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The Wittenberg Summer School 2008

“Vigorous Executive: The President in American Politics and Culture”

August 10-16, 2008

Results - report from the workshop

40 students from 27 universities in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Russia and even as far away as Afghanistan discussed the “Vigorous Executive: The President in American Politics and Culture” at the third Wittenberg Summer School. The program jointly coordinated by the U.S. Embassy, the Center for U.S. Studies at the University of Halle Wittenberg (ZUSAS), and the American Studies Department of Magdeburg University has developed into a showcase of American Studies. U.S. Missions in six countries nominated students for this high level seminar. The intensive program offered challenging lectures on historical, political, and cultural issues surrounding the U.S. Presidency. Faculty included Andreas Etges, Free University Berlin; Hans-Jürgen Grabbe, University of Halle-Wittenberg; Holger Kersten, University of Magdeburg; Janet Martin, Bowdoin College; and Mark Rozell, George Mason University. In small groups throughout the week, students produced research proposals which reflected a high degree of knowledge and a fresh approach to the conference topic. The Summer School offers a unique platform to bring international students together to discuss American democratic traditions and values in a work-intensive, yet personally enriching atmosphere. Finished papers will be published as a special edition of the American Studies Journal on the ZUSAS webpage. Photo Gallery | Video video »

Workshop Announcement

“Vigorous Executive: The President in American Politics and Culture”

Leucorea Foundation, Lutherstadt Wittenberg
August 10–16, 2008 

In November 2008, the United States of America will elect a new President, a good occasion to take a closer look at historical, political and cultural issues surrounding the U.S. Presidency. Through lectures and intensive workshops, participants will discuss candidates, platforms, media coverage and voter behavior in the 2008 race for the White House. But the Summer School will go beyond contemporary politics. We will explore the constitutional role of the Presidency in U.S. history, discuss the beginings of mass democracy, the changing influence of women voters, the way public memory reflects history and politics in literature and popular culture and take a closer look at some case studies such as John F. Kennedy’s impact on U.S. politics and election campaigns.

The conference language will be exclusively English. Attendance will be limited to 30 participants.

The U.S. Embassy in cooperation with the Center for U.S. Studies at the University of Halle-Wittenberg and Magdeburg University’s American Studies Department is hosting the Wittenberg Summer School 2008 with senior faculty from U.S. and German universities.

The organizers encourage students from all disciplines, especially American Studies, Cultural Studies and the Social Sciences, from all German Universities to apply to the Summer School. In addition, we invite applications from European students.

For more information, please go to: