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
|1982-1983|| 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|
|2006-2008|| Vizepräsident der Universität Regensburg|
Professor of English and American Studies, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia
|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|
|2005-2006|| Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs, Temple University|
| ||Director, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2001)|