The American Short Story: New Horizons

The American Short Story: New Horizons

Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany

October 5-7, 2017

Throughout its history, the American short story has been praised either as a highly polished gem or condemned as literary fast food. Despite such rise-and-fall predictions, the short story has always been a demanding form. Its narrative economy in terms of time and space records decisive, intimate moments of life that give the American Short Story a broad social resonance. As such, the short story offers a vibrant field of research. There is a renaissance in progress not only in terms of the short story’s productivity but also in terms of innovative theoretical questions. The current state of research is, however, probably best described as “ripening.”

The conference “The American Short Story: New Horizons” invites both panels and papers that address fresh and original questions relevant to studying the American short story. The conference thus seeks to explore the American short story as a coming together of the enduring narrative practice of compression and concision in American literature, presently culminating in a digital culture in which brevity rules.

The keynote lecture “The Short Story and the Census” will be held by Dr. Kasia Boddy (University of Cambridge, UK)


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

Interdisciplinary Conference: Novel – Seeming – Goods

Interdisciplinary Conference: Novel – Seeming – Goods

A Conference at Mainz University, September 23-24, 2016

Organized by Corinna Norrick-Rühl and Tim Lanzendörfer in the context of the MAINZ MEDIA FORUM

mk_mmf_logo_rgb_transpThe interdisciplinary conference Novel—Seeming—Goods explores the futures of the Anglophone novel at the intersections of content, form, production, and distribution. The conference takes its title from a line in Fredric Jameson’s 1991 groundbreaking study Postmodernism. 25 years after Jameson’s work, in an epoch perhaps after postmodernism, this international conference brings together scholars from English and American literary studies and Book Studies with the aim of discussing several questions related to the possible combinations of the terms in the conference title. What does the novel, understood as a preeminent literary form, look like today, in an age of again-increasing anxiety over its role as a cultural capstone? What are we to make of its connection with its often-proclaimed replacement by novel-seeming texts like graphic novels or TV series, especially when those cultural forms so frequently refer back to the novel for their own prestige? What happens when these concerns are confronted with the question of the novel-as-good, the novel as both a commodity and an increasingly complex digital and physical artifact? And finally, what about the possibility that in many instances, celebrated formal and thematic innovations are only seemingly goods, or explicitly novel-seeming goods—that is to say, what is the practical context in which referencing the novel remains a crucial step in sales, or in which the novel’s character as a good becomes more complicated (as in the sale of digital novels, in the production of free web novels, and other contemporary phenomena)?

We will discuss these questions with a view to answering the question of the novel’s future as a form and as an object both. Does the oft-announced death of the novel loom again today, both because of its obsolescence as a form and the digitalization of everyday life with the constant availability of all kinds of new media has made it a thing of the past? Or does and will it adapt again (as it has so often before) to remain a key format for cultural narratives?

Further Information

Workshop: DAS AUGE TRAINIEREN – Kunst und Medizin

Workshop: DAS AUGE TRAINIEREN – Kunst und Medizin


  • 28.10.2016, Freitag: 18-21 Uhr
    Mainz, genauer Ort wird noch bekannt gegeben
  • 29.10. 2016, Samstag: 10-17 Uhr Landesmuseum Mainz



Der Workshop ist eine Veranstaltung des Transnational American Studies Institute der Johannes Gutenberg- Universität Mainz (JGU) und richtet sich an MedizinerInnen und Medizinstudierende. Die maximale Gruppengröße umfasst 15 Teilnehmende.

Anmeldungen sind bis zum 15. Oktober 2016 möglich.
Ein Frühbucherrabatt von 20% wird bei Anmeldung bis zum 15. September 2016 gewährt.

Die Kosten von € 150,- (MedizinerInnen) und € 40,- (Studierende) umfassen

  • Eintritt ins Landesmuseum am Samstag
  • Materialien
  • JGU Zertifikat zur Teilnahme

Der Workshop ist bei der Ärztekammer Rheinland-Pfalz zur Zertifizierung als Fortbildungsveranstaltung angemeldet.

Bitte senden Sie eine Email an die unten angegebenen Email-Adressen für eine verbindliche Anmeldung.

Bei zu wenigen Anmeldungen behalten wir uns vor, den Workshop abzusagen.



Dr. Anita Wohlmann: Dr. Katharina Bahlmann:

Transnational American Studies Institute
Jakob-Welder-Weg 18
D 55128 Mainz

Tel.: +49 6131 39-25994

For further information please download the flyer.

Workshop “Religion and New Media” with Heidi Campbell, June 17, 2016.

Workshop Religion and New Media with Heidi Campbell

Organized by Anja‐Maria Bassimir and Oliver Scheiding as part of the research project
“Enterprising Evangelicalism: Distinction and Inclusion in Contemporary American Christian Religious Periodicals,” DFG Research Group 1939 UnDoing Differences: Practices in Human Differentiation

Friday, June 17, 2016
Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
Kleine Bibliothek (Room 01‐618, access through room 01‐612), Philosophicum

Preliminary Program (last updated May 31, 2016)

CfP: “The American Short Story: An Expansion of the Genre” Symposium, Oct. 20-22, 2016


The American Short Story: An Expansion of the Genre

A Symposium of the American Literature Association organized by

The Society for the Study of the American Short Story (SSASS)

October 20-22, 2016

Hyatt Hotel, Savannah, GA

The Society for the Study of the American Short Story (SSASS) requests proposals for papers and presentations at an international symposium on the short story to be held in Savannah, October 20-22, 2016, at the Hyatt Hotel.

Proposals need be only a single page with one paragraph that describes the subject of the paper and another that gives the credentials of the speaker. In addition to traditional panels, the symposium will also hold discussion forums, seminar conversations, and roundtable sessions. Creative writers are also invited to present work in progress. All papers will also be considered for publication in the first volume of the new Society journal scheduled to appear in 2018.

A central focus of the symposium will be the expansion of the genre through the discovery of new writers from all racial and ethnic groups, the development of innovative types of stories (flash fiction, micro-fiction, and other forms), the recovery of fiction published in languages other than English, and the reconsideration of the contributions of other writers to the expansion of the genre. Close readings of stories by any American author are appropriate as are broad discussions of historical periods and movements. Examinations of the contributions of minority authors are especially welcome as are explorations of stories originally written in languages other than English.

The Savannah symposium will be followed a year later by an international conference in Germany, October 26-29, 2017, directed by Professor Oliver Scheiding, University of Mainz. More details about this event will be posted on the society website late in 2016.Please send all proposals and program suggestions for the Savannah symposium to the president of the society, Jim Nagel, at

Deadline for proposals: July 1, 2016

Dowload the full CfP here.