American Corner Innsbruck


    Directed by: Ass.-Prof. Dr. Margaret F. Davidson

    Funded by: US Embassy Vienna/U.S. Department of State

    Co-sponsored by: University of Innsbruck, University of New Orleans/Innsbruck Program, Austro-American Society/Tirol

    Tel: +43 512 507-32808
    Fax: +43 512 507-9824

    Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 3, 1. Stock (Altstadt, Claudiana) 
    6020 Innsbruck 
    [link to photos and directions]


    The American Studies Department at the University of Innsbruck now has its own Facebook page, make sure to check it out for info concerning American-related events as well as study abroad information! Don't forget to like the page!


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    Opening hours:

    Monday: 08:00-13:00
    Tuesday: 08:00-13:00
    Wednesday: 08:00-13:00
    Thursday: 08:00-13:00
    Friday: 09:00-12:00

    Office Assistant:

    Oliver Steininger

    Majan Schmid



    The American Corner Innsbruck is proud of our Director, Dr. Margaret Davidson, who was honored at the "Dies Academicus" ceremony Friday, 18 October 2019.  She received the Ehrenzeichen of the Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck for 30 years of work contributing to Austrian-American relations and to the city and university partnerships between Innsbruck and New Orleans, which includes her honorary work as director of the ACI.  Among the other honorees was former Austrian Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer, who received an honorary doctorate.





    The Center for Inter-American Studies, the Department of American Studies and the American Corner Innsbruck invite you to the following special guest lecture in the lecture series “Alpine Americas”, open to the public free of charge:


    “He’s been to the Mountaintop: Luis Trenker’s Western Der Kaiser von Kalifornien and the Tradition of the Bergfilm”


    Featuring: Kamaal Haque / Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

    Thursday, 14 November 2019, 12.00 Uhr to 13.30 Uhr

    Universität Innsbruck, Innrain 52e, Hörsaal 5 3/4


    Often called one of the best and best-known German Westerns, Luis Trenker’s 1936 film Der Kaiser von Kalifornien is a fictionalized account of the life of Johann August Sutter, best known today as the owner of the mill where the California Gold Rush of 1849 started. The film depicts Sutter as the founder and leader of a community in California where all benefit from the paradisiacal conditions of his benevolent rule, until the day that gold is found on his property and chaos ensues. Previous interpretations of this film have situated both within the traditions of the Western and National Socialism film production. Critics do, of course, mention Trenker’s past as a founding member of the uniquely German genre of the Bergfilm, yet only briefly mention the connections between the Der Kaiser von Kalifornien and the classical Bergfilm. This talk will focus on those connections. I will argue that the film is more indebted to the traditions of the Bergfilm than is often presumed. While mountains are not prominent in the film, the urge to command from on high, the desire to reach the mountaintop and see the Promised Land, is one of the film’s defining themes. Both dramaturgy and cinematography in the tradition on the Bergfilm reinforce this view from the summit in Der Kaiser von Kalifornien. Furthermore, the film’s mixed messages on modernity are in line with the Bergfilm’s own ambiguity on technological progress, an ambiguity that haunts Sutter in the film.

    Kamaal Haque is associate professor of German at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (USA). He earned his Ph.D. in German and Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis with a dissertation on space in Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan. His research has most recently been on the Bergfilm as well as the literature of the German-speaking Alps. Past and upcoming essays have been on Luis Trenker, Arnold Fanck, the Heimatfilm and Franz Hohler. He is currently writing a monograph on the films of Luis Trenker.






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     ACI Library 

    The ACI now has four Kindles that can be checked out!
    Click here for a full list of the Kindle contents.

    All of the books on our bookshelf in front of our office are registered with - - an international book exchange program. Come by and check it out!


    For our Hurricane Katrina Commemoration Lecture Series

    If you missed our Hurricane Katrina Lecture Series, come by the office and check out our selection of books, graphic novels, and DVDs on the topic of the disaster, the flood, and the time after the storm had hit the Big Easy.