Rückblick 2018

Vortragsreihe: Faces of the Americas

Sommersemester 2018

Face to Face with Eugenics: Charlie Chaplin and the Art of Perturbation

Ewa Barbara Łuczak / University of Warsaw, Poland

21. März 2018

The lecture focuses on the changing dynamics of Chaplin’s face and discusses the role it played in forming Chaplin, the social commentator. His meticulously staged facial performance is not merely a product of the years of training in the art of pantomime, but a tool to defend the human being against the discourse of typicality and anonymousness. His face defied social expectations and conventions of interpretation and as such bespoke the comedian’s fascination with human unpredictability, changeability and precarity. Racially and ethnically ambiguous, neither typically male nor visibly effeminate, and ageless in its performance, Chaplin’s face expressed not only his sentimental humanism but also his resistance to the language of racial and class typology.  This reading of Chaplin’s face is based on eugenics, the science which was invented at the end of the 19th century by Sir Francis Galton with the purpose of perfecting human societies, and quickly became one of the most influential social sciences at the time of Chaplin’s rise to fame.

Ewa Barbara Luczak is Professor at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland and Vice President of the Polish Association for American Studies. Luczak is, among others, the author of Breeding and Eugenics in the American Literary Imagination: Heredity Rules in the Twentieth Century (Palgrave, 2015). Among her research interests are ethnicity, postcolonial studies, and race. She is currently working on a book on anti-eugenic satire in American pre-World War II literary and visual culture. She has been invited to speak on her research on race, eugenics and American culture at various American and European universities. For her academic achievements Luczak has been awarded the Medal of the National Commission of Education and the Medal of the Minister for higher Education in Poland.

Moderation: Gudrun Grabher (Institut für Amerikastudien)






The Face on Film: Made and Unmade

Noa Steimatsky / University of California - Berkeley, USA

02. Mai 2018

Projected, illumined, magnified in the movie theater, the human face appears, by turns, spectacular and mysterious, commanding and vulnerable. It is an inexhaustible object of wonder – and of study. Reexamining key junctures in her recent book, The Face on Film (Oxford, 2017), Noa Steimatsky will explore some of cinema’s most radical encounters with the human face: from a quaint 1904 American film-attraction to Valentino’s iconic gaze and to classical Hollywood comedy, and from Andy Warhol’s favorite Screen Test to the harrowing power of a documentary confrontation. How does the cinema negotiate the paradoxes of the face? How are the archaic powers of masks and icons sustained in the modern, technological, mass art? How can we think of the face through tears – even as tears, in the cinema, sometimes dissolve the distinction between authenticity and artifice?

Noa Steimatsky was recipient of the Fulbright Award, the Getty Research Grant, the National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Prize, and the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship. She was faculty member at Yale and at the University of Chicago, and has been, most recently, visiting faculty at Berkeley. Her 2008 book Italian Locations was published by the University of Minnesota Press. Her new book, The Face on Film (Oxford University Press) won the Limina Award for Best International Cinema Studies Book published in 2017. Her groundbreaking project on the displaced-persons camp in postwar Cinecittà inspired a documentary film, and is now being expanded into a book.

Moderation: Gudrun Grabher (Institut für Amerikastudien)






Is Donald Trump the Face of America… or of Reality Television?

Robert Schmuhl / University of Notre Dame, USA

16. Mai 2018

An examination of Donald J. Trump’s dramatic and unprecedented rise to the U.S. presidency, along with an analysis of the forces—political, cultural, and social—responsible for his winning the White House in 2016. How could someone without a single day of service in government or the military rise to become his nation’s Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief? Did Trump’s background as a business tycoon and real estate developer play a more decisive role than his career as a television reality-show star, or was his media celebrity the principal reason for his electoral success? What does the Trumpian style of governing mean for America, with its system of checks and balances, and for world leadership today?

Robert Schmuhl is the inaugural Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism at the University of Notre Dame in the U.S. and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University in Ireland. A frequent contributor to popular publications, Schmuhl’s columns, features, and reviews have appeared in The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, and other newspapers, magazines and online outlets, such as The Daily Beast, Time, Irish Central, and Inside Higher Ed. He has appeared on CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, the Voice of America, the BBC, Sky News, and other television and radio programs in the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of numerous books on American politics, Ireland’s “exiled children,” and other topics.

Moderation: Gudrun Grabher (Institut für Amerikastudien)

Die Veranstaltung findet in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Amerikastudien und dem Büro für Internationale Beziehungen der Universität Innsbruck statt.





The First Americans’ Faces

James C. Chatters / Applied Paleoscience

11. Juni 2018

Remains of ancient people are commonly treated as specimens and their humanity fails to be conveyed properly.  Although this is thought by many academics to be the proper way to do science, it is more rewarding, and easier to communicate to the lay public when we humanize our ancient predecessors.  We give them names, like Lucy or Ötzi and recreate their faces.  In this presentation Dr. Chatters describes the processes he followed to recreate the images of two widely publicized early Americans: Kennewick Man and Naia of Hoyo Negro.  It begins with the scientific research into their diets, development, and activity patterns and is completed through forensic sculptural reconstruction.  The latter requires decisions informed by science and must avoid the pressures of politics, ethnocentrism, and nationalism to achieve the most objective and accurate representation possible.

Dr. James Chatters is an archaeologist and paleontologist with over fifty years of research experience. He has been involved in the recovery and first studies of ten of North America’s fifty oldest skeletons.  He has presented his research around the world and has appeared articles in numerous leading journals such as Science, Quaternary Science Reviews, Quaternary International, World Archaeology, Journal of World Prehistory, and Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology as well as the book Ancient Encounters. His work has appeared in many documentaries, and is central to PBS NOVA’s “Mystery of the First Americans” and “The First Face of America.”  He lives in Bothell, Washington, USA.

Moderation: Gudrun Grabher (Institut für Amerikastudien)

Eine Veranstaltung in Kooperation mit dem American Corner Innsbruck.






The Many Faces of American Piracy, 1678-1861

Alexandra Ganser / Universität Wien

25. Juni 2018

From the colonial era to the twenty-first century, pirates have remained fascinating figures in transatlantic American literature and popular culture. In my talk, I ask about the causes of this popularity and explore in what ways the cultural imaginary teased out the pirate’s ambivalent potential as a figure of identification and Othering. I will touch on Puritan execution sermons, early American broadsides, antebellum historical romances and popular plays, and caricatures of alleged secessionist ‘pirates’ at the beginning of the Civil War. I argue that in all of these cases, piracy functions as a discursive category moving in a continuum between the propagation of (post-)colonial adventure and accumulation on the one hand and critical commentary on exploitation and colonial oppression on the other.

Alexandra Ganser is professor for American Studies and Executive Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Vienna. She received her PhD from the University of Erlangen (Roads of Her Own: Gendered Space and Mobility in American Women’s Road Narratives, 1970-2000, Rodopi 2009). She was Christoph-Daniel-Ebeling Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society and is a Fulbright Alumna. Her research interests center on mobility studies (Key Researcher, interdisciplinary platform Mobile Cultures and Societies, U of Vienna), popular culture, gender studies, transatlantic American studies, and ecocriticism. Her current  FWF-sponsored project Crisis and Discourses of Legitimacy in Transatlantic Narratives of Piracy, 1678-1865 is forthcoming as a monograph with Palgrave Macmillan.

Moderation: Gudrun Grabher (Institut für Amerikastudien)

Eine Veranstaltung in Kooperation mit dem American Corner Innsbruck.







Vortragsreihe: Frontiers in den Amerikas

Wintersemester 2018/ 19

Eine Vortragsreihe des Zentrums für Interamerikanische Studien in Kooperation mit der Innsbrucker Geographischen Gesellschaft und dem Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society der LMU München

An der Frontier: Raumaneignung, Ressourcennutzung und soziale Differenzierung zwischen Entwicklungsmythos und Naturzerstörung

Martin Coy / Universität Innsbruck

06. November 2018






Die Reise ins Hinterland. Nation-Building und Topologie in Lateinamerika

Enrique Rodrigues-Moura / Universität Bamberg

12. November 2018






Erweiterung und Vertiefung: Soja-Frontiers in den Amerikas im 20. Jahrhundert

Ernst Langthaler / Universität Linz

19. November 2018






Canadian Exceptionalism: Frontiers, Staples, Metropoles and Geographies of Uneven Developement

Gordon Winder / LMU München

27. November 2018






Die US-amerikanische Frontier: eine kulturgeographische Betrachtung vergangener und aktueller Konflikte um Land und Territorium

 Werner Gamerith / Universität Passau

04. Dezember 2018






Pionierfronten im tropischen Tiefland Zentralamerikas: Armutsbekämpfung durch Landregulierung? 

Georg Grünberg /Universität Wien

11. Dezember 2018






Marsch nach Westen. Das Konzept der Frontier in Brasilien und der Einfluss der USA

Ursula Prutsch / LMU München

07. Januar 2019






Boundaries and frontiers in the Amazon Basin

Hervé Théry / Universität São Paulo / CNRS, Paris

22. Januar 2019


weitere Veranstaltungen 2018

Doña Laura spielt Bingo und gewinnt ein Huhn

Erlebnisse und Begegnungen in Ecuador – der etwas andere Reisebericht

17. Januar 2018

Buchhandlung Tyrolia (Maria-Theresien-Straße 15, Innsbruck)


Wo kann man Distanzen in Dollar messen, Knochenbrüche mit gefrorenem Fleisch behandeln, von Torten gebissen werden, Kaffee essen und dabei Nelson, Nixon, Kelvin und Chávez persönlich kennenlernen? In Ecuador, dem Land der unbegrenzten und begrenzten Möglichkeiten am Äquator! Von diesen und vielen anderen skurrilen Erlebnissen und Begegnungen erzählt Ingrid Hayek witzig, humorvoll und mit großer Empathie für Land und Leute.

Ein Vortrag von Ingrid Hayek, musikalisch begleitet von Kris Heidenreich, Elisa Plaikner & Florentin Brendler.






Gastvortrag: Lateinamerika nach dem Ressourcenboom? 

Konturen eines autoritären Neo-Extraktivismus

Ulrich Brand / Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Wien

24. Mai 2018

Der Vortrag ist Teil der Tagung der Arbeitsgruppe Entwicklungs- und Nachhaltigkeitsforschung (AGEF), die vom 24. bis 26. Mai vom Institut für Geographie veranstaltet wird. 

In Kooperation mit:
ZIAS - Zentrum für Interamerikanische Studien
Forschungszentrum Globaler Wandel - Regionale Nachhaltigkeit






Soirée: Atajos de Honduras

08. Oktober 2018

Claudiasaal (Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 3, Innsbruck)


Velada poética y musical con Beatriz Campos (Venezuela) y Mario Soto Delgado.





Filmvorführung: Sob a Pata do Boi

30. Oktober 2018, 19:15 Uhr

Brasilien, 2018, 49 min (Portugiesisch/Brasilianisch mit englischen Untertiteln)

There are 85 million cows in the Brazilian Amazon, which means three cows for each human dweller grazing today and area that was once forest. Less than fifty years ago, in the 1970s, the rainforest was intact. Since then, a portion the size of France has disappeared, 66% of which transformed into pastures. Much of this change is a consequence of government incentives that attracted thousands of farmers from southern lands. Cattle ranching became an economic and cultural banner of the Amazon, forging powerful politicians to defend it. In 2009, there was a game changer: the Public Prosecutor's Office sued large slaughterhouses, forcing them to supervise cattle supplying farms.

Moderation: Martin Coy


Informationsveranstaltung: Auslandsstudium in Lateinamerika

ab Wintersemester 2019/20

28. November 2018, ab 19:00

Großer Seminarraum, Institut für Geographie

Alle Informationen zum Auslandsstudium an einer der Partneruniversitäten in Argentinien (San Miguel de Tucumán, Mendoza), Brasilien (São Paulo, Brasília, Recife, Santa Cruz do Sul, Ijuí, Blumenau), Chile (Santiago de Chile, Valdivia), Mexico (Tijuana/Mexicali).

Mit Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Coy


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