About AYA

About AYA

Austria’s Young Americanists (AYA) is a network for graduate students and early career researchers in the field of American Studies at Austrian universities. The network is affiliated with the Austrian Association for American Studies and part of a general initiative undertaken by the European Association for American Studies that aims to improve the transparency of research on the PhD level across Europe.

First and foremost, AYA is designed to enhance the communication between students at Austrian universities and to facilitate exchange about ongoing research projects.

AYA History

October 2020
AYA Colloquium Online

Originally planned as a face-to-face event in Graz, Juliann Knaus hosts AYA’s first virtual early career researchers colloquium. Five PhD scholars from Austria and Germany present their current projects on vulnerability in poetry, literature, and education. Prof. Silvia Schultermandl supports the group with her expertise.

October 2018
AYA Workshop in Salzburg

In AYA’s 2018 workshop, 17 early career researchers present and discuss projects on various topics, including the representation of race and gender in prose, poetry, and comics, transgressive sexualities in various genres of American literature, liminal identities and their place in diverse media, as well as the construction of dynamic spaces through immigration and small-scale mobility. Fulbright scholar Prof. Dennis Chester starts the event off with a public keynote address on “Alien Abductions: Afrofuturism and African American Viewership” and provides his expertise in the succeeding panel discussions. The event is hosted by AYA’s local representatives, Elisabeth Krieber and Christoph Straub.

May 2017
AYA Young Scholars Conference

The 2017 Austria’s Young Americanists (AYA) conference, entitled “The Future(s) of American Studies,” brings together 21 young scholars from Austria, Germany, and Spain. The early career researchers share their ongoing projects in presentations about the American political, social, literary, and cultural context as well as its international reverberations, and they discuss topical developments of American Studies. 

Annual AYA Workshops

Annual AYA workshops on multi-ethnic voices, soundscapes, and the spatial and temporal turns in American Studies take place in Salzburg and Graz.

January 2013
Edited AYA Volume on Spaces and American Culture

An edited collection based on the conference in December 2010, “Placing America: American Culture and its Spaces” (edited by Michael Fuchs and Maria-Theresia Holub), is published as volume 3 in transcript’s American Studies series.

December 2010
Graduate Student Conference in Graz

In collaboration with the American Studies Department at the University of Graz, AYA hosts a small grad student conference, “Space, Place, and Time: The Construction of Identity in American Literature and Popular Culture.”

Spring 2010
First AYA Conference Proceedings Published

An edited collection, based on the 2008 AYA workshop “Landscapes of Postmodernity: Concepts and Paradigms of Critical Theory” (edited by Petra Eckhard, Michael Fuchs, and Walter Hölbling), is published as volume 10 in LIT Verlag’s American Studies in Austria series.

Annual AYA-Workshops

AYA hosts its annual workshops in Graz (2008 & 2009), Vienna (2010), and Innsbruck (2011).

January 2008
Launch of the First Website

Michael Fuchs, who joined the founding trio in fall 2007, designs the first version of AYA’s website. It is launched on 22 January 2008.

November 2007
Initial Stages

Petra Eckhard and Silvia Schultermandl present the plans of establishing a grad student network in response to the EAAS’s call for furthering the exchange on grad student research in the field of American Studies beyond the national reach. The Austrian Association for American Studies is impressed and supports the project.

Petra Eckhard, Silvia Schultermandl, and Brigitte Wallinger-Schorn organize the first AYA grad student workshop, centered on discussions of Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved. Prof. Amritjit Singh from Ohio University is AYA’s featured workshop guest.