CfP: Labor and Capital in U.S. History 🗓

CfP: Labor and Capital in U.S. History 🗓

Dear colleagues,

after this year’s annual meeting of the historians in the DGfA/GAAS had to move online, we hope that many of us will be able to come together next year for a more in-person event, though we are planning on virtual components for those who may still be kept from traveling.

The Annual Meeting of the Historians in the German Association for American Studies (DGfA) will take place February 11-13, 2022, at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany.

We are delighted to present you with a call for papers for this event:

Call for Papers: Labor and Immigration in U.S. History

The transnational turn has introduced significant new perspectives on the history of labor and capitalism in the United States. While the state remains an important object of analysis, decentering the nation in labor history provides additional lenses that focus on circulations, interactions, and connections below or beyond the nation-state. According to Ian Tyrell, they focus attention on exchanges across national boundaries, the impact of asymmetrical power exerted by one nation, and networks of relations not contained by nation-states. In questioning a coherent, all-encompassing national narrative, the voices and visions of people and groups who have been marginalized in the context of a nationalist myopia are reclaimed. The experiences of non-citizens and migrants, labor sojourners and “birds of passage,” inhabitants of border regions, workers of international corporations, and new digital and remote workers help provide a more complete and more complex picture of what both labor and capital have meant in various historical contexts. Negotiations of labor rights, property rights, the rights of capital or corporate personship from the emergent nation-state to globalization accounts for different appraisals of labor heroes or radicals, benevolent tycoons or robber barons. Historians such as Kiran Klaus Patel, for example, root the history of the New Deal in a global context, connecting the history of labor and capital to that of U.S. hegemony in the twentieth century. Others, such as Julie Greene, connect the immigrant experience with American empire. Likewise, Donna Gabaccia focuses on the migration world of Italian workers, and Mae Ngai traces the role of “impossible” illegal immigrant workers in the making of America.

This conference seeks to put into communication various strands of the recent historiography in labor history. To this end, we invite both individual papers and panel proposals on topics including:

Please send short CVs and abstracts for individual papers of no longer than 500 words and in the case of a panel proposal an additional introduction of no longer than 300 words to the organizers until July 23, 2021 to this address:

  • the changing world of labor (industrialization, urbanization, post-industrialization, digitalization, etc.)
  • labor strife
  • labor and gender
  • labor, race, ethnicity, and migration
  • internationalization of labor markets
  • working class culture and solidarity
  • changing forms of employment (small-self-employed farmers to employees and factory workers, to the new gig-economy)
  • labor and space (from home-production and small workshops, to industrial spaces, the open plan office, and call centers, to post-industrial coworking spaces, creative office playrooms, and work from home setups)
  • labor in different geographical contexts
  • the contemporary role and perception of capital and capitalists during a given historical era

Due to continuing uncertainties regarding travel and in-person meetings because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this conference will take place in a hybrid format at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and online. When applying, please indicate whether you plan on attending in person or joining us virtually. For those attending in person, we will provide information on accommodation, but please make sure to organize your own stay in Mainz.

Up to date information on the conference, including this call for papers, can always be found at:

We hope to welcome many of you in Mainz next year!

Axel Schäfer
Anja-Maria Bassimir
Torsten Kathke

CfP for Student Papers: aspeers 14 (2021): General Section and Topical Section “Narratives of American Colonization and Imperialism” 🗓

CfP for Student Papers: aspeers 14 (2021): General Section and Topical Section “Narratives of American Colonization and Imperialism” 🗓

CfP for Student Papers: aspeers 14 (2021): General Section and Topical Section “Narratives of American Colonization and Imperialism”

aspeers, the first and currently only MA-level peer-reviewed journal for American studies in Europe, will accept submissions by October 25, 2020.

In its fourteenth issue, aspeers will feature a general section and a topical one. While the general section accepts submissions on any American studies topic (e. g. revised versions of term papers or chapters from BA theses), the topical section will focus on the theme “Narratives of American Colonization and Imperialism”, calling for submissions that explore US literature, (popular) culture, society, history, politics, and media through the lenses of pride and shame.

Please find the two calls for papers below. For more information please have a look at

=== General Call for Papers ===

For the general section of its fourteenth issue, aspeers seeks outstanding academic writing demonstrating the excellence of graduate scholarship, the range of concerns scrutinized in the field, and the diversity of perspectives employed. We thus explicitly invite revised versions of term papers or chapters from theses written by students of European Master (and equivalent) programs. For this section, there are no topical limitations. Contributions should be up to 7,500 words (including abstract and list of works cited). The submission deadline is October 25, 2020.

aspeers 14 (2021) will also contain a topical section organized around the theme “Narratives of American Colonization and Imperialism.” We encourage European MA-level students to submit papers on this topic in particular. Please consult our topical Call for Submissions at

For more information, our submission guidelines, and a timetable of the review process for this issue, please refer to Please direct questions and inquiries to

=== Topical Call for Papers on “Narratives of American Colonization and Imperialism” ===

400 years ago, the Mayflower arrived on Patuxet land and established the settler colony of Plymouth. Just two years later, the Patuxet peoples were pronounced extinct. Despite or due to this settler violence, the Plymouth colony gave rise to the American tradition of “Thanksgiving” and the mythology of Europeans building a ‘City upon a Hill’ in America.

200 years later, in 1820, eighty-six free black ‘immigrants’ traversed the Atlantic to establish the first settlement in Liberia. This was sponsored by the American Colonization Society (ACS). The ACS’s core belief was that Black freedom—Black voting, Black landowning, Black civil liberties—was incompatible with (white) American ideals and democracy, and that founding colonies in Africa promised to thus ‘whiten’ the US.

Now, in 2020, the United States has hundreds of military bases worldwide, spreading across scores of different countries and housing, according to some estimates, about 200,000 troops. Even though the US is technically a nation, its ubiquitous global influence on economies, politics, and cultures constitutes it as an empire.

For its fourteenth issue, aspeers dedicates its topical section to “Narratives of American Colonization and Imperialism” and invites European graduate students to critically and analytically explore the United States’ long history and contemporary culture of colonial violence. We invite papers discussing American literature, history, (popular) culture, society, politics, and media through the lens of American colonization and imperialism. We also encourage authors to consider the manifold connections between the United States and other parts of the Americas, especially the Caribbean as well as Central and Latin America, in the context of these questions.

Topical submissions may consider:

  • representations of colonization in literature, (popular) culture, and other media
  • identities and sociopolitical group formations forged around narratives of ‘America’
  • the role that narratives of America as a colonizing force have played in defining identities
  • alternatives and resistance to US colonization and imperialism
  • practices of ‘writing back’ against colonial or imperial rule
  • constructions of race and gender in the context of (white) imperial violence

aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed journal of European American studies, encourages fellow MA students from all fields to reflect on the diverse meanings of “Narratives of American Colonization and Imperialism.” We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically written for the fourteenth issue of aspeers by October 25, 2020. If you are seeking to publish work beyond this topic, please refer to our general Call for Papers. Please consult our submission guidelines and find some additional tips at

Oct 17 – Markets, Standardization and Adaptation (Workshop) 🗓

Oct 17 – Markets, Standardization and Adaptation (Workshop) 🗓

Research Group “Transnational Periodical Cultures”

Markets, Standardization and Adaptation (Workshop I)

Oct 17, 2018, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Senatssaal (NatFak, 07-232)


The research group “Transnational Periodical Cultures” (Jutta Ernst, Dagmar von Hoff, Bjørn von Rimscha, Oliver Scheiding) holds a series of workshops on the following dates:

Oct 17, 2018 – Workshop I – Markets, Standardization and Adaptation
Nov 21, 2018 – Workshop II  – Unternehmen und Akteure
Dec 12, 2018 – Workshop III – Zeitschriften und Digitalisierung
Jan 16, 2019 – Workshop III – Zeitschriften, Gestaltung, Design

You can find the program for the event on Oct 17, 2018 here.

If you are interested in attending one of the workshops or specific talks, please contact one of the organizers mentioned above.

For further information, please visit

Call for Papers – Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies 🗓

Call for Papers – Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies 🗓

Call for Papers

Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies

Closing Conference of the DFG-funded research network “Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies” (DFG # BA 3567/4-1)
June 21-23, 2018, Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
Conference organizers: Dr. Pia Wiegmink (Obama Institute) and Dr. Birgit M. Bauridl (U Regensburg)

The closing conference of this research network aims at scrutinizing the benefits and limitations of a deeper and more reflective integration of a Performance Studies approach into (transnational) American Studies. It intends to investigate how, which, and with what outcome issues that, in the wake of the transnational turn, have become central to the American Studies agenda can be addressed more adequately by the study of ‘cultural performances.’ We invite papers that zoom in on the idea of culture as a corporeal, communal, and dynamic event rather than a stable textual product and that position the local particularities of cultural performance vis-à-vis the dynamics of global mobility.

Potential paper topics could address, but are not limited to the following questions:

  • What is the role and impact of ‘cultural performances’ such as daily rituals, festive occasions, or theatrical events in transnational contact zones, i.e., sites in which cultures meet, grapple with each other?
  • How can cultural performances in contact zones become expressions and negotiations of processes of transnational cultural entanglement?
  • How can cultural performance act as a platform in which diverse and possibly competing (national) identities and cultural belongings are negotiated and experienced by a community?
  • How can ‘cultural performance’ serve as a methodological perspective and thus help understand questions posed by transnational American Studies? I.e. how can ‘cultural performance’ be possibly used as a tool for the analysis of both contemporary transnational processes and historical forms of global mobility and what are its methodological challenges, solutions, and limitations?
  • (How) Does the corporeality, physicality, presence, interaction, and communal character of cultural performance enhance, complicate, or change our perspective on transnational contact zones ranging from immediate local encounters to supposedly immaterial and anonymous global processes and digital environments?
  • How does the study of cultural performance complement and possibly expand prevalent (transnational) American Studies discourses on, for example, affect, corporeality, memory, public (vs. private) space, dissent and cultural resistance, cosmopolitanism, urbanity (vs. rurality), environment and ecology, cultural imperialism, neoliberalism, diasporic identities, social media, tourism, sonic cultures, food cultures, etc.?

Confirmed keynote speakers are Denise Uyehara (performance artist) and Prof. Dr. Werner Sollors (Harvard). Active members of the research network will present on and discuss the topic together with further confirmed speakers Prof. Dr. Ben Chappell (University of Kansas), Prof. Dr. Celeste-Marie Bernier (University of Edinburgh). 
Please send your short abstract (<300 words) and a short CV (300 words) including your email, address, and affiliation to Birgit M. Bauridl and Pia Wiegmink at by March 1, 2018.


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)


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.