Prof. Reiner Smolinski (Georgia State University, Atlanta)

Lecture with Professor Reiner Smolinski on 20 December 2016: “Warfare between Science and Religion? The Boston Smallpox Inoculation Crisis of 1720/21”

20 December 2016
4 p.m – 6 p.m. (16-18 c.t.)
SBII, Raum 04-432, Colonel Kleinmann Weg 2


Download the Flyer here.



Doctoral Fellowships in Medicine and the Humanities

Doctoral Fellowships in Medicine and the Humanities

The newly founded research training group “Life Sciences – Life Writing” (GRK 2015/1), starting April 1, 2017, is advertising Doctoral Fellowships in Medicine and the Humanities (m/f), Reference 797/16. As part of the German Research Foundation (DFG) funded research training group “Life Sciences, Life Writing: Experiences at the Boundaries of Human Life between Biomedical Explanation and Lived Experience” (GRK 2015/1), the University of Mainz and the Mainz University Clinic are jointly inviting applications for 3 doctoral fellowships.

At the intersection of biomedicine, individual and society, experiences at the boundaries of human life arise which pertain to the entire human life span, from technologically assisted reproduction to end-of-life decisions accompanied by intensive care. These experience at the boundaries of human life confront both biomedicine and the humanities with the necessity of reassessing their established approaches to problem solving and definitions of agency, and require an interdisciplinary dialogue.

Therefore, we invite doctoral students from a disciplinary background in

  • History of Medicine and Science
  • Theory of Medicine and Science, particularly with a focus on Science and Technology Studies (STS)
  • Ethics of Medicine, Ethics and Theory of Action;
  • American Studies with a focus on literature and culture studies, particularly Early American Studies, North-American history, Transnational American Studies, Medical Humanities, Disability Studies

to apply for one of the doctoral fellowships.

Our interdisciplinary research training group provides you with the opportunity to bring your skills and competencies to a structured doctoral program based on interdisciplinary dialogue.


Your tasks:

  • Developing an independent dissertation project within the framework of overarching questions explored by the research training group
  • Active involvement in the development of the research and training program of the group
  • Participation in interdisciplinary publication projects and co-authoring publications with other members of the research training group Presenting your research at interdisciplinary conferences


Your profile:

  • An excellent MSc, MA or equivalent in the area of life sciences or the humanities, alternatively an outstanding course performance in medicine
  • Academic curiosity and the willingness to work in an interdisciplinary team with other young researchers
  • A keen interest in working in an international team of doctoral students and in immersing yourself in a disciplinary framework
  • complementary to your own (humanities/cultural studies or natural sciences/medicine)
  • At least one first-authored manuscript in a top-tier journal
  • An excellent knowledge of English


We offer:

  • An interdisciplinary platform for exploring experiences at the boundaries of human life between biomedical explanation an the dimension of lived experience
  • Co-supervision of your dissertation project by outstanding faculty from the natural sciences/medicine and the humanities
  • An excellent possibility of transferring the skills and competences gained in the research training group to a great variety of other
  • fields and disciplines
  • The possibility of earning a doctoral degree in medicine, American studies, philosophy, history, cultural anthropology,
  • pharmaceutical biology and molecular biology
  • The opportunity to conduct your dissertation research in cooperation with outstanding international researchers from Europe,
  • The US, Australia and Asia
  • Excellent employment opportunities in academic and non-academic areas based on your research of current and highly relevant
  • topics
  • Financially attractive fellowships as well as additional pension and social security benefits
  • Excellent development and training opportunities
  • Part-time and full-time employment
  • Childcare facilities: depending on availability
  • Work-related tickets for public transport as well as good transport connections


Your contact person for academic questions are the speaker of the research training group:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Norbert W. Paul, Tel.: 0049-(0)6131 179545 and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee, Tel.: 0049-(0)6131 3922250.


Closing date: January 20, 2017

Send your application, including a cover letter, CV, credentials, exposé of the planned project (1-2 pages), motivational letter (1-2 pages), reference letters by two academic instructors, and referring to job opening 797/16 to (only by e-mail, ideally as a single PDF file).

The University Medical Center is an equal opportunity employer.

Call for Papers: From Abolition to Black Lives Matter: Past and Present Forms of Transnational Black Resistance

October 26-28, 2017, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany. 

Conference organizers: Nele Sawallisch, Johanna Seibert, Pia Wiegmink, Frank Obenland

This conference hosted by the Transnational American Studies Institute aims at assessing and theorizing past and present forms of black intellectual, political, and cultural resistance from the era of abolitionist campaigns against the transatlantic slave trade to the recent global protest formation of Black Lives Matter.

Protests against racial discrimination, inequality, poverty, and injustice not only pervade (North) American history but span the globe and cross – oftentimes multiple – borders. Building on the recent transnational turn in American Studies and de-centering American Studies’ focus on the nation as the prime focus of analysis, this workshop invites papers that trace the Atlantic routes/roots (Gilroy), the diasporic and global trajectories, as well as the movement, circulation, and dissemination of past and present forms and ideas of black resistance. The conference aims at discussing the transnational dimension of various forms of resistance that are often embedded in larger social movements such as the anti-slavery, the anti-lynching, the Civil Rights, Black Power, Anti-Apartheid, the Global Justice, the Prison Abolition, or the Black Lives Matter movements. Investigating the transatlantic significance of these movements, this conference will also address how collective or individual acts of resistance are articulated and represented in print, performance, visual art, or other media.

How do we conceptualize the connections between past and present forms of transnational black resistance? How does this relationship between the past and the present shape existing notions of resistance? How did national movements for black equality and justice impact as well as intersect with national and international forms of protest? How do forms of black resistance initiate ways to re-think forms of protest and activism outside the United States? How do protest movements intersect with scholarly and intellectual pursuits in academia? What role have different media played in and for black resistance movements throughout the centuries not only in national but also international contexts? How have the digital world and global social media changed previous forms of transnational black resistance? What could be possible trajectories of movements such as Black Lives Matter in the face of the 2016 Presidential election in the United States? How can scholars and activists collaborate in articulating critical interventions in ongoing political discussions?

Confirmed keynote speaker: Prof. Charmaine Nelson, Professor of Art History, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

We invite contributions from all disciplines, e.g. history, literary and cultural studies, visual culture/art history, political science, sociology. Potential paper topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • transnational routes of political/social activism and cultural resistance/protest cultures
  • transnational black intellectual histories of racial equality and justice
  • methodological and conceptual perspectives that bring together approaches from transnational American Studies with African American and Black Diaspora Studies
  • intersectional approaches to the study of black resistance with regard to class, gender, age, nationality, religion, etc.
  • the role of women in and for black resistance movements
  • Black literatures of protest and resistance
  • Black resistance and cultures of performance, transnational aesthetics of protest
  • Black resistance and popular culture, Black resistance and global (social) media
  • Intersection of popular resistance movements and academic interventions in political discourse

Please send you paper proposal (max. 300 words) and a short bio (150 words) by January 31, 2017 to