Section American Studies

The Department of American Studies explores the ways in which US-American writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, and musicians have explored what Henry James called the “complex fate” of being an American.

We introduce students to the culture(s) of the United States in courses that explore America’s literary and cultural history, pay special attention to the contributions of the ethnic groups that compose the country’s population, critically examine the country’s claims to uniqueness, and interrogate its participation in transnational culture and politics.

Our department places particular emphasis on providing students with the theoretical and methodological tools they need to interpret literary texts and other cultural artefacts. The skills we hope to impart to our students include analytic and argumentative precision, aesthetic sensitivity, intellectual independence, and the capacity for critical reflection.

News

01.08.18 “The Popularity of Words and Music"

22‐24 November 2018

Haus der Universität at Heinrich-Heine-­University in Düsseldorf, Germany

The Department of American Studies at the Heinrich-Heine-­Universität Düsseldorf announces that the international conference, "The Popularity of Words and Music," will take place on 22‐24 November 2018 in the Haus der Universität (Schadowplatz 14, 40212 Düsseldorf, Germany).

Popularity and the 'popular' are phenomena of vast societal, political, and (inter‐)medial import. From early approaches such as Adorno's and Horkheimer's heteronomous capitalist criticism to the less consumer‐ and more 'prosumer'‐oriented perspectives proposed by John Fiske and Henry Jenkins during the 1980s, the popular remains an ambivalent topic. Niklas Luhmann's theorems that came to be used widely in the 'pop theory' of the 1990s re‐emphasized the study of the popular as a key field of inquiry in critical discourse. In the 2000s, bell hooks's work in cultural studies opened the field of popular culture anew, analyzing it as a politically charged 'powerful site for intervention, challenge and change.'

Studies in intermediality and Word and Music Studies have also proven to offer productive 'popular' approaches to...


Head of Section

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susan Winnett

Administration

Jutta Sonnberger

Building: 23.31
Floor/Room: 01.74
Phone +49 211 81-12956
Fax +49 211 81-12839

Office Hours

Mo-Tu 9 am - 1 pm; Fr 10-12 am

Responsible for the content: E-MailAnglistik und Amerikanistik Redaktion