Postgraduate Forum

About Us


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.


Annual Conference


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


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:


PGF Get-Together


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