Center for Interdisziplinary Research

German Presence in the USA

Date: October 20- 23, 2004
Scientific Organizers: Josef Raab, Jan Wirrer (both Bielefeld)

This international symposium aimed at reevaluating the diversity of past and present German-American relations and interconnections. It wanted to illustrate the multifaceted German presence in the U.S.A. and to assess critically the approaches taken to this presence. These goals were met fully. Surveys as well as individual case studies relating to over three centuries of a frequently underestimated German presence in North America examined cultural, literary, linguistic, intellectual, economic, legal, and political issues as well as German and American auto- and heterostereotypes. In this way the symposium served as a platform for the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas among about forty scholars as well as representatives of German-American cooperation. Discussions about the coordination and combination of different approaches and methods were especially fruitful. In view of recent difficulties concerning the political relationship between the U.S.A. and Germany, the symposium managed to receive considerable media attention and thus contributed to a broader recognition of the German presence in the U.S.A. A three-week exhibition entitled "The German Presence in the U.S.A. Past and Present" opened on the first day of the symposium. Symposium proceedings will be published in a collection of essays.


Timothy G. Anderson (Athens, OH), Helga Beste (Heidelberg), Carmen Birkle (Mainz), Wolfgang Braungart (Bielefeld), Heike Bungert (Köln), Tomás Christ (Bielefeld), James R. Dow (Ames, IA), Peter Freese (Paderborn), Herwig Friedl (Düsseldorf), Hans-Jürgen Grabbe (Halle (Saale)), Erhard U. Heidt (Bielefeld), Wolfgang Helbich (Schnepfenthal), Gerhard Hurm (Trier), Alexandra Jacob (Bielefeld), Walter Kamphoefner (College Station, TX), Hartmut Keil (Leipzig), Christa Kersting (Berlin), Hans J. Kleinsteuber (Hamburg), Melissa Knox-Raab (Bielefeld), James P. Leary (Madison, WI), Oliver Lepsius (Bayreuth), Mark L. Louden (Madison, WI), Jürgen Macha (Münster), Thomas Meinecke (Berg bei Eurasberg), Anke Ortlepp (Bonn), Michael Ossar (Manhattan, KS), Ansgar Reiß (Neubiberg), Carol Renner (Regensburg), Stefan Rinke (Eichstätt), Joseph C. Salmons (Madison, WI), Udo Schäfer (Hamburg), Helmut Schmahl (Mainz), Thomas Schmidt-Beste (Heidelberg), Anna Schwan (Washington, DC), Madlen Simon (Manhattan, KS), Carsten Tams (New York, NY), Dilara Tepeli (Bonn), Roy Weatherstone (Berlin), Raya Widenoja (Frankfurt am Main), Cornelia Wilhelm (München), Waldemar Zacharasiewicz (Wien)

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