The 2017 Austria’s Young Americanists (AYA) conference, entitled “The Future(s) of American Studies,” was designed to provide a space for discussions about topical developments of American Studies. On May 18th and 19th twenty-one young scholars from Austria, Germany, and Spain shared their ongoing projects in presentations about the American political, social, literary and cultural context as well as its international reverberations. They, thus, demonstrated the broad range of research in American Studies that young scholars are currently undertaking as well as the interdisciplinary and intersectional nature of the field with topics ranging from transnational ideologies to liminal (academic) identities, cinematic and televisual visualizations of gender, femininity and body politics, to literary renderings of the manifold issues in historical and recent US contexts.
This year’s conference has further strengthened existing networks between young American Studies scholars in Austria and beyond; and conference participants have not only taken the opportunity to extend their networks but also to envision future cooperation with others working in American Studies across Europe, which is the principal goal of the AYA network. The quality of the presentations, the opening keynote as well as the guest chairs, and AYA board members’ commitment all ensured the success of the event and the feedback from conference participants and guests has been overwhelmingly positive so far.
For all of you who could not make it, you can access the conference program, including all the abstracts, here.