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Program

For an overview of the program (as of April 18, continuously updated), click here:

Conference Program

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Keynote Lectures

Keynote Lecture 1: Nina Sun Eidsheim

Thursday, May 23, 2024
5:45–7:15 PM | PFL, Großer Saal

Worldmaking: Performing, Reading, and Listening to Wadada Leo Smith’s Ankhrasmation

Ankhrasmation—an original compositional language invented by composer, trumpet player, and music theorist/philosopher Wadada Leo Smith (1941-)—has often been misunderstood as graphical notation. Considering and reevaluating the cultural implications of this narrowly framed Eurological interpretation, I seek to offer a different source and an alternative context for Smith’s singular contribution to American music. Building on work in Black studies, American music, and sound studies (Brooks, forthcoming; Brown, 2010; Eshun, 1998; Crawley, 2016; Kelley, 2009; Kun, 2005; Moten, 2003, Radano, 1995; Redmond, 2020), I use a multimodal (archival, ethnographic, and practice-based) methodological approach to offer three related contributions. First, following scholars including Lewis (2008), Piekut (2011), Southern (1997), and Radano (1993), I amplify and extend activism and scholarship that takes African American musicians seriously as composers. Second, through documenting and closely analyzing Smith’s unique notational and compositional strategies within the context of American composers generally, and contemporaneous (1960s-) composers experimenting with notation specifically, this research calls attention to the “exclusionary effects” of listening practices (DGfA 2024 call), and foregrounds an often overlooked dimension to the established story of twentieth century American composers and their practices (including Sitsky, 2002, Duckworth, 1995). And third, this project seeks to map Smith’s legacy—his indelible contribution to the American soundscape—by offering the practice of world making through writing, performing, reading, and listening to Ankhrasmation.

Nina Sun Eidsheim writes about voice, race, and materiality, including the books Sensing Sound: Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice and The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music. She is Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles and Associate Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women|Barbra Streisand Center. She is also a vocalist and the founder and director of the UCLA Practice-based Experimental Epistemology Research (PEER) Lab, an experimental research Lab dedicated to decolonializing data, methodology, and analysis, in and through multisensory creative practices.

Keynote Lecture 2: Nassim Winnie Balestrini

Friday, May 24, 2024
9:00–10:30 AM | A14, Hörsaal 2

Sound Arguments: Reflections on the Sonic in Climate Change Drama

Dramatic works that address climate change frequently have an argumentative bent expressed through verbal discourse that highlights specific outlooks. While the semantic contents of such utterances have been discussed by scholars, the sonic features attached to verbal exchanges and their relatedness to other sounds have been neglected. This paper will discuss works whose use of sonic features go beyond exerting an aesthetic, decorative, or atmospheric impact in order to become part of the discursive structure of a play. This inquiry will be contextualized within theater-artists’ endeavors to overcome the anthropocentrism of Western traditions. Thus, the discussion of dramatic soundscapes will include sounds from the more-than-human realm, ranging from creaking ice and howling wind to flora and fauna. By approaching the sonic as a variegated repertoire of dramatic signifiers, this talk will offer reflections on stage-related soundscapes that are designed to develop argumentative prowess within the theatrical representation of climate change debates. Sensory historian Mark M. Smith exhorts scholars “to listen historically” (A Sensory History Manifesto [2021] 32) and to research the nexus between changing sensory habits and new social realities (62). As the analysis of several plays intends to show, climate change theater challenges us to listen not simply habitually but rather with ears attuned to planetarity, cross-species connectedness, the elements, deep time, and human limitations. Ultimately, this keynote hopes to forge a path towards defining a sonic ecology of climate change drama.

Nassim Winnie Balestrini is professor of American Studies and Intermediality at the University of Graz, Austria, where she also directs the Centre for Intermediality Studies. Previously, she taught in Germany and the United States. Her publications include monographs on Vladimir Nabokov (in English and German) and on opera adaptations of nineteenth-century American fiction, edited/co-edited collections (most recently, Aging Studies and Ecocriticism, 2023), articles on hip hop (e.g., in Popular Music and Society, the Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Music Studies, and Ecozon@), and on intermediality theory and practice (e.g., a special issue on “Depicting Destitution Across Media” for the Journal for Literary and Intermedial Crossings), on contemporary American poetry (e.g., in Amerikastudien/American Studies), and on climate change drama (e.g., in JCDE and Nordic Theatre Studies).

Keynote Lecture 3: Jonathan Rosenberg

Saturday, May 25, 2024
11:30 AM–1:00 PM | A14, Hörsaal 2

Composers, Maestros, and Pianists: Considerations on Classical Music and World Politics in Postwar America

Over the course of the twentieth century, the classical music community in the United States was drawn into the maelstrom of world politics, a development that supplied classical music with a degree of political significance that is now difficult to comprehend. International affairs, including the emergence of totalitarian regimes and the two world wars, had a profound impact on the activities of instrumentalists, singers, conductors, and composers in the United States, and also on the work of American symphony orchestras and opera companies. Beyond this, world politics shaped how listeners, music critics, journalists, and even those with little affection for classical music responded to and interacted with the music and with those who performed and composed it.
In focusing on the post-1945 era, the talk will explore how world politics touched the creative lives of artists such as Shostakovich, Copland, Bernstein, Furtwangler, Cliburn, and Gieseking. Whether on American soil or in Europe, the activities of such figures became enmeshed in the Cold War and in the heated controversies surrounding Nazism, which continued to roil the American public in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
As will be seen, the world of classical music in the United States helped the American people decide what was worth fighting for; it illuminated the meaning of democracy, freedom, and patriotism; and it supplied insight into the way Americans understood the nature of tyranny and oppression. Finally, classical music and the work of classical musicians helped the American people reflect on the role of the United States in the world and enhanced their understanding of the country’s purpose in the postwar era.

Jonathan Rosenberg is a professor of twentieth-century U.S. history at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research focuses on the history of the United States in a global context. His books include Dangerous Melodies: Classical Music in America from the Great War through the Cold War (W.W. Norton, 2020); How Far the Promised Land?: World Affairs and the American Civil Rights Movement from the First World War to Vietnam (Princeton University Press, 2006); co-author, Kennedy, Johnson, and the Quest for Justice: The Civil Rights Tapes (W.W. Norton, 2003); co-editor, Cold War Statesmen Confront the Bomb: Nuclear Diplomacy since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 1999). His current project is The Jazz Expats: How American Jazz Musicians Left Their Country and Changed the World. Before becoming a historian, Rosenberg worked as a musician.

Panels

(1) Indigenous Sonic Sovereignty in Literature and Culture

A01, Room 0-005

Panel Organizers:
Stefan Benz (Bonn) & Sabine N. Meyer (Bonn)

Presentations:

Sonic Sovereignty in Native Oratory
Angela Benkhadda (Bonn)

Sovereign Voices and Intimate Relations: Indigenous Podcasts in the 21st Century Mediascape
René Dietrich (Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

Sounding the Territory and Storying the Land (Back): Talking Totems and Talking Trees in Contemporary Indigenous Art and Storytelling
Sabine Kim (Mainz)

Reclaiming the Body, Reclaiming the Voice: Tanya Tagaq's Inuk Throat Singing
Doro Wiese (Nijmegen)

Read more here!

 

(2) The Sounds of Progress: Acoustic Ecologies in American Literature

A14, Room 1-113

Panel Organizers:
David John Cross (Stuttgart) & Amanda Kay Halter (Jena)

Presentations:

'With All Those Places to Live, How Come Nobody's Anywhere?' – The Great Silence and Elegy for the Planet in Richard Powers’ Bewilderment (2019) and Maya Lin’s What Is Missing (2009)
Marina Pingler (Tübingen)

Cabin Noise. Sounds of Progress and Resistance in James Benning’s Two Cabins (2011) and Stemple Pass (2012)
Robert A. Winkler (Salzburg)

'In Space, No One Can Hear You Stream’: Acoustic Placemaking in North American Astroculture
Jens Temmen (Düsseldorf)

Cracking, Whizzing, Sighing, Whistling: The Sounds of North America’s Icescapes
Svenja Engelmann-Kewitz (Dresden)

Read more here!

 

(3) Call and Response: Afro-Diasporic Sonic Worldmaking

A14, Room 1-112

Panel Organizers:
Marian Ofori-Amoafo (Bayreuth/Passau) & Sophie Kriegel (Berlin)

Presentations:

From Work Songs to Liberation: Soundscapes, Resistance, and Palimpsests of Subjugation
Marian Ofori-Amoafo (Bayreuth/Passau)

Black Atlantis: Fluid Remediations, Spatiotemporal Reverberations, and Afrofuturist Re-Storying in Drexciyan Mythology
Julia Gatermann ( Dresden)

The Sound of the Stillness: Exploring Sonic Masculinities in N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season
Timothy E. Stroud (Halle-Wittenberg)

“Nu Caribbean Feminism”: Hip-Hop as Intersectional Knowledge
Julia Roth (Bielefeld)

Read more here!

 

(4) Bird Sonics

A14, Room 0-031

Panel organizers:
Johanna Hartmann, Julia Nitz & Erik Redling (Halle-Wittenberg)

Presentations:

Contemporary Native American Bird Sonics
Philipp Schweighauser (Basel)

Uncanny Augury: Audible Futures through Bird Sonics in American Literature
Burak Sezer (Dortmund)

Sidney Lanier’s ‘The Mockingbird’ and Intersonic Mimicking
Erik Redling (Halle-Wittenberg)

David Rothenberg: Collective Improvisation in Interspecies Music
Louisa Collenberg (Frankfurt)

Read more here!

(5) The Word not Said, The Sound not Made: The Ineffable in Sound and Text

A14, Room 0-030

Panel Organizers:
Ilka Brasch (Hannover) & Elena Furlanetto (Duisburg-Essen)

Presentations:

Breath-taking! – The Prosodics of Erasure in the Poetry of M. NourbeSe Philip, Solmaz Sharif, and Philip Metres
Mahshid Mayar (Bonn)

Yo’åmte: Ineffable Soul-Healing in the Writing of Julian Aguon
Ajani Burrell (Mainz)

Colonial Arboreal Imaginaries: Settler Colonial Writers and the Animated Tree
Sladja Blažan (Marburg)

‘[T]he Spheres – at play!’ Sound and Silence in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson
Sabine Sielke (Bonn)

Read more here!

(6) “The Vast and Howling Wilderness”: Sounds of Early America

A14, Room 0-030

Panel Organizers:
Phillip James Grider (Göttingen) & Abigail Fagan (Hannover)

Presentations:

Phillis Wheatley Peters’ Black Soundscapes and the Politics of New Materialism
Shelby Lynn Johnson (Stillwater, OK)

The Sound of Deception: Imposture, Stupefaction, and Transformation in Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca’s Chronicle of the Narváez Expedition
Anna-Lena Oldehus (Hannover)

'The Science of Deception': Silence, Noise, and Avoiding Detection in The Narrative of Henry Tufts (1807)
Johannes C. P. Schmid (Flensburg)

Ethics and Oral History
Abigail Fagan (Hannover)

(7) Sounding the Video Essay: On Sound and Music in Videographic Scholarship (Roundtable)

A14, Room 0-031

Panel Organizers:
Evelyn Kreutzer (Lugano) & Kathleen Loock (Hannover)

Presentations

Taste the Feeling: Global Sounds of America
Jaap Kooijman (Amsterdam)

Aesthetics of Resistance: Residente’s Audiovisual Counter-Narratives of Latin American Identity and Pride
Daniela Gutierrez (Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Sirenscapes; Or, ‘Woop-Woop: That’s the Sound of the Police’
Lee Flamand (Bochum)

Sound and Music in War Films: How a Genre Conveys Concepts of Conflict and ‘Authenticity’
Kristina Seefeldt (Freiburg)

Experiential Intensity
Oswald Iten (Luzern)

Read more here!

(8) Beyond "Black CNN": Hip-Hop Soundscapes between Lifeworld and Art World

A14, Room 1-112

Panel Organizers:
Anthony Obst (Berlin) & Michael L. Thomas (Amsterdam)

Presentations

So Many Tears: The Sentimental Self and Constructions of Black (Hyper-)Masculinity in Hip-Hop Culture
Hana Vrdoljak (Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Deciphering Esoteric Manuscripts – Mythopoesis in Hip-Hop’s Sonic Fictions
Pius Jonas Vögele (Basel)

Abstract Soundscapes: Experimental Hip-Hop and the Aesthetics of Real Abstraction
Simon Schleusener (Berlin)

Sounds of the Barrio: The Spatiality of Chicano Rap in TV & Film
Dianne Violeta Mausfeld (Bern)

Read more here!

(9) Strange Talk? Practices and Politics of Dialect in US Literature and Media

A14, Room 1-113

Panel Organizers:
Evangelia Kindinger (Berlin) & Amy Doherty Mohr (München)

Presentations:

Dialect and the Aesthetics of Language in the Work of Ezra Pound
James Dowthwaite (Jena)

Uncle Remus in the Disneyzone: Adapting Joel Chandler Harris
Florian Freitag (Duisburg-Essen)

Talking, Storytelling, and Testimony: Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” (2018) by Zora Neale Hurston
Amy Doherty Mohr (München)

Read more here!

(10) Sounding America: Current Perspectives on Soundscapes in Education

A01, Room 0-005

Panel Organizers

Uwe Küchler (Tübingen) & Ricardo Römhild (Münster)

Presentations

From Soundscapes to Microlistening – Listening to Voices of America
Jens-Folkert Folkerts (Münster)

‘Don't sweat the technique’ - A Critical Approach to Teaching English with Hip-Hop
Silke Braselmann (Jena)

American Soundscapes and Eco-critical Literacy in Musical and Literary Practice
Tanya Gautam & Roman Bartosch (Köln)

Read more here!

(11) American Resonance: Sonic Writing and Written Sound (Roundtable)

A14, Room 0-030

Panel Organizers

Dustin Breitenwischer (Hamburg) & Patricia Nash (Berlin)

Part 1

Writing Samples: Tracklib’s Sample Breakdowns Series as Transmedial Political Practice
Martin Lüthe (Berlin)

The American Resonance Reconsidered: Mapping the Sonic Rebirth of Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman in Contemporary Music
Frank Mehring (Nijmegen)

Part 2:

Sonic Serendipities: Lessons in Wit and Auditive Power from Mina Loy’s Poetry Tracks
Johanna Pelikan (Hamburg)

Between Field Recording and Literary Sound Archive: Recording Sound as Literary Practice
Philipp Leonhardt (Innsbruck)

Part 3:

The Sonic Realm of Anti-Lynching Activism: The 1917 Silent Parade, The Crisis, and Harlem Renaissance Fictions
Alexandra Hartmann (Paderborn)

Re-sounding the ‘Neo-Slave Narrative’
Annika McPherson (Augsburg)

(12) American Music in Times of Political Crisis during the 1930s and 40s

A01, Room 0-004

Panel Organizer

Axel Jansen (Washington, D.C.)

Presentations

The Ironies of Cultural Nationalism in a Transnational Age. Aaron Copland and American Music in the 1930s/40s
Marcus Gräser (Linz)

Alan Lomax and the Promotion of Folk Music during the 1930s and 40s
Risto Lenz (Köln)

A European Modernist Far From Home: On Béla Bartók’s Role as an Exile in the United States
Michael Braun (Regensburg)

Read more here!

 

(13) Music, Race, and Human Rights in North America Since 1948

A14, Room 1-113

Panel Organizer

Jessica Gienow-Hecht (Berlin)

Presentations

Sounds of Rights: The Declaration of Human Rights Concerts since 1949
Jessica Gienow-Hecht (Berlin)

Tuning into Justice: Yehudi Menuhin's Post-Holocaust Musical Human Rights Advocacy
Kira Alvarez (Berlin)

Identifying Classical Music’s Racial Inequity: An Afro-American Perspective
Brandon Brown (Berlin)

Read more here!

 

(14) Sounds of Rebellion – Popular Music and Transnational Black Freedom Struggles

A14, Room 1-112

Panel Organizers

Wilfried Raussert (Bielefeld) & Matti Steinitz (Bielefeld)

Presentations

X-treme Sounds: Hardcore Punk, Sonic Activism, and Black Resilience
Steffen Wöll (Leipzig)

Am I Feelin' Myself? U.S. Commercial Rap Music Videos and Dutch Black Young Women and Men's Self-images
Kim Dankoor (Utrecht)

Global Dance Machines: The Transnational Theatre of Chicago House Music
Marcel Hartwig (Siegen)

Hemispheric Soulscapes: Soul music and the rise of Black Power in Afro-Latin America
Matti Steinitz (Bielefeld)

Read more here!

(15) The Sounds of Horror: Music and Sound Effects in Horror Film and Television

A01, Room 0-005

Panel organizers

Michael Fuchs (Innsbruck) & Anna Marta Marini (Madrid)

Presentations

The Sounds of Science in Pre-Code Horror
Martin Holtz (Graz)

Distortion and Disturbance: Physical Presence Through the Telephone Line in American Horror Cinema
Stephan Gräfe (Hildesheim)

The Concept of “Silent” Episodes in Horror Television: The Paradox of the Medium
Klára Feikusová (Palackého)

Analog Soundscaping and Glitching Horror in Skinamarink
Milo Miller (Leipzig)

Read more here!

(16) 'Sensing' Affect: Voice and Tone in US Literature

A14, Room 0-031

Panel Organizers

Annika Schadewaldt (Leipzig), Stefan Schubert (Leipzig) & Ulla Stackmann (Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

Presentations

Tone and Autotheoretical Affect in Billy-Ray Belcourt and Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Silvia Schultermandl (Münster)

Soundscapes of a Transpacific Phenomenology: Ocean Vuong's ‘Aubade with Burning City’
Julia Machtenberg (Bochum)

The Sounds of Comedy and Funny Feelings in Recent U.S. Stand-Up.”
Nele Sawallisch (Trier)

‘Go ahead, be a monster. You deserve it.’ – The Sardonically Angry Voice of Why I am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto (2017)
Laura Handl (Dresden)

Read more here!

(17) Concepts of Sound and Listening. On the Role of Sound Technologies in US-American Cultural History

A01, Room 0-007

Panel Organizer

Steffen Just (Bonn)

Presentations

Sinusoidal Soundscapes. Telharmony and the Conceptualization of Electro(mecha)nical Listening
Christina Dörfling (Berlin)

‘Empowered by You’. Datafying and Programming Music Listening in the first Half of the 20th Century
Max Alt and José Gálvez (Bonn)

Twangin’ the Country. Pedal Steel Guitar and the Sonic Materiality of American Identity
Hendrik Burfeind (Kiel)

The Soundscape of 1980s Pop Music. FM Synthesis and the Conceptualization of Sound as Signal
Valentin Ris (Bonn)

Read more here!

Current Events Panel

Current Events Panel: Pop, Politics, Populism: Sounds of the Election

Friday, May 24 2024
2:30–4:00 PM | A14, Hörsaal 2

Panelists:  Erica Fedor, Simon Strick, Diana Suarez & Julius van de Laar
Chair: Sascha Pöhlmann

Music and sound have accompanied the 2024 election campaign from the beginning. Consider, for instance, FOX News moderator Bret Baier prompting the Republican candidates for the presidential nomination to relate to Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” at the first Republican primary debate. Or think about the debate on whether Taylor Swift should embrace Joe Biden. The intersections and interactions between music, sound and politics, however, are much more intricate and multifaceted than these widely discussed examples might suggest: Apart from music, the sonic dimension of politics includes, e.g., the sounds of voices of politicians and their audiences, the acoustics of spaces such as town halls, the sound design in campaign videos, in news media, and on social media. In addition, music and sound have often been used to mobilize resistance outside of party politics and political parliaments. In recent history, we may think of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Women’s March on Washington.

By inviting panelists from different fields to debate these questions, the Current Events Panel seeks to shed light on the myriad ways in which music, sound, and politics are interrelated in the race to the 2024 US presidential election. How can one approach the power of music and sound? To what extent do the sonic and musical strategies of the Republican and the Democratic parties differ? And in what ways do music and sound impact politics—not only in terms of voter behavior, but also regarding the various ways in which democracy and democratic culture are practiced in the US and beyond?

Perspectives for Teachers Workshops

Saturday, May 25, 2024
2:00–4:30 PM | A14, Senatssitzungssaal

Workshop 1: Music and Cultural Appropriation: The New Hot Potato in the Classroom?
Laurenz Volkmann (University of Jena)

Beethoven, Beyoncé, Boney M, Burning Spear, Childish Gambino, Elvis, Garry Glitter, Gentleman, German brass music, Jimi Hendrix, Laid Back, Lou Reed, Kendrick Lamar, Midnight Oil, Pink Floyd, Snap, Bruce Springsteen, Steel Pulse, Tanja Tagaq—what do they all have in common? They will be featured in this presentation on cultural appropriation as a rapidly emerging issue in the teaching of music or with music. First, I will outline the challenge of dealing with this particular issue, using a variety of examples from the English language classroom. I will address its complex ramifications, including the choice of music and "appropriate" classroom activities. Then, in a classroom-oriented discussion, we will explore why and to what extent long-established practices need to be reconsidered.

Workshop 2: Film Music for the US Courtroom
Anja Rosenbrock (Gymnasium Brake)

Justice, freedom and equality are considered some of the chief values of the US—values which throughout American history were sometimes questioned by individuals and even by state and federal governments. Films about famous US court cases often take us on an emotional journey showing how such values are defended—accompanied by film music representing the victory of these values prevailing against the odds.
The workshop will contain a presentation of an example by the presenter and will then give participants the chance to work on a film example of their own in groups to determine in an evaluation phase whether there is a common musical language to film music for the US courtroom.

Diversity Roundtable

Saturday, May 25, 2024
4:30–5:30 PM | A14, Hörsaal 2

The Diversity Roundtable was founded to support marginalized scholars within the German Association for American Studies and provide all members interested in critical diversity a platform for discussion and collective movement. Since its founding, the Diversity Roundtable has met once a year, during the GAAS annual conference, and has initiated a biannual meeting in the form of a day-long workshop or symposium. 

The Diversity Roundtable is led by a co-speaker team, who also facilitates ongoing exchange among roundtable members in the form of e-mail announcements and occasional newsletters. The current co-speakers are , and . If you are interested in joining the group or would like to get in touch with the current co-speakers, please contact: .

Women's Caucus

Saturday, May 25, 2024
5:30–6:30 PM | A14, Hörsaal 2

Scholarship and Learning in the Age of AI (DASI)

Friday, May 24, 2024
1:00–2:30 PM | A14, Senatssitzungssaal

Postgraduate Events

Thursday, May 23, 2024

PGF Get-Together
3:00–4:00 PM | PFL, Seminarraum 2


Saturday, May 25, 2024

PGF Meeting and Brown Bag Lunch
1:00–2:30 PM | A14, Room 0-030

PGF Meet the Speakers
3:00–4:00 PM | A14, Hörsaal 3 

Information Sessions

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Teaching American Studies Lunch
1:00–2:00 PM | A14, Senatssitzungssaal

PGF Meeting and Brown Bag Lunch
1:00–2:30 PM | A14, Room 0-030

Members' Assembly

Friday, 24 May, 2024

DGfA/GAAS Members’ Assembly
A14, Hörsaal 2 | 4:30–7:00 PM
 

Zoom Link TBA

Social Program

Friday, May 24, 2024

Musical Performance by Diana Suarez
9:30 PM | Club Polyester

 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Award Ceremony
7:00 PM–8:00 PM | A11, Aula

Closing Event
8:00 PM | A11, Kammermusiksaal

Fingerfood by Herrlich Gutes Essen

Jazz Quartet "Invitation" (student ensemble, University of Oldenburg):
Simon Gums (vb), Jip Kröger (g), Leo Rott (b) & Martain-Louis Wiek (dr)

Party

For those who need to get back to the city center late that evening, there will be a shuttle bus between 00:30 and 2:30 AM.

Award Ceremony

Saturday, 25 May 2024
7:00–8:00 PM | A11, Aula

Chair: Miriam Strube (Vice President GAAS)

Awards 2023/24

Fulbright American Studies Award
Alexandra Hartmann
Claudia Roesch

Christoph Daniel Ebeling Fellowship
Layla Marie Koch

John W. Kluge Center Fellowship at the Library of Congress
Kit Schuster

Targeted Research Grant
Ajani Burrell

Oldenburg, IN | Amerika - Sound Installation

Oldenburg, IN | Amerika
Sound Installation

Close to Oldenburg, there is a tiny village called »Amerika«, named after America as a place of longing, as it notably was for many Germans in the late 18th century. On a cold and rainy Saturday in November 2023, a group of students participating in the course »American Soundscape Production – ›Amerika‹ klanggestalterisch erzählen« visits the place in order to make field recordings. Equipped with various recorders and microphones, they pull everything out of the site consisting of little more than a playground and a handful of houses. Spontaneous encounters with
local residents and sportspeople contribute to an instructive and enjoyable experience. At the same time in Oldenburg, Indiana, Brian Knueven, a dedicated teacher for Music and German at the local Oldenburg Academy, sets out on a search for sounds himself. Over the course of several weeks, he gathers together dozens of recordings of sounds that he considers characteristic of the town he is living in. From a basketball game to church bells and the principal’s morning announcement up to the soundscape of Washington Street, his recordings draw a vivid picture of
everyday life in an American small town.

The sound installation displays soundscapes made up of the recordings from both Amerika and Oldenburg, arranged and edited together, resulting in soundscapes of places that don’t exist in the real world but nevertheless tell stories of two places that are somehow related to each other: through the stories of those who have once left their homes to make their fortunes in America, and through the longing, for distant places in one case and for the homeland in the other, that is expressed by names such as »Amerika« and »Oldenburg«.

Concept and Implementation: Sarah-Indriyati Hardjowirogo
Oldenburg, IN Field Recordings: Brian Knueven
Amerika Field Recordings and Soundscape Production: Viktoria Achtelik, Saskia Katharina
Altenschmidt, Finja Baum, Milena Heitmann, Svenja Marschall, Vico Rosenberg, Jonas Roustai,
Amelie Schierenbeck, Philipp Stiller, Timon Wiese

Sustainability Statement

Despite the significant benefits of coming together in person for this annual meeting, we recognize that any event has an environmental impact, which we seek to reduce as much as possible within the limitations of hosting this 70th DGfA/GAAS conference.

As much as possible, we have attempted to use digitized documents during the planning process to reduce the unnecessary use and waste of paper. The printed program has been reduced to its essentials (more details are available on our digital conference website), and we have selected a local printer for the production of conference banners, posters, and other print materials.

Because we try to avoid plastic materials as much as possible, our catering uses glass bottles and paper cups rather than single-use plastic bottles.

(Changed: 18 Apr 2024)  | 
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