No Future: The Study of Culture in the Twenty-first Century [chapter]

2020 Futures of the Study of Culture  
This lecture was written for the occasion of a celebration in July 2016, marking the 10th and 15th anniversaries respectively of the University of Giessen's GCSC and GGK. It was, in retrospect, a more innocent time, when my colleagues from outside the US were asking curiously if Donald Trump could really be elected president of the United States, which I assured them was extremely unlikely to happen. If I were asked to write a similar lecture today my premediation of "no future" for the study
more » ... culture in the twenty-first century would seem even more on point than it might have then. My own involvement with these two graduate programs began in March 2010 when I delivered the opening plenary address at "The Arts of Mediation," a summer conference at the Catholic University of Lisbon, organized as part of the PhDnet, of which the University of Giessen is a founding member. At that time I was in the process of finalizing the details of an offer to direct the Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Initial discussions with Ansgar Nünning about the GCSC persuaded us both that it would be good to work together. Within a year, we had written and signed off on a memorandum of agreement between the two centers that we would collaborate in the future. Beginning with master classes, lectures, and meetings in Giessen, we developed plans for collaboration. Working primarily with Martin Zierold and Beatrice Michaelis, I helped to organize the May 2013 GCSC conference on "The Re/turn of the Nonhuman in the Study of Culture," which was co-sponsored by C21. Our most substantial collaboration was a $1.5 million Andrew Mellon Foundation-funded program in Interdisciplinary Graduate Humanities Education Research and Training (IGHERT), a program that also involved humanities centers at
doi:10.1515/9783110669398-007 fatcat:75xfus7jgrfolaz4verkui22tq