Austrian Association for American Studies (AAAS) 44th Annual Meeting

AAAS meeting

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of American Studies in Austria, the Austrian Association for American Studies (AAAS) held its 44th annual meeting at Schloss Leopoldskron from November 3 to 5.  It was here that the country’s initial seminar for American Studies took place in 1947.  In the course of the weekend, more than 50 scholars from Austria, Europe, and the United States explored the changing nature of American Studies as an academic discipline.  Following opening remarks by conference convener Prof. Hanna Wallinger (University of Salzburg) and greetings by Public Affairs Counselor Dr. Daniel Mattern (American Embassy Vienna), Fulbright Austria Executive Director Dr. Lonnie Johnson spoke about the “Foundational Years of American Studies in Austria.”  The Fulbright Prize 2017 was awarded for the best master’s thesis and best doctoral dissertation in American Studies.   On Saturday evening, Prof. Mark Reinhardt (Williams College) delivered a keynote address titled “’You know, I used to be a Jew’: Groucho Marx, Max Reinhardt, and the Transformation of American Studies.”  Using his great-grandfather Max Reinhardt, an assimilated Jew who fled National Socialism, as a point of departure, Reinhardt commented on the predicament of displaced persons in our days including immigrants to the United States.