The Future(s) of American Studies

In 2006, “truthiness,” a word that describes the argumentative assertion of knowledge without regard to evidence, logic or facts, was named the word of the year by Merriam Webster. Oxford Dictionary has named “post-fact” the word of the year 2016. This adjective, defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,” describes not only much of what we can currently observe on social media, but has also shaped the discourse, and potentially the outcome, of the momentous 2016 presidential elections in the US. 

As young scholars we value facts and contextual knowledge in our research and we strive to examine post-factual trends rather than succumb to them. In light of this, the 2017 Austria’s Young Americanists (AYA) conference will explore numerous cultural, political, and literary issues pertaining to American Studies and will provide the opportunity to present the broad range of American Studies that young scholars are currently researching. In order to represent the variety of scholarly interest in American Studies, presentation topics will come from, for example, literary studies, cultural studies, genre studies, indigenous studies, transnational American studies, postcolonial studies, and media studies.


Our conference, entitled The Future(s) of American Studies, will take place May 18-19, 2017 at the US Embassy’s Amerika Haus in Vienna, Austria. This conference is designed to offer PhD students, advanced MA students as well as interested Post-Doc scholars in American Studies a frame to discuss their research projects and to build networks with peers in the same field. The keynote address will be held by Prof. C. Richard King (Washington State University), who will also be able to support attendees with his expertise, feedback and advice.

We look forward to welcoming you to Vienna! 

Austria’s Young Americanists

Alexandra Hauke, Roberta Hofer, Silke Jandl, Armin Lippitz, Barbora Orlická, Christian Stenico