The 2017 Austria’s Young Americanists (AYA) conference, entitled “The Future(s) of American Studies,” was designed to provide a space for discussions about topical developments of American Studies. On May 18th and 19th twenty-one young scholars from Austria, Germany, and Spain shared their ongoing projects in presentations about the American political, social, literary and cultural context as well as its international reverberations. The University of Graz was especially well represented at this event, as not only the Fulbright Professor who lent his expertise and delivered the keynote speech, and two of the organizing board represented the University of Graz, but also one third of the young scholars presenting their research are students from Graz. They, thus, demonstrated the broad range of research in American Studies that is currently being undertaken at the University of Graz.
This year’s conference has further strengthened existing networks between young American Studies scholars in Austria and beyond; and conference participants have not only taken the opportunity to extend their networks but also to envision future cooperation with others working in American Studies across Europe, which is the principal goal of the AYA network. The quality of the presentations, the opening keynote as well as the guest chairs, and AYA board members’ commitment all ensured the success of the event and the feedback from conference participants and guests has been overwhelmingly positive so far.