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18th Transatlantic Students Symposium

The Legacy and Presence of Colonialism
in the Transatlantic World

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Oregon State University,
University of Warsaw,
Virtual Symposium, June 5, 2020
planned for New Orleans, March 21-29, 2020


Program Description

The transatlantic world is built upon the colonial project conducted by European powers. For more than 500 years, European powers have left a lasting impact on the globe. The results of the destruction and transformation of indigenous nations, of the transatlantic slave trade, European immigration, and imperial designs for world domination are still visible today.

Yet the transatlantic world has also seen the rise of the most successful and durable mod-ern democracies, the eventual ending of the slave trade, the transformation of the English, French, Spanish and Portuguese possessions into modern nation states, and the eventual reversal of the worldwide balance of power, which shifted to the United States after two World Wars that left Europe dependent on American help.

Within the Americas, the colonial legacy is reflected in ongoing discrimination of indige-nous nations, African-American and Latina/o/x communities with respect to full participa-tion and recognition of equal partners in American democracy and nationhood. Yet there are also layers of a sometimes surprising and underreported mixture - or mestizaje - of various cultures and peoples.

We live in a time where the fiction of the allegedly desirable purity of identity is again gaining undeserved currency. Presumptive racial and cultural boundaries are again essen-tialized and given dominance over the recognition of the multiple identities characterizing probably every single individual within the Americas.

For the 18th Transatlantic Students Symposium, we are planning to visit the American South, specifically New Orleans and its surroundings, to investigate the unique cultural landscape of former Spanish and French Louisiana. This will include visits to several communities, such as the Houma nation, and former slave plantations. We are also plan-ning to host the concluding students conference at Oregon State University.


Dr. Philipp Kneis, Dr. Allison Davis-White Eyes,
Dr. Megan Ward (OSU),
PD Dr. Reinhard Isensee (Humboldt),
Dr. Tomasz Basiuk (Warsaw)

Program Information

Complete Report on the 18th Symposium (07/04/2020)

Syllabus for Preparatory Class at OSU

Partners and Supporters

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: International Office,
Humboldt-Universität, Philosophical Faculty II,
American Studies Program

Oregon State University:
MA English Program,
History Program,
Political Science Program

University of Warsaw, American Studies Center

Max Kade Foundation

Holiday Land Richter Reisen, Berlin

see also: Latest Program Report

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Steamboat in New Orleans

Transatlantic Students Symposia