About Austria’s Young Americanists

an Austrian network of grad students in American Studies

The idea behind Austria’s Young Americanists is to establish a network that provides information on the current research projects of grad students in the field of American Studies at Austrian universities (as well as Austrian PhD students abroad). The network is part of a general initiative undertaken by the European Association for American Studies that aims at making research on the PhD level across Europe more transparent.

First and foremost, AYA is designed to enhance the communication between students at Austrian universities and to make information on the ongoing research more accessible. This can aid in the organization of informal discussion groups among PhD students and is supported by our annual grad student workshops.


November 2007 – initial stages
Petra Eckhard and Silvia Schultermandl present the plans of establishing a grad student network in response to the EAAS’s call for furthering the exchange on grad student research in the field of American Studies beyond the national reach. The Austrian Association for American Studies is impressed and supports the project.
Petra Eckhard, Silvia Schultermandl, and Brigitte Wallinger-Schorn organize the first AYA grad student workshop, centered on discussions of Tony Morrison’s novel Beloved. Prof. Amritjit Singh from Ohio University is AYA’s featured workshop guest.
January 2008 – website goes online
Michael Fuchs, who joined the founding trio in fall 2007, designs the first version of AYA’s website, which goes online on January 22.
AYA hosts its annual workshops in Graz (2008 & 2009), Vienna (2010), and Innsbruck (2011).
Spring 2010
An edited collection based on the 2008 AYA workshop, Landscapes of Postmodernity: Concepts and Paradigms of Critical Theory (eds. Petra Eckhard, Michael Fuchs, and Walter Hölbling), is published as volume 10 in LIT Verlag’s American Studies in Austria series.
December 2010
In collaboration with the American Studies Department at the University of Graz, AYA hosts a small grad student conference, “Space Place, and Time: The Construction of Identity in American Literature and Popular Culture.”
January 2013
An edited collection based on the conference in December 2010, Placing America: American Culture and its Spaces (eds. Michael Fuchs & Maria-Theresia Holub), is published as volume 3 in transcript’s American Studies series.