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American Election Night 2020: "Transatlantische Perspektiven auf die US-Präsidentschaftswahl"

On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, Bamberg University’s American Studies program hosted its 3rd "American Election Night." As in 2012 and 2016, we invited students, colleagues, and the general public for an evening of critical analyses, panel discussions, and open debates concerning the 2020 US presidential election.

As we approached this election, the US were in a volatile state of crisis that brought to the fore conflicts embedded in American cultural history. In this atmosphere, we hoped to contribute to a transatlantic dialog – about this historical moment, and what it means for the United States, for Germany, and for us, at the university and beyond.

Because of the pandemic, this year’s Election Night took place virtually, and with great pleasure, and gratitude, we organized a bi-lingual program (Part I in English, Part II in German) for the evening, featuring cultural critics, poets, political scientists, and historians from the US, Canada, and Germany:


6:00 p.m. – Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Prof. Christine Gerhardt (University of Bamberg)

6:15 p.m. – Keynote: "The Populist Presidency: Anti-Elitism in American Politics”

  • Prof. Michelle Nickerson (Loyola University, USA)

7:00 p.m. – "American Culture at the Crossroads" – A Panel with Recent Bamberg Guest Professors

  • Prof. Myron Beasley (Bates College, USA)
  • Prof. Lynn Rose (American University of Iraq)
  • Prof. Jon Smith (Simon Fraser University, Canada)

8:00 p.m. – Election Quiz

8:15 p.m. – Poetry Reading with Dr. Laura Passin (Northwestern University, USA)

8:30 p.m. – Vortrag: „Polizeigewalt in Trumps Amerika – und danach“

  • Dr. Georgiana Banita (University of Bamberg)

9:15 p.m. – Podiumsdiskussion: „Die USA in der Krise – transatlantische Einschätzungen“

  • Nora Gomringer (Villa Concordia, Bamberg)
  • Dr. Viola Huang (Amerikanistik / Geschichte, University of Passau)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Saalfeld (Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, University of Bamberg)

10:15 - 11:00 p.m. – "Student Voices" – Open Discussion Forum and Final Q&A