Research Area "American Literature and Cultural History with a Focus on Trans/Nationality and Space" (American Studies 2)
The research area "American Literature and Cultural History with a focus on Trans/Nationality and Space" (American Studies 2) connects two essential dimensions of American studies. On the one hand, it examines the concept of the "Nation" in the context of national identity formation, cultural exchange, and related topics. On the other hand, it focuses on the theme of "Spatiality," both in geographical and emotional contexts.
The projects consolidated within this research area delve into a variety of themes and discourses. They contribute to the discussion of questions concerning cultural self-construction and national self-definition in a spatial context:
a) Transnational Forms of Literary and Cultural Representation: This focus deals with topics such as transcultural aesthetics and the transatlantic and transpacific exchange in literature and culture in a historical context.
b) Borders and Liminality: This includes the analysis of U.S. border regions and liminal spaces in the American imagination (especially adaptable self-images, flexible self-representation designs, etc.).
c) Mobility: This encompasses the exploration of intercultural exchange in the American space against the backdrop of imagined or real travel experiences.
d) Corporeality: In this context, notions of corporeality as a cultural practice and their relationship to the national space, as well as phenomena of embodiment, are examined.
The "history of spaces" narrated through these parameters serves, in a Foucauldian sense, both as dispositifs of ideologies through which hegemony is manifested and as vehicles of resistance to challenge dominant assumptions regarding the concept of "Nation."