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Ernst Fraenkel Distinguished Lecture Series

The prestigious Ernst Fraenkel Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible through the generous support of the Fritz-Thyssen-Stiftung. The lectures bring renowned North American scholars to the institute and thus foster transatlantic dialogue in the disciplines. Various lectures have been published by the institute. Since the end of the year 2009 the lectures are also available as videos.


Hortense Spillers: "To the Bone - Some Speculations on Touch" (06.06.2018)


Linda Williams: "Serial, Television, Melodrama" (29.06.2016)

David Bromwich: "The Culture of Sensitivity and the Culture of Freedom" (16.06.2016)


Paula Moya:  "Against the sorrowful and infinite solitude’: Interdependence and Narrative Webs in Ethnic American Literature" (19.05.2014)


Werner Sollors: "LIFE Magazine May 1945: Malovelent Rectangles of Spectral Horror" (July 2, 2014)


Bruce Cain: ""Fatal Flaws: The U.S. Political System Under Stress" (November 6, 2013)

Alain-G. Gagnon: "Toward a New Politics in Multinational Polities: A Canadian Exploration" (October 10, 2013)

Rita Felski: "Crrritique!" (May 16, 2013)


Barbara Sinclair: "The Obama Presidency, Congress and the Development of the Party System" (November 13, 2012)

Alan Taylor: "Global Finance after the Crash" (June 7, 2012)

Richard Slotkin: "Platoon Movie: War Films and the Reconception of American National Myth, 1943-1960" (May 24, 2012)

Leonard Cassuto: "Barbarians at the Gate: A New History of the American Novel" (May 23, 2012)

Thomas S. Blanton: "The Secrecy-Security Oxymoron: The Hyper-Growth of Top-Security America and the Declining Health of Global Democracy" (January 4, 2012)


Donald Pease: "The Current State of US-American Studies" (November 4, 2011)

Donald Worster: "Facing Limits - Abundance, Scarcity, and the American Way of Life" (May 19, 2011)

Hal Foster: "The Catastrophe of Minimalism" (April 20, 2011)


Paul Krugman: "The Failure of Crisis Management" (October 20, 2010)

Tyler Cowen: "Does the American Economic Model Have a Future?" (June 22, 2010)

Melvyn Leffler: "Reassessing the Cold War - Lessons for Today" (May 27, 2010)

Eugene White: "Bank Supervision in the United States: A Historical Perspective on its Role in the Recent Crisis" (May 20, 2010)

Myra Marx Ferree: "Intersectionality, Inequality, and the Politics of Discourse" (May 11, 2010)


Jamie Peck: "Obamanomics and the Postwelfare State" (November 12, 2009)

Philip Zelikow: "Reflections on the Unification of Germany" (October 22, 2009)

Jay Winter: "Trans-National Perspectives" (June 2009)

Hal Varian: "The Advertising World Through Google's Goggles" (June 2009)

Frances Fox Piven: "Globalization and Labor Power" (June 2009)

Nancy Fraser: "Feminism, Capitalism, and the Cunning of History" (May 2009)



James O. Horton und Lois E. Horton: "Slavery and the Making of America: The Legacy of a Contradiction" (October 2008)

William Cronon: "Telling Tales on Canvas: Landscapes of Frontier Change" (June 2008)

Sandra Gilbert: "Modern Death, MIllenium Mourning: the Challenge of 21st Century Grief" (June 2008)

Kim Moody: "New York: The Neoliberal Transformation of a City" (February 2008)

Walter Benn Michaels: "The Trouble with Diversity" (January 2008)


Benjamin M. Friedman: "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth" (July 2007)

MIchael Dear: "Altered States: US-Mexico Borderlands as a Third Nation (November 2007)

Michael Taussig: "Benjamin's Finger and the Theater of Gesture" (April 2007)

Vivian Sobchack: "Chasing the Maltese Falcon: On the Fabrications of a Movie Prop" (April 2007)


Peter Gowan: "Can America Lead the World in a Positive Direction?" (December 2006)

Andrei S. Markovits: "Unique among American Sports - Unique in the International Arena of Team Sports" (June 2006)

Ramon Saldívar: "The US/Mexico Borderlands and the Origins of the Transnational Imaginary" (June 2006)

Richard B. Freeman: "Economic and Social Policy in the New Globalization (January 2006)


Kaja Silverman: "Divine Wrong: Thoughts for Our Times on Death and War" (November 2005)

Teresa de Lauretis: "9/11, Freud, Djuna Barnes, and the Death Drive" (June 2005)

Tom Hayden: "Empire versus Democracy" (May 2005)

Michael P. Smith: "Mexican Migrant Associations in California Cities and Transnational Urban Politics" (May 2005)

Noam Chomsky: "Illegal but Legitimate: A Dubious Doctrine for the Times" (March 2005)


Richard Shusterman: "Pragmatism and East-Asian Thought" (November 2004)

Alan Wolfe: "The Transformation of American Religion" (October 2004)

Lloyd Ambrosius: " Ideology and U.S. Foreign Policy: From Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush" (July 2004)

David Reynolds: "D-Day and the Origins of the Atlantic Alliance" (May 2004)

Joseph E. Stiglitz: "The Roaring Nineties. Der Entzauberte Boom" (January 2004)

Donald E. Pease Jr.: "Pip: Figuring the Limits of Ahab's Rhetoric of Persuasion" (January 2004)


Ido Oren: "Our Enemies and U.S. America's Rivalries and the Making of Political Science" (November 2003)

Leo Marx: "Recovering the "Ur" - Theory of American Studies" (June 2003)

Michael Gilmore: "Word and Deeds: A Reinterpretation of the American Renaissance" (June 2003)

Harvey Molotch: " Product Design. Ecological Threat amd Hopes for Reform of the U.S. Consumption System" (January 2003

Karsten D. Voigt: "Der gegenwärtige Stand der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Beziehungen" (January 2003)


Randall S. Kroszner: "The American Economy in a Period of Turbulance. Current State and Prospects" (November 2002)

Joshua Meyrowitz: "Post-Privacy America" (June 2002)

Joshua Gamson: "Producing 'Freaks': Daytime Talk Shows and Sexual Boundary Marking" (May 2002)


Thomas W. Laquer: " The Festive and the Rational: Race and the Resurgence of Capital Punishment in the Unites States" (December 2001)

Lance W. Bennett: "Civic Engagement Crisis? Social Change and the Rise of Global Activism" (November 2001)

Marjorie Perloff: "The Conceptual Poetics of Marchel Duchamp" (November 2001

Joyce Appleby: "Telling the Truth about History: Recent Historiographical and Cultural Conflicts" (April 2001)

Susan Rubin Suleiman: "Other People's Memories and the Filmmaker's Self: Marcel Ophuls' Hotle Terminus between Europe and America" (February 2001)

Peter Novick: "Is the Holocaust an American Memory?" (February 2001)

Daniel T. Rogers: "Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age" (January 2001)


William Labov: "The Explosion of Regional Diversity in North American English" (October 2000)

Paul Krugman: "Has the New Economy Reached Europe?" (July 2000)


Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.: "Reflections on the Multiethnic Society: The American Case"


Henry M. Nau: "America's Staying Power: Does Europe Need a Partner?"

Rachel McCulloch: "The Impact of Foreign Ownership on U.S. Business"


David O. Sears: "Ethnic Conflict and the Politics of Race in the United States"

James S. Coleman: "Parents' Rights in Choice of School"

Richard N. Rosecrance: "A New Concert of Europe?"

Stephen D. Krasner: "Stability in a New Era of European-American Relations


Peter J. Katzenstein: "Amerika und Europa: Ein neuer Regionalismus in der Weltpolitik?"

Robert D. Putnam: "Domestic Politics and Transatlantic Relations: Two-Level Games in an Era of Change"

Catherine M. Kelleher: "Europe and America 1990 to 2000: The Security Dimension"

Linda K. Kerber: "Paradoxes of Women's Citizenship in the United States"

John Hope Franklin: "What Europeans Should Understand About the History of African Americans"

Rüdiger Dornbusch: "The Decline of the U.S. in World Trade and Finance? Policy Issues in Foreign Trade, Debt, and the Dollar"


Thomas J. Sargent: "Explaining the Reagan Deficits"

Robert E. Baldwin: "Recent U.S. Trade Policy at the Multilateral and Bilateral Levels"

Richard E. Neustadt: "American Presidential Transitions: Constitutional Requirements and Policy Risks"


Nelson W. Polsby: "The American Election of 1988: Outcome, Process and Aftermath"

William Schneider: "The Political Legacy of the Reagan Years"

Benjamin Ginsberg: "How Democratic Institutions Change Over Time: The U.S. Presidency From the New Deal to Ronald Reagan"

Ronald Inglehart: "Changing Religious, Social and Sexual Norms in the United States and Elsewhere: Is the Moral Majority a Rising or Declining Force?"

Peter Steinfels: "The Short Happy Life of Neoconservatism"


Seymour Martin Lipset: "The Social Basis of Neoconservatism"