Introduced by
President Richard von Weizsäcker, Senator Daschle spoke about shared
responsibility and the importance of an international exchange of ideas
concerning energy solutions and answered questions from the audience.
After the lecture, we had the opportunity to speak with him and take a photograph for the HCA archives.
this extraordinary evening was our run for the S-Bahn, fast and swift,
high heels and elegant dress notwithstanding. Suffice it to say that we
concluded our visit in Berlin with humor and gusto.
New Publication: “Mission and Menace: Four Centuries of American Religious Zeal”
This spring, former HCA
staff and faculty members Prof. Robert Jewett and Ole Wangerin
published “Mission and Menace: Four Centuries of American Religious
Zeal (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008)”.
Their book, which presents a comprehensive view of American religious
history, is the result of three years of lectures and seminars at the HCA
from 2004–2007. As the authors acknowledge in their preface, “the
lively exchanges with brilliant students from all over the world and
auditors from Heidelberg enabled us not only to refine our critical
perspective but also to gain a global view of the issues.” The final
outcome is a survey that reveals how American religion has been a
blessing to the world in some ways and a menace to peace in others.
A German translation of “Mission and Menace” will be published in September 2008.
Life after the MAS: Heidelberg, Hong Kong, WilliamsburgSelina Lai Suet Lin (MAS Class of 2006) reports on her fortunes after graduation.
I had learned a lot in Heidelberg to begin with, and am going to take
the knowledge and experience from there with me wherever I go in the
future. I had such a great experience in Heidelberg, and I still
remember the New Year countdown up on the castle, and the great dinner
at Prof. Junker’s house with others. After having graduated from the MAS 2006
I returned to Hong Kong well prepared to take up the position as a
lecturer in American Studies at Hong Kong University. Besides, I
attended conferences and published in academic journals and
encyclopedias such as the Columbia Journal of American Studies,
Magill’s Survey of American Literature, International Fiction Review,
and the Encyclopedia of the Culture Wars. I was all the more excited to
receive an offer from the College of William and Mary to earn my
doctoral degree in American Studies starting this fall. Much as I have
lost my heart in Heidelberg, I am looking forward to bringing with me
the unique experience I had from there to Williamsburg in the coming
Further News from the HCA
HCA hosts Annual Convention of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS)
is proud to act as the local organizer of the 55th Annual Convention of
the German Association for American Studies (GAAS) to be held May
15-18, 2008, at the University of Heidelberg. The GAAS
promotes and encourages the study of American culture and history in
Germany. Its annual meetings serve as a forum for debate and networking
in the broadly defined field of American Studies.
This year’s meeting will be devoted to “The American Presidency and
Political Leadership.” An issue with special relevance in an election
year, participants will approach the topic from their respective
disciplinary perspectives. The conference will include scholars from
the fields of literature, cultural studies, media and film studies,
history, and political science. The meeting will encompass workshops in
which work in progress will be discussed as well as lectures by
distinguished speakers from different specializations in American
studies. Participants include historian H. W. Brands (University of
Texas at Austin), political economist Andreas Falke (Nuremberg-Erlangen
University), political scientist Michael A. Genovese (Director,
Institute for Leadership Studies, Loyola Marymount University, Los
Angeles), and professor of English Dana D. Nelson (Vanderbilt
Prize-winning author Annie Proulx (The Shipping News; Brokeback
Mountain) will read from her new collection Fine Just the Way It Is.
The conference will be rounded off by a public forum headlined “The
American Presidency: Mission Impossible?” and featuring several of the
already mentioned scholars as well as journalists Katja Gelinsky
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and Stefan Kornelius (Editorial Page
Editor, Süddeutsche Zeitung).
For further information please visit the website of the German Association for American Studies or the website of the conference.
Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA)
Curt und Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais
Tel.: + 49 6221 543710
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