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Conference Announcement: American Exceptionalism Revisited

Topic: American Exceptionalism RevisitedAnnual Meeting of the Political Science Section of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS)
Date: Friday, 13th-Saturday, 14th November 2015
Description: AA-15-085-Cover lgFrom the very beginning America has considered herself as a nation with a mission, and John Winthrop’s (1630) „city upon a hill“ as the sacred Urtext of „American Exceptionalism“ permeates every period of U.S. political and cultural history. Discussions of U.S. identity often point at America’s exceptional self-image, holding that the United States has a unique place in history, differing fundamentally and qualitatively from all other nations in the world.In academia, American exceptionalism has been identified as American Creed explaining political and socio-economic trends in history (Seymour M. Lipset, 1996), as an exceptional-exemptional self-image in the context of American foreign policy (Michael Ignatieff, 2005) or most recently as a myth (Stephen M. Walt, 2009) or an idea that has been corrupted over time – especially after 9-11 (Godfrey Hodgson, 2009).

In 2009, almost two centuries after Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of America as creating „a distinct species of mankind“, President Obama challenged the virtuous meaning of „American Exceptionalism“ by saying „I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism“.

The purpose of this conference is to deconstruct the notion of American exceptionalism and to raise a variety of questions. What are the historical roots and the contemporary interpretations of American exceptionalism? Is exceptionalism still working in times of very high party polarization? Is Barack Obama an exceptional president in domestic and foreign policy?

These and other concerns will be at the center of the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Political Science Section of the German Association for American Studies.

More info here:


Der Beitrag wurde am Montag, den 5. Oktober 2015 um 17:52 Uhr von Curd Knüpfer veröffentlicht und wurde unter Announcements, Department of Political Science abgelegt. Sie können die Kommentare zu diesem Eintrag durch den RSS 2.0 Feed verfolgen. Kommentare und Pings sind derzeit nicht erlaubt.

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