Transatlantic Conversations: New and Emerging Approaches to Early American Studies

October 4-6, 2018, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.


A Workshop Jointly Sponsored and Organized by the Obama Institute and the Society of Early Americanists


This joint Obama Institute-SEA workshop will bring together early Americanist scholars from North America and Europe in a 2 ½-day intensive conversation and collaboration about transatlantic perspectives on new developments in the field of early American studies.

Seminal critical interventions—such as Elizabeth Anker and Rita Felski’s Critique and Post-Critique (Duke, 2017) or Ed Cahill and Ed Larkin’s focus on aesthetics in their jointly edited issue of Early American Literature (2016)—frequently catalyze new work in early American studies on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet scholars in Europe and North America often apply theoretical questions in different ways and proceed from different assumptions about the aims, methods, and rhetorical articulations of scholarly and critical innovation. Even more basically, varying practices of reading and teaching, or uses of text, context, and critique often make conversations at standard conferences non-starters or inconclusive. This workshop provides early American literature scholars the opportunity to

  • Discuss their work with scholars across the Atlantic.
  • Debate applications of key critical texts in their field to early American studies.
  • Plan collaborative publications, grants, workshops.

We are delighted to announce that Maurizio Valsania (University of Turin) will give the keynote address on Thursday, October 4.

Sponsored by:





For Participants

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