American Studies Graduate Forum



UniGR-Center for Border Studies



Working Group Bordertextures



Zertifikat "Angewandte Pop-Studien"



Intersections



Forum Geschlechterforschung



International Research Training Group




Transatlantic Dialogues



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Research & Projects

Research interests include:




Supported by EU funding, the universities of the group “University of the Greater Region – UniGR” are implementing a European Center for Border Studies. The cross-border cooperation project runs for three years and is supposed to promote research in the field of border studies in the Greater Region and to make this research more visible internationally. As a broad and  interdisciplinary research area, researchers from the humanities and social sciences work on a wide range of topics related to borders areas, such as the significance of bordersand their impact on the economy, politics, social life or culture.
 
The ambitious three-year work program is being implemented from 1st January 2018. It closely brings together the researchers of the partner universities, ensures optimal research conditions, and promotes dialogue between academia and politics. Students from the partner universities will benefit from the project as well. For example, in a trilingual glossary, key concepts of border studies are compiled and in an online database, important border research documents are bundled in three languages (DE/FR/EN). In addition, the UniGR-Center for Border Studies also organizes scientific seminars and public panel discussions on borders and its challenges. It also simplifies cross-border and multilingual teaching and develops modern blended learning solutions.

More information: borderstudies.org

Partner universities and institutions involved in this project: University of the Greater Region, University of Luxemburg (LUX), University of Lorraine (FRA), University of Liège (BEL), University of Trier (GER), and University of Kaiserslautern (GER)

Funding line: Interreg VA Greater Region





Diversity is a central issue in current discussions about cultures and societies. Bringing together scholars and PhD students from Montréal, Saarbrücken, and Trier, our International Research Training Group pursues an innovative research program in the contested fields of diversity, multiculturalism, and transnationalism. We do so by examining paradigmatic changes and historical transformations in interpreting multicultural realities in North America (Québec and Canada in particular) and Europe (Germany and France in particular) since the 18th century.

More information: www.irtg-diversity.com

Partner universities and institutions involved in this project: University of Montreal (CAN) and University of Trier (GER)

Funding line: DFG Reseacrh Training Group




The borders of our time are arguably more complex than ever: on the one hand, they are unstable concepts with shifting meanings, metaphors, and paradigms of thinking; on the other, they are hard facts, fortified geographical shells, hard to penetrate and often deadly. Furthermore, it is safe to say that the borders of our time are in crisis. From the porous interior boundaries of the Schengen space, to the mass migration crisis challenging the external limits of the European Union, to the post-soviet military conflict zone in Ukraine, to the isolationist thrust of Brexit: After a period of de-bordering, we are facing a re-bordering, and the meanings of Europe and the ideals of democracy and civil society they stand for are being challenged. At the same time, much of the recent election season in the United States was built around the idea of borders, whether it is the infamous wall between the US and Mexico, or the popular discourse of American people fleeing the impending Trump regime by crossing the border to Canada (the Immigration Canada website famously crashed on the night of US presidential elections, unable to handle the sheer volume of inquiries). Generally speaking, the dream and ideal of open borders seems poised on the brink of extinction: building walls is increasingly becoming the dominant narrative of today’s politics, institutional as well as cultural.

While cultural critics like Gloria Anzaldúa and Walter Mignolo speak of the liberating potential of “border thinking” and “dwelling in the borders,” refugees risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean or taking the Balkan route, and so do migrants riding the Beast, “the infamous freight train that trundles through the country from near the Guatemalan border all the way to the US and has traditionally been the route of choice for the poorest and most vulnerable” (Jo Tuckman for The Guardian). This tension between the physical and the lyrical is one of the greatest potentials of border discourses, and one of their toughest political challenges: while for some borders are spaces of myth, for others they are places of death, at least potentially; and sometimes, they are both. Art and artistic discourses, ethnic and minority literatures, as well as alternative theoretical frameworks, like Anzaldúa’s “theory in the flesh,” straddle this tension in order to expose borders, what they are and what they do, their perverse beauty and blatant brutality of “una herida abierta” (Anzaldúa) - “an open wound.” In this project, we will also attempt to straddle this tension, exploring the physical and the lyrical of borders, European as well as inter- and intra-American.         

In order to critically engage all these themes in the context of this collaboration, we propose to structure the discussion according to following fields of inquiry:

I.    Border Crises and Race, Gender, and Sexuality
II.    Border Crises and Civil Society
III.    Border Crises and Trauma
IV.    Border Crises and Environment
V.    Border Art: Border Crises through Artists’ Eyes

More information: borders-in-crisis.eu

Partner universities and institutions involved in this project: Petro Mohyla Black Sea State University (UKR)

Funding line: DAAD Eastpartnership Program

 




We are an interregional working group within the framework of the UniGR-Center for Border Studies. Our focus is on cultural studies approaches to border studies with the aim of gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the (re)production of borders and their (re)presentations, and thus enriching the often over-simplified discussions about border (region) issues.

The concept of bordertextures developed by the working group is located between geopolitical and socio-scientific analyses of materially manifested structures, on the one hand, and investigations from cultural studies of ideally effective constructions, on the other. The analyses of the working group aim at the respective complex ‘textures’ of the research object that have formed out of attributions, ideas, or bodily representations in their mutual interweavings and influences.

Partner universities and institutions involved in this project: University of the Greater Region, University of Luxemburg (LUX), UniGR-Center for Border Studies



American / Cultural Studies as a Transnational Project

Transatlantic Dialogues (TAD) is a transnational project situated at the intersections of American and Cultural Studies. It brings together students and faculty from 3 different universities to explore American Studies topics from a Cultural Studies perspective, making use of e-learning and team-teaching and organizing on-site student team projects.

Partner universities and institutions involved in this project: University of Vienna (AUT) and Bradley University (USA)