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Please find our open letter in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter here.

PGF 2019
December 5-7, 2019
University of Passau

Since its inception in 1989, the Postgraduate Forum (PGF) has been a platform for early career researchers in the field of American studies to present their current and upcoming work, to engage in critical conversations with scholars working in similar fields, and strengthen networks across a variety of disciplines in a safe environment. The 2019 PGF conference marked the 30th anniversary and was hosted by a team of three doctoral candidates at the University of Passau, who were happy to host y’all in the “deep south” in December 2019!

The Passau PGF team: Thomas Stelzl, Bettina Huber, Alexandra Hauke (center) and student assistants Laura Huber (left) and Jan Gündisch (right)

Challenges of the Post-Truth Era in American Studies

The thematic focus of our conference, “Challenges of the Post-Truth Era in American Studies,” brings to the fore the important critical work of our interdisciplinary and transnational field in times of misinformation, propaganda, filter bubbles, and a lack of media literacy. Not only the United States but also across the Atlantic have political elections and their aftermaths caused turmoil in all spheres of social, cultural, and economic life. The meanings and uses of such controversial terms as “truthiness,” “fake news,” or “post-truth” (voted as words of the year by Merriam-Webster in 2006, Macquarie Dictionary Australia in 2016, and the American Dialect Society in 2017 respectively) continue to shape current discourses in the media and on social networks around information policies, propaganda, and sensationalism that highlight the historic and contemporary circumstances of democratic processes as well as its literary and cultural representations in a diachronic manner.

“Challenges of the Post-Truth Era in American Studies” signifies on the importance of bringing together perspectives on these developments from early-career scholars across all areas, media, genres, and disciplines of American studies who strive to examine post-factual trends rather than succumb to them. The 2019 PGF conference will thus provide the opportunity to present the broad range of American studies projects young researchers are currently exploring in the frame of, for example, literary studies, cultural studies, political science, history, indigenous studies, gender and queer studies, transnational American studies, postcolonial studies, media studies, and teaching American studies.