Jan 31 – Student Conference “Human Enhancement” 🗓

Jan 31 – Student Conference “Human Enhancement” 🗓

Jan 31, 2024 – 16.00-18.00 (s.t.) – Student Conference

“Human Enhancement: Ethics, Life Sciences, and the Human Body in Cultural Representations”

P6 (Philosophicum)

Human enhancement has become the topic of an increasingly controversial cultural, scholarly, and political discussion. Alberto Giubilini and Sagar Sanyal define human enhancement rather broadly as “any kind of genetic, biomedical or pharmaceutical intervention aimed at improving human dispositions, capacities, and well-being even when there is no pathology to be treated” (1). Using this definition as a point of departure, our student conference seeks to approach grey areas inherent in debates surrounding human enhancement through the lens of narrative ethics, using cultural representations as the focus of our discussion.

Our student panel includes the following talks:

  • “Marry Shelly’s Frankenstein: A Cautionary Tale or an Overused Trope?”
    (Norhan Mohamed)
  • “Ethical Discourse and Social Impact on Human Enhancement: A Conservative Perspective”
    (Haerin Park)
  • “Human Enhancement in Superhero Movies: Why Is Captain America’s Origin Story Morally Acceptable and What Is Special about It?”
    (Jill Reuter)
  • “The Implications of ‘Human Enhancement’ in the Discussion Surrounding Trans-Athletes”
    (Ayishat Aluko)

Everyone is welcome!

This conference is part of Dr. Julia Velten’s course “Cultural Studies VI: Human Enhancement: Ethics, Life Sciences, and the Human Body in Film.” If you have further questions about the event, please contact Dr. Julia Velten: juvelten@uni-mainz.de

Giubilini, Alberto and Sagar Sanyal. “Challenging Human Enhancement.” The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate, edited by Steve Clarke, et al., OUP, 2016, pp. 1-24.


Jan 26 – Phd/Postdoc Book Launch 🗓

Jan 26 – Phd/Postdoc Book Launch 🗓

Jan 26, 2024 – 17.00-19.00 – PhD/Postdoc Book Launch – Fakultätssaal (Philosophicum, 01-185)

Join us in celebrating…
the most recent publications, dissertations, and more by young scholars from the Obama Institute:

  • Bassimir, Anja-Maria. Evangelical News. Politics, Gender, and Bioethics in Conservative Christian Magazines of the 1970s and 1980s (Religion and American Culture). Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2022.
  • Scott, Daniel. Atheism and Theism in Contemporary Fantasy Fiction. Heavens of Invention. Peter Lang Verlag, 2023 (Mainzer Studien zur Amerikanistik 77).
  • Velten, Julia. Extraordinary Forms of Aging. Life Narratives of Centenarians and Children with Progeria. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2022.
  • Seibert, Johanna. Early African Caribbean Newspapers as Archipelagic Media in the Emancipation Age. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2023.
  • Evans, Vanessa and Mita Banerjee (eds). Cultures of Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century: Literary and Cultural Perspectives on a Legal Concept. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2023.
  • Scheiding, Oliver and Sabina Fazli (eds.). Handbuch Zeitschriftenforschung. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2023.
  • Corrigan, John, Melani McAlister and Axel R. Schäfer (eds.). Global Faith, Worldly Power. Evangelical Internationalism and U.S. Empire. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2022.

Come and discuss…
plans for publications and careers after graduation.

Meet and mingle…
with current and former PhD students, postdocs, and professors as well as students, faculty, and friends.

Everyone is welcome!

Prof. em. Dr. Winfried Herget

Direct Exchange – Info Sessions 2023 for Programs in 2024/25 🗓

Direct Exchange – Info Sessions 2023 for Programs in 2024/25 🗓

On Nov 13 the Obama Institute will hold an info session on its Direct Exchange programs. Please join us in room P 2 (Philosophicum) for more information about the exciting exchange opportunities!

Nov 13, 18:15-19:45
P 2 (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 13, when we will be happy to answer all your questions!

Simge Büyükgümüş, Sandra Meerwein, Davina Höll, and Julia Velten

Pathfinders Wanted! Independent Studies/Internship Opportunity (July-Dec) 🗓

Pathfinders Wanted! Independent Studies/Internship Opportunity (July-Dec) 🗓

Internship/Independent Studies


July – December, 2023

We are looking for

students who will assist incoming exchange students from the U.S. in all organizational matters prior to their stay and during their first weeks in Germany.

Your tasks will include

helping our exchange students to:

  • apply for a visa
  • find their way around Mainz and JGU campus • set up a bank account and health insurance
  • register with the city
  • get a sim card

You will also:

  • accompany incomings to JGU’s International Office’s Info Days and other JGU events
  • help with course registration paperwork
  • introduce them to student life in Mainz
It’s your chance to receive

credit for Independent Studies in the American Studies B.A./M.A. program as well as an official certificate. While there is no credit opportunity, B.Ed./M.Ed. Students are also very welcome to apply.

You are the perfect Pathfinder

if you are highly motivated, organized, and eager to contribute to a smooth process for our incoming students. In order to provide the necessary support, we ask applicants to be ready to accompany the process from July to December.

How to apply

Please send your application, including a CV and a letter of motivation to both
Dr. Julia Velten (juvelten@uni-mainz.de) and Nina Heydt, M.A. (niheydt@uni-mainz.de)


June 15, 2023

Apr 25 – Student/Alumni Meet & Greet 🗓

Apr 25 – Student/Alumni Meet & Greet 🗓

Student/Alumni Meet & Greet

Tuesday, April 25

6-8 pm in P 13 (Philosophicum)

The OI will be hosting an informal first meet & greet for students and alumni of American Studies and cordially invites all students of the BA and MA programs to connect with each other and our alumni. This is your chance to talk about possible careers after finishing an American Studies program and ask any question you might have on how to make the most of your degree and ambitions.

Two alumnae, who are holding qualified positions, will speak about their jobs and their working experiences to students interested in finding out more about opportunities and perspectives for American Studies graduates.

You an download the poster for the event here.

Watch out for news about future alumni events and stay in touch!


Dr. Sonja Georgi
Dr. Claudia Görg
Dr. Julia Velten

Apply now! Fulbright Scholarships for Bachelor Diversity Summer Program (San Antonio, Texas) 🗓

Apply now! Fulbright Scholarships for Bachelor Diversity Summer Program (San Antonio, Texas) 🗓

Für Bachelor-Vollzeitstudierende mit Migrationshintergrund aller Studiengänge an deutschen Universitäten und Fachhochschulen

Fulbright Sommerstudienprogramm in den USA:
„Diversity Initiative”
an der Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas
vom 17. August bis 16. September 2023

Zusammen mit amerikanischen Studierenden besuchen die Teilnehmenden Seminare und Workshops zu Geschichte, Politik, Gesellschaft und Bildungssystem der USA. Im Dialog mit US-Kommiliton:innen gewinnen sie wichtige Einblicke in das amerikanische Studium und Campusleben. Ausflüge und Begegnungen im multikulturellen San Antonio und Umgebung komplementieren das akademische Programm.

Ausführliche Informationen zum Stipendienprogramm finden Sie auf unserer Webseite.
Für die Ausschreibung auf LinkedIn, Facebook und Instagram verwenden wir das Hashtag #FulbrightGermany

Bewerbungsschluss ist der 22. Februar 2023.

Für Rückfragen steht Ihnen Aaron Hennrichs unter diversityprograms@fulbright.de gerne zur Verfügung.