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Publics and Counterpublics: Conference of the German Association for American Studies

Public Events: Panel Discussion on Fake News and Lecture by American Writer Claudia Rankine

№ 100/2018 from May 17, 2018

The 65th Annual Meeting of the German Association for American Studies will take place from May 24 to 27, 2018 at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Freie Universität Berlin. Interested parties are welcome to attend two public events as part of the “American Counter/Public” conference: The panel discussion “Between Fake News and Fact Checking: The Transformation of Public Space” will take place on Saturday, May 26, 2018, at 6:15. On Sunday, May 27, at 11:30 a.m., U.S. writer Claudia Rankine will give a lecture on the category of “race” in contemporary American art. Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric, which deals with forms of racist aggression in everyday life, was a multi-award-winning bestseller in the United States. Among others, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

The panel discussion will address the endangerment of public space, the undermining of confidence in politics and media, as well as the threat of democracy by fake news and so-called alternative facts. On the podium experts will discuss the functioning of democracies and possible strategies to strengthen trust in the media. The discussion will be in German. The panelists are: Dr. Hanan Badr, Institute for Media and Communication Studies, Freie Universität Berlin; North American Studies scholar PD Dr. Ingrid Gessner, Universität Regensburg; Prof. Dr. Anke Ortlepp, Universität Kassel; and Alexandra Schuler, deputy editorial director, alliance/dpa picture agency. The discussion will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Christian Lammert, John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität.

In her lecture “The Racial Imaginary in Contemporary American Art,” U.S. writer Claudia Rankine will deal with contemporary manifestations of ethnic identity. The daughter of a Jamaican immigrant couple, she moved to the United States with her family in 1970 at age seven. She has been one of the most important U.S. poets since the 1990s. She was a lecturer at Californian Pomona College and has been a professor of poetry at Yale University since 2016. Her 2015 book Citizen: An American Lyric has also been published in German. Following the lecture, Rankine will sign copies of her books.

Times and Locations

  • Panel discussion: Saturday, May 26, 2018, 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
  • Lecture by Claudia Rankine: Sunday, May 27, 2018, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Seminaris CampusHotel, Takustraße 39, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Dahlem-Dorf (U3)



Press Photos of Claudia Rankine