AAAS Conference 2011

Is It 'Cause It's Cool? Affective Encounters with American Culture

Salzburg, November 4-6, 2011

Organized by:
University of Vienna & Saarland University
Astrid M. Fellner, Eugen Banauch, and Klaus Heissenberger


This conference intends to focus on the conjunctions between the appeal and the rejection of "American culture" in Europe since the end of the Cold War. It will explore questions such as: What happens when American culture becomes entangled in affective encounters with European consumers? What factors are there that make certain "American" products and texts popular or unpopular? How do audiences and consumers construct identities through their affective encounters with "American" culture? And in the process, what happens to the imaginary cultural descriptor "America" itself"?

See the full description and program on the left!


The conferenced is announced at Saarland University and the University of Vienna: Follow the links to the features publicized on the respective media portals.

UdS media                Uni W media

Announcement (update Oct. 31): Guest lecture

Before the conference begins, Joel Dinerstein - one of our keynote speakers - will give a guest lecture at the University of Salzburg on "The Mask of Cool in Postwar Jazz and Film Noir.”

When & where:

Friday, 4 November 2011, at 11:30
Room 3.205 (Unipark, Erzabt-Klotz-Straße 1, third floor)

Everybody welcome!

Guest lecture

Invited keynote and plenary panel speakers:

Jaap Kooijman, Amsterdam University
Author of Fabricating the Absolute Fake (2008)

Jaap Koijman

Joel Dinerstein, Tulane University
Author of Swinging the Machine: Modernity, Technology, and African-American Culture Between the World Wars (2003)

Joel Dinerstein

Catrin Gersdorf, Free University Berlin
Team 'Coolness' in the research cluster Languages of Emotion
Research projects about "Coolness: Affect and American Literary Practices in the 19th and 20th Centuries"
Catrin Gersdorf

Rob Kroes, University of Amsterdam
Author of "If You've Seen One, You've Seen the Mall: Europeans and American Mass Culture" (1996)

Rob Kroes

The conference will take place at a site which is itself an illustrative example of the global flows and appropriations of "American" and "Austrian" culture that come to constitute the cultural imaginary: Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, which hosts the Salzburg Global Seminar. Click below or on the left to find out more about the location.

Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg

The Sound of Music (1965)

We would like to thank our sponsors:

U of Vienna
University of Vienna:

Arthur Mettinger, Vice Rector for Educational
Program Development and

Department of English and American Studies

Saarland University

Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research

Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft / Austrian Research Association

US Embassy
US Embassy Vienna

Austrian Association for American Studies


detailed description




& round table


invited speakers


the location


how to get there


registration, accommodation & contact