The end of Barack Obama’s presidency and the Black History Month proved to be an apt moment for the official foundation of the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. The executive board of the Obama Institute (Proff. Mita Banerjee, Jutta Ernst, Alfred Hornung, Axel Schäfer, Oliver Scheiding) was joined by President Georg Krausch, Dean Stephan Jolie, colleagues and students for a short opening ceremony to launch the transnational program under the new name. Dedicated to transcultural and transdisciplinary work, the Obama Institute will establish a research platform for American Studies with colleagues in Rhineland Palatinate, the Atlantic Academy and international centers. At Mainz, it will profit from the collaboration of colleagues in cultural geography, law, economics, political science, religion, medicine, music and the arts, and from the input of the members of an international advisory board to pursue its research goals in the areas of early American Studies, indigenous studies, life writing, American history, and translation studies. For more information on the Obama fellowship program and the annual Obama dissertation award please visit our website