The Postgraduate Forum (PGF) is a loosely organized network of early researchers from all disciplines affiliated with the field of American Studies in Germany. The PGF’s beginnings can be traced back to 1989, when a small group of doctoral candidates gathered under this label to discuss current theoretical trends and developments in the field of American Studies. Since then, the PGF has not only continuously grown in size; it has also evolved into a forum that enables early Americanists to share, discuss, and publish their own research and to participate in debates concerning the politics and practices of American Studies in Germany and beyond.
The PGF’s annual conference gives early researchers (mainly at the Ph.D. level) an opportunity to present and discuss their work in progress among peers and to reach a wider audience by publishing the work presented as an article in the peer-reviewed online journal COPAS (Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies). The event is hosted by a different team of junior scholars each fall and the Call for Papers is sent out via the GAAS and PGF newsletters. For the annual conference, contributions from all disciplines of American Studies, such as literary and cultural studies, political sciences, history, international relations, are welcome. For further information on the upcoming conference, please contact the local organizers via email@example.com.
The next PGF conference will take place on November 9-11, 2017 in Berlin and is jointly organized by postgraduates from the universities of HU and FU Berlin. Find more information on their website.
The PGF at the GAAS Conference
The current PGF team organizes different events for postgraduates and early scholars to socialize and to discuss matters of their interest at each GAAS’s annual conference. At present, the PGF meets for the following sessions:
The PGF Get-Together aims to welcome new scholars to the Postgraduate Forum of the GAAS and to facilitate exchange between early scholars of American Studies. In a casual setting, early researchers of all qualification levels can learn about the PGF and meet other graduates and postgraduates before the conference picks up pace.
PGF Meeting and Brown Bag Lunch
This event invites early scholars to discuss issues of concern to the Postgraduate Forum during a brown bag lunch organized by the current PGF team. In this forum, the PGF discusses practical matters and other concerns voiced by the attendees and it decides on the hosting of upcoming PGF conferences. The PGF’s open structure explicitly invites suggestions and input from everybody present at the meeting.
PGF Meet the Speakers
The Postgraduate Forum invites early scholars to participate in a panel discussion with the keynote speakers of the current GAAS annual conference. The event allows for open scholarly exchange between the speakers and yearly researchers as well as for intensive discussion about the conference’s general topic and the individual keynote lectures.
PGF Conferences (Previous and Current)
The Postgraduate Forum was founded in 1989 when a group of postgraduates first met under this rubric at the Freie Universität Berlin. For more information on the history and development of the forum, you may consult the COPAS editorial “25 Years of PGF: Past, Present, and Future” by Sabine Sielke and Karsten Fitz (issue 16.1).
November 09–11, 2017
Location: Humboldt University Berlin
Organization: John F. Kennedy Institute (FU Berlin) & Department of English and American Studies (HU Berlin)
Team: Florian Gabriel, Helen Gibson (FU Berlin); Anne Potjans, Simon Rienäcker, Jiann-Chyng Tu (HU Berlin)
October 6–8, 2016
Location: University of Hamburg
Organization: Institute for English and American Studies (University of Hamburg) & Department of Languages and Literatures (University of Bremen)
Team: Marius Henderson, Jasmin Humburg, Julia Lange (Hamburg); Paula von Gleich, Samira Spatzek (Bremen); Mariya Nikolova (Potsdam)
November 6–8, 2015
Location: University of Bamberg
Organization: Department of American Studies (University of Bamberg) & Department of North American Studies (University of Bayreuth)
Team: Judith Rauscher, Theresa Roth, Mareike Spychala (Bamberg); Laura Oehme (Bayreuth)
October 1012, 2014 Location: University of Mainz
Organization: Department of English and Linguistics, American Studies (University of Mainz) Team: Caroline Heller, Diane Bélisle-Wolf, Melanie Hanslik, Nele Sawallisch, Nicole Poppenhagen, Xiuming He
October 25–27, 2013
Location: University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Organization: Department of American Studies (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen- Nürnberg)
Team: Cedric Essi, Stephen Koetzing, Monika Sauter
November 2–4, 2012
Location: University of Marburg
Organization: Department of English and North American Studies, North American Literary and Cultural Studies (Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Team: Britta Bein, Johanna Heil, Janina Rojek, Silke Schmidt
November 4–6, 2011 Location: University of Gießen
Organization: Department of English and the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (Justus Liebig University Giessen)
Team: Daniel Holder, Andreas Hübner, Ottilie P. Klein
November 5–7, 2010 Location: University of Leipzig
Organization: American Studies Leipzig
Team: Florian Bast, Anne Grob, Sebastian M. Herrmann, Franziska Kloth, Frank Usbeck
October 30–November 1, 2009 Location: University of Munich
Organization: Amerika Institut (LMU München) Team: Torsten Kathke, Sascha Pöhlmann
The PGF before 2009
PGF 2008 in Münster
PGF 2007 in Erlangen
PGF 2006 in Chemnitz
PGF 2005 in Dortmund
PGF 2004 in Frankfurt
PGF 2002 in Leipzig
PGF 2001 in Munich
PGF 1999 in Regensburg