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Graduiertenkolleg "Authority & Trust"
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Coordinator: Caroline Walter

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Authority and Trust

in American Culture, Society, History, and Politics

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Authority And Trust CoverGünter Leypoldt / Manfred Berg (eds.)

Authority and Trust in US Culture and Society:
Interdisciplinary Approaches and Perspectives

In the past two decades, a discourse of crisis has emerged about the democratic institutions and political culture of the US: many structures of authority which people had more or less taken for granted are facing a massive public loss of trust. This volume takes an interdisciplinary and historical look at the transformations of authority and trust in the United States. The contributors examine government institutions, political parties, urban neighborhoods, scientific experts, international leadership, religious communities, and literary production. Exploring the nexus between authority and trust is crucial to understand the loss of legitimacy experienced by political, social, and cultural institutions not only in the United States but in Western democracies at large.

Available as Open Access (full text PDF)

Welcome to the Graduiertenkolleg Authority and Trust in American Culture, Society, History, and Politics (GKAT), a research training group at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) (GRK 2244).

GKAT welcomes innovative doctoral dissertation projects in the field of American Studies, broadly defined, based on the following participating disciplines:

  • Geography
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literary Studies/Cultural Studies
  • Political Science/Social Science
  • Religious Studies/Theology

The topical focus of GKAT’s interdisciplinary research program is the emergence and transformation of authority and trust in American politics, society, religion, literature and culture from the nineteenth century to the present.

In order to facilitate collaboration between the disciplines, we have designed three broad research areas that reflect local research interests but also concern, we believe, trouble areas of U.S. society and culture that are central to our theme:

  1. The Authority of the Modern State and Trust in Public and Social Institutions
  2. The Urban Dimension of Authority and Trust
  3. Authority and Trust in Culture, Literature, and Religion.

GKAT offers:

  • Full-funding for three years
  • Funding for research trips to the United States based on the requirements of your project
  • A stimulating interdisciplinary and international environment at Germany’s oldest university.
  • An English-language program of courses and colloquia
  • Collaborative networks of European and North American scholars
  • Individualized mentoring
  • A qualification program tailored to academic as well as professional career paths
  • A family-friendly work environment for collegiates with children

We invite you to learn more about our research program, our mentoring and qualification concepts, as well as the application process on the following pages!

If you are interested in the HCA’s regular PhD program, please find more information here.

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