The participants of the 34th AAAS conference explored the topic “American Studies in Austria.” The event took place on October 22-25, 2007, at the Exerzitienhaus der Barmherzigen Schwestern in Graz. It was organized by Hanna Wallinger and Dorothea Steiner from the University of Salzburg.
The idea is to engage in intensive self-reflexion about our dealing with the field of American Studies in our research and teaching. The state-of-the-art, as viewed and practiced in European American Studies and in our national academic framework.
Teaching ‘American Studies’ in English and American Studies Departments: Literature and Cultural StudiesStructural questions: proportion, cooperation and competition with English Literature and British Studies; what is our claim to the New Literatures? the place of American literature in Introductions to the Study of Literature; do we teach American Civilization or North American Civilization? what are the basics that we teach? what textbooks do we use? the status of anthologies: surveys (Norton/Heath; Breidlid), special areas; status of Reading Lists.
Teaching within / against departmental constraintsHow much AS can be offered – in History, Geography, Political Science, Philosophy, Ethnology, Economics, Translation Studies, Communication, Media Studies, etc.? What are the possibilities for cooperation with Amerikanistik in the different universities?
The place of American English in English Departments and in schoolsHow much? how organized? Is it part of a departmental policy? What do Am. lectors offer?
Amerikanistik im Studienplan: B.A. English / American StudiesLiterary Studies, Reading List, Cultural Studies; American English, Linguistics, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Fachdidaktik
American Studies as / and Postcolonial Studies:(Shall we leave the anglophone world to British Studies? the possibilities of comparative studies, transatlantic (incl. Africa), intra-North American Studies: the Canadian component, Chicano/a); the chances and limits of a global engagement; what ‘area studies’ make the most sense – the Caribbean, the Americas?