News

  • Distance Learning during the Summer Semester 2020

    The History of North America and its transcultural context’s courses will take place online


    Dear students, as Prorector Prof. Dr. Freitag’s Open Letter clarified, there will not be any in-person classes during the summer semester at the RUB. The History of North America and its transcultural context’s courses will take place online. Using Moodle and other tools (e.g., “Zoom”), you will be able to attend an Oberseminar (Graduate Seminar) and a Hauptseminar (Seminar). For further information, see “Teaching.” Given that the in-person classes have been cancelled, the majority of teaching will be asynchronous (i.e., we will not meet up online on a weekly basis at the same time and you will be able to plan your learning more independently according to weekly plans), except for occasional Zoom meetings and such. These exceptions will be noted on the syllabus and will be announced in a timely fashion. You can register for both courses until April 10th, 2020, via E-campus or via email.



  • Workshop: "Making Race and Health in Migration and Development"

    In cooperation with Dr. Nina Mackert (Universität Leizpig) - postponed until spring 2021!


    In 2013, the New York Times lamented the “health toll of immigration.” According to this narrative, formerly healthy immigrants—the article was talking about Hispanics, the largest group of immigrants in the US—were getting sick in the United States due to their changed consumption habits. Studies had shown that the longer they lived in the US, the shorter their statistical life span became. As an explanation, the studies suggested that, once in the US, Mexican immigrants switched from their “traditional Mexican foods like cactus and beans,” high in fiber and low in meat, to an American fare of giant hamburgers and fried chicken—because it was now available and affordable. Consequently, obesity and diabetes rates increased among immigrants and shortened their life span. The article highlighted how the changed food choices of Mexican immigrants made them sick. Such a newspaper story fits seamlessly into contemporary narratives of migration from countries of the global South to the global North. These narrative frames re-establish racial boundaries by depicting people from supposedly underdeveloped societies who struggle with life in industrialized and technological nations. Simultaneously, these narratives negotiate notions of health and belonging: By pitting traditional lifestyles against modern consumption habits, they not only determine what can be considered as a healthy diet but also flag health as a result of proper choices by responsible individuals in a society. Notions of racial difference and bodily health are mutually constitutive. This workshop explores the making and unmaking of race and health in globalization processes between the nineteenth century and the present day. Drawing upon newer research in postcolonial studies and dis/ability studies, the workshop aims to analyze health, migration, racialization and transculturation as historically contingent, fluid, and intersecting phenomena. In particular, the workshop analyzes the entanglements of race and health in migration and development in the 19th and 20th century by asking how health discourses and practices contributed to create racial boundaries, how racist concepts shaped notions of health, and how these discourses continue to be mutually constitutive to migration, citizenship, and belonging. You can find the workshop program here.



  • Charles Sealsfield Symposium "Master of the World? Charles Sealsfield's America Between Emancipation, Exceptionalism, and Globalization": Call For Papers

    September 24-26, 2020


    The Dortmund and Bochum Sealsfield Symposium will place an emphasis on American Studies. Symposia topics of the past decade have dealt with bio­gra­phical questions and their implications for Sealsfield’s work; his place in the relevant spectrum of European 19th century novels including imagological issues; as well as trans­atlan­tic fields of research. Common to all has been a predominantly Germanist, Europe-centered orientation. The symposium will be organized in cooperation between American Literary and Cultural Studies (Walter Grünzweig, Dortmund) and the History of North America and its Transcultural Context (Rebecca Brückmann, Ruhr-Universität Bochum). Germanist/German Studies and Comparatist contributions will thus come into in dialogue with American Studies topically, methodologically and theoretically. Accordingly, the symposium will deal with aspects of ethnicity, race (especially slavery), gender, sexuality and the environment in Charles Sealsfield’s work. Beyond this focus on American society, it will take up the role of the United States as a composite nation in a global political situation, especially its exceptionalist position so characteristic of Sealsfield. The Symposium will evaluate Sealsfield’s position in an inclusive, American(ist), but also world literary canon and thereby also emphasize his role in a new, multiethnically and multiculturally oriented field and canon of German literature and literary studies. Sealsfield’s work is resonant with a series of current issues, including questions of climate (the representation of nature, especially the U.S. South, in Sealsfield’s works), the Trump presidency (particularly the significance of the personality and politics of President Andrew Jackson, an explicit role model for President Trump), or — connected to that presidency — the politicization of poor evangelical segments of the country. This symposium will offer a forum for dialog between a new generation of researchers and estab­lished Sealsfield scholars. Beyond this, one section of the symposium provides an opportu­ni­ty for advanced students of all fields to discuss their interests and questions relating to Seals­field’s work. The conference organizers will give financial support for students’ attendance and emphatically invite them to participate.

    Proposals should be submitted by 1 May 2020 to the conference organizers, who are also glad to answer additional questions: Walter.Gruenzweig@udo.edu, Rebecca.Brueckmann@rub.de.



  • Blog Launch: "Feminismus - Beyond the Waves"

    In cooperation with PD Dr. Charlotte Lerg


    Students in Jun.-Prof. Dr. Brückmann's and PD Dr. Charlotte Lerg's seminars during the past semester completed their own research projects on the history and memorialization of women's movements in Great Britain and the United States. Their research results - on diverse topics such as suffrage, self-denfese movements, reproductive rights or dress reform - will be published digitally on "Feminismus - Beyond the Waves" (in German).



  • Summer School 2020: "Migration, Inclusion, Marginalization: Transnational Histories of Mobility."

  • Taught with Jun.-Prof. Dr. Juliane Czierpka

    September 21 - October 09, 2020

    You can find more information here.


  • Lecture Series: "Introduction to Postcolonial Histories and Theories," Winter Semester 2019/2020
    Wednesdays, 4-6 P.M., HGA30

    You can find the program of the interdisciplinary lecture series here.


  • New Publication (April 2019)
    "Citizens' Councils, Conservatism, and White Supremacy in Louisiana, 1964-1972,” European Journal of American Studies 14, no. 1 (2019), open access

  • Upcoming Talks
    July 20th, 2020
    "William Clark: Entdecker, Versklaver, Diplomat"
    Blue Square, Bochum, Lecture Series "Alle Jubeljahre". More information here (in German).

    October 19th, 2020
    "Black Pink Wave, Rosa Parks and #BlackLivesMatter"
    d.a.i. (Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut) Tübingen