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. The next PGF will take place from November 8-10, 2018 at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Please send your proposal to by September 16, 2018. For further information on the upcoming conference, please visit

PGF Previous and Current Conferences


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.