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International Graduate Conference 2014

Trust Issues: Community, Contingency, and Security in North America

Keynote lectures will be held by

The conference will also include a showing of “Hawk & Dove”, a video work by British artist Isabella Streffen with a talk and Q&A. John B. Emerson, Ambassador of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Germany, will deliver an opening address.


We encourage you to register as early as possible. In order to do so, please send an email to gsnas.conference2014@gsnas.fu-berlin.de stating your full name, contact information and institutional affiliation.

Unfortunately, the Graduate School of North American Studies cannot provide any grants to cover your participation fee and travel expenses.

If you have any questions concerning the registration process, please contact us at gsnas.conference2014@gsnas.fu-berlin.de


You can download the full schedule here [Flyer, 1 MB, pdf].
Friday 9th May 
9.00 am Registration opens
9.30 am Opening Remarks and Address by H.E. John B. Emerson, U.S. Ambassador to Germany
10.30 am Coffee Break
Friday 9th May 11.00 amPanel I & II

Episodes of Pervasive Distrust: American Institutions and the Effects of Paranoia and Anxiety

Panel Chair: Sebastian Jobs

Auréliane Narvaez

Fostering, Managing and Relieving Doubts: Manipulating Mistrust and the Threat of
Religious Skepticism in Antebellum America 1790-1830

Katharina Thalmann

“An Idée Fixe Whose Time Has Come”: Paranoia and the Watergate Scandal

Simon Schleusener

Theatricality, Surveillance, and the Politics of Trust

Tricksters and Con Men: Untrustworthy Figures in American Cultural Expression

Panel Chair: Kathleen Loock

Dennis Mischke

Confidence Games and Global Communities: Herman Melville and Imperial Cosmopolitanism

Sonja Schillings

Unreliable Characters and Coded Messages in Flannery O‟Connor‟s “Revelation”

Wieland Schwanebeck

Gotta Know Your Audience: Argo and the Cinematic Confidence Game

12.30 pm Lunch Break
1.45 pm Artist Presentation: Isabella Streffen, Hawk & Dove
2.45 pm Coffee Break
Friday 9th May 3.00 pmPanel III & IV

“The Most Trusted Name in News?”: Television from Political Commentary to Parody

Panel Chair: Alexander Starre

Sarah Archino

Performing Stephen Colbert: Parafiction, Truthiness, and Super PACs

Jasmin Humburg

In Gold We Trust? Peniaphobia and the (In)security of Wealth in U.S. Television Shows

Curd Knüpfer

Trustworthy Sources? News Media Bias and Trust in American Politics

American Borders: The Ethnic Other’s Relation to Security and Trust

Panel Chair: Martin Lüthe

Ina Batzke

(De)Stabilized TRUST in the Nation? The Difficulty of Including „Other‟ People

Aleksandra Holubowicz

Border Security as the Solution to Complex Borderlands Problems

Sara Swerdlyk

The 'Securitization' of Romani Migration: New Insights from the Canadian Case

4.30 pm Refreshments
5.00 pm Keynote: Martin Hartmann, The Decline of Trust: Myth or Fact?
6.30 pm Reception



Saturday 10th May 
9.00 am Coffee and Registration
9.30 am Keynote: Susan Castillo, Trust, Civility, and the Shadow of Jamestown
11.00 am Breakfast Reception
Saturday 10th May 11.30 amPanel V & VI

Faltering Communities: Sociological Perspectives on Trust and Fear in American Society

Panel Chair: Markus Kienscherf

Emanuela Burini

Urban Fear and Social Insecurity: The Phenomenon of Gated Communities in North America

Nathan Vanderpool

The Interfaith Anchor: A Trust-Building Tool for Achieving Religious Pluralism

Branko Woischwill

Taxi Drivers and the Problem of Trust

Visibility, Surveillance, and Control: Mediation and the Power of the Image in American Culture

Panel Chair: Simon Schleusener

Ilka Brasch

Negotiating Trust and Surveillance in the Film Serial The Exploits of Elaine (1915)

Daniela Agostinho

Aesthetics of Distrust: Transparency, Opacity and War in Brian de Palma‟s Redacted (2007)

Wiebke Kartheus

Can We Trust Our Eyes? Edward Snowden and the Image of the Empty Seat

1.00 pm Lunch Break
Saturday 10th May 2.15 pmPanel I & II

Between Soft Power and Warfare: Trust and Security in North American Intelligence and Foreign Policy

Panel Chair: Christian Lammert

Sarah Earnshaw

Engendering Trust in U.S. Post-Cold War Foreign Policy: A Foucauldian Analysis of the Construction of Dominant Security Threats

Eva Jobs

A Trustworthy Transatlantic Joint Venture?

Mark Neufeld

Trust and Distrust in the Canadian Polity: Domestic and Foreign Policy Implications

Uncertain Times: Trust and Trauma in American Literature after 2000

Panel Chair: Thomas Dikant

Florian Gross

“Hey, If You Can‟t Trust Another Kugelblitz Mom?”: 9/11, The Dot-Com Bubble and Family in Thomas Pynchon‟s Bleeding Edge

Julian Henneberg

In Search of the “Third Culture”: Technoscience, Truth, and Trust in the Work of Richard Powers

Birte Wege

“Weapons of Mass Displacement”: In the Shadow of No Towers and the War of Images

3.45m Coffee Break
4 pm Concluding Panel
Panel Chairs: Talel Ben Jemia and Nikolas Keßels
5.30 pm Farewell Reception
Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft