North American Studies (M.A.)

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Research at the department of culture is concerned with the history of American culture from the beginnings of European colonization to the present. Its courses explore North American culture and its contributions to modernity, as well as ongoing processes of cultural dehierarchization, hybridization, pluralization, and individualization. A particular focus is put on questions of cultural self-definition and -determination as well as contact and encounter between different cultural groups within the context of an American society. In the formation of cultural identities determinants of race, class and gender, amongst others, play a key role in understanding how experiences and subjectivities intersect and meet to produce art, culture and knowledge as well as form subcultures made up of these cultural artefacts.

Current research areas of the faculty and staff are: popular culture and seriality, American media history and theory, narrative theory and aesthetic experience, African American Studies, print culture, transnational dimensions of American culture.
The faculty regularly offers courses in areas such as the American history of ideas, the cultural history of specific media and cultural forms of expression such as literature, film, photography, theater, popular music and american visual arts, as well as courses in the theories and methods in "American Studies" and "Cultural Studies".
Additionally the Department of Culture's visiting professors in Art History teach courses on North American visual culture.

Winter 2021 to Summer 2022 Rizvana Bradley (Yale University)
Winter 2020 to Summer 2021 David J. Getsy (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
Winter 2019 to Summer 2020 Joshua Shannon (University of Maryland)
Winter 2018 to Summer 2019 Laura Katzman (James Madison University)
Winter 2017 to Summer 2018 Lauren Kroiz (UC Berkeley)
Winter 2016 to Summer 2017 Allison Stagg (TU Berlin)