Trust is an essential component of American culture, in terms of ideological promises, governmental systems, consumer culture, and international relations. Yet in some ways the recent history of the United States – from bank failures to dubiously declared wars – has brought about a crisis of trust, both within the United States and in U.S. global relations. Understanding the culture of the United States at the present time requires us to look at several interrelated areas of American culture and at the history of trust in American society. Using a variety of materials (literature, visual materials, film, documents and speeches), this seminar will explore trust in terms of the following broad areas and agencies:
– The promise of America: Does the U.S. still offer its citizens and immigrants a vision of the American Dream?
– Trusting the government: Can individual rights be balanced against state power?
– Trusting self and trusting others: Is the culture of individualism still alive? How strong is collectivism?
– Trusting the corporation: What are the responsibilities of businesses? To whom are they responsible?
– Trusting the media: Given an absolute dependence on information, can Americans believe what they see and hear?
– Trusting science and trusting religion: In the face of our technological challenges, how do science and religion compete for authority in the U.S.?
Professor and Chair of American Studies, Department of English and American Studies, Faculty of Languages and Literatures, University of Regensburg||
Professor of English and American Studies, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia||
Professor and Chair of American Studies, Department of English and American Studies, Faculty of Languages and Literatures, University of Regensburg
|1982-1984 1. und 2. Staatsexamen Englisch / Deutsch, Universität Mainz|
|1982-1983 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA|
|1995-1996 Wissenschaftlicher Assistent, Universität Mainz|
|1989 Promotion Dr. phil., Universität Mainz|
|1992-1993 Gastwissenschaftler Harvard University, USA|
|1995 Habilitation (venia: Amerikanistik), Universität Mainz|
|1995-1996 Professor für Amerikanische Literatur und Kultur, Universität Potsdam|
|1996-1998 Professor für Nordamerikanische Literatur, Universität Freiburg|
|seit 1998 Lehrstuhl für Amerikanistik, Universität Regensburg. Abgelehnte Rufe: Lehrstühle in Kassel, Mainz, Freiburg|
|2003-2005 Dekan der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universiät Regensburg|
Professor of English and American Studies, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia
|1964 B.A., Columbia University|
|1970 Ph.D., Harvard University|
|since 1969 Professor of English and American Studies, Temple University, Philadelphia|
|1986-1987 Visiting Professor, University of Pennsylvania|
|1988 Fulbright Professor of American Studies, University of Copenhagen|
|1975-1980 Director of American Studies, Temple University|
|2000-2005 Director of American Studies, Temple University|
|since 2002 Editor in Chief, Encyclopedia of American Studies Online|
| ||Director, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2001)|