HCA Spring Academy
The Spring Academy on American History, Culture & Politics is an annual, one-week interdisciplinary conference for Ph.D. candidates at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA). The conference is targeted at at Ph.D. candidates working in different fields of American studies.
Possible topics for discussion are American literature and culture, U.S. history, domestic and foreign policy, geography, religion, and musicology as well as economic and sociological issues, and aspects of jurisprudence. Race, class, and gender are frequently employed analytical categories. This diversity of disciplines and approaches enables students from different academic backgrounds to become part of a unique international intellectual network of young and aspiring researchers which has been successfully established by the HCA over the past years and is continuously expanded.
Every year the HCA invites twenty outstanding Ph.D. students from diverse academic disciplines to Heidelberg to present their dissertation projects in the field of American Studies. The presentations are thematically arranged into ten two-person panels. Participants are requested to prepare a twenty-minute presentation of their research projects. Each presentation is followed by a forty-minute discussion session. The participants of the HCA Spring Academy greatly benefit from the insights generated by this cross-disciplinary and intercultural dialogue.
The Spring Academy takes place in the HCA’s Curt and Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais, which is centrally located in Heidelberg’s old town. The more than 300-year-old baroque townhouse affords ideal conditions for the conference, offering an atrium and two well-equipped lecture rooms.
John Deere, one of the oldest companies in the U.S. and the leading manufacturer for agricultural machinery worldwide, has been generously supporting the HCA’s annual Spring Academy since 2005.
For the duration of one week, twenty international doctoral students from various disciplines discuss their ongoing research in American Studies with leading experts of their fields. Due to the close collaboration with John Deere, a strong communal spirit has taken hold between the company and successive Spring Academy participants.