Conference “Authority and Trust: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives”
June 25–27, 2020, Heidelberg Center for American Studies
The DFG-funded research training group “Authority and Trust in American Culture, Society, History, and Politics” is hosting an international conference aimed at junior researchers that will explore the emergence and transformation of authority and trust in American politics, society, religion, literature, and culture from the nineteenth century to the present.
We conceive of authority and trust as dynamic and complementary concepts: authority pertains to the tension between power and legitimacy and implies the ability to induce voluntary obedience; trust, by contrast, often connotes personal and intimate relationships among equals. Trust also extends to larger impersonal entities and institutions, and authority, as a social relationship based on voluntary compliance, seeks the trust of those who are asked to comply.
The conference seeks to investigate different elements of authority and trust within the U.S. context and how the sources, functions, and manifestations of authority and trust have changed over time. We focus on the following key areas:
- The Authority of the Modern State and Trust in Public and Social Institutions
- The Urban Dimension of Authority and Trust
- Authority and Trust in Culture, Literature, and Religion
The division between these areas provides a starting point for a larger interdisciplinary discussion between history, political science, geography, literature, linguistics, cultural studies, media studies, and religious history.
View our full Call for Papers.
Deadline for Abstract Submission: December 16, 2019
- Prof. (em.) Dr. Dr. h.c. Aleida Assmann, Professor of English Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Konstanz
- Tom Nichols, PhD, U.S. Naval War College University Professor and adjunct Professor at the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies and the Harvard Extension School