Feb 14 & 15 – Film Screening and Workshop with Filmmaker Yehuda Sharim (UC Merced) 🗓

Feb 14 & 15 – Film Screening and Workshop with Filmmaker Yehuda Sharim (UC Merced) 🗓

February 14, 2023: Screening of Yehuda Sharim’s film Letters2Maybe (2021)

February 15, 2023: Workshop with Yehuda Sharim (“A Map of Light: Creativity & Inspiration during Dark Times”)

On behalf of The Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee cordially invites everyone to two events with filmmaker Professor Yehuda Sharim (UC Merced, California):

Tuesday, Feb 14 (4 pm, room 00.212, Philo II)
Screening of Sharim’s documentary film Letters2Maybe (2021)
with an introduction by the director and a Q&A session afterwards.

Yehuda Sharim is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and poet. As the son of Persian immigrants to Israel, his work focuses on the relationship between the quotidian and poetic. Sharim’s films have appeared in film festivals, artistic venues, and universities across the world. Oscillating between fiction and documentary filmmaking, his work offers an intimate portrayal of those who refuse to surrender amidst daily devastation and culminating strife, offering a vision for equality and a renewed solidarity in a divisive world. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Program of Global Art Studies, University of California, Merced.

Letters2Maybe is an intimate portrayal of those who refuse to surrender amidst daily devastation and culminating strife, offering a vision for equality and a renewed sense of solidarity in a divisive country. Letters2Maybe offers a fluid and eclectic tapestry of physical and emotional movement of different immigrant communities as they encounter impossible challenges in a country of compounded catastrophes. By embracing a kaleidoscopic style of storytelling to highlight the poetics and precarity that follow the craving for freedom, Letters2Maybe is an unfinished letter, articulating the ever-growing yet unflinching demand for justice and tenderness in our world today. (2021; 92 min.)

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/539713966
Website: http://www.letters2maybe.com/  
New Jersey Film Festival: Letters2Maybe Review
International Documentary Film Festival Vienna: Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award


Wednesday, Feb 15 (10-12am, room 02.102, Philo II)
An informal workshop, led by Yehuda Sharim
“A Map of Light: Creativity & Inspiration during Dark Times”

A Map of Light: Creativity & Inspiration during Dark Times (workshop) – The camera is obsessed with light. Darkness is never considered aesthetically pleasing. We are told that we need to see: we need to see as a way to learn, and make sense. And light is the most critical ingredient in shaping that illusion of “seeing” as “being.” We are like our cameras, chasing lights, forgetting that darkness and the uncertainty that accompanies darkness are inseparable from any source of light. In this talk, we will interrogate what it means to follow a creative vision (start a film, book, and more), exploring this desire to create, shape, and enter a space of experimentation. We will examine different aspects of community-cinema and take into consideration the various personal/collective challenges and doubts that keep us away from the work that we know we are meant to do. This talk is about that thirst to film and create new visions during calamitous times.

@sharimstudio (Instagram)

Everyone is welcome to join us for one or both events. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Contact: Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee (mita.banerjee@uni-mainz.de) or Christine Plicht (c.plicht@uni-mainz.de)

You can download the posters for the events here: Screening Feb 14 & Workshop Feb 15.

Jan 26 – Exhibition “Intersecting Lives: Life Writing and the U.S. Military in Germany and Beyond” 🗓

Jan 26 – Exhibition “Intersecting Lives: Life Writing and the U.S. Military in Germany and Beyond” 🗓

January 26, 2023
Thu, 14:00-17:00
Landesmuseum Mainz (Forum)

Große Bleiche 49-51, 55116 Mainz


“Intersecting Lives: Life Writing and the U.S. Military in Germany and Beyond”

Die in Deutschland stationierten U.S.-amerikanischen Truppen sind fester Bestandteil der deutschen Nachkriegszeit. Aber wie übersetzt sich politische Realität in das Leben und die Biographie von einzelnen?

Unter dem Stichwort „Intersecting Lives“ betrachtet diese Ausstellung, wie sich deutsche und amerikanische Leben kreuzen. Wie nahm und nimmt die deutsche Bevölkerung das amerikanische Militär wahr? Und wie dachten und denken Angehörige des U.S.-Militärs über ihr Leben in Deutschland?

Die Veranstaltung ist kostenfrei und öffentlich. Everyone welcome!

14:00 Eröffnung | Grußworte | Einführung
Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee (Kursleiterin und Organisatorin der Ausstellung)
Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung (Sprecher des Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies)
Dr. Jörg Zorbach (Ministerium des Innern und für Sport)
Jonathan Jones (Veteran & Former Firefighter)

anschließend Ausstellung Projektarbeiten | Sektempfang

  • Reasons Beyond Patriotism: Why Young People Join the Military
  • Mental Health in the U.S. Military: An Active Duty Major’s Perspective
  • Belonging: Growing up in Military Culture
  • An Intercultural Experience: Life on Different Military Bases Abroad
  • PTSD and the U.S. Military

Die hier ausgestellten studentischen Beiträge beruhen auf einem Projektseminar mit dem Titel „Intersecting Lives: Life Writing and the U.S. Military in Germany and Beyond“, das im WiSe 2022/23 an der Universität Mainz in der Amerikanistik unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee (mita.banerjee@uni-mainz.de) stattfand.

You can download the poster for the exhibition here.

Nov 24 – Obama Lecture with Obama Dissertation Prize & Galinsky Prize 🗓

Nov 24 – Obama Lecture with Obama Dissertation Prize & Galinsky Prize 🗓

Nov. 24, 2022 – 11:00-13.00 – Obama Lecture – Dekanatssaal (ReWi, 03-150)

Please join us for our annual Obama Lecture on Thanksgiving, where we will celebrate 70 years of American Studies at JGU Mainz, with contributions from three professors who helped shape what has eventually become the Obama Institute. In addition, we will learn more about the current management of the USA library collection and award the Obama Dissertation Prize as well as the Galinsky Prize for outstanding student theses.

Everyone is welcome!

Please see the flyer below for details.

Direct Exchange – Info Sessions 2022 for Programs in 2023/24 🗓

Direct Exchange – Info Sessions 2022 for Programs in 2023/24 🗓

On Nov 10 the Obama Institute will hold an info session on its Direct Exchange programs. Please join us in room P 11 (Philosophicum) for more information about the exciting exchange opportunities!

Nov 10, 18:00-20:00 (s.t.)
P 11 (Philosophicum)

Please find all details about the session on the flyer, which is available for download here and on the Exchange page, where you can also browse general information on the programs in order to get a headstart on what your options are and what an application would entail.

Looking forward to talking to you in person on Nov 10, when we will be happy to answer all your questions!

Anne Bull, Simge Büyükgümüş, Nina Heydt, and Julia Velten

Research Colloquiy WS 2022/23 – Periodical Studies

Research Colloquiy WS 2022/23 – Periodical Studies

Where: Mainz Campus, Philosophicum II, Jakob-Welder-Weg 20, room 02-102; Germersheim, An der Hochschule 2, Neubau, room N319

When: 10:30-13:00

9.11.2022 Prof. Dr. Johannes Müller-Lancé (Mannheim)
„Ökonomische Einflüsse auf Textsorten in der Special Interest-Presse“

23.11.2022 Discussion of current work

Lydia Kleinstück 

Michael Lörch

14.12.2022 Melissa Schlecht, MA (Stuttgart)
“Pedagogy of Survivance: Indigenous American Zine-Making as Counter- Hegemonic Practice”

11.01.2022 Discussion of current work

Yasamin Khalighi 

Frank Newton

Mainz Campus
25.01.2023 Prof. Dr. Jens Ruchatz (Marburg)

„Medienkonstellationen der Zeitschrift“

08.02.2023 Magazines and Pop

Dr. Anna Seidel (Innsbruck)
„Illustrierte Stilbildung in den Zeitschriften der Weimarer Republik – einige Stichproben“

PD Dr. Madleen Podewski (Berlin)
„Populärer Illustrierten-Sozialismus in der DDR“

Indigenous Print Cultures, Media, and Literatures 🗓

Indigenous Print Cultures, Media, and Literatures 🗓

Date: July 6-9, 2022
Location: Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
Hosted by the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies and the Humanities Research Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Venues: Atrium Maximum, Campus JGU Helmholtz-Institute Mainz (HIM) Faculty Room, Philosophicum I

We are delighted to welcome you to Mainz in July this year for the “Indigenous Print Cultures, Media, and Literatures” Symposium, co-organized by the Obama Institute at JGU and the Humanities Research Center at VCU. Please find the program below or download it here. Additionally, we are happy to provide maps and directions to help you, e.g., get from the hotel to the venues. Please find the maps below the program or click here to download the maps. Public transportation in Mainz will cost you 1,50€ per short distance trip. Additionally, you can download the conference program here.

We will upload a separate document including WiFi access, setting up speaker/participant accounts, as well current Covid-19 regulations and restrictions soon. If you have any questions, please reach out to Anette Vollrath (anette.vollrath@uni-mainz.de).

If you would like to take a look at the hotels’ websites, please feel free to go to Hotel Königshof or Hotel Hammer.


Wednesday, July 6, 2022 (Atrium Maximum, Campus JGU)

16:00 Registration

17:00 Welcome Reception:

Vice-Presidents for Research JGU, Prof. Dr. Stefan Müller-Stach

Vice President for Research and Innovation, VCU, Dr. P. Srirama Rao

Director of the Obama Institute, Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung

Symposium Organizers, Profs. Cristina Stanciu, Oliver Scheiding

17:45 In-person Keynote Lecture

Chair: Mark Rifkin (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca, Professor of Gender and American Indian Studies, University of California, Los Angele). “Carrying Our Ancestors Home: The Importance of Storytelling, Digital Projects, and Centering Tribal Voices”

18:30 Virtual Keynote Lecture

Gerald Vizenor (UC Berkeley, Emeritus), Waiting for Wovoka: Scenes from a Novel of Good Cheer and Native Hand Puppet Parleys”

19:00 Reception (Atrium Maximum)

Thursday, July 7, 2022 (Venue: Helmholtz-Institute Mainz (HMI))

9:00-10:30 Session 1

Indigenous Print Cultures and Language

Chair: Jutta Ernst (U of Mainz)

Noenoe Silva (UH Manoa): “The Twentieth-Century Hawaiian-Language Newspapers”

Christopher Pexa (U of Minnesota). “‘Bringing the Language Together’: Ochéti Šakówiŋ Pasts and Futures in the Iapi Oaye (The Word Carrier) Newsletter”

Philip Round (U of Iowa): “The Role of Indigenous Languages in the Production of Native Texts/Periodicals at the End of the Nineteenth Century”

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:30 Session 2

A Lasting Legacy of Periodicals and Politics

Chair: Mark Rifkin (UNC Greensboro)

Adam Spry (Emerson College), “The Demosthenes of White Earth: Theodore Beaulieu, The Progress, and the Recovery of an Indigenous Intellectual Tradition”

Jill Doerfler (U of Minnesota, Duluth), “‘A Few Honest Words’: Writing for the Anishinaabeg Today in the Twenty-first Century”

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:45-15:15 Session 3

Boarding School Publications

Chair: Cristina Stanciu (Virginia Commonwealth U) and Frank Newton (U of Mainz)

Lionel Larré (Université Bordeaux-Montaigne), “A Magazine not only About Indians, but Mainly by Indians: Native Representations in the Carlisle Publications at the Beginning of the 20th Century”

Frank Newton (U of Mainz), “Indigenous Dialogues: Early 20th Century Native American Discourse in Boarding School Publications”

Jane Griffith (Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Canada), “Nineteenth Century Printing Programs and Indian Boarding Schools: What Archival Newspapers Reveal About Settler Colonialism Today” (Zoom)

15:15-15:30 Coffee Break

15:30-17:00 Session 4

Indigenous New Media and Literature

Chair: Philip Round (U of Iowa)

Bethany Hughes (U of Michigan), Little Chahta News Bird: Biskinik and Twitter as Sovereign Spaces”

Dallas Hunt (U of British Columbia). “The Archive in Conflict: The Contours of Resource Extraction Literatures in Canada”

17:30-18:30 Keynote Lecture (Zoom)

Chair: Chadwick Allen (U of Washington)

Beth Piatote (UC Berkeley): “The Indigenous Archive and The Beadworkers: Stories

19:15 Reception (City Hall, Mayor-Mainz)

Friday, July 8, 2022 (Venue: Helmholtz-Institute Mainz (HMI))

9:00-10:30 Session 5 

Indigenous Writing, Rights, and Activism

Chair: Matt Bokovoy (U of Nebraska Press)

Cari M. Carpenter (West Virginia University), “‘What the Curious Want to Know’: Ora Eddleman Reed Advising Land Development and Rejecting Racial Stereotypes in Indian Territory”

Cristina Stanciu (Virginia Commonwealth U), “Gender and the Editors of the Indian Boarding School Press”

Miranda Johnson (U of Otago, New Zealand), “Indigenous Writing, Indigenous Rights: Activisms in the Post-War South Pacific”

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:30 Session 6

Progressive Era Indigenous Periodicals and Magazines

Chair: Frank Newton (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz)

Jonathan Radocay (UC Davis), “California Indian Paper Routes: Winnemem Wintu Futures in Progressive-Era Periodicals”

René Dietrich (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt), “Literary Sovereignty and the Politics of Indigenous Anthologies

12:30-13:45 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Session 7 

Indigenous Printscapes and Indigeneity

Chair: Oliver Scheiding (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz)

Kathryn Walkiewicz (UC, San Diego), “Indigenous Printscapes: Media Culture in Late Nineteenth-Century Indian Territory”

Frank Kelderman (U of Louisville), “Children’s Pages, Indigenous Writing: Reframing Labor, Learning, and Leisure, 1880-1913”

Mark Rifkin (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), “Indians Gone ‘Wild’: The Politics of Ethnographic Form in Zitkala-Ša’s Stories”

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-17:30 Session 8

Project Presentations: Indigenous Modernities

Chair: Chris Andersen (U of Alberta)

Kirby Brown (U of Oregon, Eugene), Co-editor of the Routledge Handbook to North American Indigenous Modernisms(2022)

Oliver Scheiding (U of Mainz), Editor of Anthology Project: “Indigenous Periodicals: American Indian Newspapers and Magazines, 1880-1930”

Chadwick Allen (U of Washington Seattle), “Canoeing the Whale: Fred Graham’s Te Waiata o the Moana-nui-a-Kiwaat the Burke Museum(s)”

19:00-23:00 Dinner at “Strausswirtschaft Peter Dohm, Mainz” (Vinery Peter Dohm). Local transportation will be provided. http://winzerfamilie-peter-dhom.de

Saturday, July 9, 2022 (Venue: Faculty Room, Philosophicum I)

10:00-11:00 Final Discussion, Roundtable 

Chadwick Allen, Cari Carpenter, Mishuana Goeman, Mark Rifkin, Philip Round, Oliver Scheiding

Maps (Hotels, Campus, Venues)

Map 1: Mainz Central Station to Hotel Hammer / Hotel Königshof

Map 2: Mainz Central Station to Mainz University Campus

Map 3: Mainz University Campus and Symposium Venues

Fig. 1: Venues: Atrium Maximum (top left), Philosophicum I (top right), Helmholtz-Institute (bottom)