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International Graduate Conference 2018

Follow the Yellow-Brick Road? Challenging Approaches to Progress in North America

Graduate Conference at the Graduate School of North American Studies
John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin – June 7-8, 2018

The conference was held at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Lansstr. 7- 9, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem.

Thursday, June 7

11.30 am

Introduction by Frank Kelleter, Director of GSNAS, and the Graduate Conference Organizing Committee

12.00 pm – 2.00 pmJohn F. Kennedy Institute

Poetics of Dis/Reconnection

Chair: Betsy Leimbigler, Freie Universität Berlin (Political Science)

Sally Xing, Columbia University: Madman and Sage: A New Evaluation of the Unfinished American Revolution through the Paradox of the “Two Toms”, Paine and Jefferson
Andy Gawthorpe, Leiden University: Trade liberalization, Progress and Populism (1968–2001)
Verena Reiter, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt:

Legislation With(out) Representation: Judicial Activism as Driving Force Behind Sociocultural Progress

2.00 pm – 4.00 pmJohn F. Kennedy Institute

WORKSHOP II – Bodies of Resistance: Sex, Drugs and Gender Roles

Chair: Tobias Jochum, Freie Universität Berlin (Literature) 
Edward Belleville, Freie Universität Berlin: The Other Little Blue Pill: PrEP on the Road to Sodom and Gomorrah
Kate Meakin, University of Sussex: The Indeterminate Future of Reproductive Rights: Challenges to Narratives of Progress in The
Handmaid‘s Tale
Carly Crane, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt: (Un)Doing the Privatized Self in Maggie Nelson’s Bluets
4.00 pm – 6.00 pmJohn F. Kennedy Institute

KEYNOTE IJack Halberstam, Columbia University, Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Trans*: Histories, Bodies and the Unbuilding of Worlds

6.00 pm Dinner at the John F. Kennedy Institute for all participants


Friday, June 8

8.30 am Early Bird Breakfast
11.00 am – 12.30 pmJohn F. Kennedy Institute

WORKSHOP III – The Perils of Enhancement: Visions of Betterment and their Regressive Potential

Chair: Jonathan Fox, Freie Universität Berlin (Literature)
Lee Flamand, Freie Universität Berlin: Opening Pandora’s Cable Box: Rethinking the “New Golden Age of Television”
Matthew Blackwell, University of Iowa/ Technische Universität Dortmund: Technological Progress and the “End of Editing”: Definitive vs. Digital Eds. of American Authors
Marius Dahmen, Freie Universität Berlin: The Progress of Regression – Delineating Emancipatory Potential in Contemporary Self- Help(Lessness)
11.00 pm – 1.00 pmJohn F. Kennedy Institute

KEYNOTE II – Jason Scott Smith, The University of New Mexico, Professor of History

American Capitalism and Postwar Development: The Perils of Economic Optimism in the Long Twentieth Century

1.00 pm Lunch Break
1.30 pm – 3.30 pmJohn F. Kennedy Institute

WORKSHOP IV – Engineering Progress: Perspectives on Capital, Consumption, and Crisis

Chair: Christian-Caspar Güse, Freie Universität Berlin (Political Science)
Lasse Thiele, Freie Universität Berlin: Ceteris Paribus Progress? The Green Economy, Technology, and the Future of Work
Molly Laas, Georg-August-Universität
Meat for the Masses in America and Germany: Dietary Progress in Transnational Perspective
Marc Adam, Freie Universität Berlin: Liquidating Bankers’ Acceptances: International Crisis, Personal Conflict and American Exceptionalism in the Federal Reserve, 1914–1932
3.30 pm – 5.00 pm
John F. Kennedy Institute

WORKSHOP V – Selves of the Future, Futures of the Self: Speculations on Humanness, Solidarity, and Emancipation

Chair: Nadja Klopprogge, Freie Universität Berlin (History) 

Maxi Albrecht, Freie Universität Berlin: Negotiating Humanness in a Zombie World – The Walking Dead’s Politics of Intelligences and Challenging Progress
Verena Baier, Universität Regensburg: Negotiating Utopia in Autobiographies of the USNicaragua Solidarity Movement
Sara Dasouki, Freie Universität Berlin: A Woman’s Voice is a Revolution
5.00 pm – 7.00 pmJohn F. Kennedy Institute

KEYNOTE III John Collins, London School of Economics, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Unit

Progress in U.S. Drug Policy? Cycles in Government Drug Policy Intervention


Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft